Colourism and ‘preference’ (part 4)

Felicity
6 min readMay 20, 2021

What preference actually is and why people are NOT smart

The word preference by dictionary definition is: “a greater interest in or desire for somebody/something than somebody/something else”. The word preference goes hand in hand with an individual’s type for a significant other. Usually one would hear the word preference when talking about what they favour in terms of someone’s physical appearance. This could be someone’s hair colour, height, physique, eye colour etc. For example, a guy might say that he is into people with blonde hair (he will never mean a person of colour by the way). A common preference for people is a person who is shorter/taller than them, depending on their own height.

Over the years, it has become a widespread trend to include one’s race and skin colour into their certain preference for a significant other. I like all boys, all men, from any race if they are pretty, tall, and not problematic or ignorant. My racial “preference” is tall, dark skin black men, but that does not mean I will discriminate or turn down anyone who does not fit that criteria (apart from height though).

One can say that preference with skin colour has arisen because there are different races associated with different cultures and sometimes even different religions. People feel safer and more secure with people who are like them, so there are no barriers or any conflict to encounter. Also, because of trauma from racism, many people of colour and black people tend to not stray from their own.

A reason why preferences with someone’s race or more specifically skin colour is fetishization. As I have said before, there are stereotypes attached to every rave and skin colour in the world even outside the black community. I cannot speak for other people of colour but, the fetishizing of black people comes from the hyper-sexualisation of us that goes way back into time.

For black men, it is their genitals that are infamous for being engorged and how they are infamous for being slightly aggressive compared to men of other races, and how that is an advantage in bed. For black women, our bodies are sexualised when we start hitting puberty, and we start physically developing and we are told to cover up in our own homes because (paedophilic)men are in the house (which is worrying to say the least).

Black girls especially are notorious for developing curves quite young, which cause our bodies to be policed at a disproportional rate compared to girls of other races. Even in the media, certain labels push all women to be more sexual to appeal to a bigger audience, because the human female body is so sexualised, but for non-black women of colour and black women, even more.

To me, preferences with skin colour is should not be allowed because there is no logical reason why a skin colour would/would not look pleasing to the eye, without the opinion being a colourist comment or a result of racial conditioning. Let us take myself as an example. The reason why I have stopped saying I only prefer darker skinned black men is because I have acknowledged where this so- called preference comes from. The origin of my preference comes from seeing all the women in my family with only darker skinned black men, nothing else.

So, I was conditioned to thinking that if I am going to be with a black man, he must be darker than me. Also, because the only representation of black heterosexual couples were a lighter skinned black woman and a darker skinned black man, as a dark skin black girl, I didn’t see a possibility of someone lighter in complexion to me ever being attracted to me.

In addition, the hyper masculinisation of darker skinned black men and toxic masculinity in certain African cultures, made me realise that this is a problem, and I should not continue to perpetuate these ideas into the next generation. Am I still attracted to dark skin black men? Yes, of course I am, but there is no reason for me to limit my choices of good-looking men from any race or any skin tone. Preferences for your partner to have a dark skin is a result of racial conditioning against darker skinned black men that stems all the way back to slavery.

On the other hand, preferences for your partner to be light skin, is blatant colorism. And I say this because, no one can think of a reason why you would prefer to be with a lighter skinned black person over a darker skinned black person, without being colourist. I have a friend who is light skin, and they said that they would rather be with a light skin black person, so their children can look like them. I used to think fair enough, they have dated a range of different people, all different races and skin tones, so they cannot be colourist, right? It was only recently that I realised that it does not matter what excuse you have, if you prefer lighter skinned people, you are still a colourist.

Using what this person told me, how will being with another person who is not light skin make your children not look like you? They have half of your DNA so how will they not resemble you in some way? People always love bringing future children into it like it means something special. No one should even have the right to say what they want their child to look like, they should be happy that the child is healthy and alive. The fact that people only want children for aesthetics is disgusting. Let us also dwell on the fact that, most people who have this mind-set of wanting their babies to look a certain way, end up describing their “preference” for a significant other. Is that not weird? You want your children to look like people you would be sexually attracted to and pursue in a relationship? This all comes back to sexualising black people.

Nowadays, even if people still do want a preference for their significant other’s skin colour, the term is used incorrectly. I stated the definition of preference earlier. To prefer something other another, but all in all, you still like them both. Stupidly, people use the term to say they like one skin tone and then list reasons why they do not like anything that is not their “preference”, which is incorrect. What I am hearing is, you have this preference, because of something you dislike about people who do not fit into this category?

Firstly, that is mass generalising, unless you have met every other person in the whole world and you have decided, I only want this one type of person. Secondly, the opinion that you have against every other person is most likely based on a stereotype. In context, we mostly find this situation in the black community, and it is always black men saying they have a preference for lighter skinned women or non-black women, and then proceed to list harmful stereotypes against darker skinned black women. The most ridiculous preference I have heard is when black men say they prefer non-black Latina women or white women, more so in the US, as we do not have many Latinas in the UK. Their reasoning:

· Black women are angry and aggressive — but other women of different races can be too, so why attach behavioural traits to skin colour? And yet they like traits like these better on non-black women because its spicy or sexy, make it make sense.

· They want mixed children — in the heads of stupid people like this, they have one universal look for mixed children in their heads. Light skin, type 2/3 hair, bright eyes etc. Mixed black people are some of the most diverse people in the world and the fact that people to this day, think they all look the same is beyond me. A mixed BLACK child can still be of darker skin. a mixed BLACK child can be of lighter skin, but they will not have bright coloured eyes or a loose hair texture. Mono-racial black people can be born with different hair types anyway.

· They want their children to be lighter than them, so they do not receive the same hardships — self explanatory.

· Non-black women are “easier”, “obedient” and do not talk back — so you want a pet my guy? You want to someone to follow your commands like one slave? I hate this one the most as it is so offensive to these women. Why are comparing non-black women to dogs? Why is it that you think that non-black women do not have a backbone and that they are pushovers? Or is it that you know you would not get away with BS with a black woman? Stop all devaluing women please.

If you want to continue to have preference for certain women, make sure that you do not put other women down to support you reasoning.

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