Showcasing Black beauty (37258)

A campaign has begun to raise funds for a new photo project aiming to rebut a 2011 article published by Psychology Today by Satoshi Kanazawa that claimed Black women were rated the least physically attractive. Photographer Paul Phillips said that he wants to showcase Black women in a book showing their distinction and diversity.

The recently launched project, titled “Beauty in Black,” will endeavor to raise $10,000 in funds for an upcoming coffee table book that will feature 40 to 50 Black women of all ages, shapes, sizes, skin tones and hair textures. The book will also celebrate Black women’s achievements in their lives.

“I was inspired by the article, which was the catalyst, but I have been thinking about this for a while,” said Phillips. “As African-Americans, we have to monitor our image. We don’t want to be defined by other people and cultures. I want to put out images that are positive about African-Americans.”

The book will feature Black women from ages 2 to 90. Phillips said that he is looking for average women whom people see in their daily lives and wants the book to give a positive image of Black women.

“I want women to see themselves and not necessarily focus on what society says is beauty. I want to show beauty as regular people. The women in the book are going to be from everyday walks of life,” he said.

The $10,000 needed to make the book will go toward photo shoots, makeup and styling. While many women in the book will be from the tristate area, Phillips wants to feature women from across the country.

“This is not about objectifying women and not about rating physical attractiveness. I’m focusing on the uniqueness of Black women,” he said. “But it’s also about self-esteem. We want to go further than the outside image and center on the different styles [of women] and how they feel about themselves.”

Phillips said that he expects the book to be completed by February 2013. He’s also looking for women to appear in the book and is asking for models to email their photos to paul@whatseatingharlem.com.

Donations to the project can be made by visiting www.kickstarter.com and searching for “Beauty in Black.”