Lifestyles of the Fit and Famous: Instagram’s “Celebrity” Fitness Influencers

By Elizabeth Kondzella

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eric Gable


There is an abundance of research on what makes celebrities so appealing: why people trust them, how they get and keep hold of the power of the spotlight. What there is less of, however, is research on the distinctly modern phenomenon of internet celebrities, or influencers. “Influencer” refers to a person whose fame exists because of— and often exclusively on— social media. This paper explores the health and fitness community on Instagram in order to gain a deeper understanding of how these influencers grow and maintain their fame and fanbase, while also critically examining the world of online fitness. It will consider three main areas in an attempt to determine what makes a successful influencer: personality, content, and relationships with followers.


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