Prospective relationships between skin color satisfaction, body satisfaction, and binge eating in Black girls

Body Image. 2022 Jun:41:342-353. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2022.04.004. Epub 2022 May 9.


Although it has been demonstrated that (a) body dissatisfaction and internalization of societal appearance standards contribute to disordered eating and (b) that internalization of societal appearance standards leads to decreased skin color satisfaction among Black women, it has not been established whether skin color dissatisfaction contributes to disordered eating among Black women or girls. The objective of the present study is to determine the influence of skin color satisfaction as a potential predictor for binge eating, and its effect through body image in Black girls during the vulnerable developmental period of adolescence. Using data from ten annual measurements in 1213 Black girls across ages 10-19, we sought to determine whether skin color satisfaction predicts Binge Eating Disorder (BED) risk and symptoms using pre-registered logistic and multilevel models. We found that lower skin color satisfaction at ages 13 and 14 significantly predicted greater odds of BED and lower skin color satisfaction at all ages predicted greater BED symptoms. Body satisfaction mediated the relationship between skin color satisfaction and BED symptoms. Our results suggest that skin color dissatisfaction is a novel component of body image for Black girls that is also related to binge eating.

Keywords: Adolescence; Binge eating; Black women; Body dissatisfaction; Intersectionality; Skin color satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Binge-Eating Disorder*
  • Body Image / psychology
  • Bulimia*
  • Child
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Young Adult