Face yourself(ie): Investigating selfie-behavior in females with severe eating disorder symptoms

R. Yellowlees, A.E. Dingemans*, Jolanda Veldhuis, Nadia A.J.D. Bij de Vaate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: With the rise of camera phones, selfie-taking has become a normative part of our modern culture. However, little is known about how this behavior may relate to eating disorder (ED) characteristics, particularly in those who already have eating disorder symptoms of clinical severity. The current study investigated how selfie-posting and selfie-taking with no intention of posting online (offline selfies) were related to ED symptoms. Method: A total of 152 females (average age 22.44 years) with ED symptoms of clinical severity completed self-report questionnaires measuring selfie-frequency (online and offline), frequency of non-selfie photo posting, social networking site use, body dissatisfaction, body checking, ED symptom severity, self-esteem and body avoidance. Responses were collected via an ED social community. Results: No direct relationship, or indirect association via body dissatisfaction, was found between selfie behavior and ED symptom severity. However, the more offline selfies an individual took, the more frequently they body checked, and this, in turn, was related to greater ED symptom severity. Conclusions: These results suggest that offline selfies may be a modern form of body checking. Our findings are the first to imply that offline selfie-taking may be a problematic behavior and a potential maintenance factor for individuals with severe ED symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date16 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Body checking
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Eating disorders
  • Selfies
  • Social media
  • Social networking sites


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