Chapman University publishes work on Asian American and white women's views on face image

January 25, 2016

Researchers at Chapman University have published work on how Asian American women and white women feel about their faces, their weights, and their overall appearances. The researchers surveyed 303 Asian American women and 367 white women at universities in Hawaii and California.

"We found that Asian American women reported overall lower evaluations of their attractiveness and less comfort with their appearance than white women," said David Frederick, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University and lead author on the study. "The differences in satisfaction with appearance were due primarily to the fact that Asian American women felt worse about their faces than white women -- most notably, Asian American women felt significantly worse than white women with the appearance of their eyes, noses, and faces in general."

A great deal of research has focused on ethnic differences in "body image," or the feelings and thoughts people have about their bodies, which is widely studied. The research team coined the term "face image," or the feelings and thoughts people have about their faces, which is much less studied.

In Study 1 conducted in Southern California, the researchers found that Asian American women were less likely than white women to report high satisfaction with the appearance of their face (44 percent Asian American vs. 60 percent white), eyes (59 percent Asian American vs. 88 percent white), nose (43 percent Asian American vs. 66 percent white), and shape of face (44 percent Asian American vs. 66 percent white).

In Study 2 conducted in both Southern California and Hawaii, the researchers found that Asian American women were more likely than white women to report feeling "sometimes to always" dissatisfied with their face overall (59 percent Asian American vs. 34 percent white) and eye appearance (38 percent Asian American vs. 6 percent white).

Dr. Frederick stated that, "Asian American women experience several pressures not experienced by white women, including potential stigma and discrimination because of their ethnicity, which may increase concerns with facial features related to their ethnicity. They also face two sets of appearance standards, both the white ideals common in mainstream media, as well as comparisons with Asian media, as well as with their own peers. This creates pressure to fulfill two sets of appearance ideals."

Asian American women in the study also reported a greater tendency than white women to have an "interdependent sense of self," meaning their feelings about themselves and their identity are drawn relatively more from group norms and social roles. The study revealed that Asian American women with an interdependent sense of self reported more concern with their physical appearance.

The ultimate conclusion of the study is that Asian American women living in areas of the U.S. with a sizable population of Asian Americans report more concern with their appearance and facial features than white women. This is particularly true when it comes to concerns over eye appearance.

"The results highlight the importance of incorporating measures to address face dissatisfaction in body image interventions, and to address concerns that ethnic minorities living in the U.S. have about how their facial features are judged," concluded Dr. Frederick.
-end-
Authorship was: Dr. David Frederick and Gaganjyot Sanhu of Chapman University; Mackenzie Kelly and Dr. Janet Latner of University of Hawaii at Manoa; and Dr. Yuying Tsong of California State University, Fullerton. The paper appears in the journal, Body Image: An International Journal of Research. A link to the full article can be found here: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1SQMN6BgRthAmu

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world.

Follow us on Facebook at: Chapman University Facebook

On Twitter at: @ChapmanU

On YouTube at: Chapman University YouTube Channel

Chapman University

Related Body Image Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 anxiety linked to body image issues
A new study has found that anxiety and stress directly linked to COVID-19 could be causing a number of body image issues.

Mirror image tumor treatment
Our immune system ought to be able to recognize and kill tumor cells.

Most parents concerned about privacy, body image impact of tweens using health apps
Most parents say they have concerns about how health apps may impact children ages 8-12, according to the C.S.

Instagram and the male body image
In a new study among males depicted on Instagram, the majority of posts showed men with low body fat, while only a small fraction depicted men with high body fat.

Gardening helps to grow positive body image
New research has found that allotment gardening promotes positive body image, which measures someone's appreciation of their own body and its functions, and an acceptance of bodily imperfections.

Whole body ownership is not just the sum of each part of the body
Differences between whole body and body part ownership were clarified using scrambled body stimulation in a virtual environment, wherein the observer's hands and feet were presented in randomized spatial arrangements.

Disclaimers on retouched photos don't solve problem of negative body image
Labels that warn an image has been altered or enhanced do nothing to mitigate women's negative perceptions of their appearance, according to a study published in Body Image this week.

Whether a fashion model or not, some body image concerns are universal
When researchers from UCLA and the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, wanted to test an app they created to measure body image perception, they went to the body image experts -- fashion models.

Short-term study suggests vegan diet can boost gut microbes related to body weight, body composition and blood sugar control
New research presented at this year's Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Barcelona, Spain (Sept.

As light as a lemon: How the right smell can help with a negative body image
The scent of a lemon could help people feel better about their body image, new findings from University of Sussex research has revealed.

Read More: Body Image News and Body Image Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.