Beauty is subjective. Period.

by Tami Winfrey Harris

Every now and then, someone tries to make a case for objective beauty–the notion that there is a quasi-scientific way to judge whether a person is attractive or not. They will bang on about facial symmetry and the golden mean . Or they will note early man’s sexual predilections, trumpeting “natural” attraction to youth and child-bearing hips. They (poorly) analyze survey data. In the end, all this so-called objectivity simply serves to uphold white, Western standards of beauty. After witnessing the sturm und drang following a host of allegedly objective pronouncements about beauty, I’m convinced they’re all bunk. Beauty, as we all learned as children, is in the eye of the beholder. It is subjective–always and forever.

The latest minor storm over beauty standards came this week when several news outlets took a contest sponsored by a British chat show seriously. The ITV program , “Lorraine,” pronounced 18-year-old Florence Colgate (above) a perfect, natural beauty and “Britain’s most beautiful face.” American news outlets, including ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the Gawker network online jumped on the story of the lovely Ms. Colgate, touting her “perfect” dimensions. It was no surprise to many that a young, white, blonde and blue-eyed woman would be held up as the face of beauty. This is the (racially-biased) standard, after all, that Western women of all races are judged against. Indeed, one Carmen Lefèvre, from the University of St Andrews perception laboratory in the School of Psychology, gave the game away when she was quoted in The Daily Mail. She said, “Florence has all the classic signs of beauty. She has large eyes, high cheekbones, full lips and a fair complexion.” (Bold mine.)

And that’s the thing. Facial symmetry and other measurable factors may influence what we find attractive, but I’d wager that nurture (societal and personal bias) has more to do what we like than nature. Consider if Florence Colgate’s face possessed the same proportions, yet was a rich, cocoa brown, rather than pale white. What if she wore a teenie weenie afro rather than long, loose blonde hair? What if her face was fatter? Will people still find this young woman beautiful 40 years from now, when her face has wrinkled and perhaps her hair has grayed? Chances are, any of these factors would change our perceptions of her attractiveness. We are a culture that, for now, worships whiteness, thinness and youth–especially for women. Women of color, fat women and older women are generally left out of the beauty paradigm.

But beauty standards change (which should be a big sign that they are subjective). Compare the body types revered during the mid-20th century to the ones championed today. Just last year, Allure magazine declared the “All-American Beauty” dead. When asked to rate a bunch of non-celebrity models, the magazine’s readers chose a Latina woman and a South Asian man as ideals. This week, Beyonce became the second black woman to be named People magazine’s “most beautiful.” Who knows what the future of beauty holds. It’s a safe bet what we find beautiful 20 years from now will be based, in great part, on a host of things more abstract than measured space between brow and hairline.

This discussion should not be a referendum on whether Florence Colgate is attractive or not. Weigh in on beauty standards and whether you think they are objective or subjective.

  • Yb

    Beauty standards are promoted and influenced by society (this white supremacist society). In this media obsessed day and age I find it nearly impossible to find someone with a genuine preference and beauty standard that has not been influenced by the media, peers, or society.

    Beauty is subjective and influenential.

  • Dreaming

    Yes, beauty is definitely subjective. However, there are some people who have what I refer to as ‘universal beauty’ where they overall have a look that many people would agree is beautiful.

    The woman in the photo above isn’t unattractive, but she isn’t attractive, to me.

  • Dreaming

    My preferences aren’t influenced by the media, peers, or society.

    I think red heads are attractive.

    I hate broad shoulders on men.

    I don’t care so much how tall a man is, as long as he isn’t shorter than me (I’m 5’5).

  • http://www.jessicasimien.com Jessica

    I agree with your statement. I think certain people have a universal beauty but the young lady above just doesn’t (in my opinion) have perfect dimensions or should be held as a standard of beauty. She looks kinda like your average nice looking woman, no big deal.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    it is an objective reality that black women, in fact black people, are most beautiful.

  • Yb

    I find red hair to be beautiful as well.

    +1

  • binks

    Why do I even need to comment when you pretty much summarize what I wanted to say…lol I agree, there are some people who would be held as attractive to general populations of people but to me she is sort of “run of the mill pretty” because I find beauty in “odd” features

  • http://www.GaptoothDiva.com I’esha GaptoothDiva

    I totally agree. I, of course, find beauty in most flaws and odd features as well. I find what most people refer to as “universal” beauty to be plain nowadays. It’s not unattractive, its just boring to assume that certain features on people automatically make them beautiful. It’s freckles, super dark skin, large eyes and noses, accidental flaws, and God-given gaps that interest me. That’s beauty in my eyes.

  • tisme

    Thanks James.I personally think most people of all races look regular.I’ve never seen many shockingly beautiful people.Just a bunch of people that look like….well,people.
    There are a few people that just look amazing to me.I look at them and I think wow there really is a God but that has rarely happened.

  • Tonton Michel

    It has always been subjective the problem is when people keep thinking it is objective and wonder why they do not fit in. It is this never ending journey for the Holy Grail of validation from a certain group of people that is problematic and unhealthy for the mind. I do not see the purpose in getting worked up about what other people find attractive. The pic above is their standard of beauty, cant be mad at them for choosing what they like.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    Yes. It is subjective. But I find that girl extremely gorgeous.

  • Dreaming

    Hey sis!

  • Pseudonym

    So true. Plus- as with all clinical research involving humans- I’m sure the research subject groups they use are not proportionately representative of the world’s population- of which the majority of us are not white.

    That probably goes for the images that are being judged as well.

    I saw a television special on the science of attraction and 99% of the research subjects and judged photographs/people/etc. were white and probably middle class.

    Researcher bias to the max.

  • binks

    Right back at ya sis! See your comments save me from being wordy…lol

  • PJ

    Right! Beauty for sure is subjective. In my eyes, this lady is not pretty. She’s plain and none of her facial appearances stands out to me.

  • Logic

    Besides her incredibly limp hair and its color (I find blond hair to be the least attractive hair color), I think this woman is very beautiful. Regardless of what one finds beautiful, facial symmetry is almost universally priced.

  • Hmm..

    Somehow I don’t believe the people that say that they don’t think she is beautiful. I think they are just annoyed that only women like her are lifted up as images of beauty, which is reasonable.

    How about my approach: I have a different standards of beauty for different groups of women. So I have no problem being simultaneously mesmerized by the beauty of a slim blond girl and the beauty of a dark skinned curvy girl (polarized things on purpose to make a point). That also means a can see woman as ugly according a standard of beauty that gives her the best chance of being perceived as beautiful. I mean, there is not point in beating around the bush. As long as we are going to consider physical beauty, someone is going to be ugly. Even is societies were only one ethnicity existed, there were ugly women. You just have to learn to love yourself regardless.

  • Logic

    I agree with you somewhat. Just as there are people that can be found universally appealing (i.e. Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry), there are those that can be found universally unappealing (Carrot Top, Gabourey Sidibe). But I also think it’s a bit presumptuous for you to assume that the people who found this woman unattractive as jealous. Universally appealing does not mean everyone will find you attractive, only that the overwhelming majority will; believe it or not, she might be ugly to someone. And just because someone finds her to be attractive does not automatically mean that they will be attracted to her, either. Both pretty and ugly are highly subjective.

  • BFDuster

    She’s very beautiful and I have nothing against her, but again, she’s just another White Beauty(tm) jammed down everyone’s throats.

  • Dreaming

    I get tired of the argument that if someone isn’t worshiping someone or something, it’s because they are jealous, broke, hating, or mad.

    As the title says, “Beauty is subjective. Period.”

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Somehow I don’t believe the people that say that they don’t think she is beautiful.

    No, it’s possible. I don’t think she beautiful either. In my eyes she above average probably cute but not quite pretty.
    For blonde haired, blue eyed women, I think a young Cheryl Ladd, Melissa Theuriau and young Anna Nicole Smith and maybe a young Bridget Bardot are beautiful.

    I have a different standards of beauty for different groups of women.
    I think I do as well.

    Logic- No way Scarlett Johasen she is the same category as the chick in the photo. I think Zoey Deschanel and Felicity Jones are far better looking. Geez a young Sophia Loren would leave Scarlett Johansen in the dust.

    I swear that Sophia Loren looks like a light-skinned sista on screen sometimes.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    co-signing Dreaming.

  • Logic

    @ChicNoir: “Logic- No way Scarlett Johasen she is the same category as the chick in the photo. I think Zoey Deschanel and Felicity Jones are far better looking. Geez a young Sophia Loren would leave Scarlett Johansen in the dust.”

    I think that Zoey is cute and quirky, but besides her eyes and hair, I don’t see anything stand out about her. But you did prove mine, and the author’s, point: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    P.S. I feel you on Sophia Loren, but I think young Bridgette Bardot and Raquel Welch were WAY hotter!

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @Logic

    Oh I can agree on Raquel Welch. I was suppose to do the world’s most beautiful women vanilla edition for my blog but never got around to it. Raquel would most def rank high on my list.

    Raquel had face and body. It’s hard to believe she had two kids before she became a big star.
    It’s a shame movie stars aren’t glamerous anymore.

    http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com/2010/09/most-beautiful-women-in-world.html

  • Logic

    “Raquel had face and body. It’s hard to believe she had two kids before she became a big star.”

    What?!? *jaw drops* I did not know that! I have a whole new respect for her! Homegirl’s figure was on point! BTW: She’s Panamanian, not white; she “passed” to get better roles.

    “It’s a shame movie stars aren’t glamerous anymore.”
    ITA with that.

  • Alexandra

    Somewhat agreeing with the comment left by Hmm…
    I do find the constant shoving of Blond/Blue to be suffocating, but please don’t dismiss that there are people that indeed do not find those traits to be attractive or either they don’t find it attractive on this particular woman.The woman in the photo is no where near ugly in my opinion, but she is not as gorgeous as (a blond) Alena Shiskkova.

    And Dreaming, I agree with your comment as well. There are a lot of good-looking redheads contrary to popular belief. Some people also feel that very pale or very dark skin in unattractive. But I find the very pale, redheaded Deborah Ann Woll to be very attractive. In that same sense, her ‘True Blood’ co-star Rutina Wesley who is very dark, is also attractive to me. Indeed beauty is subjective.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    I would just like to add that I agree with Tami, beauty is subjective but deeply influenced by the media.

    All you have to do is look at some documentaries of small tribal groups who don’t have much interaction with the outside world to see how beauty is subjective. Sagging boobs, sharpened teeth, very short hair, very large women etc… are all things that are found beautiful among some small tribal group.

    P.S. I’ve seen studies where a young Christie Turlington is held up as the universal face of beauty but I guess she was too dark for these folks .

    P.S.S. Whoopi Goldberg’s face is very symmetrical but you know darn well the MSN ain’t trying to talk too much about that.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Logic She’s Panamanian, not white; she “passed” to get better roles.

