The Impact of Short Video Addiction on Self-identity: Mediating Roles of Self-esteem and Appearance Anxiety

Purpose: This study aims to evaluate the attributes of female self-identity, and investigate the correlation between addiction to short videos, self-esteem, objectification of female content, internalization of beauty ideals, and self-identity. The goal is to develop a psychological framework that enhances our comprehension of the self-identity of contemporary Chinese women. Methodology: This study employed an online survey with a convenience sampling approach to gather responses from 400 female short video users from four most popular Chinese social media platforms: Sina Weibo, Xiaohongshu, Douban and WeChat, the Chinese equivalents of Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and WhatsApp respectively. Results: The results suggest that (1) self-esteem played a significant role in mediating the relationship between short video addiction and self-identity; (2) the chain mediating effect of internalisation of beauty ideals and self-esteem was not statistically significant, and (3) the chain mediating effect of objectification of female content and self-esteem was statistically significant. Therefore, the greater the short video addiction, the lower self-esteem, the deeper the appearance anxiety, and thus the higher the likelihood that the individual would not identify with themselves. The results provide a theoretical foundation for gaining a deeper understanding of the factors that influence females’ self-identity. Simultaneously, it offers new ideas for enhancing women’s self-identity. In addition, previous studies on women’s appearance anxiety have given less attention to self-esteem and self-identity. This study, however, looks more extensively into both aspects, so broadening the investigation of the factors impacting women’s self-identity.