Body and diet as sales pitches: Spanish teenagers’ perceptions about influencers’ impact on ideal physical appearance



Palabras clave:

Influencer marketing, Medios sociales, Minors, Adolescents, Teenagers, Generation Z, Physical appearance, Food, Body, Social networks, Social media, Media literacy, Critical thinking, Perceptions, Youtubers


This project sits at the intersection of three axes: (a) influencers as the increasing focus of minors’ attention and trust online, (b) sponsored content about eating habits and physical appearance produced by these influencers, and (c) minors’ ability to discern and identify the persuasive intent of said content. The usefulness of analyzing the interplay of these three axes lies in the impact that consumption of this content has on minors’ self-esteem and on the adoption of certain habits that can directly impact their personal well-being. For this reason, this project seeks to provide insight into the social imaginary that influencers’ sponsored speech creates in minors regarding their physical appearance. To this end, a qualitative study with 12 focus groups of minors aged 11–17 years of age who reside in Spain was proposed. Notable among the key results was that the interviewees recognize that they primarily receive commercial messages about food and products related to physical appearance, such as makeup or clothing, from influencers; likewise, they are aware of persuasive tactics used on social networks, such as the construction of a perfect, aspirational world, which minors absorb and accept as part of the digital environment and end up incorporating into their behavior on social networks. This research aims to help demonstrate that teaching critical thinking is a long-term cultural investment that would make the citizens of tomorrow aware, engaged, and active.


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Cómo citar

Feijoo, B., López-Martínez, A., & Núñez-Gómez, P. (2022). Body and diet as sales pitches: Spanish teenagers’ perceptions about influencers’ impact on ideal physical appearance. Profesional De La información, 31(4).



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