Follow me and like my beautiful selfies: Singapore teenage girls’ engagement in self-presentation and peer comparison on social media

Trudy Hui Hui Chua, Leanne Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

367 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explores teenage girls' narrations of the relationship between self-presentation and peer comparison on social media in the context of beauty. Social media provide new platforms that manifest media and peer influences on teenage girls' understanding of beauty towards an idealized notion. Through 24 in-depth interviews, this study examines secondary school girls' self-presentation and peer comparison behaviors on social network sites where the girls posted self-portrait photographs or “selfies” and collected peer feedback in the forms of “likes,” “followers,” and comments. Results of thematic analysis reveal a gap between teenage girls' self-beliefs and perceived peer standards of beauty. Feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity underpinned their efforts in edited self-presentation and quest for peer recognition. Peers played multiple roles that included imaginary audiences, judges, vicarious learning sources, and comparison targets in shaping teenage girls' perceptions and presentation of beauty. Findings from this study reveal the struggles that teenage girls face today and provide insights for future investigations and interventions pertinent to teenage girls’ presentation and evaluation of self on social media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume55, Part A
Early online date24 Sept 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • Beauty
  • Peer comparison
  • In-depth interviews
  • Self-presentation
  • Social media
  • Teenage girls

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