Mirror mirror on the wall…

“… who is the fairest of them all?”  At which point the mirror replied to the queen, “what do you mean, fair?  Do you mean light-skinned or do you mean pretty?  And why do you use a word than can mean either… are you a racist?”  Well, that’s not exactly how the story of Snow White goes, but it might have had it been written today.  The word “fair” has several meanings, among which are “pretty” and “light-skinned”.  These two meanings often go hand in hand, as we see in the fable of Snow White:

Once upon a time as a queen sits sewing at her window, she pricks her finger on her needle and three drops of blood fall on the snow that had fallen on her ebony window frame. As she looks at the blood on the snow, she says to herself, “Oh, how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony”. Soon after that, the queen gives birth to a baby girl who has skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They name her Princess Snow White. As soon as the child is born, the queen dies…

We also see this in the Song of Songs:

My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.

His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

While fair skin is not a prerequisite for beauty, it certainly helps in most cultures.  Much has already been written about this and, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll point out that men all over the world prefer their women to be light-skinned.  American blacks are, of course, no exception.  Simple observation will confirm that, among black couples, the woman is far more likely to be light-skinned than the man.  Among white/black couples, the woman is far more likely to be white.

Hand in hand with light skin, childlike features also add to a woman’s attractiveness.   Here is a study that looks at childlike features in women and gauges their attractiveness.  It concludes:

For each set of female faces, the test subjects were asked to indicate  which version they found most attractive. The results of this experiment show clearly that childlike characteristics (large, round eyes, a large curved forehead as well as small short nose and chin) can enhance attractiveness. Only very few (9,5%) test subjects rated mature “original women” as being most attractive. Most of the preferred female faces contained childlike proportions of 10 – 50% (for details see report!). This means that even the most attractive women become even more beautiful, if facial proportions are made more childlike. And again: women who were rated as being most attractive do not exist in reality!

So, if childlike women are more attractive, and lighter-skinned women are also considered more attractive, does this mean that lighter-skinned children are considered more cute?  I think they are.  One afro-centric website asks the question, “are light skinned children treated better?”  It is interesting to read the replies.  An afro-centric blog post states:

In my comments on Laina’s post, “CNN Reports That More Single
Black Women Are Adopting – But Who Are They Taking Home?,”
I said, “I’m wondering, are ready for a child if you’re not ready
for yourself? They’re treating dark skin like it’s a physical
handicap.” And to another person’s comment I responded, “India
also has colorism issues. It seems that areas colonized by Great
Britain carry this burden more often to me. In Asia the self-hate
and desire to look like the conquerer comes out in weeping over
having slanted eyes instead of round.”

Colorism is one more bad effect of racism and the promotion of
white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes as superior. It is not the
focus of the CNN article, which seems to be connected to CNN’s
Black in America 2 special. The article is about single black
women adopting in general and mentions in briefly that some
black women show a preference for babies with lighter-skin:

Yet, there are some single African-American women who are not
emotionally ready to adopt an African-American child who is too
dark, some adoption agency officials say.

Fair-skinned or biracial children stand a better chance of being
adopted by single black women than darker-skinned children,
some adoption officials say.

The poster blames the phenomenon on racism.  But, If we see a preference for light skin across various cultures and continents, then Occam’s razor would categorize this preference as a universal human trait and not a byproduct of racism.

Katti Gray, in The Root, struggles with the disproportionate occurrence of abuse among black children.  She looks at the traditional explanation of “racist social workers” and finds no evidence of it.  Then, lacking the fortitude to consider innate racial explanations, she resorts to the catch-all explanation of “poverty”:

Rates of reported child abuse are disproportionately high for black children, a fact that has long been linked to suspected racial bias by a largely white child-protection workforce. But a recently released study by Washington University researchers debunks that allegation, citing poverty as the main reason black children are twice as likely as white children to suffer abuse…

While it is certainly true that poor parents have fewer options than wealthy parents, it is highly debatable if poor parents love their children less than wealthy parents.  One could even argue that a poor person who chooses to have a baby is willing to sacrifice more for her child than a wealthy person, who can pawn off the difficulties to babysitters and nannies.  But this is an argument best made by leftist equalitarians, not by me; I do not think that most poor babies are planned.  They just happen.

In reality, low I.Q. is an underlying cause for both unplanned babies and for neglecting/abusing those babies later on.  Gray, I suspect, cannot bring this up even if she knows it.

