Stupid Study: Why Black Women Are Fatter, Dumber, More Manly And Less Attractive Than Others - A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Stupid Study: Why Black Women Are Fatter, Dumber, More Manly And Less Attractive Than Others

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Hey… how ya doin’? Sorry to ruin your Monday, but let’s start here:

There are marked race differences in physical attractiveness among women, but not among men. Why?

Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively. At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale: 1 = very unattractive, 2 = unattractive, 3 = about average, 4 = attractive, 5 = very attractive. The physical attractiveness of each Add Health respondent is measured three times by three different interviewers over seven years.

From these three scores, I can compute the latent “physical attractiveness factor” by a statistical procedure called factor analysis. Factor analysis has the added advantage of eliminating all random measurement errors that are inherent in any scientific measurement. The latent physical attractiveness factor has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

Recall that women on average are more physically attractive than men. So women of all races are on average more physically attractive than the “average” Add Health respondent, except for black women. As the following graph shows, black women are statistically no different from the “average” Add Health respondent, and far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.

In contrast, races do not differ in physical attractiveness among men, as the following graph shows. Men of all races are more or less equally less physically attractive than the “average” Add Health respondent.

This sex difference in the race differences in physical attractiveness – where physical attractiveness varies significantly by race among women, but not among men – is replicated at each Add Health wave (except that the race differences among men are statistically significant, albeit substantively very small, in Wave III). In each wave, black women are significantly less physically attractive than women of other races.

It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others. In Wave III, Add Health asks its respondents to rate their own physical attractiveness subjectively on the following four-point scale: 1 = not at all, 2 = slightly, 3 = moderately, 4 = very. As you can see in the following graphs, both black women and black men rate themselves to be far more physically attractive than individuals of other races.

What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.

There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.

The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Not that I believe this story, this study, these organizations or this writer has any credibility, but y’all know how things spread on the Internet. Some things simply have to be addressed on their face, by virtue of what they are and what they claim.

That being said…

So, not only are we unattractive, but we’re now scientifically proven and understood to be manly?

So, once again, someone asserting themselves to be an authority is perpetuating the understanding that not only are Black women un-feminine, but we’re barely female now? Well, damn.

So, once again, science seeks to prove that Blacks – namely, Black women – are less than? Scientifically determined to be less than?

So… even though Black women are fatter – something that can be changed – and this society doesn’t deem fat as attractive, the changeable quality isn’t one that affects our attractiveness? It’s the unchangeable Africanness of our origin… our genes – well, that and the testosterone – that makes us unattractive? So basically, a fat and un-intelligent Black woman could lose weight and get a doctorate and still wouldn’t change the fact that she’s scientifically understood to be ugly?

So, even though these studies appear to highlight more than an “overinflated sense of self attractiveness” on the part of Blacks, it didn’t matter that the Asian, white and Native American groups seemed to consider themselves “moderately” to “slightly” attractive? Is there a problem with having high self-esteem? There’s something wrong with Black women thinking highly of themselves because the rest of society doesn’t value them that way? Is there some rule that says “you can only value yourself highly if I also value you highly?”

Isn’t that the same kind of shit that encourages eating disorders and emotinal eating? “Society thinks these kinds of women are okay, since I’m not thatkind of woman, I’m not okay… and I need to jump through hoops to become that kind of woman to become okay?”

Y’all better help me, because…

Update: As of 1:40PM, @PsychToday’s link for the article is not active. If y’all find it elsewhere or it manages to reappear… be so kind as to let me know, please? :)

Update (2:03PM): Just because I can, I want to quote @jbouie’s article on Prospect.org, adorably titled “Why Is Satoshi Kanazawa Such A Huge Asshole?”

Yep, it must be the testosterone! It can’t possibly be that we live in a culture where black beauty was demonized and dehumanized for hundreds of years. Nope, black women are just too much like men! Exactly.

For further reading on Kanazawa’s doctorate in douchebaggery, see: “Why modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil” and “Why We Are Losing This War“, where he suggests nuclear genocide as a response to 9/11.

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.

89 Comments

  1. Tracy

    May 16, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Here’s the interesting part:
    “Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively. At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale…”

    How can a person–a human being–OBJECTIVELY determine if another person is attractive? Isn’t it subjective, i.e., based on that person’s (the interviewer’s) standard of beauty? I mean, I’m not a scientist, statistician or anything of the sort, so I could be wrong. I’m just sayin’…

    • Lynaya

      May 17, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      1. The “objective” thing is illogical and clear proof of how non-scientific this study is.
      2. We have more genetic mutations? Um??? Where’s the study on that? Furthermore, IF that is true, isn’t that because (thanks to slave trade) we’re really a mix of several different races?
      3. Thank you Erika for once again shedding light on the foolery that’s out there. This attack on Black women has got to stop.

      • Kat

        May 25, 2011 at 1:16 AM

        Black people are genetically the most diverse “race”, and genetic mutations = diversity Remember, when it comes to evolutions, mutations are generally good. Not good as in useful or beneficial (though often they are- think sickle cell), but good as in necessary for advancement.

        • Amanda

          November 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM

          Yes I was thinking the same thing; isn’t genetic mutations a good thing? People are actually more attracted to people with different mutations because the more diverse you are genetically, the less vulnerable you are to diseases and disabilities. So basically he’s saying the African ethnicity (race is a myth) is more evolved than any other=good thing.

    • Molly

      May 23, 2011 at 4:00 PM

      Exactly! You hit the nail right on the head! All we can measure is what is considered attractive. There is no objective standard of attractiveness. Just like there’s no objective standard of intelligence. And the “scientists” don’t even see this??? This is bullshit.

