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Psychology Today Writes Black Women are Less Physically Attractive than Other Women

By May 19, 2011health + fitness

No clever lead. No witty wordplay. This is serious.

“Scientific Fundamentalist” and Psychology Today blogger Satioshi Kanazawa, wrote a blog on the psychology website titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”

After a firestorm of angry emails, tweets, and comments later, the title of the blog was changed to “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”

Despite the name change of the controversal article, it still received negative feedback and was later pulled from the site.

Kanazawa sited the Add Health Data. Add Health works with the University of North Carolina and conducted a recent study that polled a sample of Americans from across the country between the ages of 24 and 32 in 2008. That same group was also polled during their middle school years, which was seven years prior.

It was this group that Kanazawa used to base his notion that women of color were less attractive than any other race. When I read the article, I was beyond angry. Words cannot explain how furious I was.  There are several things wrong with this whole scenario that I will proceed to break down.

The first is the data that was conducted. To ask such a small group of people from the ages of 24 to 32 years old what their definition of beauty is, is absurd! The poll did not specify how many people were polled, what their economic and cultural background was and their interaction with people outside of their race, which ever race they were!

Secondly, this might be an old adage, but it rings true; beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I happen to think Sudanese-British model Alex Wek is stunning. Her dark skin, bright smile and small eyes have graced the covers of many high fashion magazines and she has also walked in many runway shows. However, not everyone shares in my belief.

Thirdly, this issue of great significance as  it impacts the lens through which young black girls and women see themselves, as well as the way society interacts with us.

Finally, this article is just further proof that we as women of color need to continue to affirm ourselves and one another! We can’t continue to look outside of ourselves for validation or to the media, which  continuously pushes the message that black women  are single, bitchy, unmarriageable, herpes and AIDS having broads. Do I think black women are less attractive than any other race?  Absolutely not!  Obviously Kanazawa hasn’t heard of actresses Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett  Smith, Sanaan Latham, Naomi Campbell, and Diane Carroll. All women of color, all beautiful!

But even if the world never knew of these names, we would still be beautiful because to be black means to be strong. To persevere. To be resilient. To fight and to continue to win. Beauty cannot be measured. so who is Kanazawa, or anyone to say we are less beautiful than anyone else?

I can go on and on about how wrong he is, why he should be put in a corner and made to wear a “dunce” cap and how racist his words were. But for what? When I look in the mirror I see a gorgeous woman, and who  is Kanazawa to tell me otherwise?

So ladies have you heard about this recent controversy? If so, what are your thoughts on why black beauty is always under attack?