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Archive for the ‘beauty’ Category

My favourite pictures from Le Coil. Five of these pictures have already appeared elsewhere on my blogs.

Nina Keita, Ivorian model

India Arie, American singer

Angela Davis, American professor

Jessika M’Bengue, French model

Pharah Y, Swedish clothes designer

Solange, American singer

“Frame” by Dawn Okoro, American artist

Res, an American singer, with Talib Kweli

Valerie June, American singer

Cassandra Wilson, American singer

Tara (model) and Nydia (graduate student) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Vintage hairstyles

Naimah, writer from the Lower East Side in New York

Alexandria, make-up artist from Soho, New York

Pictures by Brianna McCarthy, who blogs at Passion Fruit

Photo by Adam Tilman-Young

Photo by Laurent PIRAM

Karine, model from Guadeloupe

Sharri in Soho, New York, who blogs at The Brisk Convergence

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I am going to give this thing a second try, having failed to get my point across the other day when I wrote “Why black women are seen as ugly”. Fingers crossed:

Black women are not ugly, not hardly, yet many Americans seem to think so because they see them through racist eyes.

Mainstream American ideas of beauty are based on white women. Because whites run the fashion and film industries that affect what millions see as beautiful, even people of colour:

  • thin figure
  • pale skin
  • blue eyes
  • long, straight, flowing yellow hair
  • large breasts

Most black women fall well short of that. Not because they are ugly, but because that idea of beauty is not based on them.

This Hollywood idea of beauty is just a matter of taste. I know because I do not share it. I also know because White American ideas of beauty have themselves changed through the years. For example, Heidi Klum or Gwyneth Paltrow would have been considered ugly in the 1960s – an age when white beauties had lovely hourglass figures, like Brigitte Bardot and Raquel Welch.

Since it is just a matter of taste it cannot prove anything about the beauty of black women. Why should we suppose Hollywood’s taste for thin blondes is any better than, say, mine for thick black women with pretty eyes? But it does prove one thing: that despite the best efforts of Hollywood, millions of men still find black women to be beautiful.

Some think black women look too much like men. Yet, from what I can tell, black women in general have more of a womanly figure – one that clearly sets them off from men – than most white or Asian women.

Some think black women look too much like monkeys. That is kind of odd when it is white people who have so much in common with chimpanzees:

  • thin lips
  • straight hair
  • white skin

Strange how these are some of the very things black women are looked down on for not having.

These sort of beliefs about how black women look are not based on careful anatomical comparisons but flat-out racism that views black women as being neither truly human nor truly women.

Many of the black women you see in Hollywood are stereotypes: they are either too ugly or plain (Mammies), too mean (Sapphires) or too loose (Jezebels). Very few are women of grace and beauty. The effect is to make black women seem less desirable than they truly are. These stereotypes come from racism not from the “preferences” white people presumably have for the beauty of their own women.

This racism has absolutely nothing to do with the supposed ugliness of black women. It has everything to do with white people’s need to look down on blacks – so that they can feel good about themselves and their unjust position in society.

And that is why white people think the lips of Angelina Jolie look good on her but not on black women.

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Warning: Some will find this post offensive as it deals with some ugly racist thinking.

Black women are beautiful, but from the American media you would never know it. Maxim, Playboy and Vogue magazines, for example, make their living by showing beautiful women, yet show hardly any black women – as if they came from Sweden or Utah, not New York and Chicago.

Some possible reasons black women are seen as ugly:

  1. Black women look too much like men. Steve Sailer says it is because they have more muscle mass than women of other races. J Richards of majorityrights.com says it is because their jaws are too big. And so on.
  2. They look too much like monkeys and gorillas. It has been shown that white people in the back of their minds think of monkeys when they see black people. So you see even Michelle Obama compared to a gorilla.
  3. It is just a matter of preference. White people prefer the beauty of their own women. How does that make them different than any other race?
  4. The white lens. Most Americans, even those of colour, are brainwashed to some degree to prefer white beauty because of white control of the media and of the culture in general.
  5. Racial scripting. Whites are trained to notice blacks who fit their stereotypes. So they notice the Mammies (fat and ugly), the Jezebels (who look like prostitutes) and Sapphires (mean looking) while discounting the graceful and beautiful Sades and Phylicia Rashads of everyday life.
  6. Flat-out racism. Whites look down on black women so much they do not see them as women, missing their beauty.
  7. Envy. Deep down whites know that black women are better looking than they let on but do not want to admit it. So when Jennifer Lopez or Angelina Jolie have some feature of a black woman, it is called beautiful, but not when the same thing (only better!) appears on  a black woman. Or: when white women lay in the sun to darken their skin it makes them look better. Yet when a black woman is born with skin the very same colour it does not.

Uncle Milton, a white commenter on this blog from California who is intellectually honest, said this about the envy argument:

In my 48 years as a white male in the US, the number of white men seriously attracted to black women seems to be in the distinct minority. … for the most part white guys are attracted to white women (well ok.. a pretty significant minority are attracted to Asian women).

That matches what I have seen in New York: a white man can walk right by a beautiful black woman and not even seem to notice her. Like she is not there. She is on every black man’s radar but not his.

There is a bit of truth in some of these arguments but I think in the end it comes down to flat-out racism, which in turn drives most of the others.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to this beholder Halle Berry is hardly the most beautiful black woman in the world. I have several lists of beautiful women on this blog and people keep asking, “Where’s Halle?” So this keeps coming up. I will write my opinion in this post and point readers to it.

First of all, I do think Halle Berry is beautiful. I never said she was ugly and never would. I am not blind. I have thought she was beautiful ever since 1992 when I saw her in “Boomerang” (pictured). She was in “Jungle Fever” the year before but there she played a crack lady so her beauty was not apparent (not unless you thought about it).

So it is not a question of whether she is beautiful but only if she is the most beautiful. On that score I think there are plenty of black women who are better looking, like  Angela Bassett, Sade, Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Union and Lisa Bonet to take some better known examples.

Some women I just cannot tear my eyes off of – like Gabrielle Union, Lisa Bonet and Sanaa Lathan. Halle Berry does not affect me that way. So that is another way I know she is not the most beautiful, not to me.

When I look at Halle Berry I can tear my eyes off of her. She is pleasant to look at and has a nice smile, but there does not seem to be anything deep to it. When I look at her eyes I feel nothing. When I look at Lisa Bonet’s or Sade’s eyes, for example, I do feel something, they get to me, they draw me in. I generally like women with beautiful eyes and lips and a thick figure. Halle Berry has none of that.

Even in “Boomerang” itself I thought Robin Givens and certainly Lela Rochon were better looking (but not Grace Jones). Even Toni Braxton, who sang a song for the film, I thought was better looking.

lela13.jpg

Back then my judgement on the matter was much purer: Halle Berry was not yet a big name in Hollywood and I did not know she was half white, so those things could not affect my judgement.

It seems like what Beyonce is to music, Halle Berry is to black beauty: both seem to be pushed by Hollywood, their publicists or whoever, way beyond their merits. They are both good, but not that good. You wind up getting sick of them, almost hating them.

Hollywood seems to push Halle Berry as the height of black beauty. I mean, she is a black beauty, of course, but I cannot help but think that what they see in her is not her black beauty but her white beauty; that she is just another piece of their effort to push a sort of beauty that most certainly is white.

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sexual selection and race

skin_color_range

According to Jared Diamond, author of “Guns, Germs & Steel” (1997), the races of mankind were shaped more by sexual selection – who we choose to have sex with – than by natural selection – the forces of nature determining how we look. Darwin said the same.

Take skin colour, for example. It seems like a straightforward case of natural selection: light skin is favoured in places with a weak sun to prevent rickets, while dark skin is favoured in the tropics to prevent skin cancer.

That makes sense, but it is not quite that simple – for two reasons:

  1. Almost no one dies of skin cancer young enough to affect having children. So it does not affect natural selection.
  2. The amount of sunlight a place receives does not quite match up with skin colour. The general pattern holds but there are plenty of places where the two do not fit, like Tasmania, the Amazon or parts of Africa.

For things like eye colour and hair the match-up is even worse. Why do people in Europe, for example, have blue eyes but nowhere else? The conditions in Europe are not that strange.

Diamond says that physical attraction, what we like physically in a mate, messes things up. Nature matters but sex does too: To have children you must not only live long enough in good health, you must also be desirable to the opposite sex.

That is why women have large breasts, for example: not because babies need it, but because it turns men on and helps to create the babies in the first place.

But what determines what turns men on? Is it something they are born with? Diamond says no: it comes from who you grew up with. We know that from studies done on birds: if a bird is raised by a different race, it will tend to mate with that race even when given a chance to mate with its own race.

It is not just birds. Diamond notices the same thing among Chinese American women: those who grew up among whites tend to marry white even when given a fair chance to marry Chinese. Likewise, those who grew up in Chinese neighbourhoods tend to marry Chinese American husbands even when given a reasonable chance to marry white.

180px-Founder_effectThat tells us why most people prefer their own race, but it does not tell us how the races arose to begin with.

Partly it is from the forces of nature, but mostly it is from the founder effect: humans spread across the earth in little bands. When a band settled in a new land, the genes of that band would have a huge effect on those who came after for thousands of years. That is why blonde hair is native to Europe but also to Australia. It was not because of the sun or anything, but because a few people in the bands that settled those places turned out to have blonde hair.

