Addendum: to the white men;
i.e., and also, to those who felt so moved to maliciously comment; to those who have convinced their penises of white vagina and eyes of pink nipples; to those who wished to pontificate upon my personal dating life and self-esteem rather than engage with the debate at hand:
God forbid someone touches the beloved pedestal of the white woman and her *unparalleled* beauty.
The institution of beauty in modern America is undoubtedly affected by centuries of imperialism, colonialism, rape, war, slavery, marginalization, and repeated manipulation of the bodies of women of color.
The relative “attractiveness” of one race over another is not organic.
It is not isolated; it is not unmoving. It is not biological. There exists no genetic predisposition of racial preference in dating. And scientific racism remains just that: scientific racism. Meaning, using pseudo-scientific claims about beauty to justify a discriminatory remark like “I only date white women” is so 18th century Johann Blumenbach. Oh, and racist.
Whites have shaped the existing social order and maintain a hefty concentration of wealth and resources. It is critical to note that whiteness is also built into beauty ideals and homo/hetero conceptions of attractiveness.
And the most popular comment, which utilizes a false comparison of “height privilege” to racial privilege (because last time I checked, there was no surreptitious legacy against short men with small penises), is a fallacious claim, but nevertheless, emphasizes my point that privilege exists.
Back to the main point: how can you say attractiveness is unaffected by an existing power structure that prioritizes the visibility of one race?
Early in their development, children in the United States and all over the world are taught and learn that whiteness is a central tenet of beauty; it is to be coveted and revered. The attitudes surrounding the Doll Test — a study used in Brown vs. Board of Education exhibiting the deep-seeded racial prejudices in children – still prevail in dating preference. Through this study, we see whiteness is largely constructed and rooted around positive character attributes, and Blackness with the opposite.
Thus, defending the argument that the world’s affinity for whiteness is a biological manifestation of preference is frankly laughable, and ultimately antithetical to social progress. “I like what I like” is undoubtedly a racialized notion and oppressive when it comes to dating: this premise becomes racist when it systematically undermines women of color. For white men to espouse rhetoric like “I am only interested in white women” is a pernicious and insidious act which perpetuates white toxic beauty standards and actively marginalizes women of color. These beauty ideals encourage and reinforce the marginalization and obscuration of a group of women you never took the chance to get to know, or understand.
Further, it is intellectually lazy to ignore the fact that “what you like” and physical attraction is historicized and racialized as being in line with narrow white ideals of what it means to be an “acceptable” woman.
For example, let’s historicize “attractiveness” and “acceptable” women in the context of Thomas Jefferson’s address on the State of Virginia.
“Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the expressions of every passion by greater or less suffusions of colour in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the countenances, that immovable veil of black which covers all the emotions of the other race? Add to these, flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, their own judgment in favour of the whites, declared by their preference of them, as uniformly as is the preference of the [orangutan] for the black women over those of his own species. The circumstance of Superior beauty, is thought worthy attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals; why not in that of man?…”
This quote overtly claims white people (i.e., the “fine mixtures of red and white”) are superior. These thoughts were espoused by a founding father, and are notably left out from historical texts and textbooks. His racism is inconspicuous within the mindset of modern America. This is a man whose 129-foot monument occupies undeniable presence in the nation’s capital. A man who had four (possibly five) Black children. We know about Martha Jefferson – but have you heard of Sally Hemmings? Perhaps if Sally Hemmings would have been valued as a white woman was, and her beauty and worth was conceptualized in whiteness (or, at least, held parity with the whiteness of Martha Jefferson) Thomas Jefferson would be remembered for much more than a founding father — but a rapist, owner of slaves and serial abuser.
There is privilege in being white, and the proximity to whiteness in dating.
And so white women should recognize their privilege. And men who defend their unabashed love and defense of only white women simply because they have been taught to reveals a manifestation of white supremacy within their understanding of the world around them.
But let me be clear: I never condemned those who solely worship white women. I don’t mean to shame you for your dating “preferences”.
You do you.
Yeah, it’s racist.
But pink nipples are very pretty. I won’t lie.