Black People Are Perceived As More Attractive When They Say They’re Multiracial, According To A New Study

For today’s installment of “things POC know are true” but never had research to back it up, a study was just released showing that black people are perceived as “more attractive” if they say they’re multiracial. According to the study, it didn’t even have to be true. All a black person had to say was that they had “mixed ancestry” and subjects found them to be more attractive in general.

For what it’s worth, Robert L. Reece, the doctoral candidate from Duke University who conducted the study, said the results don’t show colorism, really. Those who got more “points” for being mixed race weren’t always whiter — even darker black people who claimed to be multiracial were deemed more attractive than lighter skinned people who said they were simply black. But that doesn’t make it any less crazy. Reece gathered 3,200 self-identified black people to be interviewed by people of all different races. The subjects answered questions about their racial backgrounds and then afterwards, the interviewers were asked to rank their attractiveness on a scale of one to five. Anyone who said they were multiracial was considered better looking.

Reece thinks it has to do with the “exotic” being a “compelling factor.” But it’s also just straight racism because of “the notion that black people are less attractive, so being partially not-black makes you more attractive,” he said in an interview with the Duke Research Blog.

So, people are racist and I have a little less faith in my humans. But it’s not just about swiping left or right and approving someone’s face. Research has shown that being attractive does affect someone’s chances at getting hired. According to Newsweek, hiring managers have admitted that an attractive person will usually get father along in the hiring process than an equally qualified but less attractive candidate. A good looking (probably white) good-looking man is estimated to make about $250,000 more than a less attractive colleague in the same position.

That is no way to live for a person of color. Especially because there is also longstanding research that shows people of color can barely get their resume opened and read if they have a “stereotypically black” sounding name. Not only are they less likely to be hired (or even called for an interview), but “black-sounding names” are also more likely to be deemed more “violent sounding” and therefore more dangerous and not worth the risk. Just like finding a person more attractive if they say they are biracial and not black, judging someone by their name is complete bullshit.

The inclination to assume someone is something based on their background or even their name is deep seated and psychological. It’s going to take a long ass time and a lot of social change for that to go away.