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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Color of Love

In a competely unrelated to anything, completely random topic, borderline inappropriate way, I'm going to write about race today. No, I'm not going to talk about the prejudice or the discrimination, or the difference between whites, hispanics, blacks, etc.

I'm going to talk about how I love black men.

Since I was a little girl, I've always been more attracted to men with darker skin... both hispanic and black alike. I think part of this stemmed from following the NMSU Aggie Basketball team with my dad since I was four or five (think season tickets, every year for 13 years. i'm a fan). I also maintain that I might have been black in a different life. Either way, men with darker skin tones were much more attractive to me than white men.

I grew up in a home that saw no racism. My parents are in a mixed race marriage: my mom is white and my dad is hispanic. That's pretty common around here in the southwest, but it's not as common in my mom's hometown of Jefferson City, Missouri. But my mom loved my dad and loved his culture and they got married. They encouraged my appreciation for black men. They even bought me a black ken barbie doll, which I would have dating my Jasmin (Disney princess) doll, which I picked because she looked the most like me. My black ken would also date my white dolls... he was my favorite, along with Aladdin (who, really, looks hispanic). I don't think I even had a white ken doll.

My first boyfriend/kiss was black and I adored him for years. In fact, he was my longest relationship before Boyfriend. His mom works with  my mom at an elementary school and they joke about our past relationship.

I play a game with my friends called "marry screw kill". You pick three people that you like/think are attractive (or you pick the opposite as a joke) and have to choose one that you'd marry, one you'd spend the night with, and one to kill. My "ultimate" marry screw kill candidates are my favorite three men in the world (celebrities, that is): Michael Jordan, Barak Obama, and Will Smith. I always choose Obama to marry because, hello, he's attractive, elegant, and the president! The other two I alternate.

It wasn't until I got older and played the "marry screw kill" game with some aquaintance at a bar that I even thought of my attraction as abnormal. She wrinkled her nose at my choices. "You like black men, I guess." The tone of her voice was so judgmental that I forgot how to respond. I lifted an eyebrow at her... "um... yeah, I guess."
She shrugged. "I just don't see it." But her tone was pitying. Pitying! I was shocked and horrified at her. The fact of the matter is, who I am attracted to is my own business. I've had some white boyfriends since... some tall, blonde haired blue eyed boys. But in my limited experience, the culture between black men, hispanic men, and white men is very different in my community. I've noticed that the black men and hispanic men i knew were more polite and respectful toward women. i really started falling in love with hispanic men as i got older... leading to Boyfriend, who is Colombian and Mexican. I love that his skin tone is darker than my pale color. I love that he never sunburns. I love that he grew up in a home where women were strong, treated well, and respected.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that picking a man has nothing to do with a color but really a culture. There are some hispanic men raised in a white culture, some black men raised hispanic. what is important to look at is the culture that you want.

And Boyfriend is the culture that I want.

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