Black is beautiful, Mom told me when I was little.
I don’t know why she said it. I don’t know whether she was part of the movement or simply repeating something she had heard. All I know is I believed her – and I still do.
I believed before and after a researcher wrote a Psychology Today blog post and tried to prove that black women are less attractive than other women.
I believed as I watched how friends and strangers digested the information. Some refused to post the article or any links to it. Others urged their friends to call the magazine and complain. At least one of my Facebook friends provided updates on her cuteness throughout the day. I wish I had thought of that.
Some people may think I am unattractive. They are free believe it. They are free to say it. Here’s the catch: I don’t have to believe them.
Was the Psychology Today article interesting? Yes. Was it worth discussing? Sure. Did it hurt my feelings? Nope.
Maybe Mom was telling me not to seek validation from others, because it comes from within. With any luck, I can pass on that lesson to Simone and Nadia.
ETA: Psychology Today editors apologized for publishing evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa’s blog post “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” Kanazawa is also under investigation by the London School of Economics.