Phoebe Wu – 2023 NHS Winner of the Best HDR Student Publication


Phoebe Wu is from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and is one of the eight winners of the Best HDR Student Publication Award for 2023.

Her winning publication Eat clean, train mean, get lean”: Body image and health behaviours of women who engage with fitspiration and clean eating imagery on Instagram explores the relationship between engaging with (i.e., viewing, posting) fitspiration and clean eating imagery on Instagram and body image, disordered eating symptomatology, and compulsive exercise among women. It also examines the mediation role of internalisation of appearance ideals in the relationships.

Phoebe is supervised by Associate Professor Ivanka Prichard and Professor Eva Kemps  at Flinders University.

We invited Phoebe to share insights into the PhD journey and what winning this award means.

What does winning this award mean to you?

I had never expected winning, so it was a great surprise! It was an honour and an absolute confidence boost. It feels like an amazing acknowledgement that this research work has been recognised, which motivates me to keep working and exploring.

Why did you choose to commence a PhD?

My experience in research on body image and social media began during my Honours year. I then realised it was something I was passionate about and decided to continue doing, hence the decision to commence a PhD.

What is your research about

My research is about social media, body image, and health behaviour. It specifically looks at how different forms of engagement with certain types of social media content (e.g., eating-related content) relate to the level of body image concerns such as body dissatisfaction and problematic eating or exercise behaviours.

How did you choose your supervisor?

Ivanka was my Honours supervisor, and her research focus was what initially led me to the field. She was the best supervisor I could ever have, so I decided to stick with her for my PhD. She and Eva make the best supervisory team. Their guidance and encouragement will no doubt get me through my PhD.

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