Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kathleen Brown

Rights Information

2020 Dhara L Singh


Research on the effects of social media and advertising on body image has predominantly focused on the negative impacts, with limited studies exploring the effects on positive body image. This study investigated whether body positive Instagram advertising images, which aim to promote body acceptance, increase positive body image compared to ideal or neutral (landscape) images. One hundred and thirty participants (66.2% female) were randomly assigned to an image condition and shown a series of neutral, ideal, or body positive Instagram images. Participants’ positive body image was then measured using the Body Appreciation Scale-2 (BAS-2) and Functional Appreciation Scale (FAS). A ceiling effect on the FAS resulted in no significant differences in body functionality appreciation between genders or image conditions. Results showed that body appreciation was higher among males than females, and that body appreciation was significantly higher in the neutral (landscape) image condition than the body positive image condition. Therefore, any image featuring a body may be harmful to positive body image, even ones that are considered body positive. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.