Anke J. Kleim, MSc
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Focus area of practical/clinical work/ research
My PhD thesis deals with the concept of the beach body in natural and media environments and how it relates to body image.
While it seems common – especially for women – to worry even more than usual about their appearances as summer comes closer, existing research has focused primarily on the beach body in natural environments such as the beach and its prevalence in traditional mass media such as magazines and TV. However, the beach body is a highly popular theme on social media with about 10,000,000 postings using the hashtag #beachbody on Instagram alone. A large body of research has demonstrated how social media usage, most notably photo-based activities, relates to body image; Engagement with idealised images can cause and reinforce body image concerns, whereas exposure to body positive content has been shown to improve body image.
In my study, I aim to explore the beach body’s role in this. Thereby, I am looking into real beach bodies as we find them at the beach and into beach body pictures in social media contexts.
While I am particularly passionate about beach body research in different mediatized and non-mediatized contexts, I have a very broad interest in body image research. For instance, I am keen to contribute to research in positive body image in my function as body positivity activist; as a mother, research on body image and (post-)maternity has intrigued me very much.
Publications/ Projects/ Activities
- Kleim, Anke J., Eckler, P., Tonner, A. (2019). “Too good to be true”: Semi-naked bodies on social media. In I. Chiluwa and S. Samoilenko (Eds.). Handbook of Research on Deception, Fake News, and Misinformation Online. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
- Kleim, Anke J. (2018). (Not) every body is beach body ready. Discussions of the female beach body in online and offline contexts. Poster presented at Appearance Matters 8 Conference, Bath, UK, 12.06 – 14.06.2018.
- Kleim, Anke J., Eckler, P., Tonner, A. (2016). Mediatizing the naked truth – A re-conceptualisation of the ideal beach body in contemporary media. Paper presented at the 6th European Communication Conference (ECREA), Prague, CZ.
- Jobsky, Anke J. (2014). Attracted by real men? – The impact of non-idealized male models on advertising effectiveness and emerging implications for scholars, politicians, and marketers. Poster presented at Appearance Matters 6 Conference, Bristol, UK, 01.07 – 02.07.2014.
- Jobsky, Anke J. (2013). The Body-Image-Meaning-Transfer Model: An Investigation Of The Sociocultural Impact On Individuals‘ Body-Image. Hamburg, Anchor Academic Publishing.
Apart from my professional body image engagement, I volunteer as German Ambassador of the Australian Body Image Movement (probably best known for the movie “Embrace”). Part of this is to spread body positivity and raise awareness on body image concerns in many different ways, the most powerful amongst those probably being face-to-face conversations; but I have also given speeches, workshops and lectures on body image in the past. On my website www.body-of-love.com, I inform about the causes and consequences of negative body image and provide tipps for self-love and body positivity.
Motivation/ Inspiration/ Mission
I believe that the relationship we have with our body is a life-long journey; One that doesn’t always go straight and that is affected by many factors. It can be the most challenging and life-dominating theme; but being at peace with our body can be the most wonderful gift we have ever given to ourselves.
Knowing how exhausting and frustrating body dissatisfaction can be, I am committed to helping people stop being at war with their bodies. I cannot possibly think of any other topic that intrigues, inspires and motivates me more. It is very rewarding for me to combine both my research interest and my personal passion in this field. You can read more about my body image journey here: https://body-of-love.com/english/welcome/ and please do not hesitate to get in touch (contact details below).