Why Are People So Fascinated with the Black Woman?

Please don’t take offense to this, but I’ve been watching you and you’re different….

Excuse me?

I mean you carry yourself different from some black women I’ve seen. You are confident but not intimidating; you smile and speak when you’re approached; you’re not boisterous or loud and you carry yourself in a manner that is appealing.

Umm…thank you.

(nervous pause)

So what are you? I mean, I know you’re black but you don’t look like a regular black girl.

I’m Nigerian.

Ahhhhhh makes sense. West Africa right?  I hope I didn’t offend you. I just wanted to say hi and get to know you a bit.

This snip bit of conversation happened with me and a white male that works in my building. I usually see him as I head to lunch or towards my office; we politely smile or sometimes hold  brief conversations in the elevator. You can imagine how shocked I was when he stepped off and began engaging me in a lengthy conversation. Did I have a slight inclination that he may like me or was interested in going on a date? No. I knew he found me attractive but that was as far as my mind would go.

Yet, the conversation disturbed me as I walked towards my office this morning. I mean, I’m glad that he saw those positive things about me but he used that to measure why he chose to approach as if my difference was rare and unique.

“How many has he actually interacted with….not much”, I thought. 

Even though this is one male of many, I have gotten that comment numerous times from a lot of non-black males that have found me interesting enough to either approach or ask on dates.

The first boy I ever liked happened to be a blond hair, blue-eyed boy named Colby. I went to a charter school and he was my classmate all the way up to 4th grade. I had a crush on him and I didn’t see his race as an indicator for that. He was cute, bright, friendly towards me and always made me laugh. We always chose each other for games and partners for any class activity, he was a really good friend. It wasn’t until we started getting older and moving through home rooms that we noticed and heard the comments. 

Not sure of how to deal with the situation both of us terminated the friendship. My girl friends were always interested why I was into him rather than Andre. Never having a sufficient answer for why, I felt that I was betraying my friends and more so black boys. 6th grade was the first time that I felt it was wrong to like a guy who was white.

As I went through Catholic school and intermingled with many different races, I never saw a white guy date a black girl or vice versa. However, I saw an influx of interracial pairings with black men and non-black girls.

It had me thinking- what is it about Black women that makes them seem like  mystical creatures that you either really like or are completely turned off by?

Mainstream media hasn’t helped quell the negative stigmas towards black women. We have been conditioned to see a somewhat one-sided “views/stereotype” of black women. They are overtly sexual, argumentative, strong, loud, obese, ghetto, baby-popping welfare queens.

It seems like every other day we hear about what people love or loathe about black women. From our curves and our cooking skills,to our hair and the fact that we’re either supreme go-getters or too independent, black women seem to always be up for debate.

I mean, I get it. We’re as varied as the colors of the rainbow and as unique as the fingerprints on our hand, and still, we get lumped together for better or worse….So while the world continues to wonder about our dating habits, the width of our hips, and why we see things the way we do, we’ll keep on creating and supporting our sisters who show love – Britni Danielle

With shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta, Basketball Wives, Love  & Hip Hop Atlanta and your every day ratchets trolling the streets, I can see why some may views us as that. Yet, I don’t think that every white person who is portrayed in a negative light on television has the whole race on their back. Why? Because there are countless shows that counter the action of a few.

Somewhere in all my excitement over America’s first black presidential nominee, I came to a not-small realization: I didn’t actually know any black people. I mean, I’ve met them, have been acquainted with a few in passing, here and there. I know of black people, you could say. But none of my friends were black. I’d never had a black teacher, college professor, or workplace mentor. I’d never even been inside a black person’s house.

I knew it wasn’t just me. I started randomly polling friends and associates — most of them enlightened, open-minded, well-traveled, left-leaning white folks like me — asking them how many black friends they had. The answers were pretty pathetic.- Tanner Colby

We have all found ourselves sticking to what we know and very rarely getting out of our comfort zone. Hardly do I see any of my black friends interact or form friendships with other races. Is it because there is nothing to discuss or relate too? No. I believe that we enclose ourselves to people that we don’t interact with and vice versa. Even in college, when you have the opportunity to mingle, mix and learn about others it is few black women that actually get to integrate groups that are predominately white or other races.

Being the “token” black person of the group can be daunting and quite intimidating. When “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls hit the net it drummed up so much controversy and conversation that it made sense why I hardly see black girls with white girls and vice versa. Not saying that it doesn’t exist…when I hit the town with some of my non-black friends, I am the token girl…I have fun nonetheless but I also very observant and I will leave it at that.

