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Black Women: So Hideous No One Will Leave Us Alone

Actress Jill Marie JonesSo Psychology Today finds me unattractive. Not that anyone asked their opinion. I'm not linking to the obvious link bait, trolling article that they've since apparently pulled down, but you've probably already had the link emailed, tweeted or Facebooked to you several times today. I realize the article is passing itself off as "science," but why-oh-why is everyone so interested in smacking around black women lately? For a group of women so universally unloved people sure can't seem to stop screwing with us -- both physically and metaphorically.

More after the jump.

There are a lot of things wrong with the article, like how it acts like "attractiveness" is "science," and not completely subjective, based on years and years of cultural preferences and societal norms. What humans consider to be "attractive" is truly diverse depending on what ethnicity you are and what time period you're living in. For example, men in high heels and wigs was so hot for dudes in Europe for a very, very long time. Now? I dunno. Maybe if you're Prince.

For me, the only true arbiters of "attractiveness" are -- do you have a somewhat symmetrical face? Do you look healthy? Do you have clear skin? Well, then someone somewhere at sometime probably thought you were attractive. Bonus points if you're somewhat youthful in appearance and/or can afford to keep yourself healthy. 

But nooooo. This study is based on people's "opinions." Like, it's my opinion that "The Gold Experience" was Prince's best album of the 1990s. You might like the Symbol Album. Or "Diamonds and Pearls." But there's no scientific way to prove that "Pussy Control" is a better song than "Thunder." And ignoring that we live in a Western society where the "ideal" of beauty for women is long hair, light eyes, light skin, thin noses, high cheekbones and big eyes, is rather ridiculous. People didn't decide they liked that because of "science." I could of swore that came from centuries of what Europeans thought was attractive. I'm sure that if the Chinese or Japanese had been the ones to invade everywhere and make slaves/concubines/colonies out of all of us our idea of what's attractive would be DRAMATICALLY different.

Usually, I find people who say "I just don't find black women attractive, ever. For serious." fall into one of two categories:

1. I am a self-loathing black person who can't stand to look at myself, let alone look at another black person. You remind me of myself or my mother or some other thing about blackness I hate. BE GONE WITH YOU!

2. I am not a black person, but hold certain prejudices about black people ranging from loathing to fear. Even if I was attracted to a black person, I could not admit it as it would force me to confront my prejudices. Also, I'm afraid that even if I DID admit to thinking Shaniqua was cute, she would reject me as I am different from her and she may not find ME attractive.

Now, OF COURSE there are preferences. (Meaning you may prefer the look of white women. But you can prefer this without believing loving Jennifer Aniston is "science." Brad Pitt most certainly didn't find loving her to be science.) Preferences are normal. Some folks like blondes. Some folks like brunettes. Some folks think Daniel Henney is perfection. Some prefer Idris Elba. Some folks like athletic builds, others like curvy. THIS IS NOT ABOUT PREFERENCES! Anyone who tells you they don't find any black person attractive, ever, no matter their level of attractiveness is lying to you. Good looking people are just good looking. It has nothing to do with race. For instance, I could make the argument that I "ordinarily" don't find most white men attractive. But then I also, ordinarily, don't find most black men attractive. Because most people -- black or white -- are just average. Kinda cute, sometimes funny looking, non-descript AVERAGE! White people made both Newt Gingrich AND Brad Pitt yet WHICH ONE WOULD I RATHER MAKE OUT WITH? (Psst. It's not Newt.)

No particular race "owns" attractiveness. All races are fully capable of creating both excruciatingly beautiful and incredibly fugly people. This is what makes attractive people "special." You can look at them and go, "That Rihanna is so good looking I do not care that she cannot sing. Let me go just write her a check right now."

Now maybe Rihanna does nothing for you, but are you REALLY going to convince me that no black woman in the history of black women (ranging from Tamron Hall to Naomi Campbell) is hot to you? And, yeah, in the picky bizarre world of the Internet you can debate whether Beyonce is actually "hot" or not, but if you met a woman who came even remotely close to looking like Beyonce when most people (male and female) are usually just plain average would you, realistically, go "Oh no! Totally not interested in you. I'm sorry. You're brown. Can't do it."

