#NoFilter | Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Spring 2016 | Thesis adviser: Adam Saffer | Honors level: With Highest Honors

#NoFilter: An Investigation of Fitness Microcelebrities' Portrayals of Body Image, Gender and Race on Instagram

by Kylee Wooten '16

The purpose of this study is to analyze the content of racially and ethnically diverse male and female fitness microcelebrities’ Instagram accounts to better understand the presentation portrayal of a fit, ideal body to the public. His/her self-presentation through photographs and captions will be analyzed through traditional gender norms, as identified by previous research conducted by Erving Goffman (1959) and Levant et al. (1992). The studies stemming from these scholars show the prevalence in which personal brands reflect and influence the trends of the ideal body of the man and woman, and the attitudes men and women of different racial backgrounds may face towards those images. Prior research investigating body image in the context of gender and race, as well as social media similarities and differences in the type of content male and female-run accounts display on their accounts will provide a deeper insight into these topics.



Many Honors Carolina students cap their undergraduate experience with a Senior Honors Thesis, partnering with a faculty mentor to develop original research or creative work. Students who successfully defend their thesis before a faculty review panel graduate with Honors or Highest Honors. Each year, approximately 350 students complete a Senior Honors Thesis. For many of those students, the thesis becomes a first publication or an important part of their application to graduate or professional school. Students who wish to undertake a Senior Honors Thesis project must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Academic departments may set higher thresholds for course work within students’ major field of study.

All Senior Honors Theses can be found in the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR).