Uploading your best self: Selfie editing and body dissatisfaction

Marika Tiggemann, Isabella Anderberg, Zoe Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Social media have given rise to new forms of self-presentation, in particular, the posting of self-portrait photos, commonly known as “selfies.” The aim of the present study was to experimentally investigate the relationship between selfie editing and body dissatisfaction. Participants were 130 women aged 18–30 years who were asked to view Instagram images of thin women or of average-sized women, with a view to inducing body dissatisfaction in the former group. Participants were then asked to take a selfie on an iPad and were given 10 min. to edit the selfie. They completed state measures of mood, body dissatisfaction, and facial dissatisfaction at baseline, after viewing the images, and after editing their selfies. It was found that although viewing the thin images increased negative mood and body/facial dissatisfaction, experimental condition had no effect on the time spent or extent of editing of the selfie. However, taking and editing the selfie resulted in increased negative mood and facial dissatisfaction in both groups. Further, the observed extent of editing predicted the degree of increase in facial dissatisfaction. It was concluded that investing heavily in and editing one's self-presentation on social media is a detrimental activity for young women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body image
  • Digital alteration
  • Photo-editing
  • Selfies
  • Social media


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