When virtual makeovers become "real" : How SNS interactions drive selfie editing and cosmetic surgery

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationChinese Journal of Communication
Publication statusOnline published - 14 Jun 2022


The behavior of posting edited selfies on social networking sites (SNSs) is becoming increasingly popular among young women. The current study takes the initiative to investigate the determinants of this behavior using Goffman's self-presentation theory. A survey of 600 young women in China was conducted. The results indicate that young women's behaviors of posting edited selfies on SNSs are affected by their perceptions of audience characteristics and social media metrics. The behavior is also found to be associated with the intention to undergo cosmetic surgery. These findings suggest that people translate their interactional behaviors from the virtual space into offline behaviors, despite the many associated risks. Theoretically, the present study extends the self-presentation theory to the context of SNSs, where audiences are physically absent and media affordances offer cues about social interactions.

Research Area(s)

  • Selfie editing, self-presentation, social media metrics, imagined audiences, intention for cosmetic surgery, COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION, CONTEXT COLLAPSE, SOCIAL MEDIA, ONLINE, IMPRESSION, IMAGE, OBJECTIFICATION, PHOTOGRAPHY, MANAGEMENT, FREQUENCY