Social Media Diet Culture: Fitness Selfies and “Body Positivity”

Jori Reiken
5 min readMay 27, 2021

Instagram selfie of Adelaine Morin, full time influencer, celebrity, singer/songwriter and YouTuber, shows off body positivity and self love. Adelaine Morin’s YouTube channel is known for being “the happiest place on the internet” and she focuses on creating content centered around lifestyle, beauty, fashion and vlogs! Her career started in 2011 and her following has grown to over 2.5 million subscribers. Her set of selfies posted January 7, 2021 in Los Angeles, California highlights new year’s resolutions, body positivity and self love going into the new year by posting a collection of 4 selfies of her in a parking garage wearing a workout outfit and the caption “up in the gym just working on my fitness…he’s my witness @yourfriendandre 💪🏽”. Fitness themed selfies such as Adelaine Morin’s focus on creating a better community on the internet in regards to self love and loving your body. Although these selfies attempt to contribute to combating the negative energy around loving your body, they tend to do the opposite and show the skinny/fit side which can have a negative impact on young women and girls in society as they feel the need to look and behave like their favourite celebrities and then ultimately contribute to diet culture.

Celebrities often play into the fit and skinny culture by showing off their bodies in workout gear or revealing clothing, although these images do not mean to cause harm, they can have a negative impact on young women and girls online because of the feeling that they have to be like the celebrities they see on social media and the content that gets millions of likes and popularity. This skinny culture teaches young women and girls that they need to be skinny, workout and eat healthy in order to be accepted into society and that flaws are abnormal. A study published in 2019, focused on pro-eating disorder content on social media and how it can have a devastating effect on young people. They concluded that these posts serve as “a potential indicator of ED…