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Here are the world’s most beautiful East Asian women that I know of. As you will soon be able to tell, I live in America  and know next to nothing about film or music in East Asia. I count only women who are famous enough to have an article in the Wikipedia and who are at least part East Asian by blood (but not part black). I count South East Asia as part of East Asia.

pat01.jpg

1. Patricia Ford (1969- ) was an American swimsuit model from Hawaii. Back in 1995 her pictures were on the Internet like free dollar bills. The pictures from her calendar back then were amazing: I could look at them forever. She is a mix of German, Irish, Portuguese, Chinese and Hawaiian. More.

2. Nicole Scherzinger (1978- ) is an American singer, also from Hawaii. She is best known as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls. Her father is Filipino, her mother is part Hawaiian and part Russian. Whatever she is, she is beautiful!

3. Pia Reyes (1964- ) is a model from Manila in the Philippines. She was the Playboy Playmate of the Month for November 1988.

4. Tia Carrere (1967- ) is an American actress, also from Hawaii. She was Cassandra in the Wayne’s World films of the 1990s. She is full Filipino by blood.

5. Sung-Hi Lee (1970- ) is an American model, best known for appearing in Playboy. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to America when she was eight.

6. Ann Curry (1956- ) is an American news presenter. I used to see her on the morning news on NBC and hear only half of what she said because she was so beautiful. She was born in Guam to a white father (who is part Cherokee) and a Japanese mother. I thought she was ten years younger than she is.

7. Faye Wong (1969- ) is a singer from Hong Kong. She has sold over 97 million records, making her the best-selling female singer of Cantonese pop music. In Japan she is called the Diva of Asia. I am not a fan but I keep running across her pictures on the Internet being struck by her beauty.

8. Nancy Kwan (1939- ) is an American actress from the 1960s. I know her from the Hollywood film, “The World of Suzy Wong” (1960). She was born in Hong Kong. She is half Cantonese and half Scottish.

9. Vanessa Mae (1978- ) is a British violin player. She was born in Singapore to a Thai father and a Chinese mother.

10. Sonia Couling (1974- ) is a Thai model and actress from Bangkok. Her father is English, her mother Thai. I only know about her from seeing her on someone else’s list of beautiful women!

Honourable mentions: Lisa Ling, Vanessa Hudgens.

No, I did not forget Lucy Liu. She looks kind of mean or something.

I love black hair and high cheekbones and East Asian eyes are often pretty, but I do not go for paleness and thinness in women.

Women from the Philippines, Thailand and southern China are better looking to me than women farther north.

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Denise Milani

White Goddess (2008- ), formerly known as White Meat, is a white woman worship blog  run by a black man who calls himself tnameat on WordPress and Professor Fenwick on YouTube.  His blog is full of pictures and videos of white women, particularly those with large naked breasts. He has posts about why white women are the best and argues that black women’s bottoms and their cooking are not as good as people think.

In a video called “European Features White Women are Fantastic Part 3”, Professor Fenwick plays Beethoven and shows us pictures of Bianca Holland, a beautiful Puerto Rican swimsuit model. He says she is living poetry, that her beauty nearly brings tears to his eyes, that he has been thinking about her all week. She looks like this:

bianca_holland-3

He says she is beautiful because she has European green eyes and European hair.

One commenter advised:

lol if this is not self hating i don’t know what is get it together bro..

There are black men who prefer white women to black women. That is not news. There are black men who are fed up with how black women act and say white women are way nicer. That is not news either. But there is more than that going on here.

A post called “A Tribute to My Salvation” starts with these “beautiful words”:

There is no love that is equal to the love that a black man can have for a white woman. As black men we have been privileged to have a view of your eminence in a way that is unique only to the American experience.

You have a sense of confidence and self understanding that no other woman can share, because from your earliest experiences, you knew that you were special. While understanding what sets you apart from other women, your exceptional love and compassion forces you to dim your own light as not to burden them with your greatness.

You could argue that I am just so many bad dates away from creating a white goddess website myself, but I would never write something like that unless I had either lost my mind or meant it as a bitter, sarcastic joke.

At least two other things point to some kind of joke:

  1. His WordPress username, tnameat – tits-and-ass meat – also seems to be part of  a joke. Who calls himself that with a straight face?
  2. When he wanted to change the name of the blog from White Meat to something more respectable, one of the choices was “Bluest Eye”. That is the name of a Toni Morrison book about black self-hatred caused by white ideas of beauty!

For a while I thought the Professor was a black woman, but his taste in white women is too close to my own. Come to think of it, it is just the sort of blog I would do if I struck out with black women and tried to talk myself into making do with white women.

Thanks to Sweetme1993 for bringing this website to my attention.

Postscript: By comment #34 it was clear to me that the Professor is dead serious. His blog is not satire at all! As blaqueconscious put it, he is “a racist white man stuck in a biracial man’s body”. His mother is white.

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