Essay about The Terror Management Theory

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Many may agree with the old saying that “beauty is only skin deep,” but does beauty come in a particular shade of color? This question is very debatable for many, but the fact of the matter is that human beings are born in array of skin tones. These differences in skin tone are used to categorize people into different ethnic groups. Lopez proposes that“ethnic identity is a type of group identity that is related to a better outcome because it provides a sense of belonging or cultural embeddedness.”(p.102) Dr. Ronald Hall (2006) suggests that in America minorities or people of color are called black in relative terms to the majority who are of European descent i.e. white. Some studies have discovered that a more “ethnic appearance” is …show more content…
It is hypothesized that people whom are made mortality salient are more likely to want to alter their own natural skin color. Varying ethnic groups base decisions about attractive skin color on cultural standards. In accordance with this idea, Bassett (2010) proposed that “in group favoritism and outgroup derogation ameliorate existential anxiety by increasing self esteem, reducing uncertainty, enhancing perceived control and offering an enduring means of death transcendence and symbolic immortality though group membership”. (p.52) Therefore, altering one own natural skin color based upon societal standards makes one feel better about himself, thus, fulfilling the idea of TMT. The ultimate purpose of this study is to further advance works regarding the terror management theory and skin color.
Centuries ago, pale skin was regarded as beautiful, whereas darker, tanned skin was considered to be not as attractive because it was the skin color of the working class people. (Martin, Ghaferi, Cummins, Mamelak, Schmults, &Parikh et al., 2009) Hall (2006) suggests that this is the reason why many darker skinned individuals have low self-esteem as it relates to the color of their skin. They are so much concerned with the color of their skin that they take measures to become fairer skinned. For example, studies show that darker skinned Latinos have lower self-esteem than their light-skinned peers. (Lopez,

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