All Articles Tagged "psychology today"
From Psychology Today:
“The manic defence is the tendency, when presented with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, to distract the conscious mind either with a flurry of activity or with the opposite thoughts or feelings. A general example of the manic defence is the person who spends all of his time rushing around from one task to the next, and who is unable to tolerate even short periods of inactivity. For this person, even leisure time consists in a series of discrete programmed activities that he needs to submit to in order to tick off from an actual or mental list. One needs only observe the expression on his face as he ploughs through yet another family outing, cultural event, or gruelling exercise routine to realize that his aim in life is not so much to live in the present moment as it is to work down his never-ending list. If one asks him how he is doing, he is most likely to respond with an artificial smile and a robotic response along the lines of, ‘Fine, thank you—very busy of course!’ In many cases, he is not fine at all, but confused, exhausted, and fundamentally unhappy.”
Been there, done that. And I’m riddled with constant anxiety to prove it.
It seems the older I get, the harder it is for me to sit still. I end up feeling guilty and think that all this still sitting is wasting time. I should be doing something. But what? Well, there is always the two loads of laundry needed to be cleaned, vacuuming that could be done, checking in with family members I haven’t spoken to in a while; another chapter in my long-awaited-by-nobody- novel needed to be written…and so forth and so on. There is always something to do.
I’m not surprised to read the newest statistics, which say that Americans on average are taking fewer vacation days than before. The most popular cited reasons included “fear of being replaced” and “too much work.” And then there’s also such a thing as “leisure sickness” that plays a part in those numbers, where workaholics will feel sick during down times like vacation and weekends. As a society we are fed a constant stream of messages that tell us that being busy is a good thing. Successful people are busy. Therefore, if you want to be successful in life too, you better get busy.
Growing up, I was always taught that an idle hand was the devil’s playground. Therefore, “free time” was time to be used to find something new to do. This notion was enforced by my mother, who always sent me to clean something after fielding my complaints about being bored and was reinforced during visits to my father in upstate Pennsylvania, who hated to see me sitting around or just watching television and would demand, “why don’t you go find something to do?” Even as I got older and found things to do, my “doing of stuff” wasn’t sufficient enough. At Friendly’s Restaurant, which was my first real job with a legal paycheck, the popular phrase among the wait staff of managers was, “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.”
On the constant hunt for “something to do” meant that while I was busy, for some reason, I still didn’t seem to accomplish much. I was occupied but also aimless and unfulfilled. “Fun” if that is what you called it – had to be pre-planned and penciled in. And usually I found myself mentally – in some cases physically – in too many places and spaces. Like the time that I was working two jobs and involved in a number of volunteer community service projects and saying “yes” to just about every invite and opportunity that came my way. Sure, I was busy. I had timetables and deadlines, agendas and outputs too. But I was also unnecessarily stressed, and I for damn sure wasn’t happy. And not to mention, I was exhausted. I needed to relax. But how?
One day I decided to schedule in some relaxation by way of a local Women of Color meditation sit-in group. I thought being in the presence of experienced meditators would help bring about a sense of calm and peace, which I needed in my life. However, I found it hard to relax due to thoughts about what I was doing and if I was doing it right. At one point during the session, we did a walking meditation, where we went outside and walked silently up and down the pavement. The point was to be able to clear the mind while in a real world circumstance, yet all I kept thinking was, “What if someone sees me and wonders, ‘what the heck is she doing?’” Even in the act of doing nothing I was finding myself worrying and stressing about something.
It’s only been fairly recently that I began to allow myself permission to do absolutely nothing. Sure, I still have my to-do list and I still sometimes worry about what other folks think. However, I will regularly deviate from my internal nonsense to do something spontaneous, something superficially beneficial for me, like paint my toenails a pretty color or hookie from work to go see a movie or just sit peacefully and think about things. Everything doesn’t have to have an agenda, nor does it have to be perfect. It’s okay to live in the moment, and yes, the dishes can wait until tomorrow.
None of us has forgotten Satoshi Kanazawa’s article in Psychology Today last year which claimed black women to be the least attractive, but a Harlem photographer is trying to erase the damage that was done with a new photo essay called “Beauty in Black.”
For the project, Paul Phillips wants to create a coffee table book filled with 30 to 40 high-quality black & white and color images celebrating the beauty and spirit of black women.
“As a black man who is married to a beautiful black woman, I didn’t get mad I got busy,” he said. “I am creating a photo essay that will portray the beauty of African American women of all shades, shapes and sizes.”
In the book, Paul says he wants to capture black women and girls from all walks of life across the country to address hair, skin tone, and body image. With a page on Kickstarter.com, he’s hoping to raise the funds needed to bring the project to fruition by March 2013.
