The Effect of Cosmetics on Adolescents’ Self-Esteem Tiyana McCullough



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The Effect of Cosmetics on Adolescents’ Self-Esteem





Tiyana McCullough

RMSST


930 Rowland Road

Conyers, GA 30012

12.06.2013

Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Literature Review

Detailed Procedure

Data Analysis

Conclusion

Acknowledgements

Literature Cited

Abstract

The reason for this study is to identify a way to alter adolescents’ self-esteems and use it as a tool to decrease depression and disorders caused by low self-esteem. A second reason for the research is that the data found can be used s a marketing tool for companies who produce male hygienic products. The Rosenberg survey was administered to a vast group of adolescents who were mixed gender. The survey is used to indicate the level self-esteem the participant has. The data showed that girls’ self-esteems increased as the amount of cosmetics increased, and the boys’ self-esteems decreased as the self-esteem decreased. These results supported the first hypothesis and supported the second hypothesis. A small group of boys were asked to apply cosmetics for a week and retake the survey after the week was completed. The previous results and the results from after the week would be compared to find if there was a difference between the two. The results from the individual analysis showed that cosmetics increased the participant’s self-esteems so it rejected the second hypothesis. Using the data found, cosmetics can be used as a variable to increase self-esteem.

Introduction

On average, how many times do you see a commercial about male hygienic products? It may seem odd in this day and age to see an advertisement for hygienic products that is targeted towards adolescent males, or any males at that matter. Why is this? Is it because society portrays that women are more affected by how they look to others than themselves? In our society , it is depicted that women have lower self-esteem as a result of physical appearance than men, but how accurate is this statement. Males have self-esteem problems just as well as women and could possibly be even worse.

In this experiment the adolescent mind state will be studied. What variable or societal factors have a positive or negative impact on one’s self-esteem? The experiment is to determine whether hygienic and cosmetic products can affect young adolescent’s self-esteem and if so, positively or negatively. The first hypothesis is that if more cosmetics is are applied to female adolescents, the higher the feeling of self-worth will be. The second hypothesis is that if body hygiene products are enhanced for males; it will decrease the feeling of self-worth. To carry out the experiment, a group of males and females will be asked to take the Rosenberg survey. More questions will be added to the survey to find the correlation between cosmetics and self-esteem. An additional individual analysis will be included where a smaller group of the boys who took the survey will be asked to where body hygienic products for a week. After the week, they will take the Rosenberg survey again to compare and find any changes from the previous results. If there is no correlation between self-esteem and application of cosmetics this will be the null hypothesis and will reject the hypothesis. Because of the absent information in the field of male self-esteem, the results can be used to modify the field of hygiene products, perhaps increasing the profit for body hygienic product manufacturers. The research will be focused on high school students as a starting age bracket. This is because the widely known problem of low self-esteem affecting the teens of this society. Perchance for future research, the research can be focused on a younger or older age to compare and decrease limitaions in conclusions.

Literature Review

The research for the experiment that will be conducted will consist of two independent variables of the amount of cosmetics applied. First, the level of cosmetic usage on females will be placed in a bracket of low, medium, and high. The second independent variable will be the level of male hygienic product usage that will also be placed in a bracket of low, medium, and high. For the individual analysis, there will be one independent as all the participants will be using the same amount of body hygiene products. The connection between the two is that the prediction if the different levels of cosmetics and body hygiene product usage will positively or negatively correlate with the self-esteem level.

Previous researchers imply that cosmetics have an effect on women (Robertson, Fieldman, Trevor, 2012)R. Researchers had females take a questionnaire that indicated that anxiety, self-presentation, and conformity are to be in positive correlation with cosmetics. As oppose to social confidence, emotional stability, and self-esteem, and physical attractiveness were negatively correlated with the cosmetic usage. Another present theory is that self-esteem is an important determinant for physiological well-being(Rosenberg, 1965). The sociologist Dr. Morris Rosenberg had a sample of over 500 adolescents to explore social structural, cultural, contextual, and interpersonal influences on self-esteem. His research did support that tehse variables did have an effect on one’s self-esteem along with the effect of self-esteem on so social relevant behavior. Though Rosenberg did not go into detail about the different levels of self-esteem, a group of research students did. They created a theory that low self-esteem was related to aggression, antisocial behavior, and delinquency (Donnellan, et. Al, 2005). The group of students identified a relationship between low self-esteem and externalizing problems. Data was based on self-reports, teacher’s ratings, and parents’ ratings. The participants were from different nationalities and age groups to broaden the focus group.

