Why I'm Judged for Being a Picky Eater

November is here and everyone is eager for Thanksgiving. People’s stomachs are set for macaroni and cheese, yams, ham, cranberry sauce, potato salad, sweet potato pie and the list continues. I, on the other hand, cringe at the sight of those foods. Now I know you probably don’t even want to continue reading my article anymore, but let me explain to you why I’m that black girl who doesn’t eat “black people food.”

Living in a black household, you’re not allowed to be a picky eater. You have two options: eat or go to bed hungry. It started when I was little girl, observing my mom and aunt cooking in the kitchen. The smell of collard greens, yuck! I was accustomed to eating Chick-Fil-A and other fast food places to the point that when Thanksgiving hit I was disappointed and sad I have to eat like an adult. The thought scared me. I didn’t like the taste of mac-and-cheese and the fact that there were all of these different types of food are touching each other. It grossed me out. Not to mention I just didn’t like the taste in my mouth. Why was I eating something so cheesy? Why was I being forced to eat something that’s purple?  Why does potato salad look like that?  As I used my fork aggressively to stab my ham, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and cranberry sauce my taste buds automatically didn’t like it. Let's not forget about when it was time for dessert. Sweet potato pie, I absolutely hated it, pie will never be a favorite of mine. You can smother it in whip cream and still have vanilla ice cream on the side and nothing will change my mind. From that year on I knew I could never eat food like that again.

Now since you have a slight idea of what my Thanksgiving is like, try to imagine what my life is like when I’m over a family member's house or friend's. You don’t eat macaroni and cheese? Just put a little on your plate, you haven’t had my macaroni and cheese. Or the infamous "Are you not black? Why don’t you eat?" Someone is always trying to revoke my black card.

As you're still reading this in total disbelief, let me further explain. Me not wanting to eat mushy mac-and-cheese doesn’t make me not black. Me not wanting to eat your creamy potato salad doesn’t mean I’m not black. Lastly, me turning down dessert is quite alright. I just so happen to like what I like and Thanksgiving food is not it, no matter who prepares it.