It has always disturbed me how much vitriol is shown towards interracial relationships on both sides. It disturbs me because too much of it is based on assumption. Personally I don’t even believe that people should be assuming anything about anyone’s relationship because there are plenty of things that we do not witness from the outside that we do not know. We can only judge relationships from the outside.
I am fully aware of some of the many reasons people are against interracial marriage. Some of those reasons are logical and reasonable only if they are corresponding to the individuals who have malicious or insincere intentions.
One of the insincere intentions are getting into interracial relationships are dating someone of a lighter complexion or white background to elevate one’s social status. There are many “positive” stereotypes about white and lighter skinned women, that they are somehow better and more submissive than darker skinned women.
If I grew up witnessing man after man pining over lighter skinned and white women and rejecting me because I’m Black or not as fair, I would certainly have a bitter taste in my mouth. However my experience has been rejection from both sides and really I have experienced having a bitter taste in my mouth about men regardless of their color. I have encountered Black men who prefer and exclusively date non-Black women but many of them have insisted it’s not racist to do so.
I understand that we as human beings cannot help what physical features attract us. I myself am more attracted to women mainly because women tend to have curves and men generally are shaped squarely, straight up and down and flat. Even with my attraction to women, women who are skinny and shaped more flat do not generally attract me. Does that make me hateful and full of phobia of skinny girls? No. But I also wouldn’t go around saying I don’t date skinny girls.
I want to leave my heart open to people who many not fit my physical ideal and I say that because the heart doesn’t discriminate. For some people physical attraction is very important or is the most important. For me it’s not that important so it’s very hard for me to understand how it is a deal breaker for most people. Could I date Quasiamodo? Probably not, but I don’t need someone to be an Adonis or Aphrodite to be attracted. Average is fine for me or even a little bit below that.
What matters to me is how someone treats me and their swag so to say. Confidence is sexy and so is being treated like a Queen. Apart from that though I find myself attracted to people of various races, maybe some more that others but let me explain.
Once someone tried to trap me into saying that I had a “racial preference” for Latino men. For one thing Latino isn’t a race, it’s an ethnic group. There are White, Black, Asian Latinos that have mixed blood and mixed features. Therefore, saying I’m attracted to Latino men exclusively would be a dumb statement because that’s like saying the only soup I eat is gumbo. Gumbo is a mix of things and comes in various forms.
In my mind when I think of a Latino man that I am attracted to I think of a specific look: tan, dark haired, thick accent, shirt open, basically a telenovela star which fits into a stereotype. Would I be attracted to a fair skinned English only speaking one? Would I be attracted to a short indigenous looking one? Would I be attracted to an Afro Latino, who looks just like me and would rarely be identified as Latino other than when he spoke Spanish? All of those men are Latin men, yet there is no guarantee that just because they are I would automatically be attracted to them.
One man told me he was attracted to Asian women because they are small, skinny and petite. What if there was a fat Asian woman? If the answer is no, then it’s not the Asian-ness he’s attracted to, it’s the body type.
Different body types exists within races, however there are tendencies among races as well. I have been told by men of various races including my own that they like Black girls because of our curves and big bottoms. I’m not against being complimented on my figure but I am against solely being sought after for my physical features. People can be fetishized by people within and outside of their own races. I don’t want a Black man or White man or any other kind of POC dating me solely for my physical features and since men tend to be attracted to physical features first and most.
Colorism and racism do affect a lot of our perceptions of what kind of partners we ought to seek. It is sad because a lot of it is very subconscious. At the same time there are people seeking out Black and darker skinned POC as partners due to fetishes. Examples are Black men being chased for their “enlarged endowment” and Black women being chased for their “voluptuous bodies.” Both Black men and woman as well as darker POC are perceived to be more promiscuous while White and lighter people are perceived to be more “pure, demure and prudish.”
Interestingly enough in rap videos the perception is that White women are down to do anything. There are Black men who say they would date a White girl to have crazy sex with a girl who is willing to submit to someone she perceives as the “king and the boss.” Some Black girls know better and can see through the bullsh** and we’re not blindsighted by the false alluring aura of the “Black Kang” patriarchy. I do not want to be subservient to anyone and I am against doing it simply because someone wants to push upon my the idea that I am owned by Black men, that I owe Black men my body, my time and my love because society hurts them.
I stand up for my brothas. At the same time, it’s very difficult to do that when they don’t stand up from me and act on sexism and mysogynoir. How can I stand up for people of my own race when they don’t stand up for my womanhood? How can I stand up for women, the White women in feminism when too many don’t stand up for my race? How can I stand up for Black women, when they are so busy competing with one another they are ready to scratch each other’s eyes out?
Again these are not complete truths for everyone, but they are very real hurts. I don’t want to be loyal to groups of people that I don’t feel are reciprocating my time and love. Now my Christian upbringing would say to stand and help others anyway.
That is a hard thing to do because as a Black Woman I am used to getting shitted on by people or all races including my own. It may not be direct, it may be internet memes or statistics that say us and Asian men are the least likely to be dated and married which may not even be true. Common lies can still hurt.
It always drives me nuts too that Black Women get so much flack for dating outside their race again due to the concept that we are owned by Black men and we owe them our bodies and life entirely. I reject that completely. No one owns me, let alone a man.
Relationships are supposed to be partnerships that are equal with mutual respect. It’s not fair to White women to be treated like fetishes either by Black men. Same goes for the sexy Latina stereotype and the submissive Asian stereotype.
People who pursue interracial relationships for these reasons are insincere and are trying toe elevate their social status. Now I don’t know what it’s like to live underneath a deeply oppressive status. I have suffered some racism but due to colorism I have received some benefits as a lighter skinned person. Very often women of my complexion are celebrated in mainstream Black culture.
In Latin culture there is a phrase “mejorando la raza” which means bettering the race which refers to purposely dating lighter skinned, whiter Latinos or non-Latinos to “better the race” as a whole. That kind of mentality is due to colonialism and still exists today.
In Asian cultures darker skin is usually associated with working out in the rice fields where the sun would darken someone’s complexion. Being pale is associated with royalty because they are inside and avoid darkening. It is very common for women to wear umbrellas, bleach their skin and cover themselves to extreme measures to keep and attain a pale white complexion.
These messages are toxic and unhealthy. People of all complexions are beautiful and should be appreciated for more than just their outward appearance. Love is deeper than appearance and dark skin is just as attractive. There are those who would argue that darker complexions are even more attractive and are highly underrated. For me, it’s never really been much of a factor in my attraction to someone.
It’s hard for me to understand why interracial marriage, dating and relationships are such an issue considering my age. I haven’t grown up with the historical scars of Jim Crow or segregation. I have grown up in a reality and a family where race mixing has occurred and everything seemed fine. I say seemed fine because I don’t know who could have disapproved and said what to whomever.
There are many factors to the interracial debate and discussion and I will make future blogs that focus on different aspects on that.