2008-11-08

Why Black Women/White Men Pairings are Eclipsed by Black Men/White Women Pairings


For those of us involved in IR, it is very apparent that it is harder to find black women/white men pairings compared to white women/black men pairings. Do we ever question why that is? These are my theories and my theories alone, these are opinions, not fact, I want that to be painfully obvious as I type this.

One reason that there are way more white women/black men pairings are beauty standards. White women are the epitome of beauty pretty much worldwide, and if you aren't necessarily white, you better look close to white. The lighter the skin the better. I grew up in the south, where it was common to hear black men say they preferred a woman with "bright skin", "light eyes", and "good hair". White women fit this description, and so therefore are desired by black men, whereas black women typically don't always fit this mold, and as social acceptance of interracial relationships have increased over the years, it is only natural that black men with these preferences are drawn to white women, they have the "light skin", "bright eyes", and "good hair". I remember reading in the book the "Color Complex" that black men tended to be attracted to women who were lighter than they were on average. I guess the same could be said of white men, the blonde haired, blue eyed beauty is the ideal in mainstream aka white american culture. White men also tend to be attracted to white women as they are what is considered the ideal, which is why I guess some white men who are willing to date interracially tend to want a "better quality" black women than they would request of white women, as if they have to "lower" their level of "trophy", it would be evened out if the said black woman was way above average. Black women have hesitations about dating white men due to our tumultuous history in this country. It is seen as "sleeping with the enemy", whereas a white women is seen as powerless and less of a threat to racism. Black women have also been conditioned to believe that white men aren't attracted to them, not to mention the manner in which a white male typically approaches a woman is different than black men. Black men tend to be a bit more direct in their approach than white men, at least in my experience.

With the beauty ideals being the way that they are, the desire to produce children with the characteristics of what is deemed as as attractive (i.e. white) versus black, the need to be with white women is strong. Black women do this as well to ensure "pretty babies", which is sad and trifling in some respects, as we should only hope to have healthy children and all races of children should be deemed beautiful. I have been approached by black men impressed with my "good hair" and how we would make "pretty babies", most of these men I never once thought to date, and I ran from them because talking about babies in search an early stage of the relationship, the nonexistent stage, is strange. As per usual, I digress.

Another theory is that with the increase in acceptance of interracial relationships, there are some black men who are into the concept of forbidden fruit. It wasn't that long ago that a black man looking at a white woman the wrong way would have gotten him severely hurt or killed. Not to mention for years, many black women have been vocal of their distaste for black men with white women. Now that it is accepted as ok, I think that some black men feel what better way to get back at the wrongs done to them by white men and black women is by being with a white women.

Another reason is stereotypes. I grew up being told that black men dated white women because they did what black women wouldn't do, oral sex. That they had less attitude, were more docile, and more than likely to let the man be the "head of the household" and do what they were told, whereas black women are too strong and "act like men". White women are also supposed to be skinner and smaller, where as most black women are overweight or fat. It is true, most black women in America are overweight, but so are most white women. Also I think there is some validity in the roles of black women vs. white women. From slavery to beyond, there was never really a chance to form the "traditional nuclear family", child care, rearing, and earning was primarily done by the black woman, as well as in the 1960 and 1970s, the welfare system that many black people used, discouraged the black male father being in the household, so yes for the most part it explains why most black mothers are single today.

Another stereotype has to do with masculinity. Black men are the epitome of masculinity, where as white men are considered less masculine than their black counterparts. The old saying of "tall, dark, and handsome" fits the description of black men, but not always white men. So maybe women of all races are attracted to black men because of this perceived masculinity.

All in all, I think that the number of black women/white men pairings are increasing, but I also see that interracial relationships, regardless of the combination are increasing, and I think with today's beauty standards and stereotypes abound, we will continue to see greater numbers of white women/black men pairings than black women/white men pairings.