Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Black Woman, You’re Single and You Ugly! Yeah, Yeah, You Ugly!

Looks like heaven.

Boy, Black women are having the worst.two.years.ever.

They’re all single, married to gay men, on the way to a cat-ful existence and That’s My Mama re-runs, can’t handle the truth, and can’t find bras that fit. It’s hard out here for a pimp, but that’s nothing compared to how hard it is for a Black woman.

Between all of the media attention the potential dusty drawerd cat ladies are getting via national outlets, the ascension of Madea, and blatant disrespect for tinted ovaries here at VSB, it just seems like Black woman cannot win. Nope, there is no Amber Rose’n going on anywhere but at the White House. Ironic, isn’t it.

Well just in case you lovely ladies of the diaspora weren’t feeling poo-poo’d on enough, Psychology Today released an article yesterday written by a Satoshi Kanazawa entitled, Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women. Which is actually an interesting and poignant observation. Because, speaking for myself, personally, I was just telling somebody yesterday that when I compare all of the woman I’ve see and their physical attractiveness, Black women with their supple bodies, curves so sinister that geometry gets jealous, beautiful faces and lovely locs are definitely the LAST place I’m looking when I’m thinking of banging women. So this article is right on time.


I’ve always found studies like this intriguing. For one, it’s supposed to be scientifically objective, but you’re asking PEOPLE to rate people. People suck. I have no idea how many people they used, but what if the morning before I got interviewed I got robbed by a gang of midget Asian little boygirls. Chances are that might affect my position. Or what about the actual panel of people doing the ratings? What if it looks like the people who vote for the GRAMMYs, and they were all forced to listen to Fantasia albums beforehand. They might be inclined to view Black women negatively. And the thing is, I have no idea, and this isn’t to say that Black women have to be considered the MOST physically attractive but somehow they’re the only ones who the respondents considered close to average compared to respondents and definitely LESS physically attractive than the rest. Da hell? Sounds like some bias is going on there. Basically, they hate Beyonce and are voting with their feet, so to speak.

Recall that women on average are more physically attractive than men.  So women of all races are on average more physically attractive than the “average” Add Health respondent, except for black women.  As the following graph shows, black women are statistically no different from the “average” Add Health respondent, and far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.

This sex difference in the race differences in physical attractiveness – where physical attractiveness varies significantly by race among women, but not among men – is replicated at each Add Health wave (except that the race differences among men are statistically significant, albeit substantively very small, in Wave III).  In each wave, black women are significantly less physically attractive than women of other races.

The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone.  Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently.  Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive.  In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive.  The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Color me cynical here, but I’m going to assume that this panel is mostly filled with white people. I have nothing to base this upon, but let’s just assume that the panel is fairly representative of the population of the American people. Outside of urban areas, I really do think that white people have a fairly limited ability to deal with Black folks. Sure there are some of us everywhere, but chances are that the most interaction most of them have with Black Americans and women is the media….where some of our most attractive of attractive are. So how would that even make any sense? If you’re entire view of Black beauty is Beyonce, Halle Berry, and Michelle Obama (jury’s out) then chances are you’re full of sh*t and hating if somehow Black women’s attractiveness is only on par with yours and far less than that of other races. I may be reaching there, but it just sounds a bit like hateration. Which means that we can only blame the results of this study on one thing…

…President Obama.

Nevermind that this study has been done over a time period before he was President. Back in 2004 people started talking about him for the White House. So yes, a bunch of respondents who hate Obama voted Black women into the least attractive woman category, which is just patently not true. I’m trying my damndest not to offend anybody here so I won’t, but let’s just say…ain’t nobody messing with a Black woman’s dougie. Even exe’s I hate now I have to give props to.

My favorite part of the article is this though:

It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.

What I loved about this is that no matter what, you are not going to break a Black person’s self-confidence when it comes to comparisons with others. We know that we’re styling on folks. Hell, have you ever met a Black woman who didn’t think she looked good? Or a dude who didn’t think that he was the best thing since sliced bread. I just looked at my license in my wallet. Do you know what it says?

Bad Motherf*cker. My mirror hates on me because it ain’t the real deal.

We love us some us. And apparently enough of us participated in this study (hell, let’s not front, if it was just three we would have submitted 100 votes on that, “we banging” tip) to ensure that we been hitting our daddy stroke like none other.

Got to take an odd look here though. How is it that enough Black folks thought that we personally looked better, but when asked about others, Black women rated below. Self hate going on? I’m curious as to how that little calculus works. Crabs in a barrel? Something ain’t right there. We might hate on each other publicly, but we ain’t about to sell out other folks anonymously, that doesn’t benefit us. I’m calling foul on those grounds alone.

Anyway, point blank, this science is fugazi. Perhaps some people feel this way but at the end of the day, my beautiful Black sisters, don’t sweat the small stuff because this has no bearing on reality. I mean, if you ain’t betta than Big, you the closest one. I’ll personally do my part to tell you that you’re all beautiful though not face to face…I can’t tell a chick who looks like the combo of who shot John and John Henry’s left thigh she’s beautiful and I won’t. But you’re my soul sistas. And you know you look good. And so does everybody else.

Don’t let one article f*ck up your day, and if you need somebody to validate your beauty, we’ll be accepting all forms of pictures of your bangingness at the VSB email account all day.

What y’all did at the bayou? did you think of this article?

And my people…can you feel it?


We’d like to thank all of you for coming through and nominating us for FOUR (fo’) Black Weblog Awards. We’re on the final ballot for Best Humor Blog, Best Writing in a Blog, Best Sex & Relationships Blog and Blog of the Year. Please go vote for us here.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Satoshi Kanazawa made the …what ever the Arab equivalent of the ninjanets are…for saying Arabs need to be profiled when boarding planes. Goole him – He’s a total fraud

  • To quote @Huny I refuse to read even one more “article” that starts with “why are black women…” unless the rest is “so awesome”

  • *standing ovation* I knew you wouldn’t let us down. I been waiting all day for this here post.

  • The article is complete bullshyt. And here’s why:

    If we (black women) are so ugly, why do other races strive so hard to get azz, lips, skin, etc. like ours?

    Like I said. Complete. Bull. Shyt.

    (gets comfortable cause this post is gonna get real interesting real fast)

  • Shay

    Satoshi Kanazawa is an a*s and twists evolutionary psychology to his own purposes. He sucks as a writer (granted, most of the PsychToday writers suck) and is undeserving of his PhD.

  • They just mad that Oprah stylin on their bank accounts and ‘Chelle got the arms that make Kate Moss look like she got turkey “wangs”.

    Talk all they want, but those attractive white women sure do alot to look like us. Nothing like when a caucasian female approaches me to show me how she’s darker than me with her new spray tan. And how her booty looks big in those jeans. Yes, I work with these women who love calling me pale, despite me being clearly minority brown.

    My point? They only call us ugly because they think the imitation is better than the real thing. Moving on…

  • When I saw the title of this article earlier, I just ActuaLOLed and kept it moving. Not only at the “unscientificness” of it, but I didn’t see the point of the whole pseudo-study and because I knew if I read it and happened to take it with more than a grain of salt that I would be in the following article at why Black women are so angry. (Right before the article on why I write run on sentences with reckless abandon) I also hate getting in the attractiveness debate anyway. There is no formula to what make someone beautiful, no one will ever agree, so why even go there?

  • I posted this earlier after reading the article (and before realizing it was written by an Asian guy)

    “5 reasons why that article was laughable:

    We have Cicely Tyson. They have Joan Rivers.

    We have Angela Basset. They have Sigorney Weaver.

    We have Michelle Obama. They have Hillary Clinton.

    We have Beyonce. They have Britney.

    We have Willow Smith. They have Dakota Fanning.

    Need I say more?”

  • And as for any “black folks” that may have participated in this nonsense, they are self-hating re-vitaligo having n*ggas that should have their Colored cards revoked asapedly.

  • Thank you!

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