Please, Do Tell, What’s Wrong With My Brown Skin?

Well, that’s a loaded question!

As I approach my 32nd birthday, I’m beginning to accept some realities about my life.  One of the things that I’ve desired for quite some time is to be married and have one or more children, but as time goes by, it seems like that may be a fantasy!

I’ve accepted being single or just casually dating, but there is something about it that I can’t understand…”Why is it that Black American men would prefer to date non-Black American women?”  As much as I try to understand, I just don’t get it…White men date White women, Asian-American men date Asian-American women, Jewish men date Jewish women, frankly most African men date African women, yet when it comes to Black American men, it seems that quality Black American women are the least of their dating desire.  And what’s even more bothersome is that many have absolutely no shame in saying, “I’d prefer to date interracially.”  This perplexes me…“Is there something wrong with my brown skin?  Does not my skin look like that of the woman who birthed them?”

Last week, I asked one of these Black American men why he preferred to date non-Black women.  His response, “Many of my black male friends find it difficult to identify black women who strike the right balance of certain qualities they’re looking for. And it’s not necessarily about being ‘aggressive’.”  Naturally, I asked the follow-up question, “What are the certain qualities you and your friends are looking for?”  I got no response…interesting!  If one is bold enough to state that I, and my fellow Black American women, lack the balance of certain qualities that Black men are looking for, then be man enough to state what our deficiencies are.  In my opinion, if you can’t state the qualities I lack, such a statement lacks value.

Regardless, statistics suggest that the only group of people who are less likely to get married than young, professional, Black American women are individuals in same-sex relationships (for whom marriage is not legally permitted in most states).  Frankly, in my mind it’s shameful that I, a young, professional, childless, health-conscious, God-fearing, cultured Black woman who has a stable job, cooks, cleans, and maintains an even temper, has an extremely low odds of getting married (to a Black man, in particular) simply because of the color of my skin!  This angers me and I don’t understand why we aren’t having more discussions about this.  What is it about Black women that Black men find unattractive…I truly want to know!

I fully understand that there are some ladies who give quality Black women a bad name; however, the same is true for Black men.  I could say…young Black men are more likely to be in jail than in college, so I’m not even going to bother with them, they’re not worth my time.  I could say…look at all these Black men who are more concerned about cars and material things, they’re just a waste…but I don’t.  I give Black men a fair chance, but it seems that it’s not appreciated by most.  My experience  has been that many Black men close to my age are searching for the perfect Black woman…she must make a certain amount of money, live in a certain neighborhood, drive a certain car, have a certain number of degrees, be at peak fitness level, have long flowing hair, and be absolutely flawless, yet the same requirements don’t exist when they are dating my non-Black counterparts.  (I may be slightly exaggerating, but you get the point!)

Outsiders say to to me…”Educated Black women need to lower their standards, they’re unwilling to date the average Black man.”  While that may be true for some…that’s not the case for me, yet I still find myself in a state of singleness.  When I date people, I truly judge a person by their character…unfortunately I don’t think the reverse is true for the Black man.  For them, outer appearance definitely seems to top the list, and if you don’t pass their individual test (because beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder), it’s a done deal…it doesn’t matter how many amazing qualities you bring to the relationship, nor does it matter how kind or loving you are, they won’t give you the slightest chance.  Again, I don’t think this is necessarily true when they are dating my non-Black counterparts.

When I’ve asked some female friends why they feel we are less desired by Black men, the responses have varied.  I’ve heard, “We intimidate them”…”Dating a non-Black woman makes a Black man feel like he’s made it”…”There are more of us to choose from, so they don’t have to settle with any of us, they’ll just continue to play games until they choose to settle with someone who likely won’t look like me”…”They want their child to have ‘good’ hair”!  I’m not advocating for or against any of these responses, I think they are all plausible, but would never suggest that any of these views are reality.

Now, I must be honest…not all Black men prefer to date non-Black women.  There are a number of them who truly believe brown skin like mine is beautiful!  I know a number of Black women who are married and many have children, but it at times seems like they are the exception to the rule.  So my question remains the same…Is there something wrong with my brown skin?  If you are a Black man reading this, please do answer the question.  This is a dialogue that desperately needs to take place.