Power and Prejudice

Scientific perspectives on power, subtle prejudice, and discrimination

Does Instagram Promote Positive Body Image?

Instagram offers a quiet resistance to the barrage of perfect images that we face each day. Rather than being bombarded with those creations (yes, they are created usually through Photoshop) in popular magazines, television, and web pages that feed our discontent, we can look through our Instagram feed and see images of real people – with beautiful diversity. Read More

Not about Instagram but similar

I manage a couple of Internet groups. Because these groups are popular they have a lot of members I am always getting requests from potential new members to join. Also, on the Internet there are spammers who try to join popular groups so they can spread posts advertising products or popularizing their favorite political causes.

I can identify the spammers by the pictures they use. Their avatars are often pretty smiling women with ample bosom. Any additional pictures they use are usually of puppies and stuffed animals. I assume that the spammers assume that all people automatically approve of beautiful voluptuous women. They don't know how wrong they are.


Thanks for sharing! It sounds like using "attractive" avatars is backfiring on spammers. In general, we tend to find attractive stimuli (women, cute stuffed animals) likable, but if we notice that the stimuli are being used to manipulate us, we may experience "reactance" (Brehm, 1975) against these stimuli. Thanks again for chiming in with this interesting example!

Reply to comment | Psychology Today

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Sarah J. Gervais, Ph.D., is a social-law psychologist at the University of Nebraska.


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