The effect of Social Media on Women’s Body Image in Qatar

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As we are part of society, we care about its social phenomenon. Beauty perception is one of the issues that has been discussed for many years. With the revolution of new media many themes emerged. The topic “how does social media affect the beauty?” has a significant indicator in terms of how it can affect women negatively. We choose this topic because recently we notice the increase of beauty surgeries. This increase was due to the “makeup bloggers” or fashionista and their influence on women’s beauty perception to alter their beauty standards or frame them into a specific shape. As a result, women’s appearance will impact their personality and confidence by following unrealistic standards of beauty. This film will cover the concept of beauty perception in the Gulf by doing interviews with some of the young age women in Qatar. This would reflect on this concept and raise awareness of what might be harmful to women.

 

 

 

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Please find below a study and production study on ‘The effect of Social Media on Women’s Body Image in Qatar’. We share this for research and information purpose only.

 

 

The effect of Social Media on Women’s Body Image in

Qatar

 

 

 

Women’s Beauty Perception in the Gulf, Qatar
Digital Communication and media, DHS 622
Shaima Al Essai, Fatima Sindi and Rana Al Khouli
Dr.Marc Jones

Film Name: Reflection

The purpose of the project: “Reflection.”

As we are part of society, we care about its social phenomenon. Beauty perception is one of the issues that has been discussed for many years. With the revolution of new media many themes emerged. The topic “how does social media affect the beauty?” has a significant indicator in terms of how it can affect women negatively. We choose this topic because recently we notice the increase of beauty surgeries. This increase was due to the “makeup bloggers” or fashionista and their influence on women’s beauty perception to alter their beauty standards or frame them into a specific shape. As a result, women’s appearance will impact their personality and confidence by following unrealistic standards of beauty. This film will cover the concept of beauty perception in the Gulf by doing interviews with some of the young age women in Qatar. This would reflect on this concept and raise awareness of what might be harmful to women.

 

Body Image

Body image is the perception that a person has of their physical self and the thoughts and feelings
that result from that perception. These feelings can be positive, negative or both, and are influenced by
individual and environmental factors. Four factors determine body image:

1. How you see your body is your perceptual body image. This is not always a correct representation of
how you look. For example, a person may perceive themselves as overweight when they are
underweighted.

2. The way you FEEL about your body is your effective body image. This relates to the amount of
satisfaction or dissatisfaction you feel about your shape, weight, and individual body parts.

3. The way you THINK about your body is your cognitive body image. This can lead to preoccupation
with body shape and weight.

4. Behaviours in which you engage as a result of your body image encompass your behavioural body image. When a person is dissatisfied with the way he/she looks, they may isolate themselves because they feel bad about their appearance.

Social media and body image

The usage of social media has increased dramatically over the last five years. The advent of photo-based social media platforms has made a significant difference in attracting young age users. For instance, Instagram has one billion monthly users and more than 500 million of them use it daily (Statista, 2018). Also, it considers the second most engaged network after Facebook (Emarkater, 2018). In 2017, the significant trends included the rapid growth of visually-led social networks like Instagram and Snapchat with the percentage of users in the Middle East often far ahead of other regions (Radcliffe, 2018). According to Statista (2019), 71% of Instagram users are under age 35 years old. Using Instagram may negatively influence women’s appearance-related concerns image and self-objectification (Fardouly,Willburger, & Vartanian, 2018). The greater time young women spent on Instagram, the greater concerns
in their body image. This relationship was mediated by internalisation and by appearance comparison to celebrities (Fardouly, Willburger, & Vartanian, 2018).

 

Women tend to use social media more than men to view others’ photos, so they engage in comparing themselves with others (Smith as cited in Hogue & Mills, 2019). A study conducted on 118 female undergraduate students by Hogue & Mills (2019) shows negative associations between women’s state of body image and active social media engagement (ASME), particularly photo-based ASME (Cohen, Newton-John, & Slater as cited in Hogue & Mills, 2019). This correlation is based on the relationship between young women and their attractive female peers on social media platforms. As women feel worse about how they look than men (Engeln as cited in Hogue & Mills, 2019), an upward social comparison affects women’s body image. Young adult women want to look perfect by taking the
best shots of themselves, and as a result, women see idealised photos of their peers which they set as a
standard for their image (Manago, Graham, Greenfield, & Salimkhan as cited in Hogue & Mills, 2019).

 

Moreover, another study by Brown & Tiggemann (2016) investigated how celebrity and peer images on Instagram affect women’s mood and body image negatively. To check the contribution between these two factors a group of 138 female undergraduate students were assigned to view three sets of images: celebrity, equally attractive unknown peer reviews or control set of travel images which were sourced from public Instagram profiles (Brown & Tiggemann, 2016). The results showed that after the exposure to thin fashion models and peer images, women’ s body dissatisfaction and negative mood increased. This impact was mediated by state appearance comparison. This assures how celebrity and peer image could be destructive to young women’s body image and mood (Brown & Tiggemann, 2016). However, there might be a positive outcome of Instagram usage in terms of Fitsrping specifically
as it could support women to become more healthy at some point (Fardouly, Willburger, & Vartanian,
2018). Also, NO make-up selfies could have been a solution that decreases the negative impact of idealised selfies and women’s body image concerns. This would educate women on the idealised nature of
social media images (Fardouly & Rapee, 2019).

