I watched part of an episode of a tv show called “Being Mary Jane” the other day and in this episode she convened a panel of guests (she hosts a talk show) to discuss an article that is actually a real life article written by Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa and was published by Psychology Today back in 2011. The article was entitled, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”
Smh. Now apparently because of the instant backlash-from women- Psychology Today received, the article was almost immediately removed, but I don’t remember hearing too much about it. And I damn sure don’t remember hearing an overwhelming cry of outrage from black men about how their women were being portrayed…
But back to the ridiculous article. This “Dr.” claimed that there’s data, which shows black women to be “objectively” less attractive than white, Asian or Native American women, but interestingly enough that the same data doesn’t find black men less attractive than men of other races. He also suggested that black folks have more testosterone than other races, and we possess “more masculine features.” So according to him if black women have more masculine features, this explains why they are rated less attractive… WTF??
This all comes down to what we as a society have chosen to use as our standard when it comes to defining what we deem to be beautiful. Now I say “we” but really, as a black female, when did I get a vote? I didn’t. Neither did any other black woman in this country. But we sure were told what is beautiful and what isn’t! And that began as a little girl! From dolls to women I saw on tv and in the movies. It was rare when I saw someone who looked like me, and when I did see a black woman she was so fair skinned and her hair was so straight, I found myself still looking in the mirror like, she doesn’t look like me! And if she’s beautiful, then what am I?
Now this has continued on throughout the years for many black women like me, who are brown-skinned with coarse hair and at age 41 it astounds me that we are still having this same conversation about our standards of beauty. Too many of us have gone along with this ridiculous and damaging standard of light skin and straight hair and small features being the most attractive of standards. Too many of us continue to conform to it. We’ve allowed our own standards of beauty to be twisted and warped until we can only view it through one corrupted and out of whack lens.
But what can you expect when it seems like our own men don’t hold us up as the epitome of beauty? Where is the overwhelming expressions of desire and beauty from black men when it comes to black women? Why are the character traits of some black women held up as the stereotype of most black women and therefore used against all black women? And of course this makes us “look” less attractive, right? Smh. But I don’t see this happening in the case of other women. I mean come on now, black women are not the only ones who have some faulty character traits, and I’m not gonna sit here and go thru every race of women and list stuff, but let’s be fair about it. All women have negatives and positives to them. Just like all men do. But, let’s be real for a minute. Black women continue to be judged by different and unfair standards to this day. And it won’t change until we say enough is enough and we’re all willing to have some real and uncomfortable dialogues about it.
I’m not trying to dictate what one person should deem as attractive. Whatever works for you. There is beauty in every race of women. But if an article like this can be written and published in this day and age and it’s allowed to be removed and then talked about no more, then I’m sorry but we got a long way to go as a society and as black women we gotta just keep on supporting one another and giving each other the validation that we apparently will get from no one else.