Photo manipulation as a predictor of facial dissatisfaction and cosmetic procedure attitudes

Nepheli Beos, Eva Kemps, Ivanka Prichard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Photo manipulation (editing photos prior to sharing them) has become increasingly popular on social media. While intended to enhance a photo's quality, this behaviour has been linked to heightened body image concerns. The present study investigated whether social media photo manipulation predicts facial dissatisfaction, attitudes towards cosmetic procedures, and intentions to undergo facial cosmetic procedures in young women, and the moderating role of self-discrepancy therein. Australian women (N = 227, 17–25 years) completed an online cross-sectional questionnaire. Social media photo manipulation was associated with greater facial dissatisfaction, cosmetic procedure attitudes/intentions, and appearance-based self-discrepancy. Photo manipulation was a significant predictor of cosmetic procedure attitudes and intentions, but not of facial dissatisfaction. Appearance-based self-discrepancy significantly moderated the relationship between photo manipulation and facial dissatisfaction, whereby the relationship between photo manipulation and facial dissatisfaction was stronger for those with lower self-discrepancy. Results highlight a key role for photo manipulation and appearance-based self-discrepancies in relation to facial dissatisfaction for young women. They also provide insight into predictors of cosmetic procedure intentions and attitudes. This signals a pressing need to develop effective intervention and prevention programs to help young women limit their appearance-based photo manipulation behaviours for use on social media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Body image
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Photo manipulation
  • Self-discrepancy
  • Social media


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