Recently, I met a guy, or should I say a guy met me. He hit me up, made the initial approach if you will. The conversation was great. He was cute, smart, and had BODY. He was sexy. Since he approached me, I thought, “Why wouldn’t he want to hang out?” Yeah, hang out means go on a date or even more. When I asked him out, he said he was “Flattered,” and thought I was “Nice,” but he did not date Black guys. What? What does that mean? You don’t date Black guys. How can you not? He said he didn’t find Black men attractive. Hold up! What are you saying, “You don’t find Black men attractive?” How is that? Are you telling me that I’m not fine? Or Gary Dourdan? Or Kanye West? Or Michael Ealy? Or Tyson Beckford?
I am not putting myself into that category, actually, I am, I was a top model before coming to Hollywood. But even if you don’t find me attractive, how can you say you don’t find Black men, attractive? There are so many of us, each unique. Black men are beautiful. Our bodies, bone structure, and our skin. And let’s not forget our grace.
The thing is, I’ve heard this often within the gay community. White gay men can be incredibly racist. Now before another Marcellas backlash starts, let’s examine what I just said. Not to rely upon stereotypes but many gay men are looking for the youngest, hottest, buffest male they can get. Gay culture worships youth, muscles, and beauty and at the top of that hierarchy, in the White homosexual male’s mind, which defines and drives gay culture, sits the White male. To substantiate this, I turn to the gay barometer of what’s hot—porn. Those of you not gay, cover your eyes. Falcon Studios is a prime example. You seldom see African-American men in gay porn movies. When you do, it’s a fetish movie, where the cast is all-Black. Falcon is arguably the number one porn studio, and the hottest of the hot porn stars work for the studio. Their single, lone, only Black “exclusive” star, Matthew Rush, is biracial. Rush, with his blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin could be mistaken for Latino, or maybe Caucasian with a tan.
For those White men who “Don’t date Black men,” what about biracial men, like Matthew Rush or blue-eyed Michael Ealy? Due to the American history of slavery and race-mixing, some Black men have fair skin, blond hair, and light eyes. What about the brothers who can pass, those that, due to genetics and mixed ancestry, look Caucasian or Latino or anything but Black? I wanted to ask the guy this; “What if you dated someone who looked White but turned out to be Black?” What does it mean to be “Black?” Is it a set of physical attributes, or is it a mindset? But what I really want to know is when did Black men fall to the bottom of the desirability ladder? When confronted about not dating Black men, the same guy retorted, “My ex was Latino.” What?! So it’s okay to date a Latin guy, but oh horrors, you could never date a Black man?! Clearly, this guy was a racist. He doesn’t think of himself that way, but in my opinion, he is a racist. Let’s call him “racist-lite,” less of the hate, but the same bigotry.
Curious about this “I don’t date Black men” phenomena, I sent this email to my friends on Connexion and Friendster:
|I have started a blog guys! If any of you have one and would like to be linked to me please hit me up!
My next entry is going to be about the politics of dating, specifically race. Interracial dating. What I want to know and I am asking for the truth, candid, honest, no-holds-barred, don’t-spare-my-feelings truth, is what you think about dating African-American men. I feel there is something there that could really be important if explored. Not that I’ll be the one to do it or that my blog is the place for it but I want to know how you honestly feel about interracial dating.
So drop me a note. And GO THERE. Tell me your stories. I wanna hear if you would, wouldn’t and why? And don’t worry this will be anonymous. I won’t be like “Well Will said” or “I hate Chad because…”
I was surprised that 99% of my friends did not respond to the email. I tried to not make it a personal indictment. It’s not meant to be. Several said since they do date Black men they were exempt. One friend, an ex, said that he wasn’t answering because he likes me for me and not my race or fame. That’s a running joke with us because he always takes the piss out of me for chasing fame. Most just said, “Hey, I checked out your blog. It’s funny.” Um mm… Thanks. But I did get one response which I am going to share with you.