    Had no idea so we taught each other something new.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Weigh in on beauty standards and whether you think they are objective or subjective.

    Well standards of beauty change over time or at least those concerning body type are prone to change over time. Aninta Ekberg and Sophia Loren would be too portly for Hollywood today.

  • Dreaming

    I had to Google Alena Shishkova. Eh, she doesn’t do it for me. She’s too Blonde. She looks like a real life doll.

    I’ve always thought Harry (Prince Harry and Prince William) was the better looking brother.

  • Yb

    I agree with Dreaming. I don’t find the model Alexandra suggested that beautiful either. Though far more attractive than the woman in this article.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I agree with you completely. Why is this an issue for us? This was a contest for them, why have “we” made it personal? SMH.

  • Logic

    @Dreaming: I agree; I also think Prince Harry is way better looking.

  • Tonton Michel

    Because “we” are in love with them……..

  • Dreaming

    She’s being championed as “Britain’s most beautiful”. Surely, Britain isn’t made up of only White people, right?

  • Alexandra

    Yeah, that’s how subjective our perceptions are. I showed her pic to some of my co-workers, and they were also annoyed by her blond-ness; it’s all a matter of taste though. I don’t find all blonds attractive.

    While on the doll topic, here’s one: http://valeria-lukyanova.tumblr.com/

    And yes, Prince Harry is the better looking brother, no contest. Haha.
    His brother is dopey looking to me.

  • Alexandra

    “P.S.S. Whoopi Goldberg’s face is very symmetrical but you know darn well the MSN ain’t trying to talk too much about that.”

    So right, that made me chuckle. They would have to discuss skin color (and features), so of course not. I noticed over the years people always held up Whoopi (esp. her Celie character) as an example of un-attractiveness; for subjective reasons obviously. She’s average to me though.

    Jessica Simpson had a reality a few years ago about beauty standards across the world. It was nothing groundbreaking, but it was amazing to hear the different perceptions. Imagine how dramatic those standards could change if they were exposed to rampant Western television….

  • HopeChest

    I love fiery-head people too! My first crush was a redhead!

    Until a few years ago, I had no idea that there was hate for ‘gingers’ in some places, like in Europe.

    Apparently, redheads are discriminated against. Who knew?

  • HopeChest

    She does nothing for me. At all.

    Her look is so run-of-mill, done-to-death, and forced down our throats that it’s easy for me to reject the notion that she’s ‘the fairest of them all.’

    Beauty is subjective, so this scientific study is nothing more than another Satoshi.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Agree with Dreaming about Alena Shishkova, she’s too fake p0r.n star looking for my taste. If you want to post about Russian beauty queens don’t forget Oxana Fedorova.

    Miss World(via Nigeria) Agbani Darego is freaking lovely so darn beautiful. Another Blk beauty queen Vanessa Alexandra Mendoza Bustos is a real stunner. Her face and figure sits hontea! Miss Ghana Akuba Cudjoe was very pretty as well, she’s like the very pretty girl in the neighborhood .

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Oh I saw that Jessica Simpson show Alexandra. I think I saw a National Geographic special once that really broke it down.

    Yea and you see Whoopi never let it stop her from enjoying life. There is a clip on Youtube of Arsenio Hall asking Whoopi Goldberg why she dates only White men. Whoopi’s response… ” I date the men who ask me out. The brothers don’t ask me out.”

    So funny how people think she should sit around the house crying cause blk men didn’t ask her out. Whoopi dated those who found her beautiful.

  • H

    This woman is very, very pretty. I don’t think she is drop dead gorgeous. She looks like most of the pretty blondes that I see at the grocery store or just out and about. I think that’s the point though. They’re not looking for the most beautiful woman in the world.

    The beauty in this woman is that she looks like that naturally. There are many women in Hollywood who are more beautiful but they’ve had work done or wear a ton of makeup. Look at Beyonce. I’m glad she won, but she has fake blonde hair and Caucasian facial features. She puts in a lot of work to get that beachy blonde look. It’s not natural.

  • chanela

    Omg im atwork goin “yessssssss”. i saw the title and immideately knew it was about that girl. i am sooo sick of movies picking busted/regulae blondes and trying to convince us that every male in the movie wants them. if you notice, every woman/girl who is supposed to be “hot” is always always blonde it is soo annoying. That is literally all they need is blonde hair and they’re automaticalla beautiful (see ‘she’s out of my league or ‘this means war’)

  • Kathree

    If you look up the word beautiful.. it simply means to be pleasing to the eye. if you look up the word ugly, it simply means to be displeasing to the eye. Not every one favors the same colors, shapes, food, clothes, nor features. No one is wrong. No one is right. All about perception. When you look at it that way, you realize these “Most beautiful” declarations dont mean squat. And they have no affect to your own visual discretion.

  • Kam

    I don’t find her beautiful. She’s certainly not ugly though. I don’t find white people universally attractive by default anymore. This was my own revelation that I came to watching tv and realizing that the white standard of beauty that was being forced on me had no basis in fact and everything to do with dominance. But then again I’ve always been attracted to dark skin.

  • Kam

    I don’t find her beautiful. She’s certainly not ugly though. I don’t find white people universally attractive by default anymore. This was my own revelation that I came to watching tv and realizing that the white standard of beauty that was being forced on me had no basis in fact and everything to do with dominance. But then again I’ve always been attracted to dark skin.

  • H

    Panamanian is a nationality not a race, and Panama is full of people of different races. So if she were Panamanian that would have nothing to do with her race. That’s like someone saying that they are American. America is a multicultural country that contains people of all races.