Check out the promotional video here and tell us what you think about the project. Why are black women beautiful to you?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- What The Heck Happened To You: What Lost Celebs Look Like Nowadays
- Working Your Degree While You’re Waiting: Non-Traditional Paths to Employment
- 7 Things That Could Change The Way He Feels About You
- Say Cheese! Unfortunate Yet Unforgettable Celebrity Mug Shots
- Reader Sound Off! 10 Female Singers Who Are Underrated…
- The High-Income Woman’s Guide to Dating a Man Who Makes Less
- The Father, The Son and The Oprah Winfrey
- Seriously, What’s With All the Overly Aggressive Men in the Club Nowadays?
(Hip Hop Wired) — A psychologist has been fired from his blogger post atPsychology Today and had his profile page deleted by the company’s website after posting a “study” blog stating “Why All Black Women Are Less Attractive.” Satoshi Kanazawa, also employed by the London School of Economics, recent posting of an unfounded blog stating, “black women are rated less attractive than other women,” received disdain from hoards of angry people, not just black women.
It’s looks like Psychology Today‘s hand-spanking over Dr. Kanazawa’s hack job of a study that dissed black women left enough of a sting, because news has it that Dr. “Krazy with a K” has been dumped from the site’s blogger line-up. I guess St. Ives pulling out all its advertising plus all the petitioning, emails, calls and threats will teach them some learnin’.
This is a testament to how online organizing is the new ‘civil rights’ march. Bloggers, online petitions, emails and Twitter can all make change, and you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers to participate. Showering is also optional.
The movement to get Doctor Krazy ousted was largely composed of black women, who banded together and used the power they’ve always had, but don’t use often enough. However, Gina, the ‘Blogmother’ of What About Our Daughters, who was integral to organizing the Psychology Today protest, has mixed feelings about the outcome.
Remember that foolish “study” that was passed off as science declaring that black women are less physically attractive than other women? Even though Psychology Today later pulled the article after getting hit with a massive public backlash, the article’s author, pseudo-evolutionary psychologist Satoshia Kanazawa, is not out of the woods yet.
On Thursday, the student union at the London School of Economics, where Kanazawa is a reader in the management department, unanimously called for his dismissal, according to BBC News. University administrators have said that Kanazawa’s views are “his own and do not in any way represent those of LSE as an institution.” Though the University supports academic freedom, in which authors have the right to publish their views, it also gives others the freedom to disagree, and the institution is “conducting internal investigations into this matter.”
Sherelle Davids, anti-racism officer-elect of the LSE Students’ Union, told BBC, “As a black woman I feel his conclusions are a direct attack on black women everywhere who are not included in social ideas of beauty.”
Demanding Kanazawa’s termination is a no brainer considering that this is not the first time his “research” was laced with racial and prejudicial undertones. His previous controversial postings include blog entries such as “Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?” and “What’s wrong with Muslims?”
It’s commendable that the university’s students are holding Kanazawa accountable for spreading his biased views. Though we clearly do not live in a post-racial society, not everyone wants to be subjected to such vile messages that attacks diverse groups of people.
By J. Smith
An apology has yet to be issued by the –good- folks over at Psychology Today for insulting an entire group of people and calling it “science.” On May 15 they published a “study” that claimed black women are the ugliest of all women. After immense public backlash, the “scholarly” journal tried to change the headline from “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” to “Why Are African-American Women Rated Less Attractive Than Other Women, but Black Men Are Rated Better Looking Than Other Men?” before removing it altogether. You can still read it here.
“The article goes on to make some deeply offensive and weakly supported claims such as ‘It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others…Nor can the race difference in intelligence […] account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women,’” Media Bistro reports.
So not only are we less attractive, but we have the nerve to think we’re all that. The nerve! How dare we have some self-esteem? I mean, we only live in a society that copies everything we do and call it their own: music, fashion, language, etc. Mr. Satoshi Kanazawa is probably just jealous that the world isn’t jocking his swag.
The black blogosphere went H.A.M. yesterday over a post written in Psychology Today entitled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” The post, which was penned by pseudo-evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics, contains a lot of inflammatory subjective “science” that basically trashes black women.
In the piece, Kanazawa polls a bunch of his friends, who also hate black women, and (surprise, surprise) discovers that black women are statistically far less attractive than white, Asian and Native American women. Then he “analyzes” his data, determining that “Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women.” Moreover, “Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.”
Kanazawa concludes his findings with this thoughtless piece of subjectivity: “The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive.”
So in non-scientific terminology—black women are not only fat and less intelligent than our non-black counterparts, but we also look like men.
After a mid-morning email blitz from disgruntled black women (and the men that love them) everywhere, Psychology Today pulled the piece. However, thanks to the infinite powers of the Internet, Kanazawa’s bigoted douchebaggery lives on for eternity.
