Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

John R. Baldwin

Second Advisor

Lindsey Thomas


Scholars have associated the portrayal of idealized images of the body on social media with the negative body image of users, which manifests as several mental health problems such as eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, body dysmorphic disorder, depression, and anxiety in users. To tackle this issue, body-positive (BoPo) influencers on Instagram, having achieved a state of positive body image, post verbal and visual messages to advocate against normative ideologies that foster the negative body image of social media users. These messages have some implications for health communication and body image research. This study analyzes body-positive influencers’ self-assertion and self-expression in body-positive posts using Dan’s (2018) integrative framing analysis. In total, I sampled one hundred posts, including visual and verbal messages, from ten body-positive influencers. I found that body-positive influencers on Instagram, in both verbal and visual messages, use some form of self-assertion to put across messages. These messages serve to endorse positive body image features such as body acceptance, and self-compassion while invalidating normative ideologies surrounding beauty, diet and exercise culture, and fatness. Body-positive influencers in their quest to recommend products to subscribers commodify fatness and the body-positive movement. This study has implications for health and body image research.


Imported from Momade_ilstu_0092N_12401.pdf


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