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#gainingweightiscool: The use of transformation photos on Instagram among female weightlifters in recovery from eating disorders.

Hockin-Boyers, H. and Pope, S. and Jamie, K (2020) '#gainingweightiscool: The use of transformation photos on Instagram among female weightlifters in recovery from eating disorders.', Qualitative research in sport, exercise and health., 13 (1). pp. 94-112.

Abstract

In this article, we explore transformation photos on Instagram as ‘digital artefacts’ that can inform understandings of eating disorder recovery in the context of sport, exercise and health. Transformation photos are two images (from different time points) set alongside one another to represent the changing of bodies in look, shape or size. These images are prevalent within eating disorder recovery and fitness spaces on Instagram and typically display an individual’s recovery journey through a before (thin) and after (more muscular) image comparison. By triangulating interview, photo elicitation and netnography data from research on female weightlifting as a tool for recovery from eating disorders, we explore transformation photos in relation to three intersecting themes; 1) new modes of ‘becoming’, 2) representation and ‘mediated memories’, and finally, 3) survivorship and identity. Our findings demonstrate that transformation photos are integral to the process and practice of recovery for women who use weightlifting as a tool for recovery from eating disorders. Moreover, we suggest that by engaging with a popular mimetic device (transformation photos), we were able to ‘meet participants where they are’ and offer a novel qualitative approach to understanding how digitally mediated lives are lived.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Download PDF
(3365Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2020.1836511
Publisher statement:© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:03 June 2020
Date deposited:24 July 2020
Date of first online publication:02 November 2020
Date first made open access:04 November 2020

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