Posted: February 10th, 2022

How does social media affect the demand of women on their appearance in today’s society?

How does social media affect the demand of women on their appearance in today’s society?
methodology Questions:
• How does social media affect women’s exposure to body shaming?
• Why do women have more and more demands and anxiety on their appearance?
I will utilize the textual and discourse analysis to research and analyze data Article analysis: “How social media is increasing a person’s exposure to body shaming and body image?”. The object of analysis are social media apps like tiktok, weibo, Instagram.
Discourse Analysis
The study of cultural objects in the contexts of their production, distribution and reception. Analyses how the meaning of cultural objects is produced through the interpretation of their material and the context in which they appear. Usually deals with a smaller number of texts. Allows for deeper, more substantive insight into those objects. Critical interpretation performed by the researcher is crucial to the analysis of the objects. Analyses how the meaning of cultural objects is produced through the interpretation of their material and the context in which they appear.
Usually deals with a smaller number of texts. Allows for deeper, more substantive insight into those objects. Critical interpretation performed by the researcher is crucial to the analysis of the object/s.
History of Sexuality
The History of Sexuality traces knowledge produced about sexuality in the Victorian era (through scientific and institutional knowledge production). Argues that the concept of sexuality was created and produced as an object of scientific study during this time. Observes that once sexuality appeared as an object of scientific knowledge, it could be regulated: By first defining what was considered “abnormal” sexual behavior and suggesting ways to curb or correct this behavior. Second, by defining what was considered “healthy” or “normal” sexual behavior (this was a Freudian innovation) and defining how that normative position might be achieved or replicated. Hence, the discourse of sexuality became a means of regulating sexual behavior, and subsequently, associating that behavior with identity.
Public discussion (which shapes social norms and ideas about the world) is dominated by “symbolic elites” – people who hold power and privileged access to the media (politicians, celebrities,). Those people control narratives through public discourse that largely assist them to maintain their power. Understanding discourse matters because it is a way that power and social norms are produced, reproduced and maintained. This affects how everyone can live in the world, how they understand themselves, and the people around them, which has relatively mundane effects for some, and very real and immediate effects on the safety of others.
Textual Analysis
Discourse Analysis is a method we can use to analyses messages (objects of communication) in the context of a system of representation that constructs meaning beyond or outside the content. That meaning can be: social, political, ideological and cultural. Discourse analysis takes communication (and the production of meaning) as a practice that has a relationship to the context in which it occurs. Identify the discursive resources (statements, themes, framing, what is said, or not said) – drawing on your cultural knowledge, wider literature, close reading and secondary sources. Consider the relationship between different discussions about that topic, and the concerns, histories, sources and ways of communicating that each discussion uses.
How is discourse used? In speech, by institutions, regulations, shaping of ideas, behaviors, discussions. What kinds of subjects, communities and behaviors does it construct? What practices does it compel, make possible?
Critical Discourse Analysis
Combines textual analysis with critical social theory. This approach can produce a more thorough, or systematic analysis of a particular phenomenon. Conducting a Critical Discourse Analyzer of negative evaluation
Data gathering and analysis
• statistic: How many women in the world are affected by the social media and causing their facial anxiety
• Research the aesthetic standards of body shape in past few years in different countries vs what is aesthetic standard during the recent development of social media
