The impact of no-makeup selfies on young women's body image

Body Image. 2019 Mar:28:128-134. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2019.01.006. Epub 2019 Jan 18.


Viewing idealized images of attractive women on social media can negatively impact women's body image and mood. Although women tend to post idealized images on social media, some also post natural no-makeup images. This study examined the impact of viewing both made up and no-makeup selfies on young women's body image and mood. Female undergraduate students (N = 175) viewed either images of a woman wearing no makeup interspersed among idealized made up images of that woman (no-makeup condition), only idealized made up images of a woman (makeup only condition), or appearance-neutral travel images (control condition). Participants rated their state appearance satisfaction and mood pre- and post-exposure to the study images and rated their desire to change aspects of the face, hair, and skin post-exposure to the study images. Participants in the makeup only condition were less satisfied with their facial appearance and were more motivated to change aspects of their face, hair, and skin after exposure to the study images. Viewing the study images had no impact on the body image or mood of participants in the no-makeup condition. These results suggest that no-makeup selfies may reduce any negative impact of idealized made up images on women's facial concerns.

Keywords: Body image; Face; Mood; No-makeup; Selfie; Social media.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Cosmetics*
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Photography*
  • Physical Appearance, Body*
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Media
  • Students / psychology
  • Young Adult


  • Cosmetics