LIES! Even men who complain about how the Williams Sisters aren't "feminine" enough aren't exactly banging Kate Moss every night. Hell. They're not even getting with a chick who looks like Randy Moss. These are guys who would get excited if the semi-cute girl working at Applebee's hit on them. If Serena Williams said "Hey, wanna make out?" they'd probably convert to Jehovah's Witness and start sounding like Tim Wise.

So, again. Being realistic, I'm not attracted to Taye Diggs, but if a regular guy who looked like Taye Diggs came on to me, unless he's a complete jerk, I'll probably be SUPER excited and flattered. Because Taye Diggs is a good looking person even though I always thought Isaiah Washington was much, much hotter. Same for Johnny Depp. Same for Wentworth Miller. Same for Dwayne Johnson. Same for the guy I had the crush on in the seventh grade.

Good looking people are good looking. And preferences are preferences. And "attractiveness" is subjective!

Also ...

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Reader Comments (39)

if i wasn't married, i'd want jill marie jones for christmas AND hannukah.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterswiv

I had never heard of Daniel Henney but I clicked, gasped and now Wolverine is in my queue on Netflix.

I made the mistake of reading that article and now I'm wiping it from my brain.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterolau76

@ olau76

Daniel Henney is so beautiful he makes me believe God has to be real. A man that fine can't be an accident.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle Belton

I commented on that Psychology Today article earlier. It's pseudoscience to me and a shame it's masquerading as clinical research.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Wise

That third photo of Daniel Henney is my screen saver.

But in other news, once again, The Snob tells it like it is.

I am so so tired of being told that we are all unmarriageable, diseased/herpetic, broke, dumb, and ugly. To the point that I almost wish it were illegal. Maybe it is, in Canada. I will not be reading Psychology Today, that's for sure. How did this mess get past the editors?!

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJTravels

Ahem, I'm peeved that Idris Elba didn't get his own link too. Though Daniel Henney is very handsome, Idris is tops in my book.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBadMother

"Daniel Henney is so beautiful he makes me believe God has to be real. A man that fine can't be an accident."

You almost made me pee myself. He is FINE. I dribbled over him when I watched this Korean soap opera called "My Lovely Samsoon." He's delicious.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

@ BadMother

I figured my readers probably already know (and love) some Idris. But I figured Henney for some folks would be a head scratcher as he is significantly more popular in South Korea despite being American. He's only been on one (cancelled) show here stateside and the only American film of note he was in was that horrible, no good, TERRIBLE "Wolverine."

As much as I like looking at the guy I can't watch that crap ever again.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle Belton

"For a group of women so universally unloved people sure can't seem to stop screwing with us -- both physically and metaphorically."

Exactly! Don't these folks have something better to do with there precious time?

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For real?? I'm having a hard time keeping up with everything that's being said about me these days, though unattractive isn't exactly a surprising one. I think part of the subjectiveness is also finding the personality or image attractive, and frankly I'm guessing at least some of the peeps with the opinion that we're unattractive base it on some baseless, unrealistic reality TV black chick, and not on any actual human beings within their orbit.

But honestly, all science and sociology aside...what exactly does this kind of "opinion" research prove?? What's the point, exactly?

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWise

Thanks Snob. I hear ya.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrikyrah

I just watched the trailer for "Jumping the Broom." Can anyone watch that and NOT think black women are beautiful? And even in a movie full of beautiful black women, Angela Basset is queen. She's just stunning!

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonala

I had no idea who Daniel Henney was.

Clearly, there is a God, and She wants us to have pretty people to look at.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarkrose


did snob say wolverine was terrible?

mama noooooooo!!!!!!!!!

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterswiv

At first I was mad that I couldn't get to the actual article to read this drivel, but then I remembered that I said a while ago that I was through listening to and reading crap about black women -- how we're too this and not enough that.

Enough already!

I personally think there is some major undercover fascination with us.

Last summer, after a day of splashing around in a Disney World water park with my daughter, I held a restroom full of "other-complected" women riveted as they slyly watched me brush back and twist up my wet hair in a hair clip. You'd think my hair was going to coil Medusa-like around my head or something!

At first, I wanted to yell out "what the f*&% y'all looking at" but my daughter was standing there so, I kept my cool and pretended I was Michelle (Obama), i.e., the beautiful, fascinating, riveting, awesome, stylish, sexy, hot, cool center of the universe!

