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At first glance, Black Girl Travel seems to be like any other American international travel club, just one that caters exclusively to black women.But buried toward the bottom of its About Us page is a fuzzy You Tube video that indicates a wider problem.The researchers discovered that a similar number of men and women – roughly half – took selfies from the front, but there was a marked difference in the use of ‘vertical’ images.Almost 40 per cent of men pointed their phones upwards to accentuate their height, compared with just 16 per cent of women.The video is a defense of the company — directed at "haters" who have criticized Black Girl Travel for encouraging black women to date men in other countries."The heart of what we do is about empowering African-American women with options," says Fleacé Weaver, founder of Black Girl Travel, in the clip."I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of women in this country, and what I'm hearing is: You can't find dates, you can't find mates, you can't find husbands."Weaver, a statuesque black woman flanked by two chic employees on either side, is all long lithe limbs and wavy hair. "What you gotta do is open your mind." Weaver's not alone in her exhortation to black American women.
And while these sites say they intend to expose black women to a world of possibilities, the "possibilities" seem to predominantly feature black women with white men — a move that, intentionally or not, presents interracial dating as aspirational.
Tall men are generally perceived by women as stronger, more powerful and more fertile than shorter men.
Taking a selfie from a lower position also makes a man’s jaw look more pronounced – considered a very masculine trait.
"Once those images are posted and once they're permeating society, then a certain kind of picture is presented and reinforced about who black women should be with," Tiya Miles told me over the phone.
Last year Miles, the chair of African-American studies at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and a former Mac Arthur fellow, wrote about the issues facing black women and interracial dating for the Huffington Post.