But another cause, for the racial disparity in child abuse, is that black kids are simply not as cute as white kids.  Therefore, their parents tend to treat them less well.  Now, if I walked up to a random stranger and said, “black kids are less cute than white kids”, I would be lucky to avoid being assaulted.  But this is one of those subjects where we’re almost there.  It is not controversial to point out that childlike women are more attractive than mature-looking women.  It is not controversial to point out that light skin is universally held to be more attractive than dark skin (among women).   It is not controversial to point out that women, even black women, prefer lighter skinned children.  So why would it be controversial to point out that darker children (I.E. black children) are not as cute as lighter children*?  Once we shed the burden of social propriety, our mystery is solved.

* Of course, individual preferences will vary.  Take me, for example.  I consider some dark-skinned children, including my own, to be among the cutest.

About jewamongyou

I am a paleolibertarian Jew who is also a race-realist. My opinions are often out of the mainstream and often considered "odd" but are they incorrect? Feel free to set me right if you believe so!
This entry was posted in crime and violence, racial differences and how they manifest themselves/race science. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Mirror mirror on the wall…

  1. RS says:

    Things may be partly as you describe, but I suspect the main thing about relative paleness in a Black kid is that it’s a marker for White admixture. The women have probably absorbed (no doubt against their will in many cases) the information that a more admixed kid is more likely to be a source of pride and well-being without costing the adoptor much trouble.

    Even Blacks apparently show in lab experiments that they are subliminally (or not) ‘biased’ towards judging Whites as… I forget what – trustworthy, non-aggressive, things like that. Which of course just comes from observing reality, and perhaps more or less non-reality-denying media like The Wire or Chris Rock, as well. But observing reality firsthand is probably much more decisive; media can make people universally mouth things that are obviously false, but it has much less effect on who you avoid walking near on a lonesome street at night, or what neighborhood you want to live in. Political correctness after all is probably very old in its way. Calling wicked powerholders good, calling an essentially normal enemy tribe transcendently evil – but not actually acting as though those thing were true, which would be very costly. Say A, even ‘know’ A, but really know and do not-A, is a primordial mode of behavior.

  2. Sagat says:

    Other studies have shown that facial contrast is one of the main indicators of beauty, which goes hand in hand with being fair skinned. A woman like Snow White, with pale skin, dark hair and red lips represents this ideal. This has a lot to do with human connection to reading faces, as a fair skinned woman with light color eyelashes and eyebrows doesn’t have the same level of expressiveness that a fair skinned woman with dark eyelashes and eyebrows does. This is why women compensate for this with mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.

    More childlike faces on women activate a man’s feeling of protectiveness, which is essential in areas where a woman is absolutely dependent on a man for survival, especially when pregnant. This is the reason that northern peoples have more juvenile faces, with northern Asians retaining the most juvenile features in both face and body into adulthood.

    The favoring of lighter skinned children stems from these innate feelings as well. While darker skinned children’s faces can be easily read in the right light, lighter faces are more easily read from a distance and in darker light.

    This picture of Aborigine children really illustrates that:

    I honestly find them scary looking, which is not very evolutionarily adaptive. And Australian Aborigines are notorious for their high levels of child abuse, so that may play a part in that. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s been a study done that shows Aborigines prefer lighter children as well.

    • jewamongyou says:

      I agree – and good example with the Aborigines.

    • adasdasdad says:

      Old post, but I thought I’d comment.

      I don’t really buy this whole line of facial contrast as “one of the main indicators of beauty”. In certain regards, it is, such as with the lips, but you seem to not consider the strong preference for blonde hair in much of europe and throughout it’s history, coupled of course with pale white skin. And then there’s the popularity of light eye colors. The greatest contrast with light skin would be dark hair and dark eyes, but that is not the preference we’ve seen. I do agree with light eyelashes and eyebrows with light skin though, which is a certain unattractive “nordic” trait that many people who uphold that as the ideal seem to be reluctant to acknowledge. Though light eyebrows and eyelashes would probably look better (if not better than dark eyelashes and eyebrows) on dark skin, but I can’t say I’ve seen many particularly dark skinned women apply makeup to lighten their eyebrows or eyelashes, whether they be in more modern settings or traditional ones (like tribal africans), so it’s hard to say.

      I can’t say I’ve ever really had the problem you have with dark skinned children though, or had them come across as more “menacing”. And the only aborigine I find at all scary looking is the one on the left, but that might be because aborigines, for the most part, have extremely coarse facial features that go well beyond skin color.

