I went to a predominantly white high school where I was one of maybe five black kids.
I grew up thinking that because I looked different, I somehow wasn't good enough.
As a young woman of color, I can attest to the fact that many people in this world feel it is their duty — no, their God-given right — to decide what is best for me, and especially whom is best for me to date.
For instance, I felt the need to defend my relationships to my mother who, like Baker’s mother, wondered when her daughter would bring home someone who looked more Michael B. My mother will resent me for saying this, but I know there is a part of her that wanted to see me settle down with someone black, someone who looked like me.
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.
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.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?Black women have told me it's because I'm a sellout.The white men who can get past the mental anguish of my black penis tarnishing "their" women think I'm making some latent admission that their race has the most attractive women... I'm not a "black man" who "dates white women." I'm a person.After years and years of internalizing the beauty standard promoted all around me, I headed off to college with a low self-esteem and essentially no sense of self-worth.