Skip to content
1981
Black Lives Matter: Fashion, Style & Aesthetics
  • ISSN: 2050-0726
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0734

Abstract

This study examines the influence of Black women’s beliefs of health threats on purchase intentions towards beauty products. It investigates whether Black women use natural beauty products to avoid health threats and injustice. Two focus groups were conducted with eleven female African American participants as part of a larger multi-method study. This article details the focus group sessions in which participants shared their stories and beliefs of how beauty ideals and products have negatively impacted their health and lives. Results indicate that constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM) relate to the participants’ lived experiences, that ‘Blackness’ – has a major influence on consumer behaviour and that barriers, such as racism, often prevent them from a leading healthier lifestyles. The findings provide insights into Black women’s lives as consumers and communicate the importance of beauty product toxicity and healthy product development as topics of concern within the Black Lives Matter movement.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC), which allows users to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the article, as long as the author is attributed and the article is not used for commercial purposes.
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/fspc_00065_1
2021-01-01
2024-06-25
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/fspc/8/1/fspc.8.1.37_Davis-Bundrage.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1386/fspc_00065_1&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

References

  1. Ahijevych, Karen (1994), ‘Health-promoting behaviours of African American women’, Nursing Research, 43:2, pp. 8689.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Ahmed, Anwar and Hamid, Mohamed (2017), ‘Use of skin-whitening products by Sudanese undergraduate females: A survey’, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 4:2, pp. 14955.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Alkon, Alison Hope (2012), Black, White and Green: Farmers’ Markets, Race, and the Green Economy, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Amsterdam News (2016), ‘Federal oversight and regulation called for Black hair and beauty products’, 15 March, http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2016/mar/15/federal-oversight-and-regulationcalled-black-hair. Accessed 15 July 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Andrews, David, Houlihan, Jane, Cluderay, Thomas and Shannon, Elaine (2011), ‘Flat out risky: Hair straightener makers and salons cover up dangers’, Environmental Working Group, http://www.ewg.org/hair-straighteners/our-report/executive-summary. Accessed 15 January 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Auerbach, Carl and Silverstein, Louise B. (2003), Qualitative Analysis: An Introduction to Coding and Analysis, New York: New York University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Ayenimo, J.G., Yusef, Abdullahi Manu, O. Doherty, Winston and Ogunkunle, Olaulo A. (2010), ‘Iron, lead, and nickel in selected consumer products in Nigeria: A potential public health concern’, Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, 92:1, pp. 5159.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Beck, Cheryl Tatano (2005), ‘Benefits of participating in internet interviews: Women helping women’, Qualitative Health Research, 15:3, pp. 41122.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Black Women for Wellness (2016a), ‘Black going green updated’, http://www.bwwla.org/publications/black-going-green-updated-final.pdf. Accessed 15 January 2017.
  10. Black Women for Wellness (2016b), ‘Natural evolutions: One hair story’, http://www.bwwla.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/03/One-Hair-Story-Final-small-file-size-3142016.pdf. Accessed 15 January 2017.
  11. Branch, Francesca, Woodruff, Tracey J., Mitro, Susanna D. and Zota, Ami R. (2015), ‘Vaginal douching and racial/ethnic disparities in phthalates exposures among reproductive-aged women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2004’, Environmental Health, 14:57, pp. 18.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Brown, Brittany (2014), ‘More than just hair talk: The kinks, curls and dueling feminisms in YouTube’s Natural Hair Community’, Master’s thesis, Philadelphia, PA: Pennsylvania State University.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Brown, Necole, Naman, Priya, Homel, Peter, Fraser-White, Marilyn, Clare, Richard and Browne, Ruth (2006), ‘Assessment of preventive health knowledge and behaviours of African-American and Afro-Caribbean women in urban settings’, Journal of National Medical Association, 98:10, pp. 164451.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Bryant, Taylor (2016). ‘How the beauty industry has failed Black women’, Refinery29, 27 February, http://www.refinery29.com/2016/02/103964/black-hair-care-makeup-business. Accessed 15 November 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Byrd, Ayana and Tharps, Lori (2014), Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, New York: St Martin’s Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Cairo, Elisabet Ruiz (2015), ‘Better safe than sorry? The impact of the European Union–United States negotiations under TTIP on the regulation of cosmetic products’, Croatian Yearbook of European Law & Policy, 11, pp. 11532.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (2007), ‘A poison kiss: The problem of lead in lipstick’, http://www.safecosmetics.org/lipstick. Accessed 15 November 2016.
  18. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (2009), ‘Pollution in people: Cord blood contaminants in minority newborns’, http://www.ewg.org/files/2009-Minority-Cord-Blood-Report.pdf. Accessed 20 November 2016.
  19. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (2011), ‘Heavy metal hazard: The health risks of hidden heavy metals in face makeup’, http://environmentaldefence.ca/reports/heavy-metal-hazard-health-risks-hidden-heavy-metals-in-face-makeup. Accessed 20 November 2016.
  20. Campbell, Nnenia (2015), ‘Coil conscious: African American women’s development of internet-based alternative hair communities’, Master’s thesis, Boulder, CO: University of Colorado at Boulder.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Carpenter, Christopher (2010), ‘A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of health belief model variables in predicting behaviour’, Health Communication, 25:8, pp. 66169.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Cavers, David F. (1939), ‘The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938: Its legislative history and its substantive provisions’, Law and Contemporary Problems, 6:1, pp. 242.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Challender, Cynthia (2010), ‘Sustainable beauty’, Chemistry & Industry, 21 June, pp. 1820.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Chang, Momo (2015), ‘Natural hair, don’t care: Why more Black women are avoiding chemical relaxers’, Take Part, 19 April, http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/04/19/chemical-hair. Accessed 15 December 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Chow, Erika and Mahalingaiah, Shruthi (2016), ‘Cosmetics use and age at menopause: Is there a connection?’, Fertility & Sterility, 106:4, pp. 97890.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Corral, Irma and Landrine, Hope (2012), ‘Racial discrimination and health-promoting vs damaging behaviours among African-American adults’, Journal of Health Psychology, 17:8, pp. 117682.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Cramer, Daniel W., Vitonis, Alison F., Terry, Kathryn L., Welch, William R. and Titius, Linda J. (2016), ‘The association between talc use and ovarian cancer: A retrospective case-control study in two US states’, Epidemiology, 27:3, pp. 33446.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Davis, Valencia (2013), ‘Not another natural hair story: The pretty, the powerful, the Black’, The Double Minority Report, 9 July, http://www.chicagonow.com/double-minority-report/2013/07/not-another-natural-hair-story. Accessed 15 November 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Davis-Bundrage, Melodie (2017), ‘Merchandising health interventions: Black women’s beliefs and intentions toward natural and organic beauty products’, Ph.D. thesis, Athens: University of Georgia.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Davis-Bundrage, Melodie, Medvedev, Katalin and Hunt-Hurst, Patricia (2018), ‘Impact of Black women’s hair politics on bodily health: A historical essay’, in S. Barak-Brandes and A. Kama (eds), Feminist Interrogations of Women’s Head Hair: Crown of Glory and Shame, London: Routledge, pp. 15975.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Deggs, David, Grover, Kenda and Kacirek, Kit (2010), ‘Using message boards to conduct online focus groups’, The Qualitative Report, 15:4, pp. 102736.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Dixon, Angela and Telles, Edward (2017), ‘Skin color and colorism: Global research, concepts and measurement’, Annual Review of Sociology, 43, pp. 40524.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Donovan, Maryann, Tiwary, Chandra M., Axelrod, Deborah, Sasco, Annie J., Jones, Lovell, Hajek, Richard, Sauber, Erin, Kuo, Jean and Davis, Devra L. (2007), ‘Personal care products that contain estrogens or xenoestrogens may increase breast cancer risk’, Medical Hypotheses, 68:4, pp. 75666.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Edmonds, Janalyn Cantey (2006), ‘The relationship of weight, body image, self-efficacy, and stress to health-promoting behaviours: a study of college educated African American women’, Ph.D. thesis, Washington, DC: Catholic University of America.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (2016), ‘Glossary of terms’, http://ellabakercenter.org/sites/default/files/downloads/RTF_Glossary.pdf. Accessed 15 April 2017.
  36. Esposito, Christine (2016), ‘Multi-cultural beauty update: Established brands and start-ups address the needs of multi-cultural beauty consumers’, Happi, April, pp. 7176.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Fatimata, Ly, Soko, Anta Soumare, Dione, Demba Anta, Niang, Suzanne Oumou, Kane, Assane, Bocoum, Thierno Ibrahima, Dieng, Mame Thierno and Ndiaye, Bassirou (2007), ‘Aesthetic problems associated with the cosmetic use of bleaching products’, International Journal of Dermatology, 46:1, pp. 1517.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Gago-Dominguez, Manuela, Bell, Douglas A., Watson, Mary A., Yuan, Jian-Min, Castelao, J. Esteban, Hein, David W., Chan, Kenneth K., Coetzee, Gerhard A., Ross, Ronald K. and Yu, Mimi C. (2003), ‘Permanent hair dyes and bladder cancer: Risk modification by cytochrome P4501A2 and N-acetyltransferases 1 and 2’, Carcinogenesis, 2:3, pp. 48389.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Gago-Dominguez, Manuela., Castelao, Esteban, Yuan, Jian-Min, Yu, Mimi C., and Ross, Ronald K. (2001), ‘Use of permanent hair dyes and bladder-cancer risk’, International Journal of Cancer, 91:4, pp. 57579.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Gathers, Raechele Cochran and Mahan, Meredith Grace (2014), ‘African American women, hair care, and health barriers’, The Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, 7:91, pp. 2629.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Gill, Tiffany M. (2015), ‘#TeamNatural: Black hair and the politics of community in digital media’, Journal of Contemporary African Art, 2015:37, pp. 7079.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Glave, Dianne D. (2010), Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage, Chicago, IL: Lawrence Hill Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Hair relaxer sales decline 26% over the past five years’ (2013), Mintel Reports, 5 September, http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/beauty-and-personal-care/hairstyle-trends-hair-relaxer-sales-decline. Accessed 15 February 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Hall, Maria B., Eden, Tiffany M., Bess, Jukelia J., Landrine, Hope, Corral, Irma, Guidry, Jeffrey J. and Efird, Jimmy T. (2016), ‘Rural shop-based health program planning: A formative research approach among owners’, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 4:3, pp. 50714.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Harris, Lorna and Johnson, Audreye (2000), ‘Health care delivery for African-American women’, in N. J. Burgess and E. Brown (eds), African-American Women: An Ecological Perspective, New York: Falmer Press, pp. 16168.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Hunter, Margaret (2011), ‘Buying racial capital: Skin-bleaching and cosmetic surgery in a globalized world’, The Journal of Pan African Studies, 4:4, pp. 14264.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. James-Todd, Tamarra, Senie, Ruby and Terry, Mary Beth (2012), ‘Racial/ethnic differences in hormonally-active hair product use: A plausible risk factor for health disparities’, Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 14:3, pp. 50611.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Kay, Gwen (2005), Dying to be Beautiful: The Fight for Safe Cosmetics, Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Kotschwar, Stacie Ann (2014), ‘Green beauty: Going “green” with personal care products in 21st century American culture’, Ph.D. thesis, Binghamton, NY: Binghamton University.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Jeffries, Rhonda Baynes (2014), ‘Reclaiming our roots: The influence of media curriculum on the Natural Hair Movement’, Multicultural Perspectives, 16:3, pp. 16065.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Johnson, Alexis McGill, Godsil, Rachel, MacFarlane, Jessica, Tropp, Linda and Goff, Phillip Atiba (2017), ‘The “good hair” study: Explicit and implicit attitudes toward Black women’s hair’, The Perception Institute, https://perception.org/wpcontent/uploads/2017/01/TheGood-HairStudyFindingsReport.pdf. Accessed 15 January 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Ladizinski, Barry, Mistry, Nisha and Kundu, Roopal V. (2011), ‘Widespread use of toxic skin lightening compounds: Medical and psychosocial aspects’, Dermatologic Clinics, 29:1, pp. 11123.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Landrine, Hope and Corral, Irma (2009), ‘Separate and unequal: Residential segregation and Black health disparities’, Ethnicity & Disease, 19:2, pp. 17084.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Larsen, Laura (2010), Environmental Health Sourcebook, 3rd ed., Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Li, Su Ting T., Lozano, Paula, Grossman, David C. and Graham, Elinor (2002), ‘Hormone-containing hair product use in prepubertal children’, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 156:1, pp. 8586.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Liamputto, Pranee (2011), Focus Group Methodology: Principles and Practice, Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Malkan, Stacey (2007), Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, Gabriola Island, BC: New Society.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Miller, Anna Medaris (2016), ‘Should you be worried about food dyes?’, U.S. News & World Report, 17 March, http://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2016-03-17/should-you-be-worried-about-food-dyes. Accessed 15 March 2017.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Nielsen (2013), ‘African-American consumers are more relevant than ever’, http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2013/african-american-consumers-are-more-relevant-than-ever.html. Accessed 2 July 2018.
  60. Nimocks, Joyce M. (2015), ‘The Natural Hair Movement as a platform for environmental education’, Senior thesis, Claremont, CA: Pomona College.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Nnorom, I. C., Igwe, J. C. and Oji-Nnorom, C. G. (2005), ‘Trace metal contents of facial (makeup) cosmetics commonly used in Nigeria’, African Journal of Biotechnology, 4:10, pp. 113338.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. O’Connor, Siobhan and Spunt, Alexandra (2010), No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, Boston, MA: Da Capo Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Opiah, Antonia (2014), ‘The changing business of Black hair, a potentially $500 billion industry’, The Huffington Post, 24 January, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/antonia-opiah/the-changing-business-ofb_4650819.html, Accessed 15 November 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Padgett, Paige (2015), The Green Beauty Rules: The Essential Guide to Toxic-free Beauty, Green Glamour, and Glowing Skin, Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Palliser, Janna (2010), ‘Green science: Green beauty’, Science Scope, 34:4, pp. 811.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Parry, Carol and Eaton, Joseph (1991), ‘Kohl: A lead-hazardous eye makeup from the Third World to the First World’, Environmental Health Perspectives, 1991:94, pp. 12123.
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Patton, Michael Quinn (2002), Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Peltzer, Karl, Pengoid, Supa and James, Caryl (2016), ‘The globalization of whitening: Prevalence of skin lighteners (or bleachers) use and its social correlates among university students in 26 countries’, International Journal of Dermatology, 55:2, pp. 16572.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Pichon, Latrice C., Corral, Irma, Landrine, Hope, Mayer, Joni A. and Adams-Simms, Denise (2016), ‘Perceived skin cancer risk and sunscreen use among African American adults’, Journal of Health Psychology, 15:8, pp. 118189.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Poynter, Ray (2010), Handbook of Online and Social Media Research: Tools and Techniques for Market Researchers, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Richardson, Brendan (2013), Tribal Marketing, Tribal Branding, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Rosenstock, Irwin (1974), ‘Historical origins of the health belief model’, Health Education & Behaviour, 2:4, pp. 32835.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Saitta, Peter, Cook, Christopher, Messina, Jane L., Brancaccio, Ronald, Wu, Benedict C., Grekin, Steven K. and Holland, Jean (2013), ‘Is there a true concern regarding the use of hair dye and malignancy development?’, The Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, 13:6, pp. 3946.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Schildkraut, Joellen M., Abbott, Sarah E., Alberg, Anthony J., Bandera, Eliza, Barnholtz-Sloan, Jill, Bondy, Melissa L., Cote, Michele L., Funkhouser, Ellen, Peres, Lauren C., Peters, Edward S., Schwartz, Ann G., Terry, Paul, Crankshaw, Sydnee, Camacho, Fabian, Wang, Frances, and Moorman, Patricia G. (2016), ‘Association between body powder use and ovarian cancer: The African American Cancer Epidemiology Study (AACES)’, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 25:10, pp. 141117.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Shapiro, Mark (2007), Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Sprinkle, Ron V. (1995), ‘Leaded eye cosmetics: A cultural cause of elevated lead levels in children’, The Journal of Family Practice, 40:4, pp. 35862.
    [Google Scholar]
  77. Stewart, Kate and Williams, Matthews (2005), ‘Researching online populations: The use of online focus groups for social research’, Qualitative Research, 5:4, pp. 395416.
    [Google Scholar]
  78. Taylor, Susan C. (1999), ‘Cosmetic problems in skin of color’, Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, 12:3, pp. 13943.
    [Google Scholar]
  79. Tungate, Mark (2011), Branded Beauty: How Marketing Changed the Way We Look, London: Kogan Page.
    [Google Scholar]
  80. Uhlenhake, Elizabeth and Mehregan, Darius (2013), ‘Prospective histologic examinations in patients who practice traumatic hairstyling’, International Journal of Dermatology, 52:12, pp. 150612.
    [Google Scholar]
  81. Velez, Maria P., Monnier, Patricia, Foster, Warren G. and Fraser, William D. (2015), ‘The impact of phthalates on women’s reproductive health’, in D. Scott (ed.), Our Chemical Selves: Gender, Toxics, and Environmental Health, Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press, pp. 23152.
    [Google Scholar]
  82. Wang, Aolin, Padula, Amy, Sirota, Marina and Woodruff, Tracey J. (2016), ‘Environmental influences on reproductive health: The importance of chemical exposures’, Fertility and Sterility, 106:4, pp. 90529.
    [Google Scholar]
  83. Weil, Jennifer (2016), ‘Safety of cosmetics products for babies called into question’, Women’s Wear Daily, 16 February, http://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/safety-baby-cosmetic-products-10352964. Accessed 15 November 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  84. Wise, Lauren A., Palmer, Julie R., Reich, David Cozier, Yvette C. and Rosenberg, Lynn (2012), ‘Hair relaxer use and risk of uterine leiomyomata in African-American women’, American Journal of Epidemiology, 178:5, pp. 43240.
    [Google Scholar]
  85. Zota, Ami R. and Shamasunder, Bhavna (2017), ‘The environmental injustice of beauty: Framing chemical exposures from beauty products as a health disparities concern’, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 214:4, pp. P418.E1P418.E6.
    [Google Scholar]
  86. Davis-Bundrage, Melodie, Medvedev, Katalin and Hall, Jori N. (2021), ‘How beauty product use links to Black Lives Matter: Examining the influence of beliefs of health threats on behaviour’, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 8:1, pp. 3762, doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/fspc_00065_1
    [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1386/fspc_00065_1
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error