  3. claudio says:

    Switching from “some cultures” to a universal quantifier of “all” without justification does somewhat undermine the logic of your argument.
    It might be sufficient for the dull witted among us but for the more observant you need to rethink and redraft this little ditty,

    • jewamongyou says:

      Taken in context my post makes a lot of sense. Lighter skin is considered more attractive in women, among blacks, than darker skin. The only culture I know of, that considers darker skin more beautiful, is white culture – and that only applies to tanning or as a consequence of hating their own people, which they’ve been trained to do for a couple of generations so far.

  4. Quasiaka says:

    “It is not controversial to point out that light skin is universally held to be more attractive than dark skin (among women). It is not controversial to point out that women, even black women, prefer lighter skinned children. . So why would it be controversial to point out that darker children (I.E. black children) are not as cute as lighter children*?”

    I’m rather confused by this part- you, two sentences prior, said “Now, if I walked up to a random stranger and said, “black kids are less cute than white kids”, I would be lucky to avoid being assaulted.” But then you say all of this, and earnestly ask why it would be controversial to say “Well, see, dark skinned children aren’t as cute as light skinned children, and a reason why black parents treat their kids worse is because of this, so it’s inevitable dark skinned children are going to be treated worse by their parents- they just can’t help it.”

    All of those things you said prior are indeed controversial, especially if you think saying “black kids are less cute than white kids” to a stranger would likely get you assaulted. While I think that’s a stretch (unless it was said to a black person), if you were to go further and say what you said about skin color and child abuse, people, even white people, would generally think you’re crazy or a nazi. And this part really struck me: “*Of course, individual preferences will vary. Take me, for example. I consider some dark-skinned children, including my own, to be among the cutest.”

    You, by world standards, and especially compared to blacks, are not very dark, merely olive skinned- but you consider your children to be “dark skinned” in the vein of this child abuse paradigm, and your case to be individual preference- IE, your children, generally, would be more likely to be treated worse than lighter children by most parents, people would think there’s something really, really wrong with you.

    Not that this invalidates any of what you’re arguing, as you say with social propriety, but there’s some really strange reasoning going on in this post.

    By the way, I’m curious how you and Sagat (a Thai, a country in which bleaching is very popular among the men as well and could arguably be tied to the country’s bizarre sexual culture and acceptance of male androgny, transsexuals etc.) think of the fact infanticide against albino children is common in sub-saharan africa: http://albinofoundation.org/albinism/albinism-in-africa/

    “Statistics show that over 600,000 Nigerians living with albinism suffer discrimination from their families, schoolmates and peers. For instance, it is not uncommon to find families practicing infanticide on babies born with albinism. Or the deliberate neglect to educate children with albinism, believing that their employment chances are limited, and therefore their education a waste of resources.”


    “On the other hand, Cruz-Inigo (2011) emphasizes the “encouragement of consanguineous alliances” as a causal factor of high incidence of albinism (80). Cruz-Inigo claims the influx of Arabic culture on the Tanzanian coast as an origin of inter-marriage, and albino infanticide at the hands of traditional midwives as a reason why “communities may have fewer cases to show,” both practices which “inevitably increase the incidence of albinism””

    This is likely the case across africa, and has been going back as far as history can be known. The albinism variant found in africans frequently gives those with it a skin color that is not especially different from the typical european skin color. While certainly things like their medical problems and extreme sensitivity to the light and sun factor in, I again am curious how you think the practice of infanticide against albino babies in africa squares with your theories about dark skinned children and child abuse.

    • jewamongyou says:

      My ex-wife is Indian. Hence, my children are all darker than I am. But their dark skin never detracted from their cuteness for me.

      As for African brutality against albinism, I don’t think albinism falls in the same category as normal light skin. Most albinos are not attractive and it’s a harmful mutation. Furthermore, there needn’t be any rational reason for African brutality, or any sort of human brutality for that matter.

  5. Quasiaka says:

    Regarding your ex-wife, I didn’t know that, but my point still stands in regards to the chain of reasoning you exhibited and how people might react, especially when I imagine your children are much lighter than typical black ones.

