Friday, May 20, 2011

Black Women As Less Attractive? WTF!

When I heard about the article by Satoshi Kanazawa entitled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women? Why black women, but not black men?”, published on May 15, 2011, in Psychology Today, I definitely had a WTF moment. Not because the subject is taboo – I have written about attractiveness (here) – but because only a complete moron would title an article this way, with nothing to back it up.

I expected to see some objective science talking about hip-to-waist ratios, bone structures, body fat, child-rearing and the such, not a collection of seat-of-the-pants observations of attractiveness by a set of ‘interviewers’. What makes visual observations about others objective, but self-observations subjective? Were the observations by the Add Health interviewers conducted under any scientific or statistical rigor? Readers of this intellectual mayhem are left to wonder if Psychology Today was secretly purchased by Rupert Murdoch.

With all this said, the objective case for why the women of Northern Europe are more competitive does exist, as a group. I call it the peacock factor. Men select mates largely based on looks, and colors attract. The women of Northern Europe are unique in sporting the widest range of natural colors, hair, eyes, and skin, so they capture the most attention in a crowd. Are these women better looking, individually? No. Do all the color combinations give them a group advantage, Yes. Does the group advantage accrue to individuals? Somewhat. This is not rocket science, but rather easily understood in the cosmetics area of any retail store, in any neighborhood (urban or otherwise).

I will say that Black women (and men) need to unbunch the undies and clean a little house, while ignoring clowns like Kanazawa. Ladies would do better, competitively, if they dropped the wigs, weaves, and adhesives, and opted for locks – cause sisters with the dreads look great and have healthy length and luster, minus the breakages and bald spots. I will not talk about visiting the gym and laying off sugar, oops, my bad. Anyway, I think Satoshi’s just hitting back because Asian men catch a lot of the same crap he is dishing, and of course, he was looking for some free pub (like Dr. “Obama is a Black Mascot” Cornel West).

Happy Friday!

James C. Collier


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Desertflower said...

I am really surprised he would be able to publish such a thing in that venue. I mean really! I always thought it was a scientific magazine! See

ogunsiron said...

Satoshi Kanazawa has been writing inflammatory articles in psychology today for years. I'm not PC at all and as i said before i don't care if he's racist. What bothers me about Kanazawa is that he seems very unserious and sloppy. It's like he's playing a game of "what contrarian/non leftist idea can i push beyond its limits so that it sounds ridiculous ?"
It's like he writes articles simply to get a rise out of people. If he wrote about health he'd probably come up with things like "tobacco good for your lungs!", "Gin helps babies's intelligence!" or "smoking during pregancy is good, unlike what libruls say!". I guess he has fun doing that.

Prajna Lloyd-McKenzie said...

That was unprofessional of Kanazawa (or any psychologists or social scientists) to state his findings without measurable data and large sampling to back up results. Most of all, beauty is subjective and cultural. He has probably not been around that much. How many countries has he been to? How many peoples have he met, seen, spoken to?

As someone who did fieldwork and worked/lived in various remote parts of the world, I have to say that a perceived, desirable attractiveness is highly shaped by media and fashion industry of that social group. I find local women in Bamako, the capital of Mali (a West African country) in their multi-color, two-pieced long dresses quite stylish. If a Malian woman in the same outfit is spotted walking in New York City, she'd be stared at. People would think that she's sorta out of place. Her beauty is not widely accepted by general population in the U.S. city.

Speaking of locks, check out the Himba women of Namibia in southwest Africa. Their hair is braided with organic brown mud. That's what I call natural beauty.

Anonymous said...

What bugged me the most about that piece (I've not read it entirely though) was at the end, when he just speculates that the reason why black women are [rated as] less attractive is because "black people have more testosterone in general, and testosterone would then make the women more masculine, and thus less attractive to men", and possibly the other way around explaining why black men were found to be more attractive.

The problem is that it's just a meme that refuses to die. It was an hypothesis based on higher incidence of prostate cancer among black men, but over the racistosphere it's repeated over and over as a fact, when not only among African-Americans at least, they have not only about the same level of testosterone, but higher estrogen levels. I'm not sure about black women though, I'd not be surprised if they had a somewhat higher testosterone level, judging by peeking at a few scientific articles, and also wild-guessing from cultural differences (where it would of course change accordingly; less sexualy active black women would have lower testosterone levels, and highly active sexual white and asian women would have higher testosterone levels as well -- not all equal, anyway).

I wonder if it really makes sense to think of "testosterone levels" of an entire race though. I recall some graphs on men's testosterone levels among many countries, and it varied wildly, and there were mostly predominantly white countries if I recall. There were things like the bar for swedes and/or russians being twice as large as the bar for some Middle Eastern countries.

But, other thing that was really missing, specially taking in consideration that was supposed to be a blog about psychology, was what shapes the judgment of attractiveness, other than the most universal things like symmetry and such. There are interesting studies pointing things like on biracial couples, the children tend to seek/marry partners from the same race of the parent of the opposite sex. There is an hypothesis that the appreciation of body fat versus thinness varies in a market-like fashion, that when the times are tough and food is scarce, more body fat is desirable, whereas if food is plenty, a more skinny body is preferred. Females tend to seek symmetry, whereas males seem to seek an "average" face, more or less like the product of a composite portrait made from the blending of many faces, instead of a face with more peculiar, individually distinctive traits. There are many interesting things on this subject.

I actually think these were the main mistakes of the article, for what I've heard, not so much the polemic phrasing "black women are less attractive". One could still maintain that, if they're rated as such, in fact, they are, because that's what attractiveness is, how people rate one another as more or less attractive. But he seemed to prefer an more "objective" interpretation of the judgment of attractiveness, somewhat as if whatever it is that makes black women [to be considered] less attractive, it's some "hard wired" thing like the feeling of pain, not something more malleable.

But, besides that, however excusable such phrasing could have been in a different context, in this case it was obviously pure trolling. And he succeeded at that.

Anonymous said...

One man's meat..... Mr James If she looks like the divine girl in the picture i will gladly take them off whoever hands no charge

Ash said...

Um, have you seen the "stud" who conducted this study? When you do, you'll just laugh. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

It's real popular to bash black women these days. Nothing surprises me anymore. This devil is just cashing in on it. Let's all bash the black women because we have to have a group to put down, poke fun at and pick on. I'm sure his article made all of the white and Asian women feel real superior. They will pay the price for all of the negative Karma that they have put out there.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, if only that were true. I'm black but I think I have too much estrogen...I need testosterone because I have no energy to do anything and no sex drive either. Oh and my womb has a few fibroids. Yeah, I could use some testosterone, then I would be more energetic.