Living in D.C. has opened my eyes to a number of different things that leaves me cringing. I understand that people are raised differently and that socio-economic status changes how one lives and the way they perceive society, but there are behaviors that I have seen that are unsettling in the Black race.

When I go out in a fitted outfit (not tight), I do get looked at. I am fully aware of the men that are trying to either: take a glimpse, “holler” or go out of their way to stare out of sheer curiosity. That is all nice and dandy but I get irritated with black women who feel the need to put everything on display; I mean nothing is left to the imagination. With videovixens and neighborhood ‘models’ that are highlighted in music videos and WSHH showing and bouncing their goods around it fosters this idea that black women are only good for sexual pleasure.  Yes that behavior will attract a man but not the one who won’t see you more than his sexual play thing.

Black women are fascinating creatures. The fascination comes from the juxtaposition of “video hoes” and “Michelle Obama.”- S.B.

Whether it’s the waist-hip ratio, or a bountiful derriere, it attracts a lot of attention from men of all races. Though this could be looked at in a positive way, it’s not. It also doesn’t help that we (black men and women) feed into the over-sexualized hype. Dancing  at the clubs is no longer intriguing to me. As soon as I two-step and shimmy, I’m being turned around as some dude tries to practice his bedroom maneuvers on me as if I’m some human ragdoll…please!

Even though there are men of different races that might find black women attractive, intelligent, confident, sassy, etc. they are not as quick to date them or enter relationships. So what is the fear?

I can’t speak for the race as a whole because my experiences have been completely different.

For instance, I have been approached and dated/went on dates from guys of all race…yes, even Asian.  While my experiences may not be reflective for many, it is crazy to think that I may not get approached  because of my race.  Usually, it’s not until a guy sees me in my “element” that he gets comfortable with approaching and even asking me out.

I had one guy tell me that he’s relieved that I’m not ghetto; another one tell me that I looked exotic and not “regular black”. Ummmmmm….what? I have heard so many things, mostly positive, but I couldn’t help think about my friends who are ‘just black’. If I knew that this is how some men of other races view and see me, I wouldn’t be in a rush  to date ‘something new’.

  I’m not opposed to dating outside of my race but I’m not exactly a magnet for White men.  I do not look ethnically ambiguous or African exotic (tall, dark complexion, natural hair) the two physical types of Black women with whom I most often see with white men.  My African-American features nestle me in with the Black girls who aesthetically read as “regular Black,” a term I use to highlight that my ancestry is perversely Black American (I grew up in Chicago and my people are from Tennessee and Mississippi respectively).  Point being, White men don’t exactly lay down the red carpet for me when they see me coming.- Leigh Davenport

I finished reading this very interesting post from a friend of mine and it was good to see him share his viewpoints. Don’t let the title put you off (ladies and gents) but he had some great points. Do all white guys feel this way? No. Do some do…maybe.

What I find interesting is that before I get approached by a guy of another race, I am asked -do I date (insert race of guy)? I understand the need to ask… when you see a black woman with another race it ALWAYS warrants stare. I myself have been subjected to stares from people of all races. Some smiled,others were curious to see what I looked like while a few were just plain rude. 

Slight change is happening and we are now seeing relationship dynamics of white man and black women play out in the media. Thanks to commercial ads, soap operas, and network shows -like Scandal and Hawthornewhite-  it has helped eased mainstream America to seeing this pairing, but it’s still not enough.

Do men of different races HAVE to date black women? Of course not, but if you are eliminating yourself from a race of women because of what you see or out of fear of what friends and family might say…than you are definitely missing out!

Thoughts?

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8 thoughts on “Why Are People So Fascinated with the Black Woman?

