As a girl, liking boys and having relationships is something that society conditions you for at a young age. For me, the set person I am supposed to marry and spend the rest of my life with has to be a Nigerian man. Not any Nigerian man though– a well educated, well rounded Yoruba Nigerian man. Preferably, someone who is successful and is well off in money, who can make enough to sustain a family and other things. That’s who I must be with. This was already set for me, not by my parents’ per se, but by my culture’s standards. Slight problem with that though…
….That’s not really my type.
They say that the people you hang around can describe you as a person. Well, that can also go for who you are attracted to. I grew up in the suburbs of Ann Arbor, Michigan. There weren’t that many fellow Africans, let alone Black people. The majority of my friends were white (still are), but I have no problem with that.
Having the majority of the boys in my school be white just meant I had to take what I can get. To me that was normal, but to many Black people around me, that was evidence that I was “white-washed,” or even colorist towards dark-skinned people.
In reality, I was never exposed to the same environment that many other Black people were exposed to. It’s not that I favored white people or lighter-skinned people–it’s just all I knew. To them, I was discriminating against my own race, which wasn’t the case. In fact, sometimes it feels as if Black men are discriminating against me when it comes to dating.
You know the feeling when you’re trying to flirt with somebody, but then they immediately reject you? That’s how it is for many Black girls who try to date outside– or even inside– their race. We always have to ask ourselves this one important question:
Is he into Black girls, though?
Usually, the answer is no. Rarely, it is yes, but with yes multiple other scenarios could happen. The one outcome that we wish for is that you and the guy live happily ever after. That can happen, but it feels rare. There’s always a chance that the guy only likes you as a joke, or that he’s just toying with your emotions and using you as a rebound.
The most dreaded outcome, however, is that he just sees you and your skin color as a fetish, a trophy that he can place on his shelf. Black women are not a fetish– we aren’t some white boy’s “chocolate goddess or “melanin queen.” We are unique individuals that deserve to be treated and cared for with the same love that any non-Black woman receives.
Black women are already stereotyped and generalized which causes many, but not all, Black men to not want to be with us. From being told we’re too aggressive to being told that we’re all unattractive, Black women have heard it all. In the Black community, we usually see lighter-skinned women being favored for having physical traits like “good hair” or made-up emotional traits such as being “more gentle”– but that is a topic for another post.
Skin color shouldn’t be a factor in your attraction to people. So what if I like a 5’8” brunette caucasian boy or a Yoruba boy? Skin color should not be a priority or a deal-breaker– and no one should have their racial identity fetishized. Love is equal, and color is color.