Effect of viewing female Instagram influencers’ selfies on women’s attitudes and tendency toward cosmetic surgery as mediated by facial dissatisfaction

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 3. Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran



Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of viewing selfies of beauty-related female Instagram influencers on women’s attitudes and tendency toward cosmetic surgery, as mediated by facial dissatisfaction and moderated by dispositional upward physical appearance comparison. Method: It was an experimental study with type of viewed Instagram images (Female Instagram beauty influencers, Actresses active on Instagram, and Non-human) as the between-subjects factor. Participants were a convenient sample of 201 women aged 16–40 years who, after viewing images, responded to scales assessing facial dissatisfaction (Tiggemann et al., 2018), attitudes toward cosmetic surgery (Henderson-King & Henderson-King, 2005), tendency toward cosmetic surgery, and dispositional upward physical appearance comparison (O’brien et al., 2009). Analysis of covariance and regression analysis were used to test hypothesized relationships. Results: Viewing beauty influencers’ images led to a higher tendency to perform cosmetic body surgery compared to viewing actresses’ images, p < .05. Facial dissatisfaction did not mediate the effect of type of viewed images on attitude and tendency toward cosmetic surgery. The direct effect of type of viewed images on interpersonal dimension of attitude and tendency to perform face and body cosmetic surgery was significant, ps < .05. Dispositional upward physical appearance comparison did not moderate the effect of type of viewed images on facial dissatisfaction. Conclusion: Viewing Instagram selfies was less than expected effective on either facial dissatisfaction or attitude and tendency toward cosmetic surgery.


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