    • Enufbeauty4me

      December 31, 2011 at 9:27 AM

      Lord have mercy… I wish I would allow ANYONE including this man to define my beauty! They cannot because they do not know of it obviously. To write something like this… it is obviously biased and I surely was not included in that study nor was anyone that I know so, man please with that.

      As for the hispanic chick below who says she would not “tray” her blah, blah, blah for that of a black woman’s. Well, good for you but you come across juvenile, ignorant and mean and to me, that is an UGLY combination I don’t care how perfect you think your lips are. That’s where people who think like you get it twisted, the beautiful black women that I know don’t walk around trying to prove that they are, they… we just are. We take care of ourselves, our families, we work, educate ourselves, love ourselves even more than people would care to know. We are not less than because this “study” says so or because anyone else may think so.

      The kind of beauty that we possess is way beyond your scope of understanding. Physically, yes, I hate to break it to you but we are fine and fabulousness. Yes we deal with weight and hair and other issues but so do women of all races.

      I am dark brown, 5’7″. I have short natural hair, big beautiful, eyes, nose and lips, educated, talented, compassionate, articulate, faithful and dependable. I can sit in a board meeting and handle myself in the streets if need be and my man loves ALL THAT about me. So girl, why don’t you grow up and learn about how women of all races can be beautiful together and uplift and empower eachother because you surely aren’t helping.

      Sisters, be about your business. I see our beauty clearly and so do many who choose to see it. As for those who don’t, we cannot afford to care, we’ve got too much more important issues at hand.
      Bless you all, beautiful ones!

      • Shira

        May 12, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        Well said my sister, well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • quez

      March 28, 2012 at 4:12 AM

      first of all i need blackwomen to look up on the internet

      mitochondrial eve: scientists found that in every human

      being dna on earth have a black woman gene dna.

      inside of them.blackwomen are the mothers of the earth

      and every other mutation is subhuman.now how could

      the mother of the earth be ugly.if they got a problem

      with a blackwomen looks surely they have a problem

      with god,now blackwomen,if they have a problem

      with god,they races surely have a problem.

      god chose black men and blackwomen to create

      first,and when jesus come back, the bible said his

      skin will be copper,and have hair of wool. the black

      complexion sits on the right hand of god,never ever

      for get who you truly are sisters.

  2. Eva

    May 16, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Since all humans originated from Africa, then ALL women should have equal levels of testosterone.

    • Shelly

      May 16, 2011 at 10:52 PM

      Where do you figure that all humans originated in Africa? Besides some Africans are white….

      • Shannon

        May 17, 2011 at 1:47 AM

        The oldest human remains were discovered in Africa. The earliest humans traveled from Africa to Asia before the continents broke apart.

      • yoteech

        May 25, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        Shelly’ Real scientists have shown by studying DNA and migration patterns that we all began in Africa and through several migrations gradually inhabited the rest of the planet. We do not all have the same levels of testosterone for the same reasons that we do not all have the same skin color, or bone length or personalities. Mutations in DNA occur regularly. Many traits are the result of the interactions of several different genes. Some mutations occurred in genes that control the expression of other genes…etc. Yes we all began in Africa. Yes there is real science out there that helps us to understand our world and ourselves. and NO! THIS BIASED SO-CALLED “STUDY” IS NOT BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION A REAL STUDY OR REAL SCIENCE.

  3. Allison

    May 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    WOWWWWWWW…that was by far one of the most offensive things I”ve EVER read on the internet!!EVER!!!! And people say racism doesn’t exist, nope they just camouflage it better. I honestly don’t think that black women are found less attractive than other races has ANYTHING to do with men. I think it’s how black women are categorized in society, especially by our own men. OUR own black men say we’re too ghetto, too loud, too insecure, too jealous for them. Mind you everything I just mentioned can be found in women OF ALL races yet black women are deemed to be the only woman in the world with this issue. This “study” is extremely ignorant and quite simply inflammatory!

  4. Stephanie CA

    May 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    So… Damned if we do and Damned if we don’t: lose weight, get and education and feel empowered… Sociaty will still see us as fat, ugly, manly Africans!!! this is the second time I’ve seenthis study in the last hour. And you are soooooo right! it’s as if the world wants to stop us from even trying to be who God made us to be: healthy, thinking, women with confidence.

    One thing the study did not reveal is how other women see us… If the other women see themselves as less than, who are they comparing themselves too? I think us Black women. They want our color, butt, breast, lips, and HAIR!!!

    • Isabel

      November 11, 2011 at 11:45 PM

      Hello There, I am Hispanic and I would never want to tray my hair, butt, lips, breast or skin for a black woman’s.. Sorry but I guess a lot of other woman from different race feel the same way. I’m perfectly fine with my tan skin, perfect size lips etc. I don’t like when I hear a BLACK WOMAN say that other race girls want their bodies and skin because I am here to tell u I don’t feel that way and a lot of girls don’t feel that way eathier. :/

      • Erika Nicole Kendall

        November 12, 2011 at 12:10 AM

        You’ve got to be kidding me.

        In the almost ten thousand comments on this blog, this has to be the pettiest, most childish, most ludicrous, most uninformed, most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

        On a blog post where a racist tried to justify his own sexual preferences with science and denigrate a whole race of women of color, a woman decides to talk about a VERY well known fact – that fairer skinned women DO tan, DO get booty implants (named AFTER Latinas, mind you), DO get lip injections – because she feels some kinda way about what she sees.

        And your dumb ass thinks that’s the proper opportunity to come talking about how you don’t want to “tray” your hair, butt, lips, breast (which have NOTHING to do with your nationality, by the way) for a Black woman’s?

