Cross-Cultural Perceptions towards Effects of Social Media on Body Image

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Esquivias, Georgina; Tapia, Margarita Teresina; Markova, Ivana
Fashion Design; Social Media
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Over 2.2 billon people are active participants in social media worldwide (Regan, 2015) and in the United States, 1.79 billion individuals engage with social media networks at least once a month. The purpose of this study was twofold. The primary purpose was to examine the effects of social media on consumer perceptions and their body image acceptance. The secondary purpose was to measure cross-cultural differences in consumer attitudes toward the effects of social media and body image perceptions. Theoretical framework of this study is represented by the cultivation theory (Gerbner, 1998). This study incorporated a diverse sample (n=90): Asian American, Latino/Hispanic, African American, and Euro-American respondents. Statistical analyses were conducted with SPSS using correlations and chi-square tests. Findings of cross-cultural differences did not fully align with components of cultivation theory, as only Arab-American and Euro-American consumers perceived to be positively affected by the diverse images on social media.