Tag Archives: Racism

“Brown Skin Lady”

7 Jun

In a world of diversity, how can you generalize beauty and attractiveness?  

A few weeks ago, Psychology Today published an article of an Evolutionary Psychologist by the name of Satoshi Kanazawa who attempted to do just that when he asserted that based on “research” Black women are physically less attractive than woman of other races. Even though this is 2011, and these claims seem to belong somewhere in the archives containing the justification of the Tuskegee Experiment and  The Bell CurveI am not surprised by such an assertion, I am however disappointed.

Racial discrimination is a daily struggle and the assassination of the Black female image is no exception. Having to defend our cultural markers of beauty while women of other races are praised for the very characteristics we are demeaned for is not only ludicrous but devastates the very confidence that is necessary for survival, and it does so in a systematic way. We are constantly criticized for being too dark while others are encouraged to tan, told our lips are “too big” while our female counterparts are encouraged to either inject or slather on laboratory created lip-plumpers. As a method of being shamed for having ample behinds our backsides are given tacky nicknames like “ghetto booty”,  while those same assets of Jennifer Beal, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez are hot and desirable. In a Black Woman’s world, having ass is nothing new under the sun. As we tug our skirts down that ride up because we were blessed with so much backyard, slather lip gloss on our full lips, and religiously rub cocoa butter on our equally cocoa complexions, we can’t help but to wonder when will our beauty be something that is applauded in the light, not just secretly desired in the dark. When will we cease having to defend that with which we are born proud?

Ignorance is a virus that acts as a stowaway in the brain, waiting for a moment to attack the defenseless. I’d so like to ask Mr. Kanazawa what his goal was in perpetuating such ignorance (was it to contribute to the epidemic of self-hatred that already plagues throngs of Black women?). I’d also like to know how he would explain the generations of gorgeous Black women before me, the sisters that saunter down the streets with me, the legions of little girls that will grow into beautiful black women. Are we all some exceptions to his rule? Needless to say Psychology Today removed the article from their website (because of an apparent crashing of the sight due to high traffic). Sadly though if even one set of eyes read the posting (and in their ignorance believed it), the damage was already done.