Women and men figures stan in a line, all different shades of skin tones

Is It Really a Preference?

By Timia Cobb
Web Content Assistant Manager

We all have preferences. Some prefer winter to summer, Halloween more than Christmas or sweet rather than savory. We develop our preferences because something can better suit us or our character. However, is it a preference or is it hating if you have to put something else down to lift what you ‘prefer’ up?

Racial preferences while dating seem instinctive to those who have them. Some might not intentionally see that every person they go for is always the same race and this is OK. Everyone is attracted to what they are attracted to. It only starts to be concerning when someone deliberately goes out of their way to date a certain race.

An example of this is a white man who only dates Asian women or a Latina woman only dating black men. This can come off as strange because the main reason they pursued their significant other is because of their race rather than wanting to know them more as a person. To only be attracted to someone solely for their race can be alarming because it could be tied to fetishization or stereotypes. 

Some men pursue Asian women because they are seen as submissive and have been labeled as weaker in the media. Some women go after black men because they sexualize them and only are physically attracted to them. The reason why this is wrong is that you are reducing people to objects or stereotypes that you expect them to live up to.

While some choose to date certain races due to fetishes, sexualization or stereotypes some do it for reasons concerning internalized racism, colorism and social status.

White has the connotation of being pure, clean and nice. These ideas are taught throughout childhood and are allowed to progress until adulthood. An example of this is young children choosing to play with a white doll over a black doll because black isn’t equally viewed as beautiful or approachable.

Being taught from a young age that white is more acceptable might be unintentional, but it has horrible outcomes that cause many minorities to deem white as better and influences them to only want white partners.

This reduces a simple dating preference down to possible years of internalized hate without a person even realizing it.

If a Latino man decided to only date white women he would have every right to but if someone questioned this preference and his response continuously involved him saying he doesn’t like Latina women and putting Latina women down, this is hate. Him not liking Latina women simply for them being Latina concludes he probably doesn’t like himself either.

This can also be seen in interracial relationships that fantasized over mixed-race children. There is nothing wrong with mixed-race children but imagine a child growing up and realizing their parents wanted them to be fair-skinned with light eyes and curly hair and you have predominantly black features. The fetishization of biracial children who come from black descent but have majority white features and tan skin is a thing. 

Dating someone in hopes of having bi-racial children is harmful because that child deserves to be loved no matter what features it comes out with. For a black person to be in a relationship for this purpose shows that they believe black features are not beautiful and need to be amplified by white ones. 

There are many reasons someone chooses to date a certain race. Those reasons aren’t always intentionally bad. Some people invoke stereotypes, behaviors, fetishes, etc. without even realizing it. The best thing people can do is treat everyone like a person who deserves to be loved and respected, no matter their color.

Featured image by Timia Cobb

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