Why do Black People Have Big Lips? Everything You Need to Know!

Reviewed by Lovelace
Last Update:
Why do Black People Have Big Lips?

Why do black people have big lips? Black people have big lips due to the climate conditions in Africa. During hot weather when black ancestors worked the land, they needed to breathe in enough air to cool their faces or bodies quicker. Thick or fuller lips helped them to survive the weather conditions.

When you’re placed in an environment that’s completely different from the one you grew up in, chances are you’ll have a little difficulty adjusting. Whether it’s culture shock, the food, the people, or the language, you may struggle with it in some way.

In the tropics of Africa, the black ancestry was exposed to the full force of the hot sun and ferocious animals to hunt and compete.

Therefore, their skin became darker so that it would be more effective at protecting them from UV rays, a natural sunblock. Their hair grew less dense but tightly coiled for better ventilation against heat and to shield their skulls from the sun. Almost like a helmet.

Also Read: Why Do Black People Have Big Noses? Everything You Need to Know!

Through this process, they grew longer limbs to offer more surface area to evaporate, so that they could counter overheating. In addition, fat that was superfluous to the body was reduced. 

In addition to making them stronger, these conditions fitted them better for life in Savannah, making them more adapted to the conditions there. As a result, their lips become fuller to disperse body heat. This is why black people have full or big lips.

Reasons Why Black People Have Such Big Lips

1. Genetic Factors

Genetics play a significant role in determining facial features, including lip size. As stated in a research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), more than 70% of facial variation, such as lip prominence, can be attributed to genetic differences. Specific genes influence the size and shape of lips, with some traits showing dominant genetic influence. These genetic variations have evolved over generations, leading to the distinct lip characteristics often seen in black populations.

2. Evolutionary Adaptation

Fuller lips in certain populations, including many black communities, might be an evolutionary adaptation. These adaptations can be linked to environmental factors where their ancestors lived. For instance, larger lips may have offered advantages in warmer climates, helping in temperature regulation or moisture retention.

3. Cultural and Social Influences

Cultural preferences and social factors also play a role in the perception and appreciation of lip size. In many African cultures, fuller lips have been historically revered and seen as beautiful. These cultural values can influence the perception of lip size within these communities.

4. Dietary and Lifestyle Factors

Diet and lifestyle can have an impact on physical development, including facial features. Nutritional factors during developmental stages may influence the growth and appearance of facial features, including the lips.

5. Hormonal Influences

Hormones, particularly estrogen, are known to affect physical traits like lip size. Higher levels of estrogen can lead to fuller lips, which is why women often have fuller lips than men. This hormonal influence is part of why lip fullness can be associated with youth and fertility.

6. Global Genetic Mixing

With increased global mobility and intermarriage, there’s a greater mixing of genetic traits across populations. This can lead to a wider range of lip sizes and shapes within black populations, as genes are combined in new ways across generations.

7. Environmental Conditions

While genetic factors are predominant, environmental conditions can also influence physical characteristics. Exposure to different climates and environmental conditions over generations can contribute to variations in physical traits, including lip size.

Also Read: Black Men’s Penis: Everything You Need to Know! [MUST READ + Videos]

Why do different ethnicities have different lips?

Despite the fact that most Russians, French-Canadians, and Swedes are white, they often have different ethnic looks. It’s impossible to find an identical set of traits among white or black people. Note that race is not a phenomenon but an idea based on physical appearance. 

A bigger or fuller lip would have been difficult to survive in ice-cold Europe. Depending on the environment in which they live, different ethnicities may have different-sized lips. In general, black people or people living in equatorial climates have fuller lips than white people living in northern climates.

Additionally, many animals in cold environments have short extremities to reduce heat loss and vice versa in warmer environments. Consequently, lips also shrink to adapt to colder climates along with the skin.

