Psychology Today, an academic journal that examines emerging thought and literature in the field of psychology, published on its website blog an article with this title in May 2011. This is another example of why it is important to be ever vigilant in confronting assaults on the dignity of Africans and people of African decent particularly African Americans. It is notions such as this that serve to justify the subjugation of African American sociological standing in American society.
Satoshi Kanazawa, a Japanese psychologist and controversial researcher, wrote the article using data from a purported study on anatomical beauty traits. Originally entitled, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”, the title was changed to, “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Attractive Than Other Women, While Black Men Rated More Attractive Than Other Men?”, after a swift and quick public outcry.
Psychology Today’s website finally pulled the article down (after less than a week) but the public discourse didn’t end there. (Editor’s note: The website buzzfeed.com captured the article before it was taken down and you can click here to read the original.)
While we can (and will) talk about this as being yet another opportunity to assault the self-esteem and dignity of black women directly, and the intelligence and sensibilities of the public, we can’t address this without addressing the anti-intellectualism being presented as intellectualism and faux science being presented as real science.
While beauty and perceptions of beauty have been studied before, in the context of how people react to beauty versus those not deemed beautiful (life chances, job hires, date encounters, marriages, etc.), this study seeks to stratify beauty in a racial context, and specifically justify its premise and its outcome as to why black women are “less attractive” than white or Asian women. Studies like this have a history rooted in cultural ignorance and racism. But there is something to be read into this. Pseudo science always has an end game. cont’d on page 2
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