I was jealous that they had the same ancestral roots as I did but could have more opportunity than me simply because their skin was several shades lighter than mine.
Sun damage was not my concern, and skin cancer hadn't even entered my vocabulary.
I avoided the sun because I knew that as soon as my skin started to darken, I would inevitably be on the receiving end of jokes such as "Oh, sorry I couldn't see you because it's night time." Those jokes about my skin were a dime a dozen during my childhood in a predominantly white environment.
When I joined a dating site soon after relocating here, I learned that colorism was alive and growing in one of the most diverse cities in the world.
I joined an online dating site because I liked the idea of a digital dating agent working on my romantic life while I was at work.
During the summers in my tween years, I would pile on several layers of SPF and avoid the sun as if vitamin D was a poison that would inevitably kill me.
While my classmates laid out in the sun, desperately trying to bronze their bodies, I found myself trying to do the opposite.
I grew up constantly dreaming of a different life, a life where we were not the only black family in my town, a life where I could openly talk about my culture without isolating my peers — a life that couldn't be lived in my small town in New Hampshire.
But as I later learned, colorism didn't just exist in places without people of color. Colorism is the principle that those with lighter, fairer skin are treated with a higher regard than those with darker skin, and it happens both between racial communities and within them.
If this is the first time his friends have hung out with a black person, the interracial learning curve can be steep. Whether they’re instantly suspect or think he’s cool, he better prepare for some teasing. He’s going to feel some sort of way if he finds out you’ve been spilling his tea in the street. You should really be dating a smart, attractive, well-educated black man. It crosses everyone’s mind when you first start dating. Sometimes you just have to roll your eyes and play through.
You wince every time they call him “the white boy” or ask why he likes chocolate, but you’ll just have to talk to them about that later.“Is it true what they say about white men/Indian Men/Chinese Men/Mexican Men? If you’re the first person they know in an interracial relationship, you’re sort of like an ambassador. ”It’s 2013, but some people still have strong opinions about interracial relationships. The thinking may be old-school but it can be hard to shake the feeling. ” It’s time to pick out some Saturdays to introduce him to all the classics he’s missed like “Harlem Nights” and “Friday”. What if an argument gets heated, things turn racial and he drops an n-bomb. Date a man without so much as a two-step and it puts a cramp in your clubbing days. It’s time to find something else to do on Friday night and save the clubbing for girls’ night. If you’re just branching out into your own interracial relationship, get ready to be real sick of hearing people hum it, whistle it or ask you if you’ve seen it (for the 7th time).
I had never been too shy to make the first move and, since there is nothing to lose with online dating, I wasn't shy about messaging more boys more often. But then I began reading beyond the funny "what people notice first about you" blurbs.