The history behind lip size

Why do Black People Have Big Lips 1

Black people in Europe and America have had their natural African facial features altered by 20,000 years of the ice age. Squeezing the lips inwards would have to keep them warm. To keep the lungs from freezing, the nose took on a strange extended appearance. Temperatures were consistently below freezing.

Chapped lips are possible in certain places. If your lips were big, they may cause relatively large wounds that could become infected and kill you.

As a result, the cold environment is naturally selected for individuals with thinner lips or practically no lips, as they have a lower risk of serious lip injury during the cold, dark winters.

These cold low light places are also selected for lighter skin, which absorbs more vitamin D from the sun, and for lighter eyes, which see better in low-light settings. Strong sunlight is less likely to harm darker-colored eyes. It all comes down to survival in whatever circumstance you find yourself in.

Scientists believe that larger lips developed to remind males of an enhanced appearance of genitals, causing them to become aroused and enable the larger-lipped female a better probability of reproduction, ensuring that her genes would be among those that survived in the community.

So, whatever a person thinks of a potential mate’s characteristics, a subconscious part of him or her may be reacting to a more powerful attraction.

Nature is abundant and tends to offer some aspects and characteristics in a casually generous manner, with some examples being excessive and others barely showing the characteristic.

This ensures that some of the instances will receive a medium, and maybe most attractive, version. However, within every group, there is almost certainly an example of the opposite sex who is obsessed with one of the extremes on offer.

This concept has a school of thought. Women use lipstick to remind themselves of the crimson genital region that some monkeys and apes have during oestrous, which indicates that they are sexually engaged owing to hormonal changes when they are fertile.

Most mammals appear “in season” and are reproductive at that time. Humans are unique in that we feel sexual desires at all stages of the reproductive cycle.

Also Read: Black People Statistics You Probably Didn’t Know About!

The “Big Black Lips” Pros and Cons

Inasmuch as lip sizes are influenced by a variety of factors including genetics, cultural perceptions and societal trends, the dreaded “Big Black Lips,” in reference to black people’s lips has become a phenomenon. It’s even trendy now.

It’s clear that this characteristic, like any other physical trait, comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here’s an overview of some potential advantages and disadvantages:

Pros of Big Black Lips:

1. Cultural Representation and Identity: Fuller lips are often seen as a symbol of cultural identity and heritage, particularly in African and African Diaspora communities. They can be a source of pride and a connection to ancestral roots.

2. Aesthetic Appeal: In many cultures and modern beauty standards, fuller lips are considered aesthetically pleasing. They’re often associated with youth, vitality, and beauty, as reflected in current fashion and beauty trends.

3. Influence on Art and Fashion: Big Black people Lips have significantly influenced art, fashion, and beauty industries, inspiring new trends and styles that celebrate this feature. They have helped broaden the definition of beauty in the mainstream media.

4. Natural Protection: From a physiological perspective, fuller lips might offer better protection against environmental elements, helping to retain moisture and guard against the sun and wind.

5. Expressiveness: Fuller lips can be quite expressive, contributing to nonverbal communication and enhancing facial expressions, which is an essential aspect of human interaction.

Cons of Big Black Lips:

1. Historical Stigmatization and Stereotyping: Historically, fuller lips have been subjected to negative stereotyping and racism, particularly in Western societies. This has led to social and psychological impacts on individuals who possess this trait.

2. Target of Bullying or Teasing: Especially in non-African communities, individuals with fuller lips may have experienced bullying or teasing, particularly in school settings.

3. Cosmetic and Health Challenges: Fuller lips might require specific care and attention, as they can be prone to dryness and chapping. In terms of cosmetic applications like lipstick or balms, finding the right products that offer both aesthetic appeal and protection can be a challenge.

4. Orthodontic Considerations: As discussed, fuller lips can pose unique challenges in orthodontic treatments, requiring specialized approaches for effective dental care and comfort.

5. Commercial Exploitation: The trendiness of fuller lips in recent years has led to their commercial exploitation, sometimes overshadowing their cultural significance and leading to unrealistic beauty standards and pressure.

