You may be wondering why I’ve all these photos in this one post.
These are all men that I happen to find attractive.
Nothing wrong with that, I hope.
As you can tell, there is a rather healthy variety of ethnicities in these photographs. Latino, Middle Eastern, East Indian, Korean, Black, Jewish, and White. However, what upsets me is that, according to people I consider friends, I am only allowed to find two of the nine men posted here, attractive.
I’m sure I’m not the only one with which this happens.
Last week I was out with a couple of girlfriends for dinner. We got on to the subject of how I’m the only single one of the group.
“Have you been to (insert name of restaurant that I am currently unable to recall)?”
“No, where’s that?” as I inquired further regarding its wherebabouts, she told me they have biscuits better than the Flying Biscuit. And I LOVE the Flying Biscuit. She better not be lying.
Anyway, she stops herself “OHMYGOD. THE HOTTEST BLACK GUY WAS THERE. I think you should date him. Just the way he dresses and his vibe. You two would look great together.”
Now, I don’t mind my friends looking out for me when it comes to potential dates, boyfriends, etc. People don’t do that anymore, especially some that I consider rather close to me (that’s another story for another time…). But what annoys me is that it always has to be “Oh, this black guy — he’s amazing for you.” And it makes me wonder — is that how you see me? Besides the artist, the humourist, the performer, the music head, the en trend one, why must the fact that you’ve encountered a handsome brother be the first thing that is brought to mind when trying to hook me up with someone?
The part the perturbs me the most is that I’ve had discussions with them on who I consider attractive. It’s a rather healthy range of individuals, as you can see from above. So, clearly, that expresses my openness to date anyone as long as they aren’t super old, super crazy, and have a fantastical (read: normal) hygienic routine. They just have blinders on when it comes to looking for a person of interest. It makes me wonder if I did that to them, would they be as offended if I said “ERMYGERD. BECKY. LOOK AT THAT WHITE GUY. I THINK HE’S PERFECT FOR YOU. BECAUSE YOU’RE WHITE.”
That’s how it feels.
And I’m not sure how to take that.
This has been going on for a while, but I first noticed it when I was at university. A friend sent me an instant message (yeah, when this guy meant something to society:
” 9:15PM: I want to introduce you to my friend.
9:15 PM: His name is Michaelson.
9:16 PM: He has dreadlocks and is a vegetarian. And he’s black.”
“9:17 PM: Okay. ”
“9:18PM: You guys have so much in common. I think you’d be cute together”
9:18PM: I’m not a vegetarian. Problem right there.”
“9:19PM: He doesn’t care about that.”
“9:19PM: Okay, but I’m confused why you’re pressuring me to meet him”
“9:20PM: I just think you’d two be cute together”
Us being cute together is not a substantial enough reason for me to consider dating him. Or dating anybody. I need context clues. What does he do? What are his interests? You know mine. Or do you? Based on that, what do you think we have in common that would work? You know me as a person, and if you know him as a person, why do you think we need to meet up? Just because I have natural hair, as does (did?) he, and we’re both supposedly “earthy” individuals, we’re destined to be together?
Yes, attraction does play a great part in whether or not you’re interested in pursuing someone, but I’m a little bit extra in my considerations. It’s like buying a car or looking for an apartment or house. You’re making an investment, whether it be long term, or short term, I still would like the opportunity to see what I’m investing in on my own. Don’t pressure me into making it so formal, when I want to consider the possibilities with a test drive or a tour.
When everything is so surface, that doesn’t make me feel great. Furthermore, it verifies that my friends don’t know me, or don’t care to know me. And that what they see determines who I SHOULD attract or be with. And these are people that have known me for the better part of half a decade. The only person that has asked me what I look for in a guy was someone that I only knew for a few weeks, and one I would hardly consider a friend.
Yes, he violated several HR policies with the questions and comments he made about my anatomy, but it didn’t bother me for whatever reason. Possibly, because I know it’s in jest. And he’s not looking to score. Base-level sexual harassment, I guess? It’s not worth a lawsuit. It also gave me beautiful insight on a man who just hit 40 and is a cougar chaser.
Would you be surprised if I showed up with an East Indian significant other on my arm as my plus one at your wedding? Or what if you hosted a cocktail party, and my date was white? Rather, would it be refreshingly normal if we spotted each other on the street, and I’m holding hands with a beautiful Black brother?
Gets me to thinking that (stating the obvious) as liberal as they consider themselves to be, there are hidden biases. And not everyone realizes that, which I cannot exactly fault them for — but I would have hoped they were conscious enough to realize it.
On that note, never make assumptions. Keep an open heart and an open mind until something gives you a reason to alter that openness.