    Also Raquel Welch was born in Chicago. She is American. Her father was from Bolivia but of Spanish descent which means that he was white, and her mother was white. So, she is white.

  • C

    Yes, beauty is very subjective and the perception of this beauty is influenced by many things and it is definitely in the eye of the beholder…….and when I beheld Pam Grier, Naomi Campbell, Beyonce, And Leila Lopes(miss Universe 2011), Game over for me.

  • C

    Oh LORD!!!! When will it end!!!!!

    Beyonce has Caucasian features? Ive never seen a white woman that looks like Beyonce! What is it about this woman that brings out the mental in balance in people. Yes she has blond hair but the rest of her pretty much looks the same as when she was younger, including her skin shade.

  • C

    @Chic Noir

    *I swear that Sophia Loren looks like a light skinned sista on screen sometimes*

    Ha! Ive always thought the same and she was really the only old movie star I found really beautiful; While I thought Liz Taylor, Grace Kelley, etc to be pretty I never really was blown away by any of them except Sophia Loren.

  • CHE

    Hi Jamesfrmphilly

    I kind of agree. I grew up without television and around mostly Black people….and the people touted on television as so beautiful(usually white women- do nothing for me). My eye always looks for Blackness of some kind-and I cant even tell you what that means- but my eyes and brain know what I am talking about. Its not that I cannot find other groups attractive but my eyes look for Blackness….Black Africans, Black Americans, Caribbeans and some Hispanics. I really cannot explain it.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    i find it hard to believe we spend time obsessing over white women…..

  • Ms. Information

    Beauty is subjective but there is an imbalance of images…I see many beautiful black women with a myriad of different facial features, hair textures, body shapes that I NEVER see on T.V. There is a movie with John Travolta called White Man’s Burden and white people are the “minority” (I hate this word by the way)…every channel he turns to there are black people, all the people in power are black, every magazine has a black face. This is how I feel about white beauty; I am sick of it.

  • C

    I agree and you will never see those Black women in the media because this is one of the ways white hegemony and supremacy is upheld.

  • C

    imbalance

  • jamesfrmphilly

    beauty is objective.

    it is generally based around standards of health and strength.
    fit and toned. the ability to produce healthy and strong children.

    black people are the original people on the planet, hence the role models for beauty.

    black people set the first standards for beauty. a white woman is considered beautiful when she has some feature from black women. lips, hips, etc. white people tan to get brown skin. we are born with it.

    while much treasure has been spent promoting white as beautiful, black people are the objective standard for beauty.

    black is beautiful.

    peace

  • Tonton Michel

    Over 80% of British people are white so this would be a logical choice for them. And of course if you have a healthy image of your self void of low self esteem than of course when the choice of beauty comes up you would look to someone who the most like you or what you feel is the best representation of you. I’m not mad at them I applaud them, it is a sign of a confident and healthy mind.

  • Bren82

    Everyone is beautiful.

  • PJ

    Reading through these comments, I have realized once again I am in the minority. As someone mentioned earlier that since women like her are lifted up maybe annoyance exist verses thinking she is actually pretty. I even read a lot of mentions of that this lady is beautiful. So it has me wondering am I actually color struck? Growing up in the South, it appears as if I would be color struck in the sense of thinking white and fair skin people are beautiful just because of their complexion. I am not trying to dig this deep into the subject manner, but this dialogue has awakened a self-evaluation of my own standards of beauty. Beauty is subjected, but I’m really asking myself could I have a little color struck existence going on here?

    I honestly DO NOT think this woman is pretty at all. She is well-kept meaning her make -up is needed to enhance her looks. I do look at facial features, but men and women with brown to dark complexion are more attracted to me. I just want to point out Nicole Kidman is NOT pretty to me. I don’t see it at all. On the other hand, Taylor Swift is. She’s a very pretty girl. Halle Berry for sure is beautiful. In my eyes, Tika Sumpter should receive the same recognition as Halle. Tika is VERY beautiful. I’ve never heard of her until she appeared on The Game. Yes Beyonce’ is pretty, but LeToya Luckett is much prettier in my eyes.

    From smooth chocolate/dark chocolate to that sun-roasted skin, black people are just beautiful to me. It is hard looking pass those complexions. Yes I do have a dark brown complexion and LOVE IT. This really is a great thought –provoking article. 

  • I got sense!

    I disagree author. There is some science to beauty. Facial symmetry and waist to hip ratio all play a very important part. Symmetry is what plastic surgeons also based their work on. Not when you talk about who is more beautiful than the next of course there is some objectivity because while Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Halle Berry all have nearly the same exact facial symmetry and again have all been dubbed the most beautiful is someone doesn’t like blonds they may not find Marilyn beautiful or is someone doesn’t like black people may find Halle repulsive. How women apply makeup is based on it. At the end of the day science does show whats more attractive and our entire society is built off of that BUT there is always person preference.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    FWIW : kirk whalum – “you are too beautiful”, off the “romance language” album

  • I got sense!

    @ YB

    Beauty standards have existed long before there was a white dominated society and long before people were classifying themselves as black, white, asian, indian, etc.

  • I got sense!

    @ Dreaming

    Yes, beauty is definitely subjective. However, there are some people who have what I refer to as ‘universal beauty’ where they overall have a look that many people would agree is beautiful.”

    Universal beauty (while coined something else) is exactly what the science says. It’s not a white women are always pretty type of thing. It’s about facial symmetry and how certain ratios create an overall look that many people would agree is beautiful. That’s not to say that those who do not have the perfect ratio can’t be and aren’t beautiful, it’s just saying that those who do have it or more likely to be seen as beautiful.

