Beware ladies! This is why male body image portrayals on Instagram

DN Bureau

In a novel study based on men's image on Instagram, researchers found that the majority of posts showed men with low body fat, while only a small fraction depicted men with high body fat.

Representational Image
Representational Image

Washington D.C: In a novel study based on men's image on Instagram, researchers found that the majority of posts showed men with low body fat, while only a small fraction depicted men with high body fat.

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The study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking - 62 per cent of posts showed men with low body fat and 41 per cent showed high muscularity, whereas only 6 per cent showed men with high body fat and 17 per cent showed low muscularity. Men with both low body fat and high muscularity (35 per cent) represented the largest group with a specific body type.

"Male Body Image Portrayals on Instagram" was coauthored by Thomas Gultzow, Francine Schneider, and Ciska Hoving, Maastricht University, Netherlands, and Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. The researchers reported that exercise was the most frequently shown behaviour. Furthermore, the number of likes and comments was significantly related to body composition, and the number of responses increased with decreasing levels of body fat and increased levels of body muscularity.

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"Based on Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory, body image pictures on Instagram may, through positive modelling, help to counteract the obesity epidemic, with the portrayals leading men to lead more healthy lifestyles. On the negative side, the skewed images may lead to male body dissatisfaction, depression and eating disorders. We can use this knowledge to educate our patients about the false sense of reality often portrayed on social media," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. (ANI)

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