When you look at the role models of my youth, the people and products the media put forth and said, “This is beauty personified,” you’ll notice a distinct theme: Barbie, Britney Spears, Polly Pocket, Sailor Moon, Mandy Moore, Mary Kate and Ashley — all white.I was fully submerged, I mean genuinely immersed, in a culture where people like me weren’t valued as beautiful, so much so that I remember wishing the thick, coarse hair on my American Girl doll, Addy, was straighter and “prettier,” like that of my other dolls.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.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?We are all members of this collective community living on Earth, and we all need to start being honest with ourselves.What does it mean to be uncomfortable about interracial dating in 2014? Why are so many people advocating a "stay with your own race" mentality?
I looked down at my fingertips, stained deep mocha from my foundation, and felt self-conscious.
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 couldn't stop repeating the first part of the Clutch headline over and over again in my head. She wrote in a Huffington Post blog late last year: It is the same sharp tug of disappointment that gets me every time I see a black man with a white woman on his arm.
Try as I might to suppress the reaction, I experience black men's choice of white women as a personal rejection of the group in which I am a part, of African American women as a whole, who have always been devalued in this society.