Elevator Pitch


Hi my name is Nikki Piazza and I am a senior graduating this spring at Rutgers University. I am a Journalism and Media major with a Digital Communication, Information and Media minor. On top of the informative classes I have been able take here at Rutgers, I have also been granted great opportunities with different types of internships as well. Most of these internships consisted of maintaining and providing updates for social media accounts, researching and organizing information to keep a positive brand image and editing of visual and sound clips. I have used my experience with social media in both the classroom and real world to research how the Internet and social media affect the body image, beauty and health ideals women have today. Specifically researching the connection between fit vs. thin and the blurred knowledge of knowing how to achieve the perfect body imaging you’re retweeting on social media.

Research Question: In my final project I will be researching how real of an affect social media has on women’s body images. I will be defining what is the real meaning of “fitspiration” and “thinspiration” and how women are blinded to the truth of most importantly their own bodies. I will be seeing how these online affects can create real life problems and what can be done to prevent that.

Application: Creating an application to promote personal and healthy body images. Similar to the way Timehop works, it will be a collaboration of multiple social media sites Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, ect.)


  • Researchers say… connection between the two why?
  • Fitspiration vs. Thinspiration
  • Answers vs. Image : Health Bloggers vs. Beauty “image” bloggers (Tone It Up Girls vs. Diet pills/teas/supplements), include personal findings
  • Companies Internet images (ex: Dove campaign vs Victoria Secret backlash on “perfect body”)
  • Conclusion and outcome of this portrayal online and the real life consequences

Literature Review:

I will include different forms of research and comments from scholarly articles, media articles and the social media sites themselves which I will collect comments and examples from. I will use research, commenters and what my interviewers say to analyze the question I am trying to answer, while comparing the two sides of this topic.

Research Question:

I hope to find why there is such a split between positive and negative associations with body image and “real” beauty for women. What can bridge the gap between pictures and actual results, but in a healthy way. Getting real answers to the body images you are seeing through social and mass media sites. Focusing more on informing then looking at end results (application).

Data Collection:

The data I will be collecting for this project will include observations and research from the Internet between the content and comments, surveys given anonymously and interviews from different aged woman. I feel comparing the differences between anonymous and not anonymous interviewers will discover a whole other issue and maybe answer that lies in this category.I will also research a lot of social media sites that not only give the results people like and want but an explanation to go along with it.


  • Age so far is a large part in this positive and negative gap in body image
  • Even negative association is still widely excepted and popular
  • People know being fit is healthy but they want to look thin. Informing more to fill in the in-between of that situation

Data Presentation:

My data will be presented in a blog and application

Annotated Bibliography:

1. This article talks about a surveys done specifically about purchasing cosmetic and health related products and how the key finding was the impact of social media and blogs in purchasing. It explained that, “42 percent of heavy buyers say that social media is very important in making their purchasing decisions. Cosmetic blogs (29%) and YouTube (23%) were the most popular resources among these involved buyers”. This was a number that years ago would not have existed and now has evolved the marketing some of these companies are making explained in the article. They also talk about wholesale retailers and not only being influenced by people online to purchase something but then actually purchasing it online just goes hand and hand now which I never thought to think about.


2. This paper is really what got my attention when starting to research and find a different angle to go. This paper is goes into research on the part social media and the Internet play with creating these images and thoughts women now have today. It is about the constant pushing and theme most people can see in any ad or health/beauty image the Internet promotes. It is altering the way people think is normal and turning into something it should not. I like how this paper compares the marketing strategies and views from old to new, which was different from the other articles. Its nice to see comparing to something old because the new marketing ways and images are becoming the norm.


3. This paper focuses on the direct affect the “thin body” image mass media pushes on women can become a direct result of eating disorders and other harmful physical damage to oneself. While this article does not specifically focus on digital media, it was a study done on 77 women directly thinking their own definition of body image to mass media and culture. They talk a lot of how this starts at a very young age and in this case dealing with social media even younger. Children are exposed at extremely earlier ages, whether it is seeing an image on TV or on a website. This article specifically links the blur between media and reality. They provide explanation of how as a society we have gotten to this point and how these images are having real life affects on body image.


  1. http://www.westminstercollege.edu/myriad/index.cfm?parent=…&detail=4475&content=4795

This scholarly article really went into the idea of the beauty standard and how mass media affects that idea today. This article gave me a lot of theories that I was not aware of before and helped me answer some of the questions I was looking for

  1. http://www.american.edu/soc/communication/upload/Mascelli2010.pdf

This study reflected on specifically Doves Campaign for Real Beauty and the affect it had when woman were submitted to both their campaign and others. I found this article interesting because this is one of the main examples I wanted to use in my project and gave me further insight on some women’s thoughts.

  1. http://www.today.com/health/perfect-body-petition-twitter-users-slam-victorias-secret-campaign-1D80253890

This article had to do with Victoria Secrets “Perfect Body” campaign in the opposite sense of Doves Campaign. While this was not a study, it was an informative article that explained peoples reactions on social media and the not so great image the company was creating.


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