“To be a black woman is to be born a niche fetish, one that some people are into, but others have a firm prejudice against.

“It’s being told ‘I’m not into black women’ or ‘I’m really into black women’, two statements that completely ignore any individuality or personality you might have by subsuming you into a monolith. We are reduced to parts by the people who covet us, and those parts are BIG and LOUD. Big hair, big breasts, big bums, big thighs, big lips, big voices. All that is big and loud about me some consider their right to sample, with the tacit understanding that I am a deviation from the norm. Any ‘romance’ has a shelf life before they flee back to normalcy. The people who will treat you like this are not always so easy to spot, to distinguish from those who want your quiet parts too. Sometimes you will notice too late. But because they are all too common, everyone must be treated with suspicion.

“What does come as a surprise is the other side. That for all the two-dimensional attention that your loud exoticism garners, some will not be able to see you at all. Eyes skating over you in the street, people dismissing the very thought of you as a romantic partner, telling you they ‘just aren’t into black girls’.

“This is a tender conflict. To be visible as more than an exotic fantasy seems too much to ask; “I love being a black woman, but it would be nice if you could look past that to see literally any other characteristics?” Greedy.”

Photo credit: Harriet Evans
Photo editing: Ming Au

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