What do these pictures make you think of? Do they make you feel like Black women are objectified? Do they make you feel sexier if you’re a Black woman?
When I am browsing around on the internet , I inevitably come across the polls, forums and discussions about “who is hot and who is not?” There are even certain websites that develop “hottest women,” by ethnicity lists, which is silly because we all know that beauty comes in all races…so why should these lists even matter?
When I can look at the lists or browse the various discussions on the internet that disregard Black women from the hot lists, I am left with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I feel that beauty is so subjective and diverse that these lists are just superficial and dumb…on the other hand, I know that we live in a sexist and superficial culture that assigns value to women based on their physical appearance and sex appeal.
I know that depending on how “hot,” a woman is perceived to be, she’ll be given certain privileges over other women. In this society “hotness,” is correlated with race. There is a racial hierarchy that is set up to benefit certain groups above others. This is called erotic capital and I discussed this in another post about Siobhan Brooks.
When we have a hierarchy that awards erotic capital points to women who conform to a Eurocentric type of beauty, while disregarding Black women…how does that affect the perceived value of Black women?
Do these images even matter? What can we do to change the way society values women?