It is interesting how many times I hear this statement. We’re a quarter of the way through 2017, and I am still hearing these quips. It makes me think that maybe we’re not as an advanced a society as we’d like to think we are.
There is a level of racial stereotyping when it comes to such statements that leaves me deflated and robbed of my personality and many of the qualities that make me who I am. Momentarily, I am reduced to an exotic creature that needs to be claimed by an owner who appreciates exoticism.
How is exoticism even defined? Is it in the built of one’s frame? In the extra melanin in one’s skin or the brown of one’s eyes? And, at which point does the confluence of the above equate to dating white men?
This problematises the very essence of interracial dating. If said advisers see me walking hand in hand with white bae, they assume that he is with me because I am exotic (never mind my quick wit, charm and everything else on my résumé). In the same way that they will question white bae when he walks hand in hand with a woman of colour (that is not suitably exotically defined); “I wonder why he is with her”? They will ask themselves. “She must be smart”, they might conclude.
This makes me wonder what the same people who advise ‘exotic’ women to date white men would say if the tables were turned. “You should date women of colour, they are exotic?” Please no. What a reduction of all the things that women of colour are.
It’s easier to laugh off the sentiments and say something like “I prefer my men like my coffee” than to try to explain everything that you feel is wrong with the logic. But, perhaps it’s time that we were more vocal. More vocal about the tastelessness of the fetishism of women of colour. More vocal about being more than a certain look.
Tell him to date me because I am smart, or I am funny and ambitious, or because we have the same interests, but please, not because I am exotic. Tell me to date him because he is all of the things I like in a man, not because he is white.
The preoccupation that society seems to have with white males romancing ‘exotic’ women of colour is a faux pas on dating. We already have to deal with masculinity and feminine ideals, let’s not add exoticism to the mix.
Chat soon 🙂