Do all Europeans have small lips?

Thin lips are a genetic characteristic of Europeans that evolved during the Ice Age. It just evolved as a result of people’s daily habits and behavior in a cold climate.

When people clinched their teeth, it was natural for both lips to pull inward into the mouth. The colder it becomes, the harder your lips clamp. Because of the severely cold temperatures, early humans in Europe had to do this all the time.

This practice prevented lip development and fat accumulation in the lips. As a result, their lips grew thin and had little fatty tissue. It was inadvertently developed from their daily habits and behaviors in a chilly climate. This is how Europeans got their small lips. Thin lips became genetic among Europeans throughout time.

How do you protect your skin?

Why do Black People Have Big Lips 2

People with light skin are most adapted for life at latitudes greater than 50 degrees, which excludes the continental United States, which is less than 50 degrees.

Also, if you have fair skin, you should avoid being in temperatures below 50 degrees. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should try to avoid the sun as much as possible. Too much sunlight produces too much vitamin D, which can lead to soft tissue calcification and a slew of other issues.

This is especially dangerous for those with fair skin as they move lower and lower in latitude, particularly in the southernmost portions of the United States.

People with dark complexions are most suited to most of the middle of the earth, up to 45 degrees. However, they may possibly do well at higher latitudes as well.

Lighter-skinned people from higher latitudes must be especially cautious about sun exposure and vitamin D over-absorption.

The sun/ultraviolet light also depletes folic acid levels in the body. Your dark skin protects you against folic acid deficiency. The darker the skin, the better the protection. 

Those with lighter skin are less protected and can suffer from folic acid depletion if exposed to too much sunshine. This can result in a slew of physical and mental issues because folic acid plays an important role.

Also Read: Homophobia in the Black Community: The Ultimate Guide!

Advantages of lip sizes

In any case, while having no lips is not advantageous from an aesthetic standpoint, it is ideal when living in a cold climate where people are prone to obtaining chapped lips, similar to how Arctic rabbits have very small ears. There is less surface area to be damaged by the cold.

And having wide lips is almost a prerequisite if you are a female and want to be a model or actor. Otherwise, huge lips are the default lips that humans all started off with, and they are the best until your group of people moves to an extremely cold place, in which case small lips are required to survive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What race has the biggest lip?

Men of Chinese descent had the largest total lip volume. Regarding the upper lip (measured from the midline of the upper lip vermilion border) to lower lip height ratio, Chinese women were found to have a mean ratio of 1:1.25 when measured both by caliper and surface distance.

What nationality has thin lips?

Studies have also shown that Caucasian women are found to have thinner lips than Asians, with the smallest upper lip height and volume.

Why are big lips popular?

It is thought that females desire fuller lips because it signifies strong mating and maternal potential. Basically, the research indicates that we are more likely to be affectionate towards an adult with softer, childlike features such as jutting cheeks or plumper lips.

Do men like big lips?

Research shows men are drawn to a woman’s pout more than any other facial feature. If you want to get a man’s attention, don’t bother fluttering your eyelashes or flicking your hair. Just practice your pout. According to a study, a woman’s lips are the most attractive part of her body.

Why are full lips considered attractive?

Full lips have long been desired by women because they signify youth and femininity. Evolutionary psychology also suggests that women with a full pout are often associated with a strong mating potential.

How Does Lip Anatomy Vary Among Different Ethnic Groups?

Lips vary anatomically across ethnicities. In black populations, lips often have a larger and more pronounced vermilion, the visible part of the lip. This difference is due to genetic factors and is a distinct characteristic of African ancestry.

What Genetic Factors Contribute to Fuller Lips in Black Individuals?

Fuller lips in black individuals are influenced by genetic variations, often linked to specific genes that determine lip shape and size. These traits are typically dominant and are a prominent feature in people of African descent.

Is There an Evolutionary Advantage to Fuller Lips?