    I do think the case of albinos in much of africa is worth noting for the fact, again, the albinism variant found among africans is different than the one in europeans- they are not quite as pale and their skin tone is very similar to that of normal europeans. Here, for example, is the albino Malian musician Salif Keita next to typical white people:


    It’s true, as I said, that albino skin is extremely sensitive to the sun and they exhibit other medical problems, but it’s not difficult to parse out their basic underlying skin color from these negative aspects, and yet as far as I can tell, there is not a single african culture that ever considered the untouched skin of albinos attractive and atleast translated into some kind of cosmetic practice like skin lightening. In fact, I think you could go further and say that even the form of albinism found among europeans, if found among a non-white population, shouldn’t be difficult to parse out and idealize as a more healthy, natural looking white skin tone (although I’d say the white female skin idealized in traditional european history is virtually albino), but where has this ever occurred? It seems to stand that virtually every single culture ever known has considered albinos unattractive, the sole exception possibly being the Hopi of the american southwest. In fact, in addition to skin color, I think it should be even easier to parse out the blonde (and sometimes other light colored) hair of albinos from their pathological condition- their lighter hair confers no maladaptive conditions. It’s likely every single human culture has experienced albinos at some point, but where has there ever been a uniformly black-haired population that has ever parsed out their light hair into a cosmetic ideal? There’s not a single indigenous african culture in which people dyed their hair blonde, and while a few were known to dye their hair red (the masai, himba and hamar), not one blonde. Nor is it difficult to find isolated non-whites who, upon first contact with europeans, consider their skin to be unattractive, and even more noteworthy is the reaction of young children (and even babies), which is very often fear. This is reported even now, among africans and even isolated, not very dark mestizo populations: http://www.joplinindependent.com/display_article.php/staff1233459218

    “Holz visited areas where the children were terrified of seeing a white person for the first time.”

    “Another interesting thing, in the village there were many children that had never seen a white person before, so when we got there they started crying!”

    This has also been reported in rural India: http://namastehyderabadindia.blogspot.com/2011/06/amazing-day.html

    “The funny thing with babies in these remote villages is that the first time they see white people they don’t know what they’re seeing so they cry. It’s kinda funny/sad at the same time.”

    And offhand, Ghana: http://sdgerbers.blogspot.com/2012/01/africa.html

    “many babies cry seeing ‘ubrinis’ {white people} for the first time”

    All of this is especially worth considering in lieu of doll test results.

    Consider also the Kuna people of Panama, who exhibit the highest rate of albinism in the world. If you google “kuna albinism”, their albinos seem to be similar to african albinos and resemble typical fair european skin, and it goes without saying the kuna are lighter than most africans. The reason for this is a form of runaway social selection related to the fact albinos have religious importance in Kuna mythology. But, this is unlikely due to any sort of aesthetic preference, as the spots on the moon are tied into the sun spots on their skin: https://books.google.com/books?id=4aqfAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA88&lpg=PA88&dq=kuna+albinism&source=bl&ots=dw533pfPIz&sig=mZNjvUJNzsF6-lziJGkJsqXY-fI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=se6LVIuXH4mqgwSFv4TQDA&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAjgU#v=onepage&q=kuna%20albinism&f=false

    And even then, infanticide of albino infants was high until recently: https://books.google.com/books?id=MfJbI5Da3LEC&pg=PA380&lpg=PA380&dq=albino+infanticide&source=bl&ots=r1FFsPkvof&sig=KgjQI-1dcOtaJw8i1ugf3CU6xIc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4DLDVOT0HsfBggSh74Mg&ved=0CCwQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=albino%20infanticide&f=false

    And of course there shouldn’t be any reason for african brutality against albinos, but their skin color is radically different from the typical skin color among them, and that difference alone would warrant, as a general rule with human ethnocentrism, animosity towards them. And going with the idea of light skin being considered more attractive, this has never seemed to extend far at all for albinos in africa (admittedly, since my initial post, I have learned that albinos weren’t, and aren’t treated poorly across africa, and where positive or neutral, this seems to be elaborately religious like the Kuna and nothing to do with aesthetics) and elsewhere, including children. If we’re to take all of this into consideration, I don’t see much clear support for your idea dark skinned children are generally going to be treated worse as an inevitability.

    • jewamongyou says:

      I admire the amount of research you’ve put into this. We could take the above comment and turn it into a separate post if you want.

      I agree that there is no inevitability that darker skinned kids will be treated worse (of all people, I should know), but the trend is still there – and albinos, much as their color may resemble that of normal white people, are clearly an aberration, and treated as such.

  6. Quasiaka says:

    I appreciate the offer, but I’ll pass on having what I’ve compiled publicly exhibited thoroughly in a public space, especially on a blog like this- I’d prefer to save it for something more specialized, possibly academic. And I’m sorry, but I do think the virtually universal aesthetic dislike of albinos is worth noting, as despite their aberrant nature, there exists such a pervasive lack of attraction to them in all regards and any sort of separation of their traits and idealization in a non-pathological state.

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