War of The Beauty: COINTELPRO on the Black Women Part 2

This week in Psychology Today there was an article by Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa, researcher at the London School of Economics, who proclaimed that black women are the least attractive women in the world. Dr. Kanazawa went on to give “scientific data” to support his findings. If you want to read more about the article and what he said (click here). With all of the hoopla being said I felt I should rewind and repost “War if the Beauty: COINTELPRO on the Black Woman Part II”. I have a lot of new readers so I think it is a pertinent piece considering this article was released.

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This post is a part of a continuous series on Woman and Beauty you can see others you have missed here. Throughout this series on woman and beauty I have looked not only into myself but the world around me. I have went on a journey of deconstructing and then reconstructing my idea of beauty.

In part one “War and the Beauty: COINTELPRO on the Black Woman” I wrote about what COINTELPRO program was on a historical level. I then intertwined how there is a modern form of COINTELPRO by how the media uses us covertly to negatively influence and distort the image of the black woman. I have contended that black women need to stay truly aware of the direct and indirect attacks against their beauty and essence. I had to do two parts of this because of all the information I wanted to cover without overcrowding my readers.Keeping the motif of COINTELPRO as the backdrop for this post(shout out to Negrointellect for inspiring the idea for these posts)  according to attorney Brian Glick in his book War at Home, the FBI used four main methods during COINTELPRO  The two that I think have a lot of baring here are:

  • Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
  • Psychological Warfare From the Outside: The FBI and police used a myriad of other “dirty tricks” to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.

Black Men Want Black Women

There was a small uproar in the black community a few weeks ago because of Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson’s reality TV show “The Ultimate Catch”. Many black women were up in arms about the lack of black women selected to be finalist by Ochocinco. Women were trying to understand why he chose the women he did. I will say that we shouldn’t be worried by what men like OchoCinco or any athlete or man wants in woman. One because he can choose whatever woman he wants to be with and two he doesn’t speak for the black men. The fact of the matter is the majority of black men are not marrying white women in abundance like many media outlets will implore us to believe.

I don’t prescribe to looking to any reality dating show as an accurate portrayal of society but I can understand black women’s fear of the “white women” taking all the good black men. The reason I understand how some black women panic because it is pushed profoundly through the media. The idea that the black woman is not worthy of marriage and motherly material and is not beautiful is pushed overt and covertly through the media just like COINTELPRO. The myth that black men don’t love black women is farthest from the truth but those are not the images presented to us.

The idea being pushed that black men don’t want black women is one that is utterly destructive. This is because if the idea can be pushed that black women aren’t desired by black men themselves why should society care about them.  So, in essence by making you feel that black men only want white women it makes black women feel unwanted and society look at them as unwanted. The problem is that many of these ideals are spewed out by other black women not anyone else. There is some form in society of no self-accountability and for black women the ideal of white women taking all the black men is one of their versions of not being self-accountable for the “single black woman epidemic”.

Unbalanced View of Beauty

There seems to be a constant juxtaposition pushed on the black women. For instance, there is the idea that the only kinds of woman in our community are like Gabourey Sidibe and her character in Lee Daniel’s Precious or oversexed hip hop video models.

It was mighty funny to me how Hollywood and the media tried to push Sidibe down our throat that she was the total incarnation of a beautiful black woman. It is the whole mammy motif recreated again in 2010(i.e. Hattie McDaniels, etc.) Yes, I understand that beauty comes in different forms and fashions and is only skin deep but my question is this where are the white Gabourey Sidibe’s in Hollywood portrayed as beautiful? I am not dissing Ms. Sidibe in this statement but follow me. Is there a form of distorted images being shown to black women and society of the mammy motif? Why is that she was constantly pushed as an image of black beauty upon America? Does it make mainstream American women feel better about their beauty? Is it also the idea of Hollywood saying…”Hey these are what these Negroes believe is beauty?” Does society really look at Gabourey Sidibe as beautiful or is it because they pitied the “down-trodden” woman she portrayed in the film?

On the other hand black women are infused with the idea that only having butt injections and exoticness is the measure of beauty. This is an idea perpetuated by women themselves and by our misogynistic. The whole black vixen, Jezebel, and sexual nymph ideal has been portrayed throughout history and is not just a new thing This whole notion goes back to treatment and bewilderment of Sara Baartman to European society. Sara Baartman was an African woman was captured in Africa and taken around Europe and presented at Circuses and side shows because of her large buttocks, large labia, and big breasts. European men came from miles and miles to see this “specimen” of black woman for their perverted sexual desires and so-called research. Prancing in the nude, with her jutting posterior and extraordinary genitals, she provided the foundation for racist and pseudo-scientific theories regarding black inferiority and black female sexuality. The shows involved Saartje being “led by her keeper and exhibited like a wild beast, being obliged to walk, stand or sit as ordered.” Saartje’s predicament drew the attention of a young Jamaican, Robert Wedderburn, who agitated against slavery and racism. Subsequently, his group pressured the attorney general to stop this circus. Losing the case on a technicality, Saartje spent four years in London and then went to Paris where she was exhibited in a travelling circus, and seen frequently controlled by an animal trainer in the show.(site)

Sounds real similar to a lot of the women who are getting butt injections to parade around and seem more desirable right?

Throughout this whole War and the Beauty series I have talked about the side of society forcing women (moreover black) to confine to a certain ideal of beauty. It’s almost like a lose/lose situation attempted by this new “COINTELPRO”. This is because society tries to portray black woman’s beauty in the mammy concept that black women aren’t really desirable sexually. Then you have the total converse of black women’s beauty being portrayed as women who should only be looked at for sexual desire. The whole philosophy of white woman taking all the good black men infused with the images and information presented to them about what beauty is directly affect the woman’s confidence and ideals but the community’s confidence as whole. This is because if black woman are considered not a worthy women than inherently our whole community isn’t worth a damn because a woman is the heart of any community. We have to dispel this ideal as much as we can amongst our conscious thought or it will continue to permeate into our children and our culture will continue to encounter the many issues that we do.

The Minister Louis Farrakhan sums it up well…

“A woman’s womb must be respected as a manifestation of the self-creation of God and women must not simply offer themselves to men because of fame, money or good looks…
“This world in which we live has been destroyed because the woman has been spoiled and laid waste. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that where there are no decent women there are no decent men because the woman is the mother of civilization. Once you are taught of God the value of a woman then you will kill to keep her safe. It’s because you don’t know her value or yours that you play with her, devalue her—and laugh at her as she opens her knees to you. You impregnate her without even a thought of responsibility.”

Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the “Straight Outta Lo Cash” Radio Show. This week’s show “Pop a Molly…I’m Sweatin”w/ guest Matt Whitener. You can also subscribe to the show on I-Tunes or listen on your Android, I-Phone, or I-Pad with Stitcher Radio.

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32 responses to “War of The Beauty: COINTELPRO on the Black Women Part 2

  1. This was sooooooo good!! I can’t express how much this made me think about myself even when it comes to beauty!!

  2. Wow!!! This is a stunning and eye-opening post, this is what should be put out there on sites that women frequent. Black women need to know and demand their worth! Love it Darryl

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  4. This was an awesome read (part I as well) with some good points. I feel the same way concerning the way WE treat black women & men. We show the rest of our community and the world how to treat US. You said it best “black women aren’t desired by black men themselves why should society care about them.”

    Kudos Brotha.

  5. I am LOVING this post. Speak the Truth my brother! And just as you say Black Men want us you can rest assured that we want YOU too! We have been slaves to the media for so long its hard for us to even remove the blinders. Information/articles like this however… a step in the right direction. I will mos def be sharing!! Thanks for it all.

  6. I’m late commenting but this was so deep I had to read it three times lol! I just tweeted a few hrs ago that Life is simple but the world has gone mad…I have completely blocked myself from what society wants black women to accept…and you are right the whole fear of white women taking all the good black men is ridiculous…we need to see ourself as worthy of the best and act accordingly…instead of worrying about what the world accepts…be the best woman we can be and the best men for us will surface. We both have work to do but that work is from within…not from what’s on television

  7. Now mediatakeout has an article about how the media is pushing the female that played “Precious.” They two believe that the media is trying to portray us in this light to make women of our race appear to look like this.

    http://mediatakeout.com/43473/precious_is_on_the_cover_of_the_new_elle_magazine____honestly_she_looks_a_hot_mess____but_were_all_supposed_to_pretend_she_looks_cute.html

    They are really pushing her!!! Have you noticed that the vendetta against black women started as soon as President Obama the scene and pretty started going gaga over Michelle Obama? The media is trying to counteract the positive image that is being shown on the international stage. We can’t be known for our own beauty–that will mess up everyone’s perception of beauty!!! We can’t be shown that we aren’t overweight, actually workout, and have nice bodies–we are supposed to be big, fat and ugly!!! This take me back to February 2006, when I first started working at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in their IT corporate office. During that time, I was at my small size since high school. (My weight fluctuates a lot-not my doing :)) I had a co-worker who is of the majority race bluntly ask me “What size are you? A 3? I was like no I am not. But I could tell she was upset that she was larger-much larger-than me. I was flabbergasted.

