Date of Award

Spring 6-13-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Paul Youngbin Kim


beauty standards, South Korean beauty standards, body image, self-esteem, life satisfaction, mental health


The United States has seen significant changes in beauty standards over the years, and the current study focused on the influence beauty standards have on body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in the Asian American population. Past literature found a positive relationship between beauty standards and body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction (Choi & Choi, 2016; Hye et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2014), however, these studies have not addressed the Asian American population directly and there was minimal comparison between Western beauty standards and Asian beauty standards. To address these gaps in the literature, this study proposed that there would be a positive association between South Korean beauty standards and body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, with a focus on the perspectives of Asian Americans. Participants were 178 Asian Americans, who were asked to complete several self-report measures relating to body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Results indicated that there were high correlations between the variables, but no statistical significance. This indicates that the method used to compare the Western and Korean beauty standards did not have a strong impact. Since there were high correlation values and a strong internal consistency (α = 0.95), suggestions were made for future research looking to compare Western and Korean beauty standards.


An honors project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Honors Liberal Arts, formerly known as the University Scholars Honors Program, at Seattle Pacific University 2021.

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