        Let me tell you something. *I* would never trade MY hair, MY butt, MY lips, MY breasts or MY skin for ANYONE ELSE’s, Black or OTHERWISE. Why? Because the MOST important person in MY world loves the hell out of it: ME. And *I* wrote this post, and felt NO need to brag on myself within it. Why? Because MY self-esteem is intact. *I* have almost 1,000 posts on this blog and NOT ONCE have I felt the need to proclaim to a collective of strangers all about my “perfect size lips” because it is WITHIN me, where it needs to be. YOUR desire to proclaim it to a bunch of people who could care less (not because you are “hispanic,” but because you are self-centered and insensitive) and the time at which you chose to proclaim it tells me ALL I need to know about you.

        So trust me, you might not envy a Black woman’s physique, but you’d better ask yourself why you feel the need to try to add fuel to a fire that’s already trying to make us feel less than human, and decide whether your “perfect” whatever is enough to change the fact that you CLEARLY have a major self-esteem issue. Ask your deity of choice whether or not you can “tray” my compassion for your breasts, though. ‘Cause while I’ve got plenty of compassion to go around, I haven’t got a titty to save my life. ;)

        • Yoli

          February 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

          Erika…you are AWESOME!! PREACH!

        • Jessica

          August 21, 2013 at 9:18 AM

          So true! All women are beautiful, let’s stop tearing each other down to make ourselves feel better! This girl is a racist, and she’s insecure. I’m getting so tired of being told by society what’s beautiful and what’s not, and of looking in the mirror and wishing that I could be different. I am a white woman, flat chested, lack of curves and all my life I’ve wanted bigger breasts. Why? Because society tells me that only women with big breasts are beautiful. This same society is extremely racist about black women, and comments like hers really, REALLY piss me off. I think that women should start loving themselves more, and stop fuelling the crap we’re being told about our bodies. It’s just too pathetic to slag off other women because you have so many insecurities about yourself… This science experiment is the biggest load of bull I’ve read in a while. All women are beautiful!

        • Tech

          November 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

          Erika…. you are awesome.

      • Michelle

        February 17, 2012 at 9:09 PM

        I am not upset that you are happy in your skin. That is a good thing. However, we already have the “scientific” proof that all groups derived from the blacks. There is no real discussion that has to ensue and definitely no point to be argued. The history is in plain sight. Everyone derived from the same color people that you appear to show disdain for…. Even you… So it really doesn’t matter you are all a product of the original man and woman. Which just so happens to be black people. If they are considered less attractive you are also and no amount of makeup nor mental mind play can erase the fact of the matter. Congrats on YOUR shade of BROWN or shall I say… blackness…..

      • Kerrizma

        August 27, 2012 at 4:44 PM

        You are not a f’ing race…u are made up of black slaves, Spanish aka white and native indians.

  5. Bernadette

    May 16, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    There are so many things wrong with this “study” I don’t even know where to start, oh wait, yes I do: level of attractiveness is SUBJECTIVE. Any study that claims anyone is ” objectively less physically attractive” than someone else without providing a standard means of measurement, is a bunch of bull and doesn’t even deserve serious discussion. There were NO objective measures described anywhere in there, just people giving their OPINIONS on who is and isn’t attractive. That is by no means a scientific study. Period.

    All it proves is that their “interviewers” (whoever they were), weren’t generally attracted to THOSE black women. So what? That has nothing to do with the intelligence of black women, the testosterone levels of black women, or even the average BMI of black women.

    In summary: Satoshi Kanazawa, get outta here with that shit…

  6. Melissa

    May 16, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Is anybody else having trouble getting to the original article? I keep getting an error message every time I try to got to Psychology Today :(

  7. Kiki

    May 16, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Curious to know, or maybe I missed it, but who were they asking?

  8. Rhonda

    May 16, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    They can do all the studies they want to do but in the end it all comes down to what one sees with their own eyes. Just because their little chart says a certain feature is not considered to be desirable does not mean that it is true. Everyone has different tastes. Plus, noone in their right mind could compare all black women to all white women and say that all white women are better looking. That’s crazy. These graphs mean nothing to me. Black women are the most beautiful of God’s creations. All the racist studies in the world cannot change my self-esteem.

  9. Eva

    May 16, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Junk science, that’s what it is. I can get a grant and study the mating habits of cockroaches in the desert if I tried long and hard enough. Questions: Who paid for this study? Who was questioned? How many people? How can he tell who has more testosterone in their system? If you haven’t tested EVERY black woman on the planet, your study is null and void.

  10. CurlieGirlie

    May 16, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    I just wrote this long comment, pushed the wrong button, and accidentally erased it all, lol, so I’m gonna keep it short an sweet. In my short 21 years of life, I have been called too dark, too light, too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too nappy headed, not nappy enough, smart, dumb, ugly, cute, beautiful, slutty, prudish, etc. If I tried to define myself based on others’ definitions of me, I, as a person, wouldn’t make much sense. Now, I define myself based on what I see when I look in the mirror. What I see is a beautiful girl, loved by her family, her friends, and God. I am strong, smart, friendly, and healthy. I am also excellent wifey material, lol. You can try to tell me that my opinion of myself is too high, and that you have scientific data to prove that I am actually ugly, stupid, manly and fat, but you know what? I think that anyone who looks at me (or any other woman) and spends so much time and effort trying to make me feel less than beautiful is a bully with insecurity issues. Why would “proving” that I’m ugly be useful in any way, shape, or form, unless you felt that it somehow “proved” that you were more attractive?

    I’m sending out a virtual hug to all of my fellow black women out there. You are beautiful…so don’t ever believe anyone who says you aren’t. :)

    • rissa

      May 16, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      lol love it!

