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Pandemic stress puts renewed emphasis on self-care for Black women

Credit: Joanna Nix-Walkup

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recently announced the results of its annual survey, “Mirror/Mirror: Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age and Media™.” The study reveals that self-care and wellness needs among Black and Latina women have grown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) Black and Latino adults are at greater risk of contracting coronavirus, being hospitalized, and dying from the virus than their White, non-Hispanic counterparts.

AARP’s annual survey reflects the stress that many Black and Latina women are experiencing. According to the survey, 67 percent of Latinas and 56 percent of Black women aged 18+ have had problems sleeping since the pandemic began. 74 percent of Latinas and 67 percent of Black women age 18+ have experienced issues with weight or eating since the pandemic began.

During this time, Black and Latina women are prioritizing their self-care and mental health needs. They seem to be shifting their focus away from outward appearances, while changing their attitudes and habits in favor of their emotional well-being. The survey found that 61 percent of Latinas and 60 percent of Black women age 18+ focused more on their health than their appearance during the pandemic.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, it has had a particularly profound effect on women, who have experienced disproportionate job loss, additional childcare duties, and mental distress,” said Yvette Pena, AARP Vice President, Hispanic/Latino Audience Strategy, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “Black and Latina women, in particular, are looking for ways to prioritize self-care and wellness to help counteract the stressors of the past year.”

The survey, key elements of which will appear in digital content collaboration with Allure magazine, also reveals that the pandemic has made some women more comfortable with a relaxed appearance and hopeful that changes in beauty standards will continue after the pandemic ends.

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