But then something happened: people started talking to me, flirting even.Once I escaped the small, isolated microcosm of Upstate New York, I met people who didn't think of me just based off of my skin color.After five years of my boyfriend and I dating on and off, I think my mom has come to love him almost as much as I do.
While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a link to a Gawker article that one of my friends reposted.In an essay entitled "The Reality of Dating White Women When You're Black," writer Ernest Baker tackles big topics like Eurocentric beauty standards, the taboo aspect of interracial relationships, and why he dates white women, among others: Why do I date white women?One of my favorite things to do was to play with his hair.He would lie with his head in my lap, and I would run my fingers through the blond strands.I started thinking about the media and asking myself what qualities I was actually attracted to in a man, specifically my boyfriend, versus what qualities I'd been taught to find attractive.
Part of me used to envy how soft, straight, and blond his hair was.In fact, I completely forgot about it until a few responses started to pop up. But what about that 4 percent of blacks and 16 percent of whites?It was Britni Danielle’s "Nobody Cares That You Date White Girls" piece for Clutch magazine that caused me to go back and reevaluate. Lots of people in this country would like to believe that race relations are swell, racism is dead, and everyone is happy. Image: Gallup There's a belief among some members of racial groups that one who dates outside of that race is disloyal, self-loathing, or has, for lack of a better word, been brainwashed. As author Lincoln Blades asserts in a piece at Uptown magazine, we need to promote an honest discussion about interracial relationships. It's hard to face the truth that educated and talented women like Mac Arthur Fellow Tiya Miles feel contempt towards black men who date white women.After years and years of internalizing the beauty standard promoted all around me, I headed off to college with a low self-esteem and essentially no sense of self-worth.I went out to a frat party with my roommate on our first night.Although I am a black woman in an interracial relationship, I only gave Baker's piece a cursory glance at first. " A lot of people aren't bothered by interracial relationships, but, on the flip side, many people still are.