“African Beauty”: Examining Body Image Satisfaction Among African Women

2016
Research Category: Social Sciences, Business, and Law
Presenter: Oyenike Balogun
PI: Tracy Robinson-Wood

Body image satisfaction among African women is poorly understood. Using a mixed-methods research design, 230 African women are surveyed in order to examine body image satisfaction and body image ideals with the aim of highlighting psychological and health implications. This study begins the work of answering questions about the relationship African women have with their bodies and the systemic forces that impact the same (histories of colonialism, rampant globalization and salient sociocultural factors). Results suggest the following: a) African women idealize smaller body sizes; b) hair satisfaction appears to have a negative influence on body image satisfaction; c) skin color satisfaction is associated with higher levels of body image satisfaction; d) facial feature satisfaction has little influence on overall body image satisfaction; and e) African women are less likely to express body dissatisfaction if a neutral option is available.

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