In this field of research, it is already known that both males and females suffer from low self-esteem. It is hinted that females on average have lower self-esteem levels than those of the average male. Though this is hinted it has never been proven or justified scientifically. There a few more shortcomings in this area that is such as this one. One is that there is a minimized data on males and their self-esteems. Most research that is conducted focuses on women and their self-esteems as they are affected by variables such as cosmetic. Another limitation is that there is no definite connection made between self-esteem and cosmetic usage. Only implications, predictions, and justifications have been made on this subject.

The research should be further studied because rarely do companies market or advertise their products to male. Seeing that males are also affected by low self-esteem and usage of male products can increase income for businesses that wish to target males for sales. Also, self-esteem is not discussed as much as it should be. Self-esteem has always been a factor in one’s looks and feelings and always will be. It’s only talked about on rare occasion to avoid controversies or uncomfortable conversations. Further research can be done to find a correlation between male and female self-esteem levels. The research being conducted in this experiment will contribute to this area of the study by finding if there is a definite correlation between cosmetic and/or body hygiene products and self-esteem. Also, the data from this research will give information on males in this area since there is a lack of data on it now.

Methodology

For the research, the full duration of the experiment lasted for four weeks. During the first week, this time was used to gather the needed subjects. The volunteers were pulled from the Rockdale Magnet School and Rockdale County High School & both genders were asked to participate. This way the age bracket ranged from 13 to 17. Each volunteer was required to return a consent form that was signed by them and their parent and/or guardian.

When all consent forms were returned and filed, the Rosenberg survey was administered to each subject. The survey was used to indicate the level of self-esteem each subject attained. The Rosenberg survey has a ten-item Likert-type scale. Each question is answered on a four point scale, scaling from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Half of the questions are worded in a positive light and the other half will be worded in a negative light. The scale given will show the level of self-esteem based on the responses of the subject.

Once the survey have been administered, the individual analysis cosmetics application for the boys began. A small group of boys used male cosmetics for a duration for a week. The boys were asked to reapply the cosmetics as much as they felt was necessary. The cosmetics that were applied included: cologne, face wash, body lotion, and hair gel. As the week passed, the same Rosenberg survey was administered to the same group of boys. Once the survey was administered, completed, and recollected the survey data was compared with the data from the first administration of the Rosenberg survey. The data collected from the boys’ survey and the girls’ survey was compared to discover if the correlation between the two is positive or negative, if there is correlation at all.

To measure the data, a chi square test was used to observe and compare the variables of the results of the experiment. The chi square test was also used to show the central tendency which will indicate the statistical significance, and that the data is a result of the cosmetics and not by error. For this experiment the only safety precaution that was needed to take was using new materials on new subjects to withhold the sanitation of the research. Therefore the only risks for the participants were a skin break out. No hazardous material were used therefore no personal protective equipment was needed. All hazardous materials were capable of being disposed of in regular nonhazardous waste baskets

Data Analysis

After scoring all of the surveys from the females, the hypothesis that cosmetics increased the self-esteem was supported. The trend in the surveys was the females wore vast amount cosmetics and reapplied them throughout the day numerous times. The amount of cosmetics used had a positive correlation with the level self-esteem. From analyzing the female surveys it was noticed that most participants were unaware of the level of cosmetics used on themselves. Most of the participants placed themselves in a lower category of cosmetics used when they had actually used more than average. They marked various cosmetic products when asked which they used, but considered themselves on a different level.

