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Thank you, Satoshi Kanazawa.

Thank you, Satoshi Kanazawa.

Thank you for reminding me that I'm ugly. It's not opinion, you see. It's science. It's objective. You have your graphs and your charts and your numbers, all to prove that I, and everyone that looks like me, is not nearly as attractive as we think, and us believing otherwise is a strange and curious delusion, something for you scientists to ponder, as you always do--you ponder why we are so dark, why our butts are so large, why we are built so differently, and now, why we dare to think we might be pretty.

I mean, it's not like society doesn't tell us every day that we're not. It's not like I don't walk down the street and in stores and see ads for skin-lighteners, all labeled "beautiful white." It's not like we're not told our hair is strange, that it's nappy, that it's "bad," that it needs to be "handled" and "dealt with" and "tamed." It's not like we're unaware of the standards of beauty of the society we live in. But god forbid we not fully embrace our hideous state; that we not simply accept the hand that we have been dealt by the cruel gods--that we are too fat, that we are too ugly, that we are too stupid (because you brought that one up, too, Satoshi, that us black folk are just not so bright), that we are too mannish, that we are too black, to actually be worth attention and love. We are not attractive, and thinking we are is only fooling ourselves. It's science! It's objective! You have the charts and the numbers and the stats, so we had best get with the program, and accept that we are at the bottom. We shouldn't let our little feelings get hurt--should stop being so gosh-darned sensitive about it, because it's just the truth, and nothing to be done about that, amirite, amirite? It's not like feelings matter in the face of science, and it's not like I'm a person in your eyes anyway. I'm only a woman, I'm only black, and I'm only a black woman--in your eyes, the lowest of the low, simple and brutish and delusional; not much better than the ground you tread on, as evidence by the way you so callously tread on my feelings, and those of every other black woman's--after all, it's not like we're real people, or like they are deserving of consideration or respect. We are only women. We are only Blacks. We are only Black women, something far less than everyone else, and you are here to remind us of that, lest for a moment we forget it.

Thank you, Satoshi Kanazawa, for feeding into all my self doubts. When I look in the mirror, sometimes I almost think I'm pretty. Thank you, for letting me know that no, I am not. That I'm right when I look at pictures of myself and think, "Christ, I'm so fucking ugly." That I've hit the nail on the head when I try on clothes and think, "God, I'm such a fucking fatass. No wonder I'm single." Because, you know, us Black women, we're fat. Statistically, we're just so much fatter. And that's why we're ugly--part of it, at least. Science! Thank you, for reaffirming the nagging voice in my head saying part of why I'm always alone is my race, and that I'm overlooked in a way I wouldn't be if I were any other. Thank you, for making it that much harder for me to believe people--and I already don't, so does this mean I have somehow managed not to fall into the grand delusion so many others of my race and gender do?--when they tell me I am pretty. I know I am not beautiful; that I never was and never will be, and that "cute" (or perhaps the much-dreaded "pretty for a black girl") is pretty much the highest I can dare aspire to, but even then--ah, that's just lying to myself, it seems. So say your charts and your numbers and your science. Your charts say I am ugly--so objective!, your numbers say I am fat--BMI doesn't lie!, and your science says thinking otherwise is strange, subjective delusion that you people do.

Thank you, Satoshi Kanazawa and Psychology Today. For using my emotions and pain and insecurities (we do have those, you know, even if your numbers say otherwise) to generate controversy and web hits. For assaulting us as women on the level that society routinely tells us is the only thing we are really valued for--our looks--and by doing so reminding us that we are nothing, the lowest, barely even human and not worthy of your consideration for anything...not our feelings, not our thoughts, not looks. Thank you, for using my pain, and the pain of all my sisters, for your gain, and by doing so, proving in yet another way that I don't matter, not in your eyes and not in that of society. Thank you, for unleashing all the internet trolls and troglodytes who like to stir the pot with their racist shit--who are gleefully taking this opportunity to say how "unhygienic" (you know, dirty) black women are because we don't wash our hair every day (and that was on The Root, a place you would think would be safe!), proving how little anyone not black really knows about Black hair and how they project their own hair quirks and types onto ours--washing Black hair every day is a recipe for disaster--and are so privileged as to never need to bother to learn how ours is different. And yes, some might say to ignore the trolls, but they are the fools who scream the emperor has no clothes; who say what all the others (oh, but not you, of course, because you say it, even if you couch in it your science and your numbers and your charts) think, that we are strange and hideous and dirty and ugly, but do not dare to say aloud. Anonymity gives freedom, and it's a nice delusion--something my race and gender are very aware of how to do, so we recognize it when we see it, Satoshi Kanazawa--to think it's just shit-stirring adolescents, and not the actually deeply-held thoughts of the people we may pass every day on the street. Thank you, for all the people who have come out of the woodwork at this opening you have provided, to hurl their barbs (science!), their slings (objective!), and their arrows (numbers!) at me and everyone like me. It is not like we really feel anything, or those feelings worthy of your consideration at all.

Thank you, Satoshi Kanazawa, for letting me know exactly where I stand, and if I dare to think otherwise, well, maybe that's just all that testosterone we black women have in us talking. Thank you, for the slap in the face that such an article and everything in it could be accepted and published is. Thank you, for doing your best to squash that subjective self-esteem I or any of my black sisters may have dared to have, of thinking ourselves equal in beauty to and as deserving of love as women of other races.

So thank you, Satoshi Kanazawa and Psychology Today, because I really needed a good cry today.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2011 02:52 am (UTC)
do yourself a favor, hon, and read the wikipedia entry on Kanazawa. The man has been criticised for his methodology and interpretations with every single thing he's written. By professionals far more learned in the categories he fails in. He's been called "the great idiot of social science"

His whole thing (as many evolutionary psychologists) is trying to find justification for his racism and sexism in "science"

He believes that we should have had Ann Coulter as president when 9/11 happened because she would have just bombed the middle east off the map and the problem would be solved. I think that tells you all you need to know about that jackass.

...and he's ugly too.
May. 17th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
I already know all that--and it doesn't change anything. That article full of sexist and racist claptrap was still accepted, was still put out, and hits at every single sore spot a lot of black women have. It's one more of the slap in the face, just more blatant, that black women get nearly every day.

He may be an asshole, but it's indicative of a much bigger problem, which is writ large by the fact that Psychology Today thought it would be OK to run that piece of garbage in the first place (and with the original title being "Black Women Are Ugly", too--it went through at least two title changes before they yanked it.) Even if it was basically trollbait and designed to get hits--they still thought it was OK, which gives his words legitimacy whether we like it or not.

Kanasawa may be a puerile, useless, troll of a man, but his words sting because we black women get told them every day by the images we see and the way we are portrayed, and it hurts so much because it's so unapologetically blatant this time.
May. 17th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Or, in other words, it's not about this one tool. It's about everything wrong with society that makes black women an OK, less-than-human target. That's what hurts. Not what Kanazawa himself said.
May. 17th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
I know that, but Kanazawa has a byline on Psych Toodles because he's a religious zealot and they are trying to give "equal time" - I don't think most editors bother to read a byline writer's piece, that's part of the attraction of getting a byline for a "journalist".
This is also why I never read Psych Toodles. basically they are worse than Pop Psych.

But I do understand your ire and despair I just want you to know that just because that trog gets a byline doesn't mean EVERYONE agrees with him. Most social scientists DON'T. He gets a byline because he's provocative. Like Rush Limbaugh. I stopped listening to those jackasses a long time ago because what's the point having their antiquated notions and wishful thinking foisted upon me? So I can be reminded how horrible some people are? I already know that. So I can be hit with MORE sexist, racist, ablist crap? I get enough every day thanks. One more jackass. Who's clearly been handed his ass on a platter this time. They took that piece down lightening quick. Hopefully his days as "legit' are over. IF Psych Toodles won't take you, you're pretty much discredited forever.
May. 17th, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
6 billion people on the planet. Even if 5billion of them think you're ugly.. you've still got a billion who think you're all that and a bag of chips. Chalk me up as being one of that billion.
May. 17th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
But I do understand... some days you just don't need some stranger reminding you of what you have been fighting against all your life.

May. 17th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
::hugs:: FWIW, I think you're very pretty. I don't get the new beauty standard that equates unhealthy thin level with attraction. It goes against historical standards of beauty big time.

He reminds me of that dipshit doctor you've talked about. Kanazawa should be careful masking stereotypes as science. I can think of one that would really hurt his feelings.
May. 17th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
(am torn between the need to give you a huge hug and the need to get a sledgehammer and apply percussive maintenance to that moron's malfunctioning head...)
May. 17th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
What a fucking piece of shit.

If Psychology Today tries to hide behind some disclaimer about the views on blogs not representing them, they're toast. This is beyond fucked up. I don't know that it'll do any good, but I added another complaint letter to the pile they surely have by now.

And you're gorgeous.
May. 17th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
So they don't like you, because you're not the epitome of what they consider beauty, eh?

Well, what do /you/ consider beautiful? I usually try to think of it that way. Yeah, everybody knows what society considers pretty, but what do I consider pretty? You can't let them take your self confidence, either. That article came from somebody who most likely made up most of those numbers, and then threw in there, "Oh, and they have the nerve to think themselves pretty, while the rest are modest!" Well fuck him, I HAVE to find myself beautiful, because if I don't find myself beautiful first, then not many others will.

So what if you're not some dress size, or skin color, or any of that stuff? I know it seems pointless to try considering yourself above it all, but I personally have to, for my own sanity, y'know? Or else I'll never have the confidence to drop any pounds, or even sleep at night. Truly, if I had let this article get to me, I'd be in a fight with my SO, and wouldn't sleep until 3am (because I fight when I'm depressed). But no, I'm not going to let them win like that. I'm not going to let them get me all sad and depressed and riled up, second-guessing myself, and tearing down what I have worked many months to build up. They love to keep women down, and this is just one more method. Especially women of color. They love it.

I actually stepped away from my computer today, and I think I did it subconsciously. I wasn't going to sit and meditate on it. On /their/ ignorance. They don't deserve it, and they definitely don't deserve your tears. So I say dare to feel beautiful, and say that you are beautiful, and if you feel like you're just "faking it until you make it", then do it, because in the end none of those fuckers go to sleep with you at night, nor do they pay your bills, or do anything for you. And if they happen to think that Black women are ugly, then I'll just laugh, roll my eyes, and continue to feel the way I choose to feel without them interfering with my self-esteem.

tl;dr Fuck the haters, yo'.
May. 17th, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
He lost me on the first sentence: "There are marked race differences in attractiveness among women, but not among men." Um, there are? Not according to these eyes.
May. 18th, 2011 08:46 am (UTC)
Ok, what the friggin' fuck?

...This guy needs to stop talking to numbers and charts and start talking to the things the numbers and charts are about. You know, the people. But god forbid, because a social scientist can't, you know, socialize.

What a friggin' cunt. =v=
May. 24th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC)
Well written.
Nov. 27th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Aren't Ethiopians considered to be the most beautiful women on Earth? They are black as far as I know
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )