Google Images Race Problem & The “Sexy Black Mom”

Not too long ago a meme began to circulate telling people to search for “beautiful women” or “beautiful men.” The results always came back with images of people who possessed Eurocentric features. This meme began to evolve and the same results are still evident when you type in the words “beautiful hair” or “beautiful skin”.

Google results for “Beautiful Women”

You wont find a trace of melanin and not a single kinky curl under either collection of photos. According to Google images “beauty” only belongs to white women.

One might conclude Google’s inability to see Black women as beautiful is what lead to search results of the latest meme that surfaced this week. Several days ago the internet took people to task and asked them to search Google for “sexy white mom” versus “sexy black mom”.

The latest Google Search Challenge meme

These results were slightly less subliminal. Of course there was a decent amount of porn that comes up in the initial search, but things get even raunchier when you select the images tab.

The women under the category of “white mom” appear to be exude a subtle sultriness or possess a coy and casual seductive demeanor. Most of the images display fully clothed or lingerie clad moms.

The “black moms” on the other hand, are mostly “Face Down, Ass Up” imagery alongside a plethora of bare titties and full frontal crotch shots. All of them are nude and most of the photography can be interpreted as degrading.

It’s degrading not because of the sex work seen in the imagery but because it perpetuates the “Jezebel” trope that black women can only be sexy when being promiscuous or hyper-sexualized. This attitude is often a primary symptom of misogynoir.

People have tried asking Google for an explanation of this issue on the company’s product message board. Some users on the forum tried to rationalize that the reason for this contrast was due to how the content is labeled.

At first, this seems like a logical explanation. That was until other users on their message board pointed out that similar search engines like “Bing” and “Yahoo” didn’t yield any of the same X-Rated content as a result of the identical search.

Yahoo Images interpretation of the “black sexy mom”

I am hoping this is some sort of glitch. Black women are more than sex objects. And contrary to what Google images shows people “sexy black moms” can be a lot things beyond nude bodies. We can also be “beautiful” and have “beautiful hair” etc. and I hope to see more appropriate representation from this media giant.