Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Craig Bowman

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2020 Kyle A Halbrecht


The purpose of this paper is to understand how body image representations came to be and how they’re detrimental to adolescent mental and physical health. Numerous studies have been done in the last decade regarding social media and social networking sites’ (SNS) impact on the overall mental health of its users, predominantly women. Where research has been most heavily focused is on the effects of media on body image and eating disorders (ED) such as anorexia nervosa(AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). I review key findings in the field of social psychology that pertain to this issue with the intent to inspire further research on the subject of how body image focus has transformed drastically with the influx of media outlets tirelessly requesting that you act as either participant in producing images of yourself or observer in allowing these mediums to shape your appearance and mentality. This goal of this paper to provide ample proof that the media explosion that’s collided with predominantly females has forced an impossible ideal and goal-setting mentality for users of SNS. With sufficient evidence to support this case I will then provide possible solutions and research suggestions that may assist in addressing and therefore potentially mitigating the exacerbation of this dilemma we’re faced with.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.