Sometimes ‘Scientists’ Really Aren’t

by | May 23, 2011 | "race", colorism | 6 comments

If you haven’t heard or read about Psychology Today blogger Satoshi Kanazawa’s recent proclamation that he could “scientifically” explain why Black women are the least attractive women on earth, consider yourself fortunate to not have that garbage in your head. (The article was quickly removed from the Psychology Today website, but if you really care what he had to say, you can find screenshots of that mess at BuzzFeed.)

Though Psychology Today hurriedly flushed this nasty PR problem, I’m keeping the conversation about the article alive because I believe Kanazawa has pulled the lid off an ugly little secret many people are hiding. He was ignorant enough to reveal his bias against Black women by trying to scientific­ally rationaliz­e it, but there are millions of others (of every ethnicity) who don’t even know or admit they have the bias.

Ideas about beauty are not “objective­,” they are learned. Western culture has systematic­ally diminished the value and dignity of Black women for centuries, while consistently offering Euro-featured women as the “ideal” or “standard” for what it is to be beautiful or desirable. The best thing about the disgusting sentence I just wrote is that if something can be learned, it can be unlearned and/or re-taught.

That a so-called scientist would try to “prove” why one group of women is inferior to another speaks volumes about him, but offers no insight into an issue as socially and psychologically profound as white supremacy.

If you read my previous post “The Darker the Berry…The More Invisible?” you saw how the LA Times Magazine‘s article “The 50 Most Beautiful Women in Film” offered an excellent example of media bias against non-Euro-featured women. I received a lot of positive feedback about that post, but a few people wrote to let me know that LA Times Magazine doesn’t “owe” our brown-skinned daughters anything.

Right. Just like the Montgomery city bus system didn’t owe Rosa Parks a seat in the front of the bus.

The Media’s relationship with us is supposed to be reciprocal–we watch/listen to their broadcasts, buy their publications and support their advertisers. So, while I’m paying attention to the L.A. Times Magazine, why shouldn’t they be paying attention to whether my brown daughter sees herself in their public definition of beauty?

Ev­ery parent of a little brown girl knows how creative and diligent we must be if we are to successfully counter all that social brainwashi­ng and instill a sense of beauty, value and dignity in our daughters. But, we should not be the only ones doing that for them. ALL PARENTS of ALL CHILDREN should be instilling in their sons and daughters an appreciation of beauty in all of its diverse human expressions.


Because it is right.


  1. kathleencross

    CLICK to watch clips from the upcoming documentary exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color—particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture. This film will be released in Fall/Winter 2011. -> I highly recommend this

  2. Josi (@Josi_121)

    Why,’because its right’. It astounds me how excuses are made for the portrayal of a single standard of beauty that does not embrace black, brown, yellow… to the point that euro blue eyed models dominate even asian fashion magazines. Acting like beautiful people of every hue do not exist.

  3. Jeffro

    What kind of science is this guy studying? Black women are beautiful. Whoever that woman is in the picture is probably one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.

    • Kathleen Cross

      I feel sorry for people so brainwashed by supremacy that they can’t see how stunning she is. Definitely their loss…and an INSULT to the Creator.

  4. Loren

    The author is right to say that our bias of beauty is learned. I was raised in a mostly white, northern part of the USA and also Canada. So when I went to live in South Carolina I had to relearn what is beautiful. I found thousands of black women in the south that I came to think of as beautiful and all it took was was a wiliness to see beauty in a new way. If you want to see beauty you will see beauty.

    • Kathleen Cross

      Thank you for posting your comment. I love it and especially love: “If you want to see beauty you will see beauty” So simply put, and yet profound.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles


Phenomenal On So Many Levels

I'm sharing this review of Skin Deep here because I felt the reader really connected with the characters and really understood the plot of the novel and the part melanin plays in it: Wow! This was an awesome read. It was recommended by a book club, so this...

read more

Here’s Why I Love Kola Boof

"I wish, so much, that I hadn’t stayed with the bodies over night. Because that is how I received my imagination...I could hear their blood going into the earth...And I know TOO MUCH." -Kola Boof Whenever I think of Kola Boof, I see an image of Naima Bint Harith, a...

read more