Fear of negative evaluation refers to the fear of others’ evaluation, the distress caused by negative evaluation, and the expectation that others may give negative evaluation to oneself. Based on this construct, Waston and Friend developed the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE). The fear of negative evaluation scale can be used as a main indicator of social anxiety cognition. They believe that social anxiety is an uncomfortable emotion that people escape from social situations, like to be alone and are afraid of criticism (Waston & Friend, 1969). Those with high scores on the Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale paid more attention to making a good impression on others and experienced a strong sense of anxiety in situations where they were being criticized. Fear of Negative evaluation can also refer to BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder), which is a mental illness characterized by constant worrying their perceived or slight defect in appearance (DOH,2020). Constant imagines their flaws in appearance and exaggerates them, and thus produces psychological pain of disease. The flaws in one’s appearance create strong fear and had become the primary reason why they are fear of public criticism (Mosovitch, 2009). Body dysmorphic Disorder has two characteristics: preoccupation with false appearance problems and avoidance behavior due to self-ugliness and not wanting to be known to others ().
Behaviors caused by Social Appearance Anxiety
In social interaction, when individual’s appearance is negatively evaluated, it will produce worry, tension and anxiety, which is social appearance anxiety. Relevant studies have shown that social appearance anxiety is closely related to the physical and mental health of individuals. It is proved as a cognitive risk factor for social anxiety in the social anxiety literature (Haikal & Hong, 2010). There are lots of distressed and unhealthy behaviors causes by this social phenomenon, in other words, Social Appearance Anxiety demonstrates paying too much attention to one’s appearance and fail to clearly understand oneself, leading to the extreme behavior. For example, the degree of social appearance anxiety of individuals with bulimia nervosa is significantly higher than the healthy groups (Hart,T.A.,Flora,D.B.,Palyo,S.A.,Fresco,D.M.,Holle,C. & Heimberg,R.G., 2008); Research shows that there is higher level of fear of negative evaluation is being reflect in the samples of women who are eating disorders (Hinrichsen, wright, Waller, & Meyer, 2003); Social appearance anxiety can positively predict social anxiety, depression, loneliness and eating disorders (Koskina,A.,Van den Eynde,F.,Meisel,S.,Campbell & I.C.Schmidt,U., 2011). Thus, all of above evidence highlights social appearance anxiety is factually affecting one’s mentally and physically health and reaction, which is one of a significant social issue that women have been facing and need to be solved.
Social Media and Appearance Anxiety
In this contemporary society, the use of social media platform is a widespread daily activity. Users enjoy and often engage in the sharing of visual content. Taking selfies on social media platforms is one of the most popular activities, as this is the way they can show themselves more and get more attention in the public. However, as more visual contact becomes available on social media, might lead to an increase in social focus on appearance and comparisons (Valentina, Francesca, Mark D., 2020). Thus, the underlying issue of social media use, which motivates digital activity in body image, has led to people who are unhappy with their appearance creating and managing their best online self-presentation (Valentina, Francesca, Mark D., 2020). Social media can create an atmosphere that makes society focus more on appearance and comparison, which can lead to certain emotional problems and risks, such as depression and anxiety. In Tanya, Melanie, and Zimmer report, the use of social media is uniquely associated with depression, social anxiety symptoms, and appearance sensitivity. They discovered that there were gender differences on all measures, with women resulting higher scores of appearance anxiety and appearance rejection sensitivity (Appearance-RS) while using appearance-related (AR) social media activities (Tanya, Melanie J., Zimmer Shawna M., 2020). Therefore, this could prove that the frequency of social media use is more likely to lead to depression, social anxiety symptoms and appearance sensitivity, especially toward women communities.

Hart,T.A.,Flora,D.B.,Palyo,S.A.,Fresco,D.M.,Holle,C.,Heimberg,R.G.,“Development andExamination of the Social Appearance Anxiety Scale”,Assessmen,vol.15,no.1(2008),pp.48-59.
Koskina,A.,Van den Eynde,F.,Meisel,S.,Campbell,I.C.,Schmidt,U.,“Social appearance anxiety=
Moscovitch DA. What Is the Core Fear in Social Phobia? A New Model to Facilitate Individualized Case Conceptualization and Treatment. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2009;16:123–134.
Haikal M, Hong RY. The effects of social evaluation and looming threat on self-attentional biases and social anxiety. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2010;24:345–352.
Hinrichsen H, Waller G, Van Gerko K. Social anxiety and agoraphobia in the eating disorders: associations with eating attitudes and behaviours. Eating Behaviors. 2004;5:285–290.

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