  11. Michele

    May 16, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Wow. So now it “scientifically proven” that we’re less than? Articles like this really bug me because women who may actually believe this about themselves now have “proof”.

  12. rissa

    May 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    this ridiculousness made me so angry, i’ve yet to be able to even formulate a coherent response. as someone else stated, beauty is subjective. but this supposed universal idea of beauty which is nothing but racist ideology that has been passed down, indoctrinated, and conditioned into everyone (even our own) is supposed to be quantifiable and measured scientifically. gtfohwtbs. yeah, i’m still angry.

  13. Allysia

    May 16, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    thank you to this study…this is the reason why so many of our black women grow up with low self esteem and lack respect for themselves, because it is telling us that,….we aren’t as pretty, thin and smart as white, asian, hispanic women…smh

  14. Dee

    May 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Just a lil background on the “scientist” — Kanazawa’s theories on race and intelligence are extremely controversial. Kanazawa has argued that Asian cultural traditions and/or character inhibit Asian scientific creativity as well as statin…g that lack of health in some African countries is NOT due to poverty but due to lower IQ. He is a promoter of “racist stereotypes” and was deemed “the great idiot of social science” by P.Z. Myers. :)

    We ARE beautiful!

  15. Nicole

    May 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    I need someone who’s not american to not comment on why black women in america are less attractive. That is all.

  16. Linda

    May 16, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    “At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale…”

    Nonsense. If the interviewer is human, and if this interviewing human has lived longer than 20 minutes, than this interviewer’s “objectivity” has already been shaped by class, by culture, by personal experience.

    In other words, “the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent SUBJECTIVELY on the following five-point scale….” because that’s what we do. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  17. Stan Szczesny

    May 16, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Thanks for posting the actual article. I think PT must have deleted it. This is the first site I’ve found with the whole text. Reading it doesn’t change my mind that it’s pure garbage.

    Coincidentally, I posted on race and beauty just this morning before seeing the PT article. There are a lot of interesting perceptions out there, past and present on the issue. Here’s some of what I wrote:

    I have noticed one use of the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’ in literature of which I’ll give just two examples. The first is found in The Song of Solomon 1:5-6: “I am black, but comely…Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.” Solomon’s beloved apologizes for being black and says she is beautiful in spite of her skin color. The term ‘black’ seems here to be synonymous with ‘ugly.’ Granted, Solomon’s beloved gained darker color because of working in the vineyards and not necessarily because of race, but the verse doesn’t say “I am tan, but comely.”

    Before I give my second example, here are some of Webster’s definitions of ‘fair:’

    “Fair: Clear; free from spots; free from a dark hue; white; as a fair skin; a fair complexion. Hence, Beautiful; handsome; properly having a handsome face, pleasing to the eye…just, equitable…not foul…honest, honorable, civil, liberal, free from stain or blemish…”

    My second example comes from Romeo and Juliet. Romeo likens Juliet’s beauty, when compared to other women, to “a snowy dove trooping with crows” and to “a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear.” It would seem, at least in the times of Shakespeare, King James, and Noah Webster, that the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’ meant ‘ugly’ and ‘beautiful.’ In the Shakespeare quote, an ‘Ethiope’ is the embodiment of ‘ugly.”

    Feel free to read the rest of it at

    http://stansgreatbooksblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/on-connotations-of-racial-terms-black.html

  18. RP

    May 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Just a heads up but the writer of this article is a member of Stormfront. I am pretty sure once the magazine gets wind of this the article will be retracted.

  19. Daphne

    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    I like how the original author posits black women are considered significantly less attractive by his graphs. Take the first Wave I, for example:

    White women: 3.73
    Black women: 3.522
    Asian women: 3.737
    Native American women: 3.66

    Um…….how is 3.522 statistically significant compared to 3.73, 3.737, and 3.66? Who is this dude, and did he not take a basic statistics class? I guess anyone can get a PhD these days.

  20. Karen

    May 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I’m so glad you post these articles because we need to know what is out there and available for mental consumption. You never really know what your counterparts are reading and where their ideas are coming from. As black women, we need to read this and chuckle. It doesnt infuriate me or make me question whether I am attractive. This country,since the beginning of time, has tried to make us feel less than we are. Still we continue to be object of desire for people from all backgrounds and not just the guys..Its commerce and deemed to be offensive. We’re copied, envied, sought after, and praised for all of our gifts. Its so obvious…:)

  21. Kjen

    May 16, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Dang, it!
    I’ve been avoiding this article all day. Gotten so many mssgs and RT’s about it. There seem to be such a rash of toxic and disparaging articles about Black women, that I had promised myself not to entertain such fools any longer. Bye articles about black women being unmarriagable, too fat, too argumentative, etc. I was proud of how well I was doing. Until now. Like I thought, reading his theory about attractiveness, which I knew to be b.s., and now having the exact points to say why it’s b.s., has not helped me in any particular way.
    Next time I’ll be more diligent in my avoidance of such negativity.

  22. Zee

    May 16, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Wow. That is the most BSious ‘research’ I have ever seen masquerading as scholarship.

    First of all, to echo somebody else’s comments above, what exactly were the ‘objective’ criteria they were using to decide what was ‘attractive.’ To me, a straight black woman, women sure as heck are not ‘more physically attractive than men.’

    Secondly, who are these people being broadly labelled ‘black’, ‘white’ and ‘Asian’? Americans, right? And yet the categories are being presented as if they are universal rather than provincial. I assure you the results would have been totally different if the research had been done in, say, Uganda, where some have been known to say that white women were unattractive because, in comparison to black women, they are more muscular and, therefore, more masculine. That’s a stupid generalization on their part, of course, but at least it remains in the domain of the hair salon or bar. It doesn’t get written up as ‘research’ and published online as scholarly research. SMH… who the heck was stupid enough to okay this project as it stands? And how did it get published without meeting the basic standard?

