The Body Positivity Movement: Bettering College Women's Body Image and Health

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Conners, Emilie
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Body image concerns among college-aged women continue to be an immense issue across many college campuses. As technology continues to advance, it has become more common for young girls and women to focus on their flaws and to edit their social media photos to make themselves look better. Body image has a huge impact on mental and physical health. Therefore, it is vital that the pressures young women feel about their self-presentation on social media are addressed and fought. One movement that has been used recently as a possible way to combat this concern is the body positivity movement. However, more research is needed to understand the impact of this movement on young women. Data were collected from 609 students at Middle Tennessee State University using a Qualtrics survey. The survey asked questions pertaining to time spent on social media, self-image and familiarity with body positivity campaigns, as well as demographics. The survey’s purpose was to investigate whether or not the body positivity movement has been successful in bettering college women’s body image, so therefore the research questions remained fairly surface level in regard to the movement. The questions, rather, focused on behavior on social media, familiarity with body positivity advertisement campaigns as well as on influencers who participate in the movement and advocate for change. The results were analyzed using SPSS data analysis software. Recommendations based on the data collected from the survey are provided.