  • ms_micia

    cosign

  • Yb

    @i got

    I was speaking of the beauty standards of today.

  • I got sense!

    @Yb

    “I was speaking of the beauty standards of today.”

    Not all beauty standards started “today”. Beauty standards, must like fashion is cyclical.

  • Perspective

    Self hate within the white community? – Most white people of the UK, which is where this woman is from, do not have Blonde Hair and Blue eyes.

    They are promoting SWEDISH people, yet they are not SWEDISH.

    WTF

  • Perspective

    “jamesfrmphilly
    APRIL 27, 2012 AT 9:19 AM
    beauty is objective.

    it is generally based around standards of health and strength.
    fit and toned. the ability to produce healthy and strong children.

    black people are the original people on the planet, hence the role models for beauty.

    black people set the first standards for beauty. a white woman is considered beautiful when she has some feature from black women. lips, hips, etc. white people tan to get brown skin. we are born with it.

    while much treasure has been spent promoting white as beautiful, black people are the objective standard for beauty.

    black is beautiful.

    peace”

    @ JAMES

    Black is BEAUTIFUL – WHEN BLACK IS POWERFUL.

    Until we get some power – “Black is beautiful – are empty words.”

    Do you think that if blacks dominated the world that whites would be still seen as the most beautiful? How would they promote and force feed everyone their most beautiful white people in order to promote the idea that white is not only beautiful but dominate.

    Beauty has everything to do with sexual reproduction and much more goes into what DEFINES beauty than just science as you stated. I disagree that beauty is completely SUBJECTIVE.

    Clear skin, white teeth, a symmetrical face, not being obese or overweight, healthy hair – regardless of texture – all these things are universal signs of health.

    Beauty DOES NOT have to be EXPLAINED. It just is. We can try to figure it out, it just IS.

    And there are people in the world that are simply more beautiful than others. This should not be drawn across racial lines but we all know how the dominant group has skewed things in their favor, however EVERYONE will, not, and cannot be seen as equally beautiful.

    People seem to think that if we all just turned off the TV all of us would suddenly become FINE AS HELL.

    Not.

  • Perspective

    The problem here is that Halle Berry ain’t black.

    I persona believe that biracial people tend to be more attractive than whatever both their parents are. Its just is.

    They have proven that the most AVERAGE looking face out of all faces are dubbed the most attractive. There is hardwiring to beauty and even babies will stare at more attractive faces longer.

    The issue is – as black people who are undermined in beauty, how do we cosign a woman like Halle Berry who’s features are always interpreted as WATERED DOWN BLACK – as opposed to SPICED UP WHITE.

    She is elevated as a beautiful black woman with her biracial self which put all other REGULAR black girls down.

    This is why Biracial people should NOT be categorized as black.

    Halle is 50% white and blows most white women out the water – yet notice they never attribute her beauty to her black side.

    She’s a beautiful WATERED DOWN BLACK WOMAN.

    That is the problem. These BEAUTIFUL biracials are never compared to THE NON-BLACK HALF – they are always compared to the BLACK HALF – which is a slick ass way to undermine the way black people look by taking the mulatto woman and then saying she’s the best of your group because she’s 50% of US.

    That is what white people do – and black people fall for it.

    Then comes the infighting when Dark skin black featured brotha finds the Halle’s of the world more attractive.

    We seriously need to reorganize the race.

    Black is black, Mixed is mixed, and White is white.

    You will never be able to establish a black beauty standard with biracials in the mix on the black side. – BUT NEVER on the white side.

  • Perspective

    “She said, “Florence has all the classic signs of beauty. She has large eyes, high cheekbones, full lips and a fair complexion.” (Bold mine.)”

    I get annoyed sometimes at black people who get mad at white people for promoting themselves in a majority white country that was theirs to begin with.

    Instead of blacks creating their own, we constantly look for white people to validate us. CREATE YO OWN ISH DAMN!

    We complain to much about OTHERS not letting us in the party. That’s they ish – LEAVE THEM BE!

    Why should they represent us when they are NOT us. There are plenty of black folks who could pool their money together to do the same thing – BUT WITH BLACK WOMEN, or black faces – but do we? NOPE – we just cry and fuss about whites promoting themselves.

    ” Women of color, fat women and older women are generally left out of the beauty paradigm.”

    Ummmm – Fat women have NEVER BEEN A PRIZE. Being fat is a sign of poor health.

    and Older women are past their prime and reproductive years. Men, although can go a little bit longer, they have a cut off too. How many of you want to get with Heff?

    Come on now.

    Fat and Old? I feel like the author just threw that in their for good measure. Authors are taught to always use at least 3 examples. I must say – didn’t work this time. It was REACHING.

    Don’t people get fat as they get old? Yea, like I said that’s not gonna work.

    We all get the authors point, but if anything is just shows the insecurity about white women and beauty – which I can’t entirely blame them for because white women are promoted in ways that black women are not, but instead of focusing on what we can’t change why don’t we focus on creating our own.

    Opps that would require the support of black male empowerment so that black men could promote you.

    Nevermind.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    alex wek : black is beautiful

  • jamesfrmphilly

    “Black is BEAUTIFUL – WHEN BLACK IS POWERFUL.
    Until we get some power – “Black is beautiful – are empty words.”

    black is beautiful. that is an objective reality that has nothing to do with circumstance.

    blacks have plenty of power. we do not realize it. if black people ever awaken we will take the world. why do you think whites spend so much time brainwashing blacks?