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  10. Do you think things are really this deep of a problem or do black women contribute to it just as much?

    • I think it is!! There is some kind of blatant attack on the black family and even more the black woman. The black has always been attacked but the media has definitely drawn their eye to the scoop of the black woman. Think about all the books and specials lamenting on black women’s singleness

      • But some black women make it hard for themselves…with the whole super independent thing and saying black men aint shit and stuff

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  13. I loved your post – but I was waiting with eager anticipation while reading the article for you to explore the narrow paradigm of what is actually considered beautiful – not just by media standards (television, broadcast, print) – but what has been exposed via survey of what black men now deem as “beautiful” – the Halle Berry, Beyonce’, Alicia Keys types. There was an interesting article in The Grio a little while back that substantiates this — http://www.thegrio.com/opinion/is-biracial-the-new-beauty-ideal-survey-says-yes.php?page=1. So – if this article is correct – I wouldn’t blame our diminished self-worth/reflection/esteem solely on the media’s perpetuation of this or black women’s lack of self-accountability — but the energy that black men seem to be putting out there as well.
    It’s so sad – I recently mentored a group of black inner-city girls for a period of 6 weeks, and they too have fallen prey to all this nonsense, with it negatively impacting their self-ideals as young as 4th grade! I made it a point, through a PPT presentation to teach them that beauty is strictly subjective, in the eye of the beholder, emanates from within, and most importantly – comes in all forms! I am happy that Hollywood has embraced Gabby’s ethnic features much as the fashion world embraced supermodel Alek Wek (much to the chagrin of black women everywhere – there’s that self-hatred you mentioned!). We have to hold the media accountable – TRUE, TRUE, but we also need some tough, stringent self-examination within our own community as well!

    • Thanx for coming thru!! I actually explore everything u are talking about throught the whole War and the Beauty Series…lol! This post was just for one angle. The identity of beauty aint really changed too much since Slavery just evolved in many senses

  14. This is the best article I’ve ever read from you. Great job! I will be forwarding it to a lot of friends!

  15. Thank you for this! It’s amazing how so many sterotypes, iconography, and racial ideologies regarding women, especially black women and their sexuality persist today. I am currently taking a course dealing with global feminism and I am very glad that you included the story of Sara Baartman “The Hottentot Venus” in your analysis. I know the backdrop of your story is COINTELPRO, but I wish more women knew the story of Sara – we’re talking 19th century here- a woman paraded around and let’s not even discuss how she died (syphillis)…so it becomes obvious that European men had a time with such a “fine specimen.” This was a very good read, thanks for sharing!

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  18. Too bad there isn’t a widely read twitter feed detailing all of the negative and subversive media messages meant to confuse and cause chaos.

    I wondered if you followed up this post with a similar article about ‘The Help’? Talk about negative propaganda about black women and the invisible violent black man. Ugh. I was shocked. Even the title was insulting.

    There was a nice strong counter-review in the St Louis American but I thought the film could have been picketed–it was that subversive. The ‘Mammy’ character reincarnated? Revolting.

  19. Attractiveness and appeal are two words that seem to be getting further and further apart from being associated with black women, and while I appreciate the positive light here, it isn’t enough.

    There are so many men (black and others) who have branded us to be the least desirable women in the species. Many of the brothers will loudly and proudly deny this fact in public, while secretly wishing for that exotic creature that garners him the attention and satisfaction desired.

    We are often quick to point out how society is responsible for the tainted and twisted views of black women and beauty, when in reality, blacks are our own self destructive force.

    Still, I appreciate you bringing the issue to the forefront. We need to stop brushing the issue off as “we can choose what we are attracted to guiltfree” and call it what it is.

    Keep writing, keep sharing!

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