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!