Jo Davison: Ignore this oaf – black can be very beautiful

Beyonce Knowles
Beyonce Knowles
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Black women, brace yourselves for one huge slap in your beautiful face: you’re uglier than all other races.

Who says this vile piece of claptrap? Not some racist group, or some lone Klu Klux Klan-styled loonie, but a university boffin,

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell

London School of Economics lecturer Dr Satoshi Kanazawal has done a survey. He’s revealed his findings to the world in a published paper – and stuck himself squarely in the centre of a race row.

Firstly, it begs the question: why?

What was the purpose of his survey? I’m so much less clever than he, but I don’t see a direct link between what is surely little more than a multi-racial beauty contest and economics, the social science that Wikipedia describes as “the analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.”

Not unless his paper also looked at ways in which the insecurities of the “ugliest” races were preyed upon by a cosmetics industry seemingly intent on making a fast buck by turning them all white.

Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis

Which it didn’t.

Secondly, it begs a thousand more questions. Like who did the survey ask, and where in the world was it carried out? It doesn’t take a genius to guess it was probably somewhere in Europe, and highly unlikely to have been in Africa, does it? Which would surely mean the results were heavily-biased in favour of the classic European view of beauty.

Critics are also demanding to know how many people he asked – and how he classifies this group of “black” women. How many ethnic black cultures, with their distinctively different facial features, did he stick in his melting pot of blackness?

And thirdly, I’d like to ask why, instead of wasting time on insulting women, he didn’t have more important things to do, like getting his students through their finals?

Halle Berry

Halle Berry

Incidentally, had white women fared worst in this pathetic piece of so-called research, no-one would much have minded. But it was bound to hurt black women because for so long, they have been made to feel second-rate.

The western world’s long-held obsession with blonde hair, blue eyes and pert little Caucasian nose has been paraded in front of their beautiful, soulful eyes for centuries. They could dye and straighten their hair and lighten their skin, but still they were never going to compare.

But then things started to change. The world’s perception of beauty shifted and widened to embrace the globe’s huge diversity of faces and figures.

Love her or loathe her, Naomi Campbell was at the heart of that change. She haughtily paraded her beauty, defying anyone to call her otherwise. Black women grew in confidence – which is really what beauty is all about. And hence women like actress Halle Berry, singers like Beyonce and fellow models Iman and Tyra Banks are global pin-up girls.

At the end of the day, though, we should all remember that the boffin’s paper is nothing but twaddle.

Because beauty is unquantifiable. The old saying sums it up: Beauty can only ever be in the eye of the beholder.