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy

"Anyone who tells you they don't find any black person attractive, ever, no matter their level of attractiveness is lying to you. Good looking people are just good looking." This. The thing about black folks is we come in all colors with all different combinations of features, hair-types, and body shapes. You can't tell me you don't find one good-looking.

Finding someone attractive/Being attracted to... are two different things, was that specified in the study? I mean there are some folks who you recognize as attractive but do not want to "do"

@Dorothy "Oh my God! Not all black people have detachable hair???!!" LOL!

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternoanova

This is all 19th century "cult of femininity" b.s. come back with a vengeance. Kinda like the publication of Bernstein & Murray's Bell Curve in the early 1990s reminding black folks about their genetic intellectual inferiority. Therefore social and economic remedies were never gonna erase the intellectual gap between blacks and whites and Asians.. It is cyclical, this repacking of old racist myths.

just as you said, why exactly are they so pruriently interested in black women's bodies and looks if said women possess nothing of redeemable value. What a waste of research dollars!

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterzizi2

I love blaq women, always have and always will, in fact my wife just so happens to be my favorite blaq :). Fyi, I also agree that Idris should have had his own link as well; brothas deserve a good looking at also wouldn't you agree. Good post

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlaq Mind

Why are people dumping on black women but not black men. Makes me wonder if black men are feeding people this shit.

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Sandy, my sentiments exactly. I'm sure that some of it stems from that. He probably spoke to Steve Hardly & Jimi IzntReal (and like-minded others) before writing the "article".

I decided not to read the "article". Can't be bothered with any more Black-woman-hating..... HELL, ALL-woman-hating drivel. That sh!t is wack & tired. That "doctor" is a known charlatan. With his compensating-for-insecurities & what-a-joke ass. Boy bye.

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSpinster

The emotionally/intellectually deceitful and delusional sleight of hand which allows “a people” to buy into the concept of “olive complexion,” reveals an insecurity that is deep-seated; an Achilles heel in their collective self-esteem. What should one make of “a people” who have to make their characteristics the definition of positive qualities/features (hair, teeth, complexion, and their history)? What should someone make of “a people” who actively and repeatedly look askance to the achievements of other people who do not look like them; actually take credit for these achievements in some cases? In other cases, “these people” actively and repeatedly suppress these achievements through omission. All the while, “these people” spend enormous amounts of time, money and emotional energy attempting to acquire the characteristics they “supposedly” despise – e.g. padded undergarments for round bottoms. “These people” will actually endanger their health in these attempts (tanning salons, injections for fuller features). “These people” are all agog when someone fairly (pun intended) resembling them has these features (Kyra Sedgwick; Jennifer Lopez etc). What should one make of such “a people”?

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmerican Rogue

Meh... I think if you look at Black women, our multitude of hues and features indicate just how attractive we are, and how much others are, and have been, attracted to us for hundreds of years. They can talk themselves into anything, but proof don't lie.....

This is just reflective of the socialization process.....

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdivaliscious11

Brilliant commentary Danielle, thank you!
People need to start asking why the heck BW are constantly being picked on?
Also I would not be surprised if BM play a part in this- if the men in any community are known to be strong and honorable defenders of their women as a collective, detractors would be very cautious about attacking the women. Unfortunately many BM are sefl-hating, trifling she-men desperate to 'fit in' & escape their blackness and all the negativity it stands for in their minds. This means throwing BW under the bus and allowing all and sundry to try and trample over them.

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLili

I'm not attractive? No one wants me? Let me tell that to my gang of followers so they can be aware.

I'm over it. My brown hued sistren are the most admired women on the planet. No dorky article can convince me otherwise.

*flips hair*
Like mama said, if they are talking about you, you must have something they want. Pow.

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMDFinerWoman

Psychology Today and author Satoshi Kanazawa would have done better to just say “we personally don’t find Black women attractive and we’ve found several hundred others who agree with us.” That I can accept. You don’t like the way we look okay that’s your loss, but to try to back up a personal opinion, a subjective mindset, and a racist predisposition is not now nor will ever be science. The results of the study are the furthest from science and the methodology in which they were gathered I’m assured did not apply any mathematical equation. What was applied here was pure hateful, envious, malicious, subjective and racist opinion. For that Psychology Today you get no props, you get no awards, instead you get backlash from the Black Blogosphere and a collective statement from Black women everywhere to kiss our asses that you so desperately want.

Pucker Up.

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNikesha
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