Beauty, Art, and Race

waterhouse - study for the lady clare

John William Waterhouse – study for the Lady Clare

By Kevin Alfred Strom; original essay Beauty, Art, and Race published on October 29th 2008 on Kevin Alfred Strom’s „Essays“ site. (Originally an American Dissident Voices radio broadcast of Oct. 2, 2004.)

TODAY I’VE BEEN READING a book entitled Personal Beauty and Racial Betterment. The book is very rare today. It was published in 1920, during that hopeful time when a strong and mostly-healthy America was awakening to the scientific truths about race and the infinite possibilities of racial progress. Knight Dunlap, the author, was a professor of experimental psychology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a substantial portion of his book was delivered by him as a lecture at Randolph-Macon College, just down the road from me in Lynchburg, Virginia. Despite some faults, the book is insightful and inspiring.

Dunlap, who later went on to head the psychology departments at both Johns Hopkins and UCLA, says much in his book that would get him hooted off the stage by the equalitarian thugs who dominate the academy today. Dunlap’s thesis is that what we call personal beauty is really the emotional appreciation of the many qualities which make an individual a fit and healthy parent for a fit and healthy next generation of our race.

Beauty, then, is more than just something that thrills the lover and the poet — though it is assuredly that.

Dunlap tells us that beauty is “something which… is for the race and for civilization of such profound importance that no other fundamental consideration of human welfare and progress can be divorced from it.”

Beauty is a measure of racial fitness for the future. Men and women ache for it in their mates, even if they do not understand the nature or significance of their ache and their passion. The desire for a beautiful mate is an ineradicable, primordial urge. It is an instinctive part of us. It guides us on our recently-interrupted upward journey to higher intelligence, greater strength and power, and increased consciousness and wisdom.

Dunlap says that the preservation of beauty is inseparable from the preservation of all civilized values and progress. Lose one and you lose the other. And further, Dunlap warns, our civilization is fostering an increase of human ugliness and a withering away of human beauty so drastic that only strenuous and radical changes will suffice to reverse it. This was in 1920, mind you — things have gotten far worse since then.

And so this is the theme of today’s program: beauty and its significance to the race. I shall go a little beyond Dunlap’s subject, which was strictly the beauty of the person, and also discuss the beauty of our surroundings, particularly the beauty of art, which is also withering away in today’s multiracialist society.

Personal Beauty

What is beauty of the person? Dunlap tells us that it varies distinctly from race to race, so that such concepts cannot be accurately compared across racial lines, though he acknowledges that darker races sometimes change their standards when influenced by Whites, and some even come to desire White mates — a phenomenon with which we are all too familiar in our century. Dunlap states:

“The broad flat nose and thick wide lips are often repulsive [to us] because they suggest the African, if for no other reason….

“Among certain African tribes, whose men are uniformly over seven feet tall, and as thin as a rail, a normal Anglo-Saxon is probably not beautiful. Among other African tribes, and certain Islanders of the Pacific, a woman is not considered beautiful unless she reaches a degree and a distribution of fatness which makes her either repulsive or comical to European eyes….



“[But] the type which is highest in value tends to approximate the European type, wherever the European type becomes known. All dark races prefer white skin, and it is a general rule that the female of the inferior race prefers the male of the superior race to the male of her own race, no matter how striking the difference. That the inferior male considers the superior female more beautiful than the female of his own race is indicated everywhere, and clearly demonstrated among the Turks.”

Dunlap is highlighting one danger of multiracialism: the unique racial standards of beauty and sexual attractiveness held by each race can break down when there is prolonged contact. Whether this unnatural attraction for mates of a higher kind is some kind of instinctive longing for what is greater and better, a primitive proclivity to improve one’s stock by mating upward, or whatever, it nevertheless represents a great danger — and no benefit whatever — to the higher race. The danger is particularly acute if many members of the higher race are characterized by out-group altruism and empathy.

What is personal beauty for us? My answer must be very abbreviated and incomplete, but we can trace the outlines.

Personal beauty first consists in the lack of a number of negative characters. It is lack of deformity. It is lack of visible weakness or sickness. It is lack of extreme thinness or obesity. It is lack of a slack-jawed or moronic appearance. It is lack of body or limb size wildly outside the norm. It is the lack of misplaced sexual characteristics — femininity in men is undesirable, as is masculinity in women.

For the woman, stature and strength greater than her own rank high in her estimate of male beauty (as long as the man’s stature is not far beyond the norm) — both signs of a man who can protect and provide. And the most attractive man for the single woman is usually one who is sufficiently young to have years of vigor ahead, so he will still be strong when the couple’s offspring are almost grown — even though his age may be considerably greater than the woman’s in some cases.

For the man, the woman’s body is beautiful which has the harmonious swelling of the hips and breasts so much celebrated in art, and the perfect softness of the skin (which shows not too little nor too much underlying fatty tissue), the glowing complexion, and the vivacity and energy that together show a healthy ability to bear and nurture children. The greatest sexual beauty is found in the woman in her child-bearing years.

And there are a great many characters of beauty which apply to both sexes. In some cases, these marks of beauty are also marks of an advanced race, characteristics which signify the greatest possible difference from more primitive forms.

facial angle men

Facial angle: from Edwin J. Houston, The Elements of Physical Geography, for the use of Schools, Academies, and Colleges

Looking at the profile of the face, we note the facial angle (the angle, relative to the horizon when a man is standing normally, of a line drawn from the greatest protuberance of the jaw to the most prominent part of the forehead). The average facial angle of the European race is the closest to vertical of any human race. We also see that non-human creatures have lower and lower facial angles as we make our way from the more advanced to the more primitive. Less-advanced and smaller-brained creatures (and races) have a lower, more sloping forehead (and hence less capacity in the frontal regions of the brain). More primitive races and creatures also tend to have larger teeth, and larger jaws which jut forward, thus making the facial angle even closer to the horizontal.

The man or woman with a high or ‘noble’ forehead is better-looking to us than a man or woman with a steeply-sloping forehead, which we instinctively view as primitive and ugly, whether we use those words or not. The protruding jaw, so common in Africans and Australasians, or the underdeveloped chin and outsized nose common to some Semites, to European eyes give the human profile a convex and snout-like appearance, and hence are bars to beauty as we perceive it. We may not be conscious of the reason, but our instincts, our souls if you will, are telling us that the highly-evolved is beautiful and the primitive-looking is not.


The facial angle of various primates can be clearly seen in this illustration of cranial capacity: provided courtesy of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

The most primitive human races have rather stiff and kinky hair, and so, to the European, softly curling, waving, or smoothly soft and straight hair are the most beautiful. Again, we instinctively admire the advanced traits and shrink back from the primitive.

Dunlap tells us that the eyes are special beauty marks, though the precise analysis of why or how that is so — why we instinctively feel that the eyes are expressive windows on the soul — is a subject that needs further study:

“Aside from the indication of physical condition which the eyes afford (and every physician makes use of these indications), the importance of the eye is probably largely racial. The blue or the black, the large or the small, are not in themselves of moment, but they indicate stocks from which we expect certain other characters, mental and physical.”

The eyes of the people of our race range from brown to the lightest hues, but I think that in general our race possesses — not exclusively, but more than any other on average — the quality of clarity of the eyes, of whiteness of the orbs when healthy, and of translucency of the iris so that the colored matter is visible clearly through the cornea. This is what gives our eyes an expressive and lucid quality which we see as beautiful.

The cast of the expression of the human face may be the most important single factor in personal beauty. Even in classical art, where the ideal of European beauty is literally set in stone and the entire nude form is revealed, it is still the sublimely high and spiritual expression of the face which arrests our attention more than any other single quality. Dunlap tells us:

“The voluntary muscles of the face, scalp, trunk, arms, and legs are kept in a condition of tonus by nerve currents constantly supplied to them by the motor nerves. Tonus is a state of partial contraction, which constitutes the state of readiness for action of the muscle. If the motor nerve trunk which supplies any voluntary muscle be severed, the muscle at once becomes flabby. …the muscle must be in the appropriate chemical condition to receive the stimulus, and this chemical condition is dependent not only on the general metabolic conditions of nutrition, fatigue, and rest, but also on the specific actions of hormones….”

The face is the site of the most complex muscle structure anywhere on the body, with a complex nerve structure to match, thus giving our faces an extremely wide and subtle variation of expression. With the dependence of these many muscles on the structure, health, and current state of the nerves, it is not surprising that we can learn much of the temperament, state of health, and intelligence of a man or woman by looking at his or her face. The face, and to a lesser extent, the other parts of the body, are giving us a constant and multifaceted ‘readout’ of the brain and nervous system within.

The ‘look’ that we call beauty is partly composed of an harmonious arrangement of these complex muscles, combined with an overall poise of the body — both achievable only in a healthy organism with a healthy nervous system.

Of course, we find that our instinctive ideals of beauty — not only as expressed in our sexual selection, but also in our art when it was uncorrupted and free — far outstrip reality in these regards. Very few of us embody all these ideals anywhere close to perfection, though on average we approach them more closely than any other race. But they are our ideals, and insofar as those ideals are favored in our selection of who will be the mothers and fathers of generations to come, they will indeed be a glimpse of those unborn generations, a glimpse of what will be, a glimpse of the future.

