Title

Body Area Dissatisfaction in White, Black, and Latina Female College Students in the United States: An Examination of Racially Salient Appearance Areas and Ethnic Identity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-11-2012

Publication Title

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Volume

37

Issue

3

First page number:

537

Last page number:

556

Abstract

Dissatisfaction with one's physical appearance is rampant among women living in western cultures. However, little research has examined dissatisfaction with body areas that may be more salient to racial-minority groups (e.g., hair, eyes, skin colour). This study examined dissatisfaction with racially salient appearance areas and ethnic identity in self-identified black (n=76), white (n=104) and Latina (n=106) female college students in the southern USA. Results revealed that Latina women reported significantly more dissatisfaction with their eyes and nose than white and black women. Additionally, white and Latina women reported significantly more dissatisfaction with their facial features, lips, lower body and overall body than black women. Stronger ethnic identity predicted lower levels of body dissatisfaction on most appearance areas for all women. These results suggest that social scientists should consider racially salient appearance areas in the measurement and conceptualization of body dissatisfaction in ethnically diverse women.

Keywords

Body dissatisfaction, Racially salient Appearance areas, Ethnic identity, Race, Female college students, Eating pathology

Disciplines

Community Psychology

Language

English

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