The original idea behind this entry was to write just one to sort of shed light on my general difficulties and annoyances as a black woman… I quickly realized I have a lot of feelings about the subject and it’s just going to have to be a series on several topics that continues every couple of blog entries or so. I am calling it the Identity Series. Contrary to the belief of many of my friends, I actually am a black woman (rock music listening and love of hummus aside). I write about these race-specific topics not in an effort to isolate but to provide more understanding of my particular point of view. I know I am not regarded as a “typical” black woman but at the end of the day there are nappy hairs in my bathroom sink and plenty of brown on my skin to qualify for sharing this point of view.
I’ve especially had a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to dating. I think for black women especially there is kind of a lot of pressure for us to be everything to everyone. So, wait…I’m supposed to be highly intelligent, have small waist big booty, be approachable without being easy, AND just ratchet enough to drop it low on the dance floor everytime Juicy J comes on? My thighs hurt just thinking about it! I would much rather find my one selling point and stick to that thing. My mantra since high school has pretty much been: I’m a little weird so just deal with it. It’s easy to say now but it’s been a long time coming to finally own that mentality.
The hardest part of it all has to be finding the balance between what I want versus what I actually attract. And just to be absolutely candid—I love black men. As in, BLACK men. I like brown skin having, Hennessy drinking, Jay-Z listening, slang talking, weed smoking, gun toting, fresh outfit wearing black men. (But I’m almost 30 now so I’ve amended that to just having interest in kind of edgy dudes that still handle their responsibilities and have jobs and no court dates and whatnot). The good news is that I seem to attract this type of guy but once the initial approach is over they just don’t know what to do with me. I can count on 8 hands how many dudes have approached me and as soon as I opened my mouth kind of laughed at me and asked “Where you from? You talk proper.” (-_-) I am hardly a dating guru, but if you have interest in a girl you should probably try not to make fun of her upon your first encounter. I let you call me “shorty” 6 times in a row, show me some fucking respect!
Anyway, needless to say, things usually spiral downhill from there. Soon I’m left feeling exposed because I don’t listen to the same music, I don’t smoke, I’m corny and we have absolutely nothing to talk about. It may sound snobby but I eventually got to the point where if any guy like this approached me I would just open with: “We have nothing in common, I’m sure,” and that would be the end of it. I am absolutely positive I came off bitchy but it’s way better than seeing that stupid puzzled look on a guy’s face when he just doesn’t fucking get you. It’s a tragedy to not be able to find your niche within your own race. Fortunately, there IS a section of black guys that listen to the same music I do, speak the way I do and want to sit on the couch and laugh at Arrested Development with me… the problem is that most of them prefer to deal with women of other races.
Sighhh, other races. Contrary to popular belief, I think a lot of black women do think about or are open to dating outside the race. However, it is a startling transition. We are used to the men who chase us down, loudly calling after us describing our outfits and calling us sexy in our local grocery store. These are the same guys who know the rules about not touching our hair and will happily accept big booty with a side of stomach. (I once had a guy accidentally bump my thigh and I watched his face light up with glee just to see it jiggle…never wonder why black women have so much confidence!) However, as far as I know and/or perceive, most other races want their women right, tight with no cellulite. I encounter single men of all races everyday–I’m just so sure that they’re not looking at me “that way” because of all the negative stereotypes about black women, because I may have an attitude, because of my big hips, because of my inexplicable hair. It’s hard to break the ice sometimes!
I have yet to figure it out. I wrote things out on this blog hoping I would come to some awesome conclusion or SOMEthing, but I got nothin’. I suppose I have learned that I can’t allow myself to follow a downward spiral of inadequacy as a result of others perception of who I am. It is nearly impossible to figure out how to be everything to everyone. (Open up your eyes society–Beyonce and Michelle Obama are NOT the same person!!) I fight against the isolation I feel in the dating world for not being black enough in some cases, and too black in others. Maybe the overall key is to stop searching for my niche within a race or culture and just to find it within a person who will accept all the crazy I bring to the table. There is no way to be everything to everyone BUT, I am completely willing to work on that dropping it low thing 😉