The Death of Beauty

We also find that in modern society, it is the highest and most intelligent and most beautiful who effectively sterilize themselves and have the fewest children. It is the best among us who have the most urgent and difficult career tasks to perform; the least time for children. It is largely the bright and the beautiful who are siphoned off to be used and abused by the ‘entertainment industry’ in their prime parenting years, and who are the most likely to be able to ‘arrange things’ for the consumerist ideal of a life of trinkets, gadgets, indolence, indulgence, and childlessness. To the dull and the dark come the largest families, these days.

We are effectively exterminating the beautiful.

Part of this problem is due to anti-natal propaganda (which has its greatest effects on the intelligent and responsible), to be sure, and the intensive promotion of every kind of sexual activity except the kind that leads to offspring. But much is due to the simple collision of modern reproductive technology with selfishness and laziness and shortsightedness. (When Margaret Sanger promoted birth control in the early part of the last century, she honestly believed it would relieve the misery of the underclass — and simultaneously have a eugenic effect — because the genetically poorly endowed would still be rational enough to see the quality-of-life benefit in having fewer children. She was wildly optimistic. On balance, it is the responsible and intelligent who limit their numbers. The irresponsible and stupid are as profligate as ever. The effect of Sanger’s crusade has been the opposite of what she intended: It has been dysgenic.)

Our social policies — which greatly reward the childless career woman who spends her life, say, overseeing the making of landfill-destined widgets in a Chinese factory, and which also reward the borderline-retarded semi-savage who can increase her tax-money handout by having a seventh child — are also dysgenic in the extreme. The same policies essentially punish the intelligent White woman who has Tommy and Sally and Jenny instead of having a position on the board of the widget company or a corner in the crack house. That has got to stop.

By essentially killing off and sterilizing our best and multiplying our worst, we are killing beauty and killing ourselves. We are doing the exact opposite of what Nature is urging us to do.


Multiracialism also leads directly to the death of beauty in art. Different races have vastly different ideas of beauty. Michelangelo did not produce African masks. Chopin did not write rap or beat on hollow logs. John William Waterhouse and Jackson Pollock inhabited very different inner worlds. In a multiracial society, standards and traditions are abandoned — White standards are too “Eurocentric,” and no group can impose its standards on any other nor even hold on to its own traditions for long. In painting, sculpture, architecture, music, literature, and the decorative arts, there is no center any more. The continuity of thousands of years is broken. There is chaos.

Out of it all, a bland, offensive-to-no-one, make-it-as-cheaply-as-possible artistic ethos invades our lives from every side, coupled with an “avant-garde” which revels in the equally-empty perverse. As we begin to live in a society of ugly people, we also see ugly paintings, ugly advertisements, ugly clothing, ugly body deformations and decorations, and ugly buildings everywhere we look. A people disconnected from its own traditions of beauty, a people inundated with the bland and ugly — mixed in with the weird and trendy and ugly — is sickened and greatly weakened.

As I’ve said before on this program: White children need White art. We need to inculcate a feeling for the highest kind of beauty — our kind of beauty — in our children from the very first day of their lives. In every direction we turn, we should see or hear something beautiful. Most important is the beauty of the human body, European man and woman portrayed in art that exalts and worships, but never degrades.

Beauty Speaks to Us

When romantic love first strikes a man and a woman, beauty speaks loudly: The lovers may consciously think or say, my beloved has beauty, but aeons-old instincts are saying at the same time he is strong and wise and will make a good father; she is bright and fertile and life-giving and will make a good mother. And also they are saying of the loved one that he or she is a fine example of my own kind, a perfect match for me. That is what Nature is telling us with that rush of love and beauty that greets us in our youth.

Francesco Hayez - The Kiss

Francesco Hayez: The Kiss (Il Bacio), 1859

And Nature is right. We as individuals have lives that are too short for the tasks that Nature is trying to accomplish. Nature needs generations upon generations to reach her goals, the ultimate ends of which even our best minds cannot see, though we know the path leads upward. And so that wisdom, that strength, that vitality, that intelligence, that character — that beauty that our race still possesses — must be carried on from generation to generation, getting stronger, or at least not diminishing, if we are to reach that destiny, if we are not to prove ourselves to be one of Nature’s dead ends who failed to do what must be done to survive. Beauty is Nature’s way of giving us that message on an emotional level.

I believe that for our race to follow that upward path, for us to maintain the strength it will take to endure the trials of competition with other races and the unknown disasters of the future, we must treasure that beauty and increase it every year, every day. We must build a culture of European beauty and splendor so we shall ever have before our eyes and in our ears the beauty that we and only we can create. If we do that, we shall never forget that our primary purpose on Earth is to bring forth the future generations of our uniquely beautiful race.

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