Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Janelle Applequist, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Artemio Ramirez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Guy Golan, Ph.D.


Fitness, Fitspiration, Fitspo, Framing Theory, Health


Several studies have been done to examine the effects of fitspiration on body image satisfaction using social comparison theory but there has yet to be a study done using framing theory to find out what exactly these images are focusing on. This research will use framing theory to examine what characteristics and body types are being seen on Instagram under the hashtag “fitspiration”.

Using a mixed method approach, this study uses a textual analysis to first get a larger sample set of fitspiration images on Instagram. It then uses in-depth interviews to get a deeper understanding of what the general public thinks the main frames of fitspiration are. Results for this research found that the social media trend emphasizes a stronger and more health-focused ideal and a strong sense of health and/or fitness behind the frames of each image.

With the increased use of social media starting at such a young age it is important to understand the culture of popular trends in order to evaluate how we are interacting with them. Previous research focused on the outcome as opposed to the origin of the issue. This research gives a sample of the fitspiration culture in order to help us start to understand the trends of health and fitness online.