    I think the data that the guy was analyzing could have been used to make a valid point about PERCEPTIONS OF ATTRACTIVENESS in different American sub-populations. It certainly can’t be used to make a point about objective attractiveness.

  23. Eva

    May 16, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Here’s my thing.

    People need to realize that beauty is subjective, and a beauty standard is only based on the opinion of one or a few people. However, if those people have access to the press, they can push their standards as fact. If I had zillions of dollars and media outlets, I could push my own standard of beauty and make people believe it.

    When you get older, you see how standards change. When I was a child Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot, Ursula Anders were considered great beauties. Today many of them would be seen as “heavy.” Why? The standard has changed, that’s all. It doesn’t make them less beautiful.

    In the 70′s a light skinned black woman could never get a part in a movie because the thinking was that a black actress had to look black. Now that has changed? Why? Because there are many biracial women out here, Hispanic women, women from other countries and the media is catering to all of them; it doesn’t mean dark skinned black women are unattractive, it’s that someone’s thinking is different.

    Mothers have to teach their daughters that the images they see on TV are not gospel, they are opinions of human beings that are many times wrong.

    • Courtney D. Cogburn, Ph.D.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:56 PM

      My colleagues and I have started a petition to two major professional organizations of Psychology to respond to this nonsense passed as science. Please consider reading and signing the petition at this link: Hold Psychology Today Accountable. Sign petition here: http://bit.ly/kmIYH6

      Cheers,

      Courtney

  24. AC

    May 16, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    here is a copy of the article… it doesn’t need to be shared because it’s crap, but I guess people need proof that this wasn’t made up.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/55558908/Why-Are-Black-Women-Rated-Less-Physically-Attractive-Than-Other-Women-But-Black-Men-Are-Rated-Better-Looking-Than-Other-Men

  25. Tiffany

    May 16, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    I am a psychologist and started a petition to stop abuses of psychological “research” such as these. Please consider signing the petition and please spread the word. http://bit.ly/kmIYH6

    • Janine

      November 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      @Tiffany- THANK you! Sending this out to my grad school peers now.

  26. TQ

    May 17, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    I found this link to some of the same material on the Psychology Today (PT) website. They deleted the article because it was OFFENSIVE!!! But here is an editorial from PT

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/between-the-lines/201105/beauty-may-be-in-eye-beholder-eyes-see-what-culture-socializes

    Sorry if this is a repost I didn’t read all the comments. As a black woman I am disgusted and this is one more thing we have to fight against!

  27. Mayotte C.

    May 17, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Any mental health physician or psychologist worth his salt would have realized the effect of societal and social norms on the study. Secondly, it seems as if this guy used “science” and other “reliable sources” as a way to confirm his own biases against Africans and members of the African diaspora.

    Latent factor analysis my ……

  28. LBC

    May 17, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    I’m going to keep this short because I don’t think I can write a substantial comment without swearing.

    I recently ran across another article similar to this one . . . in a medical journal from 1892.

    OK, I take it back: The 1892 article was less offensive. Offensive, yes, but not this offensive.

    I want to know who the heck approved this for publication. Seriously? Do they not read these things before they put them in print? Or is Psychology Today one of those not-really-scientific “science magazines” with an agenda?

  29. Courtney

    May 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Psychology Today is a popular magazine NOT an academic peer-reviewed “sciency” journal. But most people don’t know that, which is hugely problematic. See a couple of comments above re: a petition we started to address this.

  30. queencjbey

    May 17, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    My daughter, alovellydai.com, just told me about this article, see I haven’t felt beat up upon because I AM WHO I AM and have not been concerned with the ignorance of others, but this had gotten out of hand. To all you that “doth protest”, I understand they took the post down, GOOD! Just a side note, a friend of mine once went out with an Asian dude, not sure of his nationality, who wanted her to spank him and tell him he was less than a man….just sayin…..

    • Mayotte C.

      May 17, 2011 at 8:38 PM

      That all asian men share these sentiments? The ‘author’ who wrote this (and your friend’s man candy) are poor representations of asian men. Let’s not go down the “All ____ are ______” Because it hasn’t done us Black Women any good either.
      :-(

  31. Jennifer

    May 17, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    The truth that black women have more power than any other specs on the planet is becoming common knowledge more and more everyday. So, In a wide spread effort over thousands of years, it is societies goal (or some super power that we are not aware of yet) to tear down self esteem and self awareness of black people in general. In the article itself it says “because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history”, we were here first. This takes jealousy to new heights. This is just a new form of the “Willie Lynch Letter” to make us think we are inferior. At first I was offended, still am but, it takes a lot of time and effort to come up with such bull shit. So I take it as a complement that someone feels as though we are such a treat that such matters have to be taken to tear us down. So with all that said, yes take it personal, and stand up for your heritage and right to live. Then push the bull shit aside and keep walking.

  32. Skegeeace

    May 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Um, yeah, until I see a study saying Africans have more genetic defects, then this study can suck rocks. Also, I don’t believe in the Evolutionary *THEORY* (academia won’t even acknowledge it as fact), so the study’s credibility is out the door with me on top of everything else.

    I wonder what would have happened if the respondents were from AFRICA or The Dominican Republic. I’m assuming the sample was taken from thoroughly westernized countries. That would explain why the slope of attractiveness always puts whites at the top and then the next closest to white and the next and the next, etc.

    That reminds me of how the natives in some countries that have had less exposure to white features actually think of pale skin and red/blond hair as HIDEOUS. It’s only later, after being infiltrated that native peoples ANYWHERE start thinking themselves ugly and inferior.

