A recent resurgence of an blog post from 2011 published in Psychology Today where an author, whom I shall not glorify by name recognition here, asserted that Black women were “objectively” less attractive than women of any other race. This “objective” study concluded that Black women possess more testosterone and that why he made the conclusions that he made. Forgive me if I do not link his study or anything of substance about this man or his “study,” but he is not the focus here.
My focus here is the enduring love/hate relationship that the world seems to have with Black women. And this article seems to highlight it. The fact that it resurfaced after four years, shows that this argument is far from over.
But what troubles me the most is this, if Black women are so unattractive, then why are white women flocking to tanning beds like they are giving away free shoes there?
Why are our styles like cornrows and big booties suddenly called edgy and fashionable?
When I look out into the world and I see the women who are being dubbed the most beautiful women in the world, most of them are women of color and more specifically Black women.
I understand preference. I really do. I grew up in an all white world, where blond hair and blue eyes were the sought after beauty ideal. So, I know all about that preference.
But then I went out into the larger world and I saw a world where Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America and even when she lost her crown, it was another Black woman who took her place. And that was 30 years ago! I have seen a world filled with beautiful Black women and I scratch my head and say “huh?” Black women unattractive?
As I have gotten older, I now know that blond hair and blue eyes aren’t the standard for beauty to many, many people. Yet, it is continually drilled into our heads that it is. And not that I have anything against blond haired, blue eyed people. There are some very beautiful people with those characteristics, but they are not the only beautiful people out there.
It troubles me that Black are called “unattractive” at the same time as we are called “exotic” and “hot” and “sexy.” To me this screams that we are only good for one thing. Attractiveness signifies something all together different than being “hot” and “sexy.” And so there goes the tension of the love/ hate relationship with the looks of a Black women.
Bottom line, beauty is subjective. It an never be part of an “objective” study because objective studies are blind. And how can you measure beauty with your eyes closed?
Psychology Today apologized very quickly for the post and took it down. However, it is obviously still out there. And it seems a bit insidious that we Black women have to read crap like this all the time, while at the same time see our fashions and look being copied by women from around the world.
I challenge anyone to look at my five daughters and tell me that they are not beautiful, attractive young ladies. I am not being just a proud mother, I have beautiful, attractive daughters. I get told this all the time by people from all ethnicities and all walks of life. Unsolicited, strangers will come up to me on the street and tell me how beautiful my children are. So I feel that it is truth.
They are young ladies… young Black ladies.
And they are not exceptional, they are the rule.