Fear the Instagram: beauty stereotypes, body image and Instagram use in a sample of male and female adolescents

Valeria Verrastro, lilybeth Fontanesi, Francesca Liga, Francesca Cuzzocrea, Maria Cristina Gugliandolo


Recent literature has proposed the term “digitized dysmorphia” to define the gap between social media digitalized beauty standards and females body image, suggesting that apps as Instagram, have contributed to the increase of dysmorphic disorders in young women. In the present paper, it’s analyzed the relationship between the use of Instagram, the internalization of beauty standards, the social pressure to adhere to them, and the anxiety towards body image, in a sample of high schools’ students (N= 621,aged 13 to 21, 61% females) in Italy. Results suggest that adolescents who edit their pictures, and then upload them online, have interiorized more the stereotype of beauty proposed by Instagram and feel more anxious and uncomfortable with their body image, feeling more pressure to uphold to the social media standards. These results apply not only to female adolescents, as seen in previous studies, but also males. Social and clinical issues are discussed.