  1. im african american and while ive ALWAYS been open to dating other races but usually (and of course there are a few exceptions ) they dont really approach me or attempt to get to know me “in that way”. and really, thats just fine. i want someone to like me for me regardless of race so i try not to pay attention to it

    1. I agree with you…someone should want to date you and get to know you because of who you are and not your skin tone! It does get hard when you are open to wanting to see what’s out there and you hardly, if ever get approached. My thing is to stay true to you and if someone of a diff race likes it…than kudos.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. believe that scientists have dispelled the notion of race… there is only 1 race, the human race! my ex used to be one of a different ethnicity to me and i didn’t have any problems with that. irregardless of whatever skin colour we may have, its important not to have stereotypes with others’ biological make up 🙂

  3. I agree charmedbylove but unfortunately we live in a society that still judge people off of ‘race’. I’ve dated someone who was a different ethnicity from me and I had no problems either and I believe that people should give people a chance regardless of ethnicity and race. I wish stereotypes could go away but they have been systematically placed to keep people in “categories”. Thanks for reading and commenting!! : )

  4. Hey Jen! Met you at a party a few months ago. As a black woman who prefers white men, I’ve had a completely different experience dating (or not dating) in Washington DC. Perhaps I don’t “put myself out there” enough, but I find it hard to compete with the numerous white women that society has deemed more datable than myself. Maybe that “competition” is my problem and I jut need to go out there and just be me. I consider myself on of those normal black girls. I’m not exotic looking, nor do I have any eurocentric features.
    I have found when I have gone out with a white boyfriend I got a lot of looks and negative comments from black men. It’s okay for them to date outside their race, look for the light-skinned ‘video girl,’ but when a black woman looks elsewhere it somehow means their manliness is being challenged. I hate that who many black women choose to date is dependent upon what other people, particularly black men will think of them.
    I don’t have that problem, but it may be a problem for white men who may feel physically intimidated. It was my white boyfriend who pointed out the comments and stares as I was oblivious to anything other than holding his hand.
    My issue is white guys not approaching me when I want them to. I find it hard to approach a guy probably for the reason stated above, that I feel their are other women they’d prefer to pend time with.

    1. Hey Laura-Lee!! Of course I remember you, how was Europe?? We definitely need to catch up. Are you back in town?

      As a woman, I am an equal opportunity lover. I am attracted to any race, I don’t usually have a preference. I guess my preference is someone who is intelligent, funny, adventurous and physically attractive to me. Now, I met you and you are a beautiful woman inside and out. Have we been conditioned as a society to strive to want or be with somoene of european descent or have European features…yes. A lot of people have gotten outside of that mindset and I’m glad.

      I do believe that a lot of races find it hard to approach black women even if they are interested for fear of rejection. Why they feel that…idk. Maybe how we come across shows that we aren’t approachable. I do believe that you should have an ‘air’about you that shows that you are available to be approached. Smile and make eye contact! Don’t be shy…especially when you make eye contact.

      Example. I went to a popular bar here in the U Street area. I was with my a girl friend of mine and I just wanted a drink or two to start my night. I saw this guy (he so happened to be white) with his friends and our eyes met. The old me would have looked everywhere else or down on the floor showing disinterest. Instead I looked confidently at him and smiled. He smiled but he didn’t approach. As the night went on, we were making eye contact with each other and he finally approached me. We had a great conversation but my point is that I showed that I was interested. It takes time to build that confidence but once you have it you can attract anyone of ANY race because people are attracted to a woman who is confident in herself. Shoot, I’m attracted to a woman who is self confident and I love men. LOL.

      Yes, black men can be hypocritical. I was on a date with a white guy and the stares and comments that we got from black men were disgraceful. There was one black guy who was there with a white woman and he was smiling and enjoying himself until he saw me with this young man. I was floored at his behavior and this idealogy that the black woman should ONLY be with a black woman is crazy.

      Black men are definitely taken advantage of dating other races and black women should do too as well.

      When I was in France and the guy I was dating was European. I did not see the stares or never heard the whispered comments. U.S. claims to be progressive yet race relations is definitely a sensitive topic/issue for MOST. Just be open and be you and someone will come, who will appreciate you for YOU.

      The men who are afraid to approach you for whatever reasons aren’t the one for you. The ones that see something in you won’t let fear stop them from wanting to get to know you.

      Best luck!

  5. i AM AN OLDER WOMAN WHO HAVE SOMETIMES BEEN MISTAKEN AS AN EASTERN INDIAN.I AM NOTICEABLY BROWN BLACK ALTHOUGH ATTRACTIVE BUT THROUGH OUT MY LIFE i HAVE REFUSED TO DATE OUT OF MY RACE EVEN THO IHAVE MET VERY NICE WHITE MEN WHO COULD BE A FRIEND BUT IAM TOTALLY AGAINST HAVING INTIMATE
    RELATION BECAUSE THE IMAGE OF WHITE MEN RAPING YOUNG GIRLS, BOYS, AND WOMEN IS ABORHENT TO ME!

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