"Too good to be true": semi-naked bodies on social media

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines how body image deception is created and understood in social media. The authors focus specifically on the beach body, which is a narrower form of bodily representation online, but where deception is especially likely to occur. Focus group discussions with young adults revealed that editing and perfecting the beach body is commonplace and even normalized on social media. However, participants distinguished between celebrities and friends in expected use of manipulation and seemed to place a limit on the acceptable types of manipulation: body tan but not body shape, for example. The authors discuss the implications of these discussions and how applying deception theory in body image research can provide useful insights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Anthology on Usage, Identity, and Impact of Social Media on Society and Culture
Place of PublicationHershey, PA.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781668463086
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • body image
  • social media
  • young adults


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