  33. Curlstar

    May 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    This study can kick rocks with bare feet. Seriously, because the study is invalid.

    I did read the whole study, yet I was not angry. I wasn’t angry because I noticed that there was some crucial information missing that is critical to validate the study.

    The breakdown of the anonymous individuals from the oblivious add health group that participated in the study is what was missing. There was a breakdown on the subjects, but no breakdown on the background, race, and gender of the individuals from this add health group who were giving their OPINIONS on beauty. I may not be a psychology major or a statistics major (I play one on TV, jk), but after recently taking both of these courses towards my SECOND IT DEGREE I was able to recognize this missing link.

    It’s sad that this guy went there, but I was highly entertained by the responding articles from his peers in the psych arena.

    • Starry

      September 18, 2011 at 3:00 AM

      That is *exactly* what I was thinking!!

  34. Carmel

    May 20, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    WHEN THERE IS CANCER TOBE CURED, AIDS TO ERADICATE “SCIENTISTS” ARE RESEARCHING HOW TO FURTHER DISENFRANCHISE AN ALREADY DISENFRANCHISED GROUP?! Are we going to have this conversation? Do we care? The ones that think we are ugly don’t attract us anyway so I think it’s safe to say we find ourselves attractive and that’s enough.

    • a concerned scientist

      May 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      @carmel, rest assured this could not possibly be a real scientist as this article would and should get thrown out of any legitimate peer-reviewed journal for poor experimental methods and an uncountable amount of baseless assumptions. Just fake science. There are plenty of researchers working very hard to find those “cures” you mentioned, as well as ways to tap into other resources such as the sun and mineral-rich asteroids to solve our planet’s resource and energy problems (because, what good is a cure to cancer if there’s no food or electricity in your house?) So please, do not associate this fake-scientist with real scientists!
      And let’s be real- would you really be comfortable if a person with research methods *this* bad was working on a “cure for cancer?” Even if she did “practice” a “science” besides fake-psychology and racism, I would never let someone like this in my lab.

  35. Marion@affectionforfitness

    May 21, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Hi! Great blog, Erika!!!

    I am a white woman who lives in Milwaukee. There are many beautiful black women in our city. Pretty faces and super figures. I wonder if that racist research writer even personally KNOWS a black woman. Apparently, his cultural bias seems to be far too strong to objectively evaluate anything. :-) Marion

  36. mutt

    May 22, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    This idiot only attacks black women. Notice how he describes black men. Is that his problem? Does he have gender issues with himself? He must never have looked at himself because he sure is butt ugly. What did the his mother look like to cause him to be so ugly?

  37. Sylvia

    May 22, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    The bs should not have been dignified with comments.

  38. Jim

    May 25, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Clearly, this is pseudoscience, of the same ilk as “The Bell Curve.” The arguments all sound completely logical, and very scientific, but in fact are completely spurious.
    One example: The statement that, since african people are the oldest of human types, they by definition have more mutations and defects in their DNA than other types of humans.
    In fact, the opposite holds true: the older the species, or subspecies, the less genetic defect occurs, since over 90% of genetic mutation results in the death of the organism in question, and this in turn lessens the amount of genetic defect in the species or subspecies involved, since offspring with genetic mutations tend not to breed due to decreased lifespan, or cultural taboo.
    The idea that the relative beauty of different types of women is objective is also completely without merit. Physical beauty is a completely subjective measurement, born out by the fact that even in the past 400 years european concepts of beauty have changed radically, as cultural and social mores and economic factors changed and shifted. Look at any baroque paintings of real women, for example paintings by the dutch master Reubens, and compare them with the so-called womanly ideal of today: totally and completely different, that difference being impossible to ignore, and impossible as a genetic trait, across so relatively few generations.
    The article is complete and utter rubbish.

  39. PatrickInBeijing

    May 25, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    Gee, I thought it was obvious, this shows that white men are more racially biased than other people. But I already knew that. Simple explanations are often the best.

    But, how in the hell does someone as ignorant as this get published in a national magazine? Don’t they have editors? My guess is that most of their editors are white men, and the fact that they published this is further proof of the intellectual inferiority of white men. Sad, but true.

  40. Perfectsize

    June 22, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    There are many areas in life that black africans seem to be on the bottom of the statistics this, however, is one where they come out on top.

    Total Fertility Rate (TFT)

    Africa – Sub-Saharan 5.2
    America – Central 2.5
    America – North 2.0
    America – South 2.2
    Asia 2.2
    Europe 1.6, who also has a Rate of Natural Increase of 0%

    (and this comes fom PSI, the people who are trying so desperately to reverse this)

    Sorry… which group did you say is more sexually attractive?

    Sure you could argue that there are so many other social/economic factors (the same ones that contribute to the above study, btw) and sexual satisfaction and fertility are not always correlated equally. But if we were studying animals animals and the fertility rate of different breeds you would just call it like it is.

    So before you go down that road take a look a Durex sexual satisfaction survey. Dare they study the rest of sub-saharan africa I bet the trend is the same, but out of the 2 countries they surveyed in Africa, one of them (Nigeria) was top of the world wide list with a satisfaction rate of 67%. The lowest was Japan (15%) and surprisingly (or maybe not) France at 25%.
    Proof is in the pudding….

  41. Starry

    September 18, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    This blithering idiot managed, somehow, to get a position at the London School of Economics as a lecturer. Makes you sick.