Fuller lips in African ancestry might have evolutionary benefits related to climate adaptability, possibly helping in regulating body temperature and moisture retention in hot, dry climates.

How Does the Environment Influence Lip Development?

Environmental factors, like climate, play a role in lip development. In warmer climates, where many African communities originated, fuller lips might have offered adaptive advantages.

Do Hormones Influence Lip Size and Fullness?

Hormones, especially estrogen, affect lip fullness. Higher estrogen levels lead to fuller lips, and this hormonal effect might be more pronounced in black populations due to genetic factors.

What Are Orthodontic Considerations for Individuals with Fuller Lips?

Fuller lips can impact orthodontic treatments, requiring careful consideration for braces fitting to ensure comfort and effectiveness, especially in black patients who typically have fuller lips.

Are There Unique Oral Health Concerns Associated with Fuller Lips?

Fuller lips can be prone to dryness and chapping, needing specific oral hygiene practices. However, there are no unique oral health diseases exclusively associated with fuller lips in black individuals.

How Do Cultural Perceptions Impact Oral Health in Black Communities?

Societal views of fuller lips have historically influenced self-esteem and beauty standards in black communities, impacting their oral health attitudes and practices.

How Do Fuller Lips Change with Age?

With age, fuller lips may lose volume and elasticity, a change that can be more noticeable in black individuals due to the initially greater fullness. This is a natural part of aging.

What Is the Focus of Emerging Research on Fuller Lips in Black Populations?

Future research is exploring the genetic mapping and evolutionary history of fuller lips in black populations, delving into the biological and cultural significance of this trait.

Now, it’s your turn…

If you’re African and find yourself in America or Europe, you’ll struggle with everything therein, especially the weather. Likewise, Caucasians are careful to use sunscreen a lot when they find themselves in the hot tropics of Africa.

While the weather greatly influences how our noses or lips form, there are exceptions in every ethnic group.

The good news is now that we don’t have to live outside like our ancestors, we don’t have to be as protected from the sun and we don’t have to be as protected from the cold. Thus, unless you desire to be a model or actress, it doesn’t really matter so much what your features are or your lip size.

Related Articles:

Photo of author
Sedi here...Fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, and communication dedicated to empowering women and spreading positive messages about black people. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO. Got questions? Just hit the comments" Her socials: @SediDjentuh

8 thoughts on “Why do Black People Have Big Lips? Everything You Need to Know!”

    • Thanks for your contribution, Billy.
      We’re sharing ideas and opinions,
      Have any to share?
      Interesting question that needs more deliberation.
      Let’s hear more from you.

    • The very idea, as stated above, that negroes have thicker lips than caucasions, is so that they can breathe in more AIR is very preposterous !! If your lips are thick or fat, it stands to reason that would BLOCK a mouth trying for air, more than thin lips. Think about it. You should be able to come up with a better reason or excuse than that !!!!!!!

      • Very well
        Thanks for your comments.
        Not to be rude but seeking more information.
        If you have a better reason or excuse than that, please share.
        An article or a similar piece from you will be published.


  1. i find this funny im a thin lipped white man living is australia and love thin lipped women, i love being out in the sun and dont get sunburned or use sunscreen, im a freak of nature

    • Awesome, Neville.
      Life is full of choices.
      If its not broken, why fix it.
      Keep on winning and do what makes you happy.
      Thanks for your contribution.
      Cheers mate.

  2. Caucasian is literally not a nationality? You can’t compare a Greek caucasian to a Norwegian caucasian what a racist, bullshit article lmfao.

    • Thank you Amy for your comment.
      Yes, you may be right.
      We are also learning from you.
      share your ideas and thoughts.
      Maybe a rebuttal or an article to buttress your point.
      And that will be published here if you wish so.
      No need for name calling, insinuations and insults.
      We are for facts, respect and empathy.
      Not too late, come again!
      You can do better, Sore Amy.



Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.