 

Participants in the Film Hamda Alkhamis

Hamda al-Khamis is half Qatari\Emirati. She studied sociology and media at Qatar University. Hamda has been worked as a social media officer for over six years. She exposures to social media daily, and she is interested in cultural phenomena in Qatar. She is active on social media and following up with updates related to culture such as “Makeup Bloggers” and how social media frame beauty in the Gulf. She has many relatives and friends who have been suffered from “beauty obsession”, and as a result, she agrees that social media has influenced women negatively. Hamda believes that we can balance in our beauty and to be confident without immediate what social media says about beauty. Having Hamda as a part of the film helps prove the impact of social media on women’s body image and beauty perception.

 

Ruqaya Al Sada

Ruqaya al Sada is from Bahrain and raised in Qatar. She works as an Entrepreneur Advisor at Bedaya Center. Ruqaya is a social media influencer. Ruqaya has many interests such as fashion and makeup. She has started makeup tutorial for many years. She gives updates about the latest makeup products and talks about them on her Instagram profile. Thus, we choose Ruqaya as beauty influencer who has an impact on females’ beauty.

Shough Shaheen

Shough Shaheen is a Qatari filmmaker. She graduated from Qatar University and studied media.
Shough has an interest in fashion. As she says:” I have my style, but at the same time I follow some
beauty bloggers in the way of making makeup and how they dress. I have been affected by social media
tutorials and learn in the same time.” shoogh believes that with the spread of social media; most women
became as one version due to the imitation of the beauty content on social media.

Fatima

Fatima is the last year student at Weil Cornell University in Qatar. She is from Qatar. Fatima has
a background about make-up and recently learned about it. She has a perspective that influenced by
beauty bloggers can be positive in a way. She sees “Beauty bloggers” or “Fashionista” is a job as any
other jobs. She enjoys watching them and learns the steps of makeup and how to protect her skin. She has
a private channel of teaching to make up for her friends and families. Even though she feels sorry that
women became shaped in a specific frame; she finds there are benefits of learning about fashion and
beauty via social media influencers.

Dr.Marc Jones

An academic, professor and an expert of digital media. Dr Marc makes a valuable add by telling his point
of view from a theoretical perspective. He helps us answer the question: Does the Gulf beauty grow within
one bubble? Filter bubbles could tailor people’s digital experience in a way that influences their perception
toward different concepts such as beauty.

Ms. Zarqa Parvez

An academic and has a record of writing about the concept of beauty in the Gulf.

Production Part

This part discusses the creative side of the film production process. First of all, the genre of the
film is a short documentary which means it is an informative film. So, the style of editing is quite formal
and straightforward because the audience prefers to focus on the content more than other elements when
they are watching documentaries. Also, the film includes inserting shoots to emphasise the idea of the
film content and at the same time to make it looks attractive and fancy.
Additionally, the film includes smooth cuts between each shot and another by using Dip to white
effect. However, the narrative of the film is trying to present all the different opinions of the interviewers,
and then there is an academic view based on what the interviewers said. The music of the film is carefully
selected to fit with film narrative and content. This gives feelings about the beauty of life in general and
women beauty precisely. Also, it suits young people’s preference.

Remarks

In the future, for getting a detailed image about the issue of Beauty perception in the digital age, the film
should ask participants questions such as is putting too much makeup bother you? Then, the project will
help asses if women do not have a problem regarding how much they put and if it is acceptable or not.
Additionally, we would ask interviewers to name 1-2 influencers to check their beauty bubble. Finally,
the sound should be clear and with one volume especially.

Interview’s Questions

1. What are the standards of beauty in the Gulf?
2. Do you think there are specific standards for beauty in the Gulf?
3. Has the new media (Snape Chat, Instagram, Facebook etc.) changed the concept of beauty in the Gulf?
4. In recent years, a new concept has emerged in social media, the fashionista, so what do you think about
it? Does it change the concept of beauty?
5. What do you think of the fashionista? Do you believe that social media contributed to putting women
within a specific frame and how?
6. Are you convinced of your beauty especially after we have seen the vast content on social media
platforms?
7. Is your look influenced by social media’s influencers or beauty bloggers?
8. Can you get out of the house without makeup? And why?

Fashionista’s Questions

1. The term fashionista has recently appeared and has become popular among people. What is your
definition of this term?
2. Do you classify yourself as a fashionista?
3. Do you think that fashionista has a high influence on women’s beauty?
4. What is the beauty of women in your own opinion?
5. Have social networking sites (Facebook, Instagram, Snape etc.) helped you promote a particular value
of beauty? What are they?
6. Do you see that women are affected by what you put in the networking sites? How satisfied are they?
7. If the outer beauty is essential, why not promote through the social networking sites of inner beauty
with the same momentum for external promotion?

References

Hogue, J. V., & Mills, J. S. (2019). The effects of active social media engagement with peers on body
image in young women. Body image, 28, 1-5.
Brown, Z., & Tiggemann, M. (2016). Attractive celebrity and peer images on Instagram: Effect on
women’s mood and body image. Body image, 19, 37-43.
Fardouly, J., Willburger, B. K., & Vartanian, L. R. (2018). Instagram use and young women’s body
image concerns and self-objectification: Testing mediational pathways. New Media & Society,
20(4), 1380–1395. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444817694499
Fardouly, J., & Rapee, R. M. (2019). The impact of no-makeup selfies on young women’s body image.
Body image, 28, 128-134.
https://www.oberlo.com/blog/instagram-stats-every-marketer-should-know

Middle East Social Media Usage Trends Revealed

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Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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