  42. LadyLi

    September 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Oh Really! So is that why tanning salons were created…We are naturally, colorfully, in different shades no less, wonderfully tanned!
    What about plumping your lips up with collagen injections- Our lips are lusciously plump!
    And why do you have to go out and buy a butt. We have been endowed with what you have to go out and purchase!
    Stop Hatin’ and writing these ridiculous studies.
    We are some of the most beautiful women in the world, and you keep trying to catch up, somehow, someway!
    If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny!

  43. Stefanie

    September 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    (Laughs) I didn’t read the entire blog but only a few sentences. Personally, I’m not even mad that this person finds one race of people less attractive than others. I’m mad (well, not really but for the sake of converation) because this nut actually took the TIME to do research on beauty and attractiveness. Really? Who cares? Every group of people that God created is beautiful and interesting to watch in one way or another. The uniqueness of African people is great to watch because we vastly different from that of other groups. Our hair, our skin, the RANGE of skin tones that we possess. I love us! However, every nationality is unique to me and beautiful in their own way. This too should be embraced. And for the people who have the nerve to say once race is less attractive than another, I feel sorry for them.

  44. Elle

    April 27, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Hitler published papers about Jews being the most stupid group in Germany and used “Science” to prove it.

    This article seems to have an agenda behind it my fellow ladies of color. It is very odd that in 2012 that propaganda is published using opinions as “fact” to down another race. White people are still calling black’s subhumans so their consciousness do not come into play when they show racism. This is a racist study because the people conducting it have been brainwashed by Eurocentric views of beauty. I mean blonde hair and blue eyes being shoved into your mind as beautiful. I don’t mean “The Golden Ratio” I mean Eurocentric views of beauty. This is why Japanese women in Japan were circle lenses, contacts, die their hair brassy reds and blondes. They have been conditioned. Also, not many people want to be like the “Negroids” because American media has put stereotypical views in their head since the 30s. So even blacks from different parts of the world would refer to themselves as heir ethnicity and nationally.

    So this isn’t surprising. A bias study with people preconditioned to dislike black women and preconditioned to think of black women as men. Also, this study did not publish the photos they used in the experiment. I will bet you – the photos used were woman from the Congo or Mandingo Tribe.

    Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington are no where near ugly, you have to be a fool to think so.

    Also I am beautiful and feminine.

    • Mina

      August 31, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      @ Elle: You come across as very prejudiced and ignorant in your comment. In your attempt to raise up the Black American Woman you have put down women from the Congo(which is the name of two countries in Africa not a tribe),women from the Mandinka tribe and Japanese women. Why do you feel you have to supress others to raise up your own self esteem? How are you any different from the man who wrote the article or indeed Hitler who share the same views? Also as a side note why did you feel the need to add “Also I am beautiful and feminine”? That in no way justifies your prejudices. I don’t write this to attack you but to attempt to make you see how negatively you came across and to examine your thought patterns. The beauty, culture and diversity of all people’s of the world can and should be recognised without the need to put one group down. You cannot complain about such a study and then do the same thing yourself.

  45. Daisy

    September 13, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I see that this website only prints what favors them.

    Erika’s Note: No. What you “see” is that comments are moderated, and all comments wait in moderation for my review and approval. This is *my* house. *my* blog. What *I* say… goes. If I felt like deleting your sorry ass racist comments, I’d be well within my right and I’d do so without thinking twice.

    What *I* see, however, is a sad, lonely, pathetic little man who left seven total comments on a post that had not a single damn thing to do with him and, instead of simply moving on, wanted to pretend to be the little troll under the digital bridge for the day. Stop wasting my server space, AND my time.

    I “only print what favors me.” Please. You know what favors me? Integrity. And if you had any, you wouldn’t be on the Internet pretending to be a hateful woman just to get my attention. Moron.

  46. Daisy

    September 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    You are 100% correct that posting on YOUR website is solely at YOUR discrestion as you are the owner and have every right to pick and choose who you want on YOUR website.

    Erika’s note: I’m glad we agree. I hope that you deliver the message to “your sister” as well. LOL

    PS: It’s “discretion.” <3

  47. Shalita

    September 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    This article is a MESS!

  48. Janine

    November 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Oh… my… lord.
    I will really try to keep this comment from just becoming a string of obscenities. BUT WHAT THE ^*^*^(*^(*&^(&^*?!?!
    As someone who does research (actual scientific research with actual numbers and REAL facts) it completely inflames me that this *&%& is represented in the media as “scientifically proven”. Not only do they present completely subjective quantifiers (“more attractive, less attractive”) but they don’t tell you who the &*^* are “rating” the stimuli. Are the raters a mix of races and ethnicities? Probably not. How were they recruited? Were they shown ‘heavy people’ of all races and thin people of all races? etc etc. I could go on forEVER about this, but I’ll stop myself here.
    The worst part is they take their bs study results and try to then extrapolate AFTER THE FACT and come up with reasons why. Horrible, horrible pseudoscience. It is actually a tragedy that Black women (and any sensible humans) had to have their day ruined by this garbage. I hope no one even thinks for a second to take this seriously.

  49. Faylyn

    December 1, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    This “study” is stupid. I’m a (mostly) white girl and I have always complained about how unfair it is that nearly all black women are gorgeous. I have rarely seen an unattractive black woman. But there are PLENTY of unattractive white women. And we DO envy your butts.

  50. Crystal

    March 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    I could not get myself to read the whole thing. So I scanned it briefly.

    What I didn’t notice is the scientific objective note describing the people who were interviewed, their nationalities and age ranges etc. I mean, for all we know, they could have been all asian men??? For it to be a real study, it needs to spend almost equal time on who was interviewed, along with a disclaimer.

    Also, I agree that beauty is subjective, not objective and that was not clear on the study either. it almost reminds me of the things the Nazis told to their population in order to manipulate their thinking about other races. (Everyone is entitled to an opinion but when does it cross the line?)

