In response to a Business Insider article published last year, entitled Sexiest Scientists Alive!, that failed to include any Black women, Dr. Kyla McMullen created a list of her own. Her list of Sexy Black Female Scientists combats both the invisibility of Black women in STEM, and the idea that those Black women aren’t sexy. According to her:
“Despite the magazine’s intentional or unintentional exclusion, the purpose of this article is to increase the visibility of Black female scientists and show the world that we do exist.
Being omitted in the Business Insider adds to the constant feelings of invisibility and isolation that are felt by many women of color in STEM fields. Furthermore, if I were a young Black girl looking at the Business Insider Article, I would unconsciously be receiving the not-so-subtle message that people who look like me do not excel in science. So why would I try a scientific career? *** The face of Science needs an extreme makeover. If the current generation is going to be engaged in scientific careers, we need to dispel the stereotypical image of a scientist as being a white, glasses wearing, socially-inept nerd. The Business Insiders went one step in this direction, but not far enough. This generation needs to see that being a scientist is not a death sentence to a life of awkwardness.”
The list includes 73 Black female scientists, including McMullen, that she knows personally or through one degree of separation. She is also asking readers to comment the names of other Black women scientists for a potential part 2!
Sesali failed Molecular & Cellular biology twice in undergrad. She won’t be on the list.