Sunday, May 07, 2006

By a landslide, blacks think they are beautiful: The survey of Health Behavior in School-Aged Children asked teens how good-looking did they consider themselves to be. I've broken down the percent who said "very good looking" by race:

1. Blacks 34%
2. Asians 8
3. Mexicans 7
4. Whites 6

1. Blacks 33
2. Mexicans 14
3. Asians 13
3. Whites 13

All other groups give similar numbers, but a much larger share of blacks think they are very attractive. I'm not sure if this reveals a black character trait or indoctrination that "black is beautiful," but it certainly does not reflect our mainstream culture's notion of what is most beautiful, nor does it reflect the objective reality of beauty (if there is such a thing). In fact, we see here an inverse relationship between the subjective and societal view of attractiveness: of all races and sexes, it is the white girl who is seen as the epitome of beauty, yet she of all groups thinks she is the least appealing. Perhaps these girls are a particularly insecure demographic, or perhaps people decide attractiveness vis-a-vis their sex-race group, and many white girls feel they simply can't compete with those white beauty queens.


  1. This is interesting and I can undertand how it would be easy to get such information from the general survey. But what would be even more interesting would be a "finds attractive" matrix of other-assessment, and examine how that breaks down by race and gender.

  2. Blacks have the highest self-image / self-esteem, probably hormonal in nature. So this is just a special case.

  3. I read somewhere that teenage black girls score the highest of any group on self-esteem.

  4. Yeah, you'd expect "I am attracive" and "I have high self-esteem" to correlate closely. I would disagree that there's not necessarily an objective basis in this - people do tend to find high self confidence attractive, after all. Maybe Hollywood's idea of beauty is the skinny white girl, but that's not necessarily what the majority of the population thinks looks attractive in everyday life.


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