The average self-esteem level of the girls was 16 which is in the normal range. A trend that was noticed was that the female students, who attend Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, on average, had lower self-esteem levels than those who attend Rockdale County High School. Of the females who took the survey at RCHS, 3% ranked as high self-esteem, 77% ranked as normal self-esteem, and 20% ranked as low self-esteem (shown in figure 1). Of the females who took the survey that attend RMSST, 18% ranked as high self-esteem, 18% ranked as normal self-esteem, and 64% ranked as low self-esteem (shown in figure 2). The level of self-esteem of the RMSST students had a negative correlation with the amount of cosmetics used. The more cosmetics used, the lower the self-esteem was.

After scoring all the surveys from the males, the hypothesis that body hygienic products would decrease the self-esteem was rejected. It was found that most of the males did not where body hygienic products and still had lower than average self-esteem levels. The most popular product used among the boys was cologne and majority of the participants reapplied the cologne one to two times a day. The average self-esteem level of the males was 19, which is also in the normal range. The boys had opposite results from the girls when they ranked themselves on the amount of body hygienic products used. Majority of the males had chosen one or two of the products but ranked themselves as high users. The amount of times the participants said they reapplied there products came as a surprised. Most of the males had said they reapplied the products multiple times throughout the day.

Of all the males who took the survey, 22% ranked as high self-esteem, 57% ranked as normal self-esteem, and 17% ranked as low self-esteem (shown in figure 3)It was predicted prior that the males would have a high number of normal self-esteems.

Conclusion

As a conclusion of the project, the main goal of finding variables that affected self-esteem was accomplished. The results indicated that the use of cosmetics can be used to increase or decrease self-esteem. In the female portion of the experiment, the trend mostly found was that the more cosmetics used, the less the level of self-esteem and the lower the amount of cosmetics, the higher the self-esteem. This trend is opposite to that of the male surveys who suggested that body hygiene products do not have a positive or negative impact on their self-esteems. From the individual analysis experiment, the results suggested that the body hygiene products and other people’s reactions increased the self-esteem.

Because of the lack of variety and knowledge in this field, the results found from the males are unable to be compared with previous researchers. This is another goal met of adding to the minuscule information in this field. On the opposing side, females have a vast amount of facts in research around the connection of females and cosmetics. We added to the field by showing the correlation between cosmetics and self-esteem in young females and males. This can be used to help to find a way to increase or decrease one’s self-esteem.

The data from this experiment is most like the data that is already available for females. It is not surprising that the females who wore more cosmetics had lower self-esteem. The males’ data is surprising and new because there is no other data to compare it to. The data implies that cosmetics can increase self-esteem and may be used to decrease depression and low self-esteem caused disorders. For future research, the age bracket can be changed so there is no source of limitation.

Acknowledgements

I would like to take this opportunity to show my deepest gratitude and profound regards to Mr. Hendrix and Mr. Bolen for their exemplary guidance in the making of this project, monitoring it, and constant encouragement throughout the making of this project and their constructive critiques to make the project meet its greatest potential. We would also like to that Dr. Jane Bluestein and Dr. Rosenberg for allowing us to use their prior research to test this experiment and for the information by provided them in their particular fields.

Literature Cited

Antioco M, Smeesters D, Le Boedec A, (2012) Take your pick: Kate Moss or the girl next door? The Effectiveness of Cosmetics Advertising. Journal of Advertising Research (52)(1) pp.15-30

Blakemore, J.E.O(2003) Children’a Beliefs About Violating Gender Norms: Boys Shouldn’t Look Like Girls, and Girls Shouldn’t Act Like Boys. Sex Roles. Vol.48

Bluestein, J. (n.d.). Sex-role stereotyping, gender discrimination survey with discussion. For educators, parents: tips, articles, presentations, podcasts, ideas. Retrieved May 10, 2013, from http://janebluestein.com/2013/gender-stereotyping/

Crespi, I. Socialization and Gender Roles within the Family: A Study on Adolescents and their Parents in Great Britain. pp.1-4

David & Brannon (1976). The Forty-nine percent majority: The male sex role. Addison-Wesley.

