Negative Body Image Correlates With Race Issues

Courtesy of Love Your Body Campaign

Courtesy of Love Your Body Campaign

Approximately 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape, according to Do Something, a nonprofit organization located in New York, N.Y. that is dedicated to young people and social change.

This unhappiness can also be caused by a woman’s culture and what looks are ideal and accepted.

I myself have noticed that I take pride in my curves while others probably wouldn’t because of their culture or race.

Race and How it Affects Society

Race is a leading issue when it comes to body peace. Many women utilize bleaching creams and use different filters to lighten their skin so that they appear lighter and sometimes whiter.

If we as a society associate “real” beauty with being thin and fair skinned rather than curvy and dark skinned, then we are further discriminating and demeaning blacks, according to Danielle Dirks, Ph.D., and assistant professor of sociology at Occidental College.

Black Women and Curves

Black women are only seen for their assets. Ignorant people don’t stop to think about our level of intelligence and what we can contribute.

As a woman of African heritage in the Americas, the properties of our asses shape how we move in the world, and how we get categorized, sexualized, objectified, and dismissed, according to Aya de Leon, a writer and performer working in poetry, fiction, and hip hop theater.

Hispanic Women and Skin Tone

I, as a Black woman, have always admired Hispanic women’s long beautiful hair and their skin tones because they are so beautiful. What I didn’t know was that even Hispanics deal with the light skin-dark skin problem just like Blacks.

Spanish-language television is dominated by light-skinned Latinos. There is the common marketing practice of digitally lightening the skin color and photo-shopping curves out of advertisements. This lowers self esteem in women of color who have curvier bodies, according to Inez Gonzalez, National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) executive vice president.

Asian Women and Size

Americans think that Asians are naturally slim just because of genetics. This ignorance and culture forces Asian women and girls to work unnaturally hard to be slim because that is the ideal body type in Asian culture.

There is a blog where one of the authors, an Asian woman, tells us about her struggles with culture and being considered chubby when she is 5’1” and about 100 pounds. Here is an excerpt:

I’m not fat — by American standards. I am considered slightly chubby for an Asian in China. I’m 5’1” and about 100 pounds, give or take five pounds depending on whether it’s New York Fashion Week or final exams week at Columbia. Everyone assumes I’m naturally petite because of my Asian genetics, but the truth is, I count my calories like Ebenezer Scrooge counts his gold coins and run and do yoga like Lululemon is paying me. The moment I ‘let myself go,’ the weight bounces back.”

Native American Women and Invisibility

This is sad, but I didn’t find anything on Native-American women and body image. Native American women are very underrepresented in the media. Shame on you web.

However, I found this good read on Native-American women and I hope you will find it just as interesting as I did.

Multiracial Women and The Need To Fit In

I never thought about the struggles that women go through when they are multiracial. I went to this body image workshop and I met a first year, whose black and white. She scoffed as she reminisced on her friends’ comments when she says a certain thing, They’ll say, “Oh you’re acting black today!” What is “acting Black?” I don’t think it is some trend because people of a certain race don’t act exactly like their counterpart.

Here is an interesting read:

So before you speak to me in a different language, tell me to go back to my country, claim I’m taking jobs, or say I don’t belong here, realize that brown-skinned people are Americans, too.”

White Women and Everything

I have heard many women that I have come to know say how they want to be white women because things would be easier for them.

I looked at them with my eyebrow raised and asked, “Why?” They couldn’t answer me and tried to make it sound as logical as possible and I kept my eyebrow raised and my frown prominent as I explained to them about the harm they had done to themselves just with that one thought.

There is a blog that talks about how body image affects all races. It was a very interesting read and my ideas had been supported with this statistic:

Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll claimed that only 41% of average-sized or thin white women were found to have a high self-esteem compared to 66% of black women considered by government standards to be overweight or obese.




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