Given the historical impact of slavery upon African American standards of beauty, colorism continues to divide African American communities. This is perpetuated by the preference for fairer skin in contemporary media images such as television, social media, and entertainment. The purpose of this study was to explore the concept of colorism and the influence media has on African American college students' levels of self-esteem and their skin color dating preferences. Participants included 183 students from a historically black university. Pearson correlations indicated that an individual's perceived skin color was positively associated with their skin color dating preference. In addition, internalization of colorism messages was positively associated with self-esteem and perceived skin color. Lastly, racial identity was associated with self-esteem, internalization of colorism messages, and dating preference. However, hierarchical regression did not support the moderating role of media consumption.


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pp. 1-29
Launched on MUSE
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