Flo Rida’s “Can’t Believe It” flowed through party speakers with its lyrics “Damn that white girl got some a** I don’t believe it” and “black girl got some a** it ain’t no secret”, taking me back to feelings of insecurity I started having as a little kid.
The first time I had ever questioned my physical appearance was before I even began first grade.
All it took was one semester for me to breakup with my high school boyfriend and fall completely in love with a guy from my dorm. I called my mother up to tell her about my new boyfriend, and nervously came clean with the statement “I’m Seeing Someone New And He’s Black!
” Though I knew my parents wouldn’t care, wouldn’t forbid be from seeing him, or treat him differently than my past boyfriends, the fact that I felt the need to admit he was black, as if it were a crime is absurd.
Friends asked me what it was like dating someone who is black and giggled asking if it was true about “what they say about size.” One friend admitted “I could never date a black guy because I wouldn’t be able to understand what he was saying.” All stereotypes I had been used to hearing about this unchartered territory.
When my relationship eventually ended, the phrase “once you go black, you never go back” rang in my ears.
Guys would approach me, rarely avoiding grabbing my butt or asking the question, “So you like black guys?
I was running around my house in a black one piece bathing suit and remember looking down at my stomach, thinking that it stuck out too much.
I immediately sprinted outside in the daylight to get a better look and make sure I wasn’t fat.
I felt a certain pride in hanging out with people who were Dominican, Indonesian, Laos, Filipino, Hispanic, etc. My parents taught me good morals, like not judging others by their appearance, though I did have to keep my jaw clenched when I visited relatives.
They would ask me about the “colored kids” at my job as a camp counselor and spoke the word “bi-racial” in hushed tones, as if it were something to be ashamed of.