How racial discrimination plays into dating

Chevmonay Gaines | Staff Writer

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Leenika Belfield- Martin

FreeForm’s Grown-ish follows a young black woman throughout her college experience. The show’s most recent episode new episode, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” addressed an issue that many young black women face today.

The episode opens with the friends at a nightclub. Noticing the black athletes with various white women by their side, the Forster sisters Jazz (Chloe Bailey) and Sky (Halle Bailey) notice that everyone seems to be getting love BUT the black women on campus.

The Forster sisters mention “The List,” a hierarchy of dating.  At the top of the list are Asian and white women; at the very bottom: black women.

Now, granted, this show is based on a predominantly white institution, so the culture is significantly different. However, even from a historically black college point of view, it still holds truth to my entire life experience of dating as a black woman — more specifically, dating as a black woman who doesn’t pass the “Brown Paper Bag Test.”

Out of curiosity, I created questions to gain insight on general thoughts and issues I often face while dating and being a black woman. Below is my input along with a couple of other responses from men and women, all shades of black:

Are black men more sought after than black women?

I graduated from a predominantly white school, and the amount of times I have heard the white girls talking about dating a black guy simply for the riskiness of it and how pretty their kids would turn out was ridiculous.

Timia Ferguson, an international human rights major, also shares similar views toward interracial dating.

“A good bit of interracial relationships, especially with black men, are solely based off of experimentation, as in wanting to see what it’s like to be with a black man – hence the phrase ‘once you go black,’” Ferguson said. “Being with a black man and having black children as a non-black woman is not a trend or a fad; it’s a lifestyle change because you must wear the belt of understanding experiences of black people when you choose to be in that relationship.”

Journalism major Simone Bell-Dennis said, “Black men are the poster children for what a ‘manly man’ is. All races are equally attracted to black men, while black women are often on the outskirts. In my high school, black women were the last picks. We were the good friends or too ‘hood’ – no in between.”

What cultural beauty standards have an impact on dating black women? 

“The music industry has the biggest impact on cultural beauty standards. Growing up watching -all these rap videos, all I saw was big-butt, big-breasted, light-skinned women in music videos. At the time, that was the standard,” cybersecurity major Kendall Douglass said.

“Once you begin dating, you start basing your potential significant other off the women you see on TV, and hold them to a ridiculous, unrealistic standard of looks.”

Have you ever been labeled as bossy, sassy or attitude-filled?

I have always been given the half-compliment of “I thought you would be mean!” way before people even cared to know the real me. I often wonder is it my tone when I speak, my rebellious hair or is it just the stereotype that came with me being a black woman?

“I think they automatically throw these titles on us because they’re intimidated by us when in control. They go in with these preconceived notions that every black woman has this horrible attitude,” a female sophomore five-year MBA major said.

“They label us as such before getting to know the real us, and that turns some men away.”

 

What has your experience been when dating while black? Would you say you are at more of an advantage or disadvantage? When will it be cool to date black women again?

Social media: Rise or fall of the millennial generation?

Chevmonay Gaines | Staff Writer

Social media has a dominant influence on human interaction and society. There’s no doubt that the quick emergence of today’s social media sites is only the beginning of what has become a new, and more convenient, form of communication.

But why, though? What is the addictive ingredient that keeps social media users coming back for more? Let’s take a dip into some pros and cons of social media.

 

  1. PRO: Social media allows its users to keep up with current events

 I’ll be the first to say I rarely ever watch the news anymore. I get the latest local and worldwide news via outlets on Twitter and Snapchat. I have the ability to become notified on the latest breaking stories sent straight to my iPhone as soon as they happen.

“My favorite thing about social media is being able to stay updated about the world around me,” journalism major Simone Bell-Dennis said. “Although it can be quite cryptic, I would rather know about what is going on in the world than to be completely in the dark.”

At the rate we’re going with social media spreading current events, news channels will likely become outdated.

 

  1. CON: Social media promotes a sense of not being good enough

 We all know someone with an “online personality.” They flaunt a dream lifestyle instead of addressing self-esteem issues with the goal of gaining “likes” and attention.

Seeing what a mutual friend (or even a stranger) has accomplished and wondering why you haven’t done the same, or better, can ultimately create self-doubt.

“People only post what they want you to see,” psychology major Kayla Snowden said. “You saw that they got the internship, but you don’t know how many times they applied for it and got denied before.”

It is imperative to remember that you must move at your own pace. What is meant for you will always be for you.

 

  1. PRO: Social media provides a platform for users to display their talents and hobbies

Whether you’re a designer, makeup/hair guru, musician or actor, you can become noticed for simply making posts of doing what you love. If your posts attract enough people, companies may even contact you.

Social media also provides a plethora of business networking opportunities.

 

  1. Con: Social media has filtered true human connection

I cannot tell you all the amount of times I’ve been to a party and seen people on Twitter and Snapchat almost the entire night through. I also cannot say the amount of times I’ve interacted with someone online and as soon as I pass by them in person…*crickets.* As ironic as it seems, social media has made humans less social.  Legitimate face-to-face communication lacks popularity nowadays.   

Though social media has its downfalls, there are situations in which it has supported human advancement and awareness. While we are always digitally connected with each other, we must remember to not become disconnected with ourselves. Social media will inevitably become more advanced, so be sure to make the best of it.