ABSTRACT. The aim of this systematic review is to synthesize and analyze social media appearance-related pressures. With increasing evidence of self-destructive body image and unrealistic bodily ideals leading to body image pathologies through inconsistent visual evaluations and decisions, there is an essential demand for comprehending whether appearance-based self-discrepancy moderates the link between photo manipulation and facial dissatisfaction. In this research, prior findings were cumulated indicating that self-dissatisfaction in relation to body image may result in low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. I carried out a quantitative literature review of ProQuest, Scopus, and the Web of Science throughout February 2022, with search terms including “idealized online identities” + “social appearance comparisons,” “negative body image,” and “state self-objectification.” As I analyzed research published between 2021 and 2022, only 156 papers met the eligibility criteria. By removing controversial or unclear findings (scanty/unimportant data), results unsupported by replication, undetailed content, or papers having quite similar titles, I decided on 29, chiefly empirical, sources. Data visualization tools: Dimensions (bibliometric mapping) and VOSviewer (layout algorithms). Reporting quality assessment tool: PRISMA. Methodological quality assessment tools include: AXIS, Distiller SR, ROBIS, and SRDR.

Keywords: body image dissatisfaction; social appearance comparison; state self-objectification

How to cite: Bratu, S. (2022). “Idealized Online Identities, Social Appearance Comparisons, and Negative Body Image,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 12(1): 130–145. doi: 10.22381/JRGS12120229.

Received 21 March 2022 • Received in revised form 17 July 2022
Accepted 22 July 2022 • Available online 30 July 2022

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