While I am not a psychologist, I can certainly tell when someone needs one. Perhaps Kanazawa is overcompensating for the unproven stereotypes about the sexual prowess of Asian men. Or maybe he has gotten his heart broken before by a fat, black, handsome looking broad, so now he is taking out all his anger on all black women. Either way, it’s clear that whatever inferiority “issues” he has can only be solved with some deep therapy and not here on this post.
Nevertheless, it does shock me to see that a somewhat generally reputable science magazine has continually engaged in irrational arguments for why blatant forms of ethnocentrism, xenophobia and racism are perfectly rational. As pointed out by Jezebel, Psychology Today has a long history of debasing women and feminism, “blaming it for everything from unhappiness to sexual harassment to just plain evilness.” Some of Kanazawa’s previous entries have included topics such as: “Why Modern Feminism is Illogical, Unnecessary, and Evil;” “Men Sexually Harass Women Because They Are Not Sexist;” and my personal favorite, “Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?”
But it’s just not women that Kanazawa seems to degrade with his moronic theorizing. He has also claimed there is a link between lower average IQ and poverty in Africa. Unfortunately, Kanazawa, among others, is allowed to play up these baseless hypotheses about the human condition thanks in part to evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology is becoming increasingly popular and influential on popular culture, and you are often more likely to see articles from this perspective in publications like Psychology Today.
Evolutionary “study” is not a new concept; prior to the 1980s, sociobiology was the popular science that linked human behavior to evolution. Like Kanazawa, Charles Darwin did his fair share to popularize biologic racism. By the early 1900s Darwin had cooked up the theory that white people evolved from chimpanzees, the more intelligent primate, while blacks and the Orientals evolved from less intelligent primates such as orangutans and gorillas. Then there was Sir Francis Galton, founder of the eugenics movement, who theorized that intelligence was mainly hereditary and that Negroes were barely human at all.
So does this prove that evolutionary psychology is totally useless pseudo-science? Not exactly; it does have its uses to show how certain environmental conditions can impact human behavior. But as a general rule, it’s best to take certain evolutionary studies we read with a grain of salt since a lot of the conclusions drawn are often based on a political and/or social prejudice idea—if not from the views of the bigot scientist himself.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
(The Loop 21) — The website Psychology Today (don’t be fooled by the academic sounding name) decided it would be a good idea to publish an article titled, “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” The article goes on to explain why black women, but not black men, are less attractive than all other races. White women of course come out on top. The author cites an Add Health study (but provides no link) that “measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively” and after supplying some results of Add Health’s factor analysis the author cites the results in a row of colorful “graphs” with black women getting the lowest scores and concludes: The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone.
Ever wake up on a Monday morning, skim the headlines, check your Facebook, and then something so outrageous pops up on someone’s timeline and you can’t help but yelp,”What the cuss?!”?
That was me this morning when I read the news feed for the popular black-women’s advocacy blog, What About Our Daughters when she linked to a Psychology Today article titled, Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?, and thought wow: It’s really open season on black women. For real.
The “scientist” attributes black women’s ‘fugliness’ to being fat, dumb and too manly (we apparently have more testosterone).
Think I’m kidding? No lie.
“Black women are still less physically attractive than non-black women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than non-black men,” says Satoshi Kanazawa, the evolutionary psychologist who conducted the study.
So, let me get this straight: Black men are hotter than non-black men, and black women are so disgusting that nobody thinks we’re attractive? I’m not one to wear tin foil hats, but this black- woman bashing is starting to look like a pile on.
I find it in-ter-est-ing that the author of the study is Asian, a group that is increasingly obsessed with looking more European, and taking drastic measures like getting their skin lightened and having their eyelids hacked to look the part.
To be fair, not all men feel this way. Josepha Cha, a 19-year-old Korean and one of my Facebook friends who runs a group called “Asian Men Black Women Unite” says, “The scientist must [have been] smoking crack when he conducted this useless research. First of all, physically black women hands down are the most attractive women on the God-given earth. Black women have nice skin, hair,etc…. This is why you see other women of race trying to imitate [them].”
I haven’t even gotten to the worst part of this article, where the good doc says that even though “we’re ugly” we still think we’re all that.
“It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others,” says Kanazawa.
Will it also be “interesting” if I note that this guy is a douche?
Shame on Psychology Today for being a willing instrument to perpetuate racism. But I can’t be surprised, can I? It seems like every other week we hear NFL players saying “they don’t like black girls,” (c)rap songs calling us hoes and Beyotches, and news of how some regions of Africa rape 48 black women per hour. Per. Hour. And with no one coming to our defense, it’s just implied that we’re defense-less. This kind of soul-killing propaganda has got to stop, but I have a feeling it’s going to have to be black women making a concerted effort to work together and say “Enough is enough.”
Editor’s Note: Psychology Today has since removed the link to the study; but we linked to the cached article.
Christelyn D. Karazin is a health writer and the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released February 2012), and runs a blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.