Adolescent Girls’ Bodily Dilemmas in The Face of Influencers

Proceedings of The 7th International Conference on Research in Education

Year: 2023



Adolescent Girls’ Bodily Dilemmas in The Face of Influencers

Lene Birgit Vaala




The Norwegian Media Authority points out that nine out of ten Norwegian adolescences aged 9-18 are active users of social media (Norwegian Media Authority, 2021). This paper provides an insight into how young girls experience dilemmas related to the bodily constructions that are promoted in the social media represented by influencers, as well as how they assert their conflicting experiences by positioning themselves.  The research question that is sought to be highlighted is: “Which bodily dilemmas does four adolescence girls experience in light of influencers they are following on social media within a three-year interval”? Data from individual semi-structured interviews with four girls conducted within a three-year interval are analyzed and presented in this paper. Conflicting positions are made by admiring, wanting, and confirming the bodily constructions as presented by the influencers, while at the same time rejecting them by positioning their own body as the natural, preferred and normatively acceptable one. In this field of tension between different body constructions, the girls experience a continuous positioning dilemma.  During the three-year interval the girls changed their use and experience of social media influencers, and thereby how they perceived their initial bodily positioning dilemmas by taking a clear stand by positioning themselves somewhat differently.

Keywords: social media, influencers, digital literacy, bodily constructions, positioning dilemma