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Issue 17 Out Now

Having a Preference: A Closer Look

Is it really a preference or are you just colorist/racist?

Racial preferences were something that I never really got. When I was younger, I was kind of ignorant of the subject because I was always surrounded by white boys. So, naturally, I was attracted to them. But as I grew older and become immersed in different races of people, I was open to anyone. I would never reject certain guys just because of their race. For many people that have these preferences, they are rooted in deeper issues.

Social media, preferably TikTok is the perfect place to see this. A preference challenge occurred on the platform where everyone told what they liked in a partner. Many were personality-wise, but many were also race-wise. After watching a lot of these videos, dark skin black women were barely chosen by anyone. Even with videos showing multiple types of people, dark-skinned women weren’t among them, only lighter-skinned women. But as for black men, they were chosen by mostly everyone, including black women. You can find these videos under the TylerTheCreator Making Waffles sound.

So, this brings up a very important question. Why do people almost always exclude dark skin women when talking about their preference? Because of stereotyping and colorism. Black women in general are already disrespected and treated less than any other race of women, but dark skin women are treated worse. Through society’s views on what’s attractive, which is mostly lighter complexions closer to whiteness and finer hair, this unfortunately makes sense.

To unpack and understand what makes sexual preferences racist, you have to understand that anti-blackness is a core American value. It’s as American as apple pie. — Phillip Henry

We can see that black women are less desired, especially by their own race of men. Black women are called “ghetto”, “ratchet”, and “loud”. Some dark-skinned men won’t even date dark-skinned women because of these stereotypes. It also comes from a place of self-hatred. Some dark-skinned men prefer lighter-skinned women because they have been brainwashed that darker is less attractive. Therefore, they take active steps to remediate this, like only dating lighter-skinned women so their children won’t come out darker. If you don’t find someone your skin color desirable, then you don’t find yourself attractive either, which is also self-hatred.

We live in a white supremacist society. Let’s not pretend beauty standards aren’t defined by proximity to whiteness. The closer you are to white, the better and more beautiful. The darker and more black you are, the more ugly or undesirable. And none of us live in a vacuum. POC internalized this and that’s what created colorism. — thelifeofyahya on TikTok

So, this brings up another important question. Why does a certain race have to play a factor in who you date? All races of people are attractive so why not keep your options open? How is it right to exclude a certain race from who you deem desirable? If your answer comes from a place of not liking another certain race, like only dating white girls because you don’t like black girls then that is coming from a colorist/racist perspective depending on who you are. Why do you have to bring up another race to justify the race you like?

Fetishization is another issue that plays a part in this topic. Fetishization is the act to make a fetish, a sexual fixation, out of something. Why do other races like black men? Is it because of their dominance and aggression? Their rather large you-know-what? We all know that black men have been categorized to have a bigger sexual organ than men of other races. This is fetishization and a form of prejudice because you are looking at black men as a stereotype. If stereotypical looks and personality traits are linked to your racial preference then that is racist. You are clumping together a certain type of people, which is wrong. People don’t understand that these views of black men stem from past racial views, like the Mandingo.

It is imperative for people to look at the reasons behind their racial preference. It is never just “I just like ___”. If other races, stereotyping, fetishization, or any other form of prejudice is involved in your reasoning then that an issue that must be looked at. You can not perpetuate these racist and colorist views that you deem acceptable because they’re blanketed by your “preference”. Preferences are in choosing ice cream flavors, not people.


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