Family Racial Socialization and Ethnic Identity Influence on African-American Female Beauty Ideals and Self-esteem

Erica Marie Brice, Tennessee State University

Abstract

Messages regarding beauty and attractiveness largely focus physical traits (Hall, 1995). However, there is a large body of evidence that suggests that African-American women’s view of attractiveness includes things such as hair texture and length, skin tone and other facial features (Davis, Kjellstrand, Briggs, & Brennan, 2010). The disturbances in self-esteem as a result of constant prejudice largely play a role in the development of many psychological disorders (Oneil, 2003; Trampe, Stapel, & Siero, 2007). Developing a strong and healthy ethnic identity is useful in acting as a protective force against prejudice and racism for African-Americans (Phinney & Ong, 2007). Much of the empirical research done on racial socialization suggests that ethnic identity is a family-driven process (Hughes, Rodriguez, Smith, Johnson, Stevenson, & Spicer, 2006). The term racial socialization is used to describe the process in which families teach their children information regarding their ethnicity or race (Umana-Taylor, Zeiders, & Updegraff, 2013). This study aims to discover how family racial socialization plays a role in the development of ethnic identity and its relationship between and beauty standards and low self-esteem. It is anticipated that based upon the messages received about ethnicity early on, participants will report levels of ethnic identity that reflect the level of racial socialization received. Therefore, participants who report higher levels of ethnic identity are expected to report less frequency in the internalization of beauty standards than those who report lower levels of ethnic identity. The participants who report lower levels of ethnic identity and higher levels of internalization of beauty standards are expected to yield lower levels of self-esteem.^

Subject Area

African American studies|Women's studies|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Erica Marie Brice, "Family Racial Socialization and Ethnic Identity Influence on African-American Female Beauty Ideals and Self-esteem" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10811254.
https://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10811254

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