Navigation Links
Ethnic identification helps Latina adolescents resist media barrage of body images
Date:12/2/2013

CORVALLIS, Ore. A strong sense of ethnic identity can help Latina girls feel positive about their body and appearance, a new study concludes, even as this group slips further into dissatisfaction with themselves when compared to a media-filled world of unrealistic images of thin white women.

Identification and pride in their ethnic background can act as a partial buffer against a deluge of advertisements, magazines, television shows and movies that show white women in sexualized roles, researchers said, and help teenage girls feel more comfortable with themselves and their appearance.

Scientists say anything that can help is necessary as sensitive young teenagers compare themselves to an onslaught of thin and glamorous models portrayed by the media, and suffer as a result. One out of every two advertisements featuring women depicts them as sex objects.

Some past research has suggested that women of color were less vulnerable to concerns about body image, but the latest studies found that Latina girls are reporting body dissatisfaction at a rate similar to that of Caucasian girls.

"We're in a perfect storm of dissatisfaction," said Elizabeth Daniels, an assistant professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State UniversityCascades.

"This is a serious problem among girls, and our media environment and consumer culture has been making it worse for some time," said Daniels, who is an expert on gender, body image and youth development. "The issue of young teenagers feeling bad about their appearance is so prevalent that we now call it normative. In other words, it's normal to feel dissatisfied with your body."

Most adults have more real-life experience to help protect them, Daniels said, but impressionable adolescents too often feel seriously unhappy with their appearance, think about their bodies constantly, and are easily persuaded to buy the latest beauty products that advertisers tell them will help. For some, severe dissatisfaction can turn into an eating disorder.

But in this research, which studied 118 Latina girls ages 13-18, scientists found that a stronger sense of ethnic identity helped some girls feel positive about themselves. The analysis was done by showing images of white women taken from advertisements to separate groups of girls. Some images were "sexualized" in settings, such as wearing bikinis or lingerie; and others had more conventional, fully-clothed poses. The girls then created statements about how they visualized themselves.

Those who included reference to their ethnic identity by saying something like "I am Latina" or "I am Hispanic" tended to view themselves overall more positively. But Daniels pointed out that while the association with ethnicity appears to be helpful and partially protective, it's not a panacea.

"Media images are typically very idealized, done with white women, using lots of makeup and photo techniques, and they create a great pressure on young women to live up to this ideal," Daniels said. "They see more than five hours a day of this unrealistic depiction on television and elsewhere, and it's a tall order for them to just ignore it. Even the model, Cindy Crawford, once said that 'I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.'"

However, this study indicates that cultural pride can help. One participant in the study wrote in her statements that "I am a proud Latina" and "I am not a skinny toothpick and proud of it."

The new findings were recently published in Body Image, a professional journal, by researchers from OSU and Gallaudet University.

The researchers also cautioned that the buffering effect of ethnic identity might not stand up when Latina girls are exposed to Latina media models instead of the white women that dominate traditional advertising. Girls with strong ethnic identity might be especially vulnerable to the negative effects of viewing idealized media images of Latina women, the report concluded.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Daniels
Elizabeth.daniels@osucascades.edu
541-322-3186
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. El Paso Alcohol Rehab Launches Program Aimed at Reducing Drinking Problems Among Ethnic Groups
2. Racial and ethnic disparities exist in ER pain management for children with abdominal pain
3. LSUHSC study reports racial/ethnic differences in young people with cancer
4. Child health concerns vary among different races, ethnicities
5. Research finds racial/ethnic disparities in health care among older male cancer survivors
6. Study finds racial and ethnic disparities in usage of specialty services for children with autism
7. Genetics, age and ethnicity are risk factors in PCa, say experts
8. Praeclarus Press Launches the One Every 21 Seconds Campaign to Increase Awareness on the Role of Breastfeeding in Reducing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Infant Mortality
9. Are gender and ethnicity risk factors for metabolic syndrome in children?
10. Atlanta Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Whiteman Says Increased Popularity of Ethnic Rhinoplasty, Indicated by Latest ASPS Statistics, Emphasizes Need for Experienced Surgeons
11. Breast Cancer Survival Varies by Race, Ethnicity, Study Shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... The Radiology Business Management Association will select the 2017 ... Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs conference, held this year from March 5 to ... are given out in five categories. They are:, ,     Patient Marketing, ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Castle Farms, the celebrated Northern Michigan ... the winning couple announced on Feb. 14, 2017, on Facebook. The free wedding ... A Matter of Taste, Ryan Rousseau Enterprises, A Touch of Spring and Other ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... The 89th Academy Awards will ... the 2016 National Education Policy Center Bunkum Award. We invite you to enjoy our ... This year’s Bunkum winner is the Center for American Progress (CAP), for its report, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... , ... The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) is pleased to announce KLS ... longtime supporter of the event. , "We are pleased that KLS Martin is joining ... 2017 ACPA President. "KLS Martin has a long track record of support of the ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Rosica Communications, a national PR ... media management, corporate communications, SEO and cause marketing, is opening an office in ... Hampshire, Massachusetts and Canada, Rosica will focus on expanding its footprint. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 According to a ... (X-ray Imaging Digital, Analog), MRI (Closed, Open), Ultrasound, CT, ... Oncology), End User (Hospitals, Imaging Centers) - Global Forecast ... global market over the forecast period of 2016 to ... Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 6.6% from ...
(Date:2/23/2017)...  As National Nutrition Month approaches, USA Medical is ... helping people live healthier lives by providing discounts ... in all 50 states including:  Texas Prescription Assistance ... Prescription Assistance Program . USA Medical also ... for nutritious eating habits: ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017 LG Innotek today announced that the ... applications. As its sterilization performance is 1.5 times higher than the ... ultraviolet rays in the range of 200 -- 280nm, allowing it to ... by destroying their DNA. LG Innotek,s product emits UV in the ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: