Black is Beautiful and a Harlem Photographer is Out to Prove It

A Harlem-based photographer has come out in support of the black community in response to the heinous, borderline racist article published in the Psychology Today journal. The article, titled ‘Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive than Other Women?’ by psychologist Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa sparked fury amongst the black community worldwide and while some were busy getting angry, Harlem-photographer Paul Phillips took it upon himself to prove the opposite.

Beauty in Black

Paul Phillips plans to get together some of the women from all around the country to show exactly how beautiful and stunning they are, in both personality and appearance and his collection of photos is to be published in a weighty coffee table tome entitled Beauty in Black. Of course, to finance his project, Phillips needed to make significant steps in moving money to make sure the funds he needed were available but through setting up a Kickstarter page, he began to raise funds for his project.

Phillips has come out strongly against these hurtful and mistaken statements made by Kanazawa and others by showing exactly how strong and beautiful black women can be. He plans to travel all across the States to find black women in a diverse range of areas and situations. When speaking to the Huffington Post, Phillips explained he wanted to capture black women of ‘all ages, shades, shapes, sizes and hair textures’ providing a fuller picture of what constitutes a black woman.

It’s extremely humbling for Harlem to see one of their own pioneering this huge project especially as he’s a male entering a very feminine debate with no qualms and only his camera to capture the truth. Phillips went on to explain how he was brought up by ‘a strong black woman’ and went onto marry another ‘strong black woman’ and so statements such as those made by Kanazawa are blatantly wrong according to his experiences and opinions.

Phillips’ book may not seem like the most influential and life changing step but it is a clear physical, photographic example of someone trying to change a negative opinion which need never have been formed.


As already mentioned, Phillips plans to travel the country, taking photographs and then put his book together, all in just one year. He’s looking to raise $10,000 via his Kickstarter page and we are pleased to say as of 9th March his target has been reached and his project can go ahead.

Phillips sees his project as an essential educational tool as he believes every young girl should have access to his book so they can understand the meaning of beauty in all its contexts before they’re taken away by the white idealism of Barbie and Disney princesses.

Now Phillips has his funds, we can only wait and see what he comes up with but the following video is a sample of some of the women he’d hope to include in his project and their thoughts on its production:

Research Arguing Against Kanazawa

Since the publication of Kanazawa’s essay, plenty of people have come out in protest against it. Regardless of his evolutionary points, the majority of people have been shocked if not outraged by the statements in his essay. A poll conducted in conjunction with the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation and showed that black women across America are generally more satisfied with their lives. That’s not to say they’re disputing the family or home lives of white women, just working to prove that Kanazawa’s word isn’t final.

The research poll conducted amongst a wide diverse range of women showed that black women (51%) came out on top when asked how satisfied they were with their lives, scoring higher than white women as well as both black and white men. The poll also discovered that although black women are heavier overall than others, they also have higher levels of self esteem and therefore body confidence. Now, confidence is seriously one of the most attractive traits in a woman.

In Harlem, it’s estimated that over 50% of the residents are of color and therefore you’d think that the area would come out in support of Phillips and his fantastic project. Phillips’ project has the potential to make a huge difference to the educational understanding of different body types and skin colors and should be something that America as a nation embraces.

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Author: HarlemGuy