Problems Young Black Women Face with Beauty + Body Image

Problems Young Black Women Face with Beauty + Body Image

Article Review: Beauty and Body Image Concerns Among African American College Women

31 female African-American students between ages 19 and 25 participated in this study at a Southwestern U.S. University. 

Researchers wanted to know what unique issues young African-American women typically face in regards to beauty and body image. 

What did they find?

  • Young African-American women consider hair to contribute most to a 'beautiful' appearance!
  • African-American women spend a LOT of time and resources to keep up their hairstyles. In fact, AA women will sometimes round-up money for a trip to the hair salon BEFORE purchasing their next meal! 
  • Hair is sometimes used to stereotype black women. For example, some believe that women are trying to make a political statement with their hairstyles. 
  • Lighter skin tones are typically preferred than darker skin tones, both within AND outside of the black community. 
  • Many AA women feel that conforming to white beauty standards helped them to achieve more, such as in their professional lives.   
  • Most women in the study believed media representations (movies, tv, radio, etc.) of black women are inaccurate.
  • Many black women feel that their natural hair can cause problems in the workplace, affecting them economically and professionally! 
Source: Awad, G., Norwood, C., Taylor, D. S., Martinez, M., McClain, S., Jones, B., Holman, A., Chapman-Hilliard, C. (2015). Beauty and Body Image Concerns Among African American College Women. Journal of Black Psychology41(6), 540-564. 
What are your thoughts? Take a few seconds to tell us about YOUR experiences. If you'd like to start a discussion about this, or raise some questions of your own, do so at one of our forums.

Want to see more posts like this? Click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *