I am amazed.
Luckily the above screenshot isn’t from my inbox, but the messages aren’t that much off. It’s been about a week since I decided to make myself visible to “straight people” on OkCupid. Almost 300 profile likes and even hundreds more messages later, I am beginning to wonder how “straight women” survive the barrage of messages I am sure they must get.
Now, let’s be real here for a moment; 300 profile likes in a week is not a significant amount. However, according to OkCupid, as a 30-something queer Black woman, I probably shouldn’t even be getting any attention from anyone: Black, White, Asian, Indian, Native America, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and Human, whether gay, bi or straight.
So, getting that much traffic and positive responses to my profile left me…a bit baffled.
Why? Well, apparently, the general idea that some people have, whether it be OkCupid or Satoshi Kanazawa, is that Black women (and Asian men) are…wholly unattractive….to everybody. Not only are we supposedly unattractive, or perhaps because of it, we are also unmarriageable.
Never mind the possible reasons why so many people have been dedicating their time and energy to putting us in our place…or reminding us of where they think we should be.
Never mind the fact that OkCupid overtly suggests to its Black users (particularly female) that they should add some “whiteness” to their profile to make it more appealing, because “[a]dding ‘whiteness’ always helps your rating! In fact it goes a long way towards undoing any bias against you.”
I imagine that OkCupid thinks this some sort of positive strategy. Let’s now all jump for joy! Woo hoo! It’s great faking to be White! Yay!…Not.
This brings me back to my OkCupid experience.
I make it pretty clear on my profile that I’m not really looking for a romantic relationship, just new friends and perhaps an online pen-pal or two from some culture in which I take interest (eg. Japanese and German).
I also make it pretty clear that I have zero interest in being exoticized and ask kindly to be bypassed if it is the case that the person is looking for their next “Black” conquest or “African” goddess or are obsessed by the “darkness” of my skin.
Of course, all of my warnings mean very little to the significant number of mostly Italian men who enjoy creeping on my profile, sending me messages in both Italian and broken English that add up to be the same thing: how soon can they put their penis in my vagina.
The point is this: online dating, regardless of who (race/ethnicity/sexual orientation/etc.) you are as a woman, is no walk in the park.
Of course, there are great people out there, who will contact you in a respectful manner. However, there is a pretty hefty number out there who simply want to know just how good your “big lips” feel on their nether regions. 😉
Until Next Time,
Remember to follow your path by trusting your instincts.