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RECANT: Black Women Less Attractive than Other Women

Four months after Satoshi Kanazawa made inflammatory and poorly supported statements that black women are less physically attractive than other women, he has issued a mea culpa. According to the Times Higher Education, Kanazawa admits that he made serious mistakes in his data analysis and regrets publishing his infamous blog.

Four months after Satoshi Kanazawa made inflammatory and poorly supported statements that black women are less physically attractive than other women, he has issued a mea culpa. According to the Times Higher Education, Kanazawa admits that he made serious mistakes in his data analysis and regrets publishing his infamous blog.


When Kanazawa’s blog was first published on Psychology Today’s website back in May of this year, I blogged about it for several days. It was and still is amazing to me how “academic” research can be used to support harmful, oppressive personal beliefs that some individuals may hold.

This morning, I’m feeling quite ambivalent about the recent recant. On one hand I’m thrilled that the flawed research has been brought to light. On the other hand, I’m saddened that freedom of expression is the argument used to veil flawed research that denigrates an entire demographic category, especially since that demographic category has been historically (and is currently) devalued in society.

Kudos to the group of scholars who took issue with the shoddy research and did not stand down until the London School of Economics sanctioned Kanazawa. He still has a job but I bet he’ll think twice before he uses data to support his faulty logic.

Thanks to JS for sending me the article early this morning! 🙂


  • Anonymous

    Well, I am glad that it was removed but the damage has been done. I think black american women could do a much better job with how they look. I don't know what black women all over the world are doing. Some african women are really looking gorgeous these days. I think black women should devote more time and effective measures to looking more beautiful and that doesn't mean adding all this fake crap. It means exercising, eating right (which enhances skin tone), getting better fashion sense – even if it means consulting a professional, and getting cosmetic surgery to fix facial asymmetries. All of this would improve our look overall. I tend to agree with the Japanese guy who found that out. We really are not looking attractive at all these days and the history we went through has nothing to do with making an effective effort and bringing out our beauty. Most other women do this.

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Identity Shift

Going forward, I am going to try something new: shorter blogs (thanks for the suggestion Fred (frederickdouglassopie.blogspot.com)). Please weigh in and let me know your thoughts on the shorter format. Thanks!


Around 2001 I had made the decision to loc my hair and I was waiting for my double-strand twists to grown into locs. Yesterday I shared several adjustments that I had to make (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/05/dreadlock-journey.html). In addition to having to stop expecting my hair to lay down, no longer running from water and realizing that everyone (especially my family) wouldn’t appreciate my journey, I had to redefine my personal beauty. It was one thing to have double-strand twists that could be taken out and straightened (a la hot comb) so that my hair looked “long”, it was a totally different thing to have somewhat porcupine looking hair as my twists / locs stood straight out on my head. My mind was flooded with a series of questions about femininity, attractiveness, and professionalism. Was I still cute? Would my husband still find me attractive? Would I look ridiculous without makeup and jewelry? Would my bosses and clients take me seriously? I’d gone through a similar phase when I first had the big chop (http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/04/big-chop.html) but this felt identity-shifting. I was now facing the fact that my self-presentation and part of my identity were being significantly altered in a more permanent way.

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