I was in a new city and in a completely new situation.
I expected things to be similar to the way they were in high school.
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.
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?I was fully aware that he had blond hair and blue eyes when I met him, obviously, but I didn't really understand what that meant until years later.One of the most difficult parts about being in an interracial relationship is the fact that I started to question things I never I questioned before.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.In the midst of a full news feed, it just seemed like more noise. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 96 percent of blacks and 84 percent of whites approve of black-white marriage.I had dated a few guys before, all assholes, and I didn’t think many people would show interest in me.I looked down at my fingertips, stained deep mocha from my foundation, and felt self-conscious.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?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.