    My college philosophy teacher said this in a lecture, “We are the product of all our ancestors best picks for genes.”

    As new generations are born, speaking about Darwin, each generation is better than the last. Therefore, when you look at us, we are the accumulation of all the best physical characteristics of generations past.

    Then there was some discussion about how mothers pick their baby-daddies. It was a pretty awesome lecture, aka history is shown on our faces.

  51. cashdoller

    March 26, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    Erika, I just have to say, you are easily the most incredible, amazing, wonderful – and might I add, STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS writer I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting! May your blog be forever successful, and may I see your beautiful physique on my TV some day soon!

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      March 26, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Awww, why thank you! And, might I add, this is FAR better than that tripe you originally left on my blog. So glad to see that your parents actually taught you things like guilt, shame, and respect… since they clearly failed to teach you critical thinking.

      *big beautiful afro-filled hug* Have a fantastic day!

  52. Jocelyn

    June 27, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    I’m half white, half Native, and I just want to echo the aforementioned sentiments, namely that this is just pseudo-science hellbent on proving that black people are, for whatever reason, lower on the social (and apparently evolutionary) ladder. I’m a mathematics student and I avidly study science in my spare time, and crap like this just annoys me when it tries to pass itself off as “science.” Like everyone said, how can one “objectively” measure beauty? Unless it can be quantified, I say, it can’t be objective.(and using bogus facial measurements and small-sample group testing WITHOUT a control is not quantifiable science!). Just a side note, I think black woman is the most desirable race-sex combination there is, and I’m not just saying that. This study should have included me, I would have totally skewed their data!

  53. Alecia

    July 29, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    First of all Psychology Today is an absolute joke. This study has been disproved. He falsified data, was stripped of his job and acalades as he should be for pushing this propaganda. The issue is the first article makes first page news. The debunking makes page 32.

    I don’t even know how this was approved to begin with. You cannot separate social economic standing, lack of access to proper diet, skin and hair care. It is also impossible to ignore negative media portrayals as a factor. Why do you think so many Asians are considered attractive despite their lack of facial symmetry (ears that stick out, small eyes, flat wide nose, round flat face) and lack of feminine curves? Really think the submissive hypersexual image has nothing to do with it? Please!

    This man is obviously trying to push his racist BS. If we are talking about physical attractiveness, why did he feel the need to reiterate “net of intelligence” Obviously to insinuate that if it was based on intelligence Black men would not be chosen first and probably to insinuate that it would be Asian men. This whole study is just a passive aggressive outlet to express inferiority complex of Asian men to Black men as it pertains to attractiveness.

  54. Junius

    October 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    This article you found… is a called “internet trolling”.

    Do not feed the trolls, it was written to upset people.

    When you find this sort of thing, acknowledging it helps the author accomplish their goal. FYI

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      October 21, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      …except, when this thing came out, it was heard and read all around the world, and the need to debunk it was great.

      Some of you seem to think that silence is some effective tactic when it comes to fighting stereotypes and the attempt to normalize pathology; I, on the other hand, think it’s far more effective to turn this around on the people who insist on perpetuating it, and would rather ask them why they’re so invested in denying black women the fullness of their humanity. Why be so invested in scientifically “proving” the “ugliness” of women of color, and the “beauty” of white women?

      You think this helps the author accomplish their goal, I think it helps other women like me come together and realize that NO, we don’t ALL just lie down and take it. We can respectfully and intellectually challenge idiocy that tarnishes the good name and work of science.

      If you think silence suits you, then so be it. It does not suit me, though, and I intend to act accordingly.

  55. PrussianViking

    October 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    I didn’t read all of this pseudo-scientific crap.
    All I can say is that I’m half white, half white, ;) blonde, blue eyed male and I’m mostly attracted to black women – my wife is a black woman from the Dominican Republic. Damn she is fine – sometimes I cannot believe she’s mine (of course she has a beautiful mind too!). The only women that are more beautiful to me are our two lovely daughters – being out with them, they get so many looks, I feel like a Rockstar’s bodyguard sometimes…lol.
    For me, black women are the most beautiful creatures alive. You are the true goddesses of the earth.
    And Faylin is right to be jealous… we love the African bootay.

  56. C-ntbuster

    February 14, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    Black women are just f-cking disgusting… uhhh

    Of course they would vote themselves to be good looking, they chimp out and break everything, including mirrors, so they don’t know how disgusting they look.

    I bet if this questionnaire was in a magazine you would have 0% response from them, because they can’t f-cking read!

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      February 14, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      I’m leaving this comment, only mildly edited – swear words and the particularly vile name – because I want people to see the constant state of irrationality that racists and supremacists must live in in order to feel good about their pathetic, lowly lives.

      Black women “chimp out and break everything,” because only black women are descended from chimps, we’re left to assume.

      Black women wouldn’t respond to the questionnaire, “because they can’t f-cking read,” on a blog post that was written by a black woman – can’t write if you can’t read – on a blog with thousands of blog posts written by a black woman.

      Constant. State. Of irrationality.

      Remember when I wrote about beauty, and how supremacy controls so much of what we identify as beauty? This is supremacy in action. I’m willing to bet that, if I engaged this shitstain on the underwear of the UK and asked them what “attractive” or “beautiful” looked like, the answer would either: a) most closely resemble themselves, or b) most closely resemble something akin to Pamela Anderson.

      Just a theory.

  57. Samantha

    March 6, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    BLACK WOMEN ARE [the most stunning creatures ever]!!

    Editor’s note: Awww, you are so, so hurt. Go see a therapist. This kind of hatred would be better focused on doing something like becoming a better person. Not being such a hateful scumbag.

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