  • Logic

    Co-sign everything!

  • Perspective

    James I’m sorry – I totally forgot about our Afrocentric supernatural metaphysical powers given to us by the divine power of the pyramids beamed down to us from Orions Belt and the original mothership from which we came.

    My apologies – HOTEP!

  • Perspective

    I’m sorry Alek Wek is not the most beautiful African Woman on the planet.

    Thats another issue I have, blacks trying to take 1 person to represent all of Africa – AND

    Allowing white fashion designers to present to black people what is black and what is beautiful – especially the gay white men in fashion.

    Go ahead and look at Alek Weks pictures – they damn near always have her in some ridiculous race paint.

    She is treated like a work of ABSTRACT ART – a statue – NOT – a beautiful feminine, dainty, sexual women who is desired in the same manner as white women.

    The white media really has some of us black folks really messed up.

    How many pictures have you ever see Alek Wek in sitting on a couch with a pearl necklace and white dress to match with her legs crossed sitting on a couch relaxing with a glass of wine?

    Nope – but you will see her in some Warrior Face Paint or Horns on her head with her tongue sticking out like she’s some sort of devil with the light also being contrasted to make her look even blacker than her natural complexion.

    The pictures are no designed to evoke – lust, reverence, and desire.

    She is meant to be look at as – “Oh how freakish lookin is she – African women”

    AND BLACK PEOPLE FOOLISHLY jump up grab whatever white people throw at them that even remotely looks like it on a pedestal and try to mentally force themselves to salivate over what MOST deep down inside don’t like, appreciate, nor find attractive.

    Like I said – there’s a million African women who blow Alek Out the water – how come they’re not being promoted?

  • Okay

    Sir it is Alek Wek.

  • iQgraphics

    oh blah
    white people do a “beauty study” and proclaim a white woman as most beautiful….

    oh how perplexing

  • Ahhh

    I pretty much agree with everything you said except,

    “Opps that would require the support of black male empowerment so that black men could promote you.”

    What makes Black women think they can trust Black men to promote Black features on Black women? Black men have made it pretty clear that they find dark skin, nappy hair, and other typical African features attractive… on themselves. Many Black men in positions of power don’t have Black women on their arms.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Agreed Mr. James

    and I would add Alec’s niece Ataui Deng.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @C- I know right on Beyonce LOL that woman just drives some sisters crazy.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Perspective-

    Google that pic of Halle when she dating Donny Walberg from New Kids On The Block to see what Halle really looks like. There is no watered down blk woman there. Her daddy has strong genes.

    We don’t need to reorganize anything. The reason we’ve gotten so far is because we are united. Compare Blk American progress to that of Blks living in Brazil or any other South American country where Blacks are the minority and holla back .

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @Perspective-

    It’s the Hitler youthcorp look. Everyone must be blonde and blue-eyed SMH.

    What’s really crazy is when I went to Sweden, there weren’t as many blonde people as I thought. I saw far more blonde people in the Netherlands. I came across so many people with natural platinum blonde hair in the Netherlands. We have blondes in the states but very few platinum blondes.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @Mr. James

    Have you seen Alec’s niece Ataui Deng? I use her for my gravatar at times. She is stunning and has legs to die for. She needs a beauty contract ASAP… L’Oreal holla at Ataui.

  • edub

    there is a huge difference between kinetic and potential energy as one form gets the ball the move across the room. You can have all the potential in the world but if you don’t take the steps to move from a to b, then it profits you nothing.

    Black is BEAUTIFUL – WHEN BLACK IS POWERFUL.

    Until we get some power – “Black is beautiful – are empty words.”

    I agree with this completely. Not only is it empty but it’s irrelevant.

  • edub

    “AND BLACK PEOPLE FOOLISHLY jump up grab whatever white people throw at them that even remotely looks like it on a pedestal and try to mentally force themselves to salivate over what MOST deep down inside don’t like, appreciate, nor find attractive.”

    *cough* michelle obama’s fashion sense *cough*

  • Rastaman

    “Pretty is something you’re born with. But beautiful, that’s an equal opportunity adjective.”

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    @edub-

    What??? Michelle is fashionable lol.

    @Perspective- I don’t agree with your point. I’ve heard so many blks say that Alec Wek is ugly esp dark-skinned blks going out of their way to say that she is ugly. I swear self-hatred is a beast.

    Btw… WP say Naomi Campbell is beautiful, do you deny that she is? What about Liya Kabede?

    Thats another issue I have, blacks trying to take 1 person to represent all of Africa

    Um there are Blk models from all over the continent doing well. Alec’s time has pass. Most Blk African models come from Sudan, Ethopia, Somalia and Senegal. Liya Kabede, Alec Wek, George Bidal and Nyasha Matonhodze are all Black African models.

  • iQgraphics

    Dear mama
    thanks for making me. i love myself. I’m smart. I make beautiful babies.

    Studies will try to prove otherwise. People who don’t posses my features will question them. They may even put them down to make themselves feel better.

    I understand the heritage of this country. I know that I may have to kick harder, yell louder and try harder to be heard.

    That’s my cross to bear. I respect it and understand it.
    I plan to die kicking and screaming as you have given me foresight to do just that.

    Thanks for making me me.
    I’m certain you would not have it any other way.

  • E.M.S.

    Society likes to imply there is a standard of beauty with media, but beauty is ALWAYS subjective. It boils down to personal preferences.

    They may plaster the white, blond, blue-eyed size 0-2 type all over the place, but not everyone is in love with it. And even though I would say this girl is beautiful, I would NOT say her type is the MOST beautiful. Shapely women are just as gorgeous as these super thin runway model types. Beauty comes is all shapes and sizes (cliche lol).

    I’m very thankful my mother raised me to recognize this fact. Not once have I ever felt inferior to some stick thin white girl with my curvy figure. I simply viewed her and myself as different examples of beauty. This is what we need to teach our girls so they don’t grow up believing the lies of popular culture about their appearance.

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Mr. james find it hard to believe we spend time obsessing over white women

    Nope, just giving a woman her due. I feel comfortable with myself so I don’t have to hate on a WW or put her down .

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    madam how far?! r u still swimming or you already reached the motherland?!

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    :)

    Have not started yet oh. Writing out bussiness plan then headed to Lagos. The BBC radio better be right ohhh :)

  • skitty skat

    @perspective–I totally agree

    comparing biracial ppl to the white standard would put even more pressure on them to be tan..have full lips..look 35 when they are actually 45..and have natural curves

    beauty standards are quite interesting
    Aside from wanting to stay fit, eat healthy, have glowing skin and healthy hair..I dont feel pressure to look a certain way.

    then again..I was the girl that started wearing glasses in 5th grade and didnt care that ppl teased me…wtf..how else am I suppsed to see the board to keep my As.

    I also endured stupid comments when I went natural 11 years ago when i began high school…before it was popular

    Fortunately, I’ve dated guys that have appreciate me for me.

    Now if I was trying to be an actress or singer then I’d probably be more conscious of my hair texture..skin color..round nose..etc

    until that happens..I’ll let these other ppl keep their ‘studies’…and try my best to avoid being too brainwashed by not watching too many white shows…reading too many white magazines..yay for the internet!

  • CHE

    Sarge W P is back making a tiny bit more sense than he usually does(took your meds, huh).

  • CHE

    A tiny bit of sense before the nonsense which @Ahhh busted you with.

    Some Black men want our undying support and loyalty with no reciprocity from them…In fact a lot will do you worse than Whites and take pleasure in it or just continue to up hold racist white supremacist views of Black women…look at C-rap music and hip hop.

  • jw

    It seems to me like beauty is subjective.That’s the only explanation I have for people who don’t think Halle Berry is drop dead gorgeous.And without makeup she still looks beautiful.I guess there is always jealously for people to think Halle is anything but gorgeous.Just my opinion.

  • jw

    @Perspective.Your right Halle Berry’s mom is white and her dad was black.So technically she is biracial.But Halle identify herself as black.The world looks at her as a black women and so do I.I didn’t know she was biracial until I saw her with her mom on the red carpet at the oscars.The year she became the first and till this day the only black women to win the academy award for best actress in a leading role.Most biracial people would probably have people thnking they might be mixed.Look at Halle’s skin complexion,it looks how many black people including myself skin looks.And both of my parents are African American.The actress Jennifer Beil from the movie The devil in the blue dress is one who I wouldn’t think had any black blood in her ,but she does.I can’t think of any movies,photos,or interviews with Halle that I thought she doesn’t look like a real black women.I also like the fact she isn’t stick thin.She has curves,look at the movie Perfect Stranger with Bruce Willis and you’ll see what I mean.

  • LuvIt289

    Who cares?
    I’ve been raised to think all the Disney princesses were beautiful, and this just looks like old news to me. Instead, blk ppl should recognize non-Beyonce looking blk women for the beautiful queens that they are.

  • Kami

    I agree with us having our own media outlets, even BET isn’t truly “ours”. But I think that’s why Youtube is a step in the right direction, along with blogs. Look at all the online networks trying to re-create the black image aside from the ‘ghetto’ ish that exists int the mainstream. “Awkward Black girl”, the “couple’, and so many others. It’ll take some time but these new media outlets are effective to some degree.

  • df

    I agree…universal beauty pretty much equals an individualized, unique version of facial symettry (meaning combo of any sort of features that are just balanced, it doesn’t equal thin nose, big eyes..etc). Simple as that. Beyond that honestly, it’s just vain and a waste of time to nitpick on looks (i’m not talking about fashion or makeup or anything like that though).

  • tightlipped mary

    co-signing with Dreaming

  • D

    I think there is more of a correlation with what men find attractive, unfortunately, or on how they agree who is the most attractive woman in the room. Symmetry, high cheekbones, no acne, youthful look, hourglass shape, sigh. Sometimes this woman’s looks might be even more unremarkable. Or the idea that average or features you’ve seen before are more attractive http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106122409.htm

    I’ve heard very few men professing an attraction to a round stomach or a flat butt.

    I think that with women, what they’re attracted to is going to be more variable. I’m going to say that some factors matter more or will be more uniform, like, height, social proof, confidence, career. I find that a lot of the men on the dating market are shorter than 5’8″ or above 6’3″. Personal research.

  • D

    I think it’s the hourglass figure that the crazy evolutionary psychology types say is attractive. Also, “fair complexion” was a racist way of saying “lack of acne or wrinkles.” I am kind of top heavy so I’m not comfortable with my non 36-24-36 body. Oh well. Plus I have acne.

  • Nicole

    Not to discredit the young lady above because she’s alright, if you’re into that type of thing, but what “perfect dimensions” are they referring to. Her left eye is smaller than the right one and her smile is slightly twisted. These types of discussions are just the same old, same old nonsense we come across every day.

  • CHE

    Whats wrong with Beyonce looking Black women, not to take away from other types of Black women who can also be Beautiful.

  • Natasha

    @Perspective
    I agree with your statement that that Halle Berry & Beyonce are mixed and not, in fact, black. But your suggestion to mentally segregate the races is a bit overwhelming. I grew up in an apartheid era in South Africa in a ‘Coloured” community. Only problem with me was my father IS black and my mother was mixed race (her parentage was Black Damara woman from Namibia & Jewish blue eyed blonde dude)
    I was never excepted as entirely black neither entirely coloured (racial term in South Africa to indicate mixed race) and my white friends where annoying (private school- “how do you get your hair to do that?” questions)
    My hair was never black enough, curly enough to be mulata or staight enough for my Caucasian counterparts. I am an attractive young female and have travelled RSA (Rep. of South Africa) and Africa extensively and have discovered that my kind confuses many. Black guys wanted to date me as their ‘trophy’ girlfriend, ‘coloured’ guys from my area found my features too black (and coloureds try not to show interest in anything black, unless it’s Black American; and white guys find me not Black enough.
    ALL BASED ON HOW I LOOK!!!
    Personally I find tall, dark, well built black men attractive which many of my friends, across the colour wheel, do NOT find very attractive as culturally we are being brain washed by MTV Base and BET to find light skinned coloured mixed race looking guys as the ideal as we have to ‘think about what our kids will look like ethic wise.’
    Eventually I just moved to Angola where I am considered as a light skinned black and still stunning.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    All I know is this conversation aint cute.

    Seems to me that no one here has any true appreciation of beauty, otherwise they wouldn’t be trying to define it.

    LOL & smh

    Beauty is an experience, not a person – one that enlists ALL the senses and all the emotions.

    I want beauty to surprise me (as it does), I don’t want it to be -

    predictable or measurable or definable or –

    STANDARDIZED.

    I just wanna know that I’m experiencing beauty when I experiencing beauty, and engulf myself in it and be engulfed by it.

    Tell you what I don’t need – I don’t need some primitive barbarian trying to claim beauty unto themselves.

    A “beauty standard” can NEVER be beautiful, because it is a (wo) man-made social construct, an attempt to RE-define beauty in the image of woman and, even then – only a tiny few women. It’s about EXCLUSION, never inclusion, putting some on a pedestal so that “beauty” can be sold to everyone else.

    Well I aint buying it.

    Aint paying it for it, aint lookin at it, aint aint lovin it.

    What?

    That people confuse true beauty with a “beauty standard” shows where their minds are at. You agree with the “woman as beauty” concept and YOU also aspire to OWN beauty and deprive others of it.

    Well

    you and your “beauty standards” and your “beauty standard” aspirations can kiss my -

    beautiful ass.

  • Lee in London

    That girl is pretty though.

  • bekah

    i enjoy your perspective

  • CHE

    Beyonce is BLACK!

    She is *mixed* like most Black Americans …..from way Back. Both of her parents are BLACK.

  • anonymous

    Beauty is objective. Period.

    Simply put: The boner doesn’t lie.

    Like it or hate it, there is an objective standard of beauty. Life is not fair, some people win the genetic lottery, and some people come out losers in the genetic lottery, deal with it.

    There is a reason that this young woman is creating such a stir on this site, and around the world: She is in fact very beautiful. She looks like how a human being should look, with proper facial and physical proportions that are easy for our brains to process.

    Compare that young woman to a picture of Andrea Dworkin, and tell me there’s no objective standard for beauty.

  • MIkela123

    The woman pictured above is beautiful…. for a White woman.

    Is she any more beautiful African woman with smooth dark brown skin with no acne and pimples, full lips, high cheekbones, broad nose, and all the “proper facial and physical proportions”?

    Or an Asian woman with almond shaped eyes? Or an Indian woman with her long black hair?

    Is blonde hair truly more beautiful than black hair? Are blue eyes prettier than brown eyes?

    The issue is not so much whether she is beautiful, but that her beauty outranks women from other races around the globe because of her specific physical characteristics that are indigenous to only people from her part of the world.

  • anon

    Don’t worry its all hype nobody in britain thinks she’s beautiful- she’s just an attractive white girl no more no less. The blond blue eyed look is played out over here anyway.

  • KMO

    The Golden Ratio is actually a legitimate scientific way to measure how we distinguish beauty. And it didn’t start out as a measurement for human facial beauty, but for ‘appealing’ structures both natural and man made.

    I think the ridiculous thing about this is that unless physically went and photographed, measured, and logged the data on every single human being in Britain, it’s incredibly stupid to refer to her as the most beautiful there. All that means is that she had the most symmetrical face (in the Golden Ratio) amongst those included in the study.

    I feel like this study is going to degrade the legitimacy of the Golden Ratio… which in and of it’s self is completely legitimate. Studies like these aren’t.

  • KMO

    Oh and so I don’t forget… The entire legitimacy of this study is blow out the window as the Golden Ratio has absolutely nothing to do with color of skin or hair. The fact that they even mentioned her being fair skinned was de-legitimizing the Golden Ratio. It’s simply a mathematical equation (of sorts) to recognize the valid luring nature of symmetry. As a student of math and science, I have to shake my head at this.

  • Sa

    It’s funny how I know a few white women and men who aren’t fine featured (like the girl in the photo); yet, many people have said they have beautiful/extremely attractive faces. These rules about beauty are merely guidelines. What if you have extremely gorgeous eyes that make other outweigh other flaws and make you prettier than the girl in the photo.There is nothing about her beauty that makes her stand out from other beauties. So for white standards, I think there are exceptions for the rules.

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