The Impact of Body-Positivity and Body-Checking TikTok Videos on Body Image




Westenberg, Jordan M.

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TikTok is an increasingly popular social media platform that allows users to share videos. Many of those videos are body-checking videos (showing especially fit women looking at their bodies at various angles) or body-positivity videos (showing predominantly overweight women and encouraging women to love and accept their bodies). The present study experimentally investigated the impact of such TikTok videos on young women’s body dissatisfaction. Participants were 296 female undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to view either a set of body-checking TikTok videos, body-positivity TikTok videos, or control TikTok videos without people. Compared with exposure to both the body-positivity videos and controls videos, exposure to the body-checking videos caused greater body dissatisfaction as well as increased negative feelings in the participants. Social media effects were also perceived to be more negative after watching the body-checking videos, compared to the body-positivity videos and control videos. These findings suggest that body-checking TikTok videos can negatively impact body image and associated emotions, whereas body-positivity videos may improve body image and esteem.



body-image, TikTok, social media, self esteem, body checking, Fitspo, Fitspiration, Honors College


Westenberg, J. M. (2022). The impact of body-positivity and body-checking TikTok videos on body image. Honors College, Texas State University.


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