A recent peer-review study found that black people who identify as mixed-race are considered more attractive.
Published in the June 2016 issue of Review of Black Political Economy, the study's findings are based entirely off of perception and did not take conventional variables like hair texture and skin tone into account.
"The simple perception of exoticism sways people to see multicultural blacks as better-looking," said study author Robert L. Reece, an African American doctoral candidate in sociology at Duke University. The same held true even if the individual was not actually of mixed race, as long as they identified as such.
In a series of controlled interviews, Reece attempted to test and measure the power of perception. 3,200 black subjects were asked questions about their racial backgrounds. Interviewers then graded each person’s attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most attractive. The average attractiveness rating among subjects who identified as mixed race was 3.74; while those who identified as black were given a score of 3.47 – a significant difference that alludes the power of racial bias.
“I’ve even noticed some people in black communities casually using the terms ‘mixed’ and ‘light-skinned’ interchangeably. So I wanted to begin an empirical investigation into the contemporary links between the two and how they combine to shape people’s life experiences,” Reece shared.
These findings give credence to the institution of colorism, the belief that individuals of non-African descent are more desirable. As explored in films like Spike Lee's School Daze and Jungle Fever, this phenomena of favoritism based on multicultural heritage has existed for years.