Dating in general is complicated. What’s more complicated is dating in college as a black woman. As a junior in college I have observed over the years how particularly black college men expose their self-hatred but try to pass off their self-hatred for preferring particular types of women. I have also seen men fetishize and dehumanize black women.
Colorism is very evident everywhere. Colorism can be described as discrimination against darker-skinned people usually in the same ethic and/or racial group. The lighter skin and more Eurocentric features you have, the more privileges you will encounter. The darker you are, the more oppressed you will be.
Last year, I remember having a conversation with some residents about the people that they date. I noticed some of the saying which shade tone was unacceptable. It reminded me of when rapper Kodak Black said, “I love all my fans. It’s some beautiful black women out there, it’s just not my preference to deal with a dark-skinned woman. I’m already dark. I like light-skin women”. It reminded me of being in school and having crushes on guys and questioning if they liked black girls. It’s a shame that black girls, especially dark skin black women must fight just to be considered desirable.
“The cocoa brown girls who have to face society everyday to be tough, because no matter how good they straighten their hair, their good is still not good enough.” – Ernestine Johnson Average Black Girl
Dating online for black women is the worst. In 2014, the dating website OKCupid conducted a study and found that black women received the fewest messages compared to their counterparts. Black women are considered the “least desirable”. When black women are considered desirable, they are often fetishized. According to the Independent, one dating user said that one potential partner spoke to her because he wanted a “taste of jungle fever”.
I was curious to find out what my black peers had to say about dating. Here’s what some of them had to say.
Jessica Bryant, a junior at La Salle University, said that she has gotten a few weird comments. “I never thought I could be attracted to a black girl”, one person has said to her.
Adanna Chukwu, junior nursing major at La Salle, said that she has been referred to as a chocolate bar and ebony queen.
Arielle Delly was told “You are not black black like the rest of them, you are different”.
Bianca Louis, junior nursing major shockingly admitted that someone asked her how she got so thick.
Sydney Williams, junior English major at La Salle, said someone has told her “I have a thing for black girls, which I heard is rare”.
Although the responses were highly amusing, they were also sad. I was not only sad but disappointed because it’s something that I will have to encounter several times in the future. As I continue to navigate the dating scene, there is something I have learned. I will not allow someone to diminish me and treat me like an object. I will continue to take my time dating because I realized I am worthy, I am powerful, and I am black.