K.D. Neff(2011) Self Compassion, Self-Esteem, and Well Being. Social and Personality Psychology Compass. pp.1-12

M.B. Donnellan, K.H. Trzesniewski, R.W. Robins, T.E. Moffitt, Avashalom Caspi (2005) Low Self-Esteem Is Related to Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, and Delinquency. American Psychological Society. Pp.328

Robertson, Wia Fieldman, Giltussey, Trevor B(2012) “ Who wears cosmetics” Individual Differences and their Relationship with Cosmetic Usage. (6(1) pp.38-56)

Rosenberg, M (1965). Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Sakamoto K. (2010) Women’s and Men’s Magazines & Gender Norms as Seen in Questionnaire Results. Prooceedings. pp.87-92

Appendix A- Experimental Design Diagrams



Title: The Effect of Cosmetics on Adolescents’ Self Esteem

IV Level:

Cosmetics

Trial #s

4

Constant: cosmetic type, duration of time cosmetics are worn, male subjects

Control: No Cosmetics

Independent Variable: Amount of Cosmetics

Dependent Variable: Self-Esteem Level

Appendix B- Materials, Budget, & Instrument List

Equipment & Instruments Needed

Equipment Name

Size/

Details

Current Location or Order Information*

Length of Time Needed

Additional Notes

(Note if you will need exclusive use of the equipment during testing and explain why)

Numbered step(s) in your detailed procedure where this will be used (must be listed specifically)

Shimmer Palette

eye shadow




2 weeks

Will need exclusive use of the equipment but each will be used everyday for the 2 weeks.


6

Kohl Eyeliner

Eyeliner

2.7g


6

Defining Mascara

8.1g

Mascara


6

Lip Stain

Lip gloss/ lipstick

Target Store

2195 Highway 20 SE

Conyers, GA 30013

(770) 78-56470



2 weeks

6

Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder


Blush and bronzer

2 weeks

6

Eye Color Applicants

12

Target Store

2195 Highway 20 SE

Conyers, GA 30013

(770) 78-56470



2 weeks

Will need exclusive use of the equipment but each will be used everyday for the 2 weeks.


6

Mascara Wands

12

6

Lip Gloss Wands

12

6

Incubator Space Needed

Type of Incubator

Incubator Temperature

Length of Incubation

Space Required

(ie: Number of Test tubes or plates)

Additional Notes

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Reusable Materials Needed

Material Name

Quantity Needed

Current Location or Order Information *

Length of Time Needed

Numbered step(s) in your detailed procedure where this will be used (must be listed specifically)

Eye Color Applicants

12

Target Store

2195 Highway 20 SE

Conyers, GA 30013

(770) 78-56470



2 weeks

6

Mascara Wands

12

2 weeks

6

Lip Gloss Wands

12

2 weeks

6

Disposable Materials Needed

Material Name

Quantity Needed

Current Location or Order Information *

Numbered step(s) in your detailed procedure where this will be used (must be listed specifically)

Shimmer Palette

2

Target Store

2195 Highway 20 SE

Conyers, GA 30013

(770) 78-56470



6

Kohl Eyeliner

2

6

Defining Mascara

5

6

Lip Stain

3

6

Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder


2

6


Budget:

Total Cost of Reusable Materials & New Equipment Ordered: $ _9__

Total Cost of Disposable Materials Needed (cannot be reused): $ _54.95__
Appendix C- Detailed Procedures

For the experiment, no hazardous materials or equipment will be used for or tested on the participants. There is no Personal Protective Equipment Required and no Waste Removal/Disposal.



Materials and Equipment

  • Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale Survey (100)

  • Eye Color Applicants (12)

  • Mascara Wands (12)

  • Lip Gloss Wands (12)

  • Shimmer Palette (2)

  • Kohl Eyeliner (2)

  • Defining Mascara (5)

  • Lip Stain (3)

  • Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder (2)

Procedure

  1. A participants group from Rockdale Magnet and Rockdale County High School

  2. Administer Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale Survey

  3. Collect surveys and collect data

  4. Begin individual analysis with small group of boys.

  5. Apply amount of cosmetics for week: cologne, face wash, body lotion, and hair gel.

  6. Repeat steps 2 & 3

  7. Collect and compare data.



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