|FromT:||Re: doing my thing.|
|Sent:||1/5/2006 7:02 PM (Read: 1/5/2006 7:07 PM)|
|Message:|| okay, you want thoughts? Lets see….You want real, eh?
well, clearly it isn’t a racist thing for me.
for me, and I would suspect most white guys it is (and this is being honest here) kind of a narcissistic thing. You kinda wanna see YOU in the man you are dating. I am most attracted to guys that dress the way I like to dress, etc etc. I like brown hair/eyes, though. I don’t feel very connected with black culture, so I automatically don’t feel like I will have A LOT in common with a black guy (or Asian, etc) on that same note, I like dating guys that grew up in the Midwest vs Europe, for instance. I just feel like me and Mr. Iowa would have more in common than me and Mr. Italy (no matter how hunky Mr. Italy is)
So why are YOU attracted to white guys? My uncle almost always dates black women, and I know bunches of white guys who date strictly black or Asian men. So for some opposites attract – the thrill of the unknown perhaps?
Let me know what you think. I know you will!
And here is my response:
|Sent:||1/6/2006 2:06 AM (Read: 1/6/2006 2:15 AM)|
|Message:||1st thank you for your candor. I agree that for most men dating is about familiarity. If you look at homosexual males the most sought after are the young, buff white guys. Everything else pales in comparison and is runner-up. I sometimes feel it mirrors American society. The white male runs the Universe. Everyone else follows him. I do not agree with this but it seems to be how it works as an outsider peering in. Also, I love what you said about the narcissistic thing. We see it in advertising every day. The idealized version of the “perfect man” is young and buff. Healthy and perfect. And usually Caucasian. But why is that the only standard of beauty in the game?
Now here is where I don’t agree with you though I’ve heard this before. You said, “I want someone who dresses like I do, etc”. What if an African-American man were to adopt your style? Because to me, there is no such thing as “dressing white” or “acting white.” As a child, I was often accused of “acting white” because I was well-spoken. That had more to do with attending better schools than my race. I’m Black because of my heritage not because of speech patterns, the way I walk, or my style of dress. Further, if there is such a thing as “dressing White or Black” then is Eminem Black because his style is hip-hop, and is Kanye West White since his style is prep?
I understand the “I don’t feel very connected with Black culture, so I automatically don’t feel like I will have A LOT in common with a Black guy (or Asian, etc)” thing. In the past, I didn’t date African-American men because I felt I had nothing in common with most. To be honest for me that was a lie. I have more in common with my brothers in skin color than with Caucasian men. I never wanted to admit it. Growing up African-American you are bombarded with negative images of yourself. On the news it’s a Black face that commits the crimes, in movies “we” are the bad guys. I grew up without a father. I had no positive African-American male role models, and the men I did see were not that nice. I also grew up in a neighborhood where the boys who were “fine” were the ones who had light skin, good hair, and pretty eyes. That means they were of mixed race. I’m not that. My skin is dark, my eyes are almost black and my hair is kinky unless you slap some relaxer in it! For years I never felt attractive. There is this sorta leftover slave mentality that “the closer you are to white the better” or ” the house negro vs field negro” thing that still plays among African-Americans. It wasn’t until I started modeling that I got over that. I guess I carried all that baggage or history with me. IF you don’t love yourself then you aren’t going to find your qualities attractive. That speaks directly to your narcissist point. Now I’m happy with myself. I’ve stopped looking outside for validation. I no longer need to have the “White Trophy” on my arm to feel good about myself. It took some work but I did it.
This is great! It’s what I wanted to start a dialogue about race, dating, and their politics.
So thank you T for stepping up to the plate. I appreciate it. He had some very valid points. Who knows? Dating is a mystery. Physical attraction? Go figure! If we were all blind I guess that would make it easier. At the end of the day though no matter what we want the same thing; someone to love who loves us back.
So I encourage your comments about this. What race are you? Do you date outside your race? How do you feel about interracial dating? Heck, even gay dating? And for the record, I’m like the United Colors of Benetton. I see beauty everywhere.