In an article titled “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism,” Noble discussed Google’s racist and sexist search suggestions mainly pertaining to women of color. In the beginning of the article, Noble talked about her experience with searching the words “black girls” using Google’s search engine in 2009 and 2011. Both times, her search results were filled with porn, which made her realize that “black girls were still the fodder of porn sites, dehumanizing them as commodities, as products and as objects of sexual gratification” (Noble, 18). She connected her search results to the tropes of African Americans in the United States and continued to search. One of her searches contained the word “beautiful” without the word “women” included, and her top search results were white women. I decided to search the terms “beautiful women,” to see if my results would be similar to Noble’s, and to no surprise, they were! As shown in the picture above, my top results were also white women. These search results reminded me of a paper that I wrote about the African American dating community for my anthropology course.
In my paper, I discussed colorism, a form of internal racism that discriminates against individuals with a dark skin tone, and how it dominates the African American dating community. Due to the socializations of their environment, people of color tend to prefer light-skinned partners; however, “many people are unaware of their preferences for lighter skin because that dominant aesthetic is so deeply ingrained in [their] culture” (Hunter, 238). In an article titled Black Women, Beauty, and Hair as a Matter of Being, Cheryl Thompson states that society holds women of color to a beauty paradigm, which privileges “white/light skin, straight hair, and what seems to be European facial features” (Thompson, 831). Margaret Hunter contributed to the same argument in an article titled The Persistent Problem of Colorism: Skin Tone, Status, and Inequality. She states that “the United States is maintained by a system of white racism,” and “the maintenance of white supremacy is predicated on the notion that dark skin represents savagery, irrationality, ugliness, and inferiority” (Hunter, 238). On the other hand, light skin is associated with “civility, rationality, beauty, and superiority,” which gives them unfair advantages in the areas such as marriage (Hunter, 238). People of all skin tones should be able to find love without the consideration of color, and people should also be able to define themselves as beautiful without having to compare themselves to someone else.