A Qualitative Exploration of Social Media Consumption and Use Among Everyday Women Who Participate in CrossFit

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Christina Gipson


Social media as a protection, consumption of media, experiences of women.


Introduction: Social media allows a user to be a content creator and consumer. This paper focuses on the social media engagement of everyday women who participate in CrossFit, exploring differences in how they consume and use social media content. CrossFit women are celebrated for their strength, power, and fitness in the social media community, which is not consistent for all women.

Methods: This study used semi-structured focus groups with 47 participants between the ages of 18-54 who were everyday women who participate in CrossFit. The participants self-identified their level of CrossFit as recreational, semi-competitive, competitive, or high-level competitors.  

Results: Findings reveal two major themes: consuming corporate messaging and using social media for their own benefit, included the subthemes of social support and shifting perceptions. The findings, including supportive quotations from the participants, reveal that these women are critical consumers of social media who express disapproval of traditional media portrayals of women’s bodies.

Conclusions: Women’s experiences with CrossFit seem to offer some protection from the negative outcomes associated with consumption of traditional media messaging about women’s bodies.

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