Last night or early in the a.m. I received a text from my big sister.
I had just read about a married couple being used in a viral meme that falsely depicted their relationship. Worried and curious I grabbed my kindle and launched the Facebook app. The notification icon lit up and I saw my big sisters post. She is featured in a meme that depicts African-American hair as unprofessional for the workplace in a Google search. Here are her two cents. Check it out.
Now in some ways I completely understand the algorithm explanation. However, as my sister pointed out the blogs written by black women more than likely has the phrase professional hair in it too. I call foul on this excuse.
I don’t have proof but a month ago I did a search on Google for natural hairstyles. My search results contained a Bevy of pictures of Caucasian women. I thought OK… maybe I should be more specific. Then searched natural hairstyles for African-American women. Majority of the picture still were of Caucasian women. I should’ve took a picture right when it happened. I was on the train on my way to work. When I re-did the search later on that night I got pictures of African-American women.
It may have been because I was on my way to downtown Chicago and I was in a predominantly Caucasian area. When I re-did the search I was home on the southside again. I just know it confused me very much. Why would my search results change based off of the area that I’m in? Some people may use the reasoning that african-Americans are a minority so we may not come up as often in searchers. However the purpose of the search engines are to give you the most accurate results. I feel that regardless of where you are if you search for something that is for African-Americans you should get African-American result. I Also feel that no matter what ethnic group out number the other the search results should show a vast array of ethnic groups.
I feel it was very suspicious that the unprofessional hairstyles in a workplace search contained almost only African-American women and vice versa for Caucasian women. I believe it speaks volumes of how society tries to oppress African Americans and other ethnic groups. They try to brainwash us into thinking our hair and features are not beautiful. The best way to keep perpetuating that way of thinking is to have the power and means to control what we all see as beauty. If it seems like the majority thinks that beauty is light skin, straight hair the masses will except it as so because there is nothing to contradict that thought. As diverse as America is it seems too easy to say this is a result of search algorithms. What are your thoughts?