Monday, January 27, 2014

The Exotic Chick

Grammy Awards 2014 (E! Online)

That is Kevin Hart and his girlfriend Enkio at the Grammys last night.  I saw them on the pre-awards red carpet and I thought that they both looked amazing.  This morning, I was reading an excerpt about Kevin Hart in the February 2014 edition of Upscale Magazine.  In this article Kevin talks about how black women hate on him and his new relationship for many reasons, one of them being that his girlfriend Eniko, looks "exotic".  In actuality, he points out that she is Jamaican.  For a few months I have wanted to talk about the "Exotic Chick" syndrome that many black men, well really men in general seem to have.  But today I write from a different perspective, a woman who sometimes is grouped into that very same category that I complain about.

Until today I would have complained about men wanting an "exotic chick".  To my readers who might not understand what an "exotic chick" is I went to Urban Dictionary for a definition:

exotic 
being from asia, south america, caribbean, mediterranean, persia, arabia, etc... basically, anyone with tan skin, black shiny hair, big lushious lips, can dance and gyrate, curvy and smart. Exotic people have mysterious, alluring and sensual eyes. ALL will surrender to those eyes when an exotic girl permits a guy she likes to catch a glance of them.

It is hard for me.  As a follower of Christ I believe in love and that everyone should have love regardless of what you look like.  But the black woman in me has issues, and I know it's not right.  I just have not gotten over that reaction of feeling passed over every time I see a powerful black man with a non-black woman on her side.  The fact that another black man doesn't want an equally powerful black woman by his side can be irking.  
However today I had a realization.  To some people I am that exotic chick.  Let me describe myself.  I am black.  Both of my parents are black.  My mom has very light skinned, to the point where I thought that if she was light skinned I had to be mocha, but alas I am not.  My father, was dark skinned maybe considered brown by cultural standards.  Me, I'm light skinned I suppose caramel in color.  I have long curly hair.  Most of the time people assumed that I am mixed.  I am asked where I am from and I am never sure if they mean state or the country where my ancestors are from so I usually just go with Maryland to be on the safe side.  I have been mistaken for Latina, Ethiopian, Dominican, and even Indian.  My cousin told me once that I could be mistaken for an exotic chick myself, and it wasn't until today that I actually believed it.
Here is the thing, why do I have to be anything?  Why can't I just be me?  I mean what if I am "exotic"?  Does that mean not that I should not be able to date who I want?  Does that mean I should only date someone who looks exactly like me?  Am I not entitled to my own happiness?  Sure some men might have their fantasies about being with someone that looks like me but that is not my fault.  I certainly do not go around boasting about my hair and my skin, despite the fact that at least weekly someone else will remind me of it.  And why is that ok by the way?  Why is it ok for everyone to tell me I am light skinned and I have long hair or "good hair" while the reverse comments would be social exile?  I know the history of the stigma with people of dark skinned complexion, but their is also a long history of stigma with light skinned black women as well, but I digress...
So I am not trying to change anyone's mind today.  All I really want is some understanding and compassion.  God wants us to love everyone because he loves each of us despite our flaws.  So no matter how you look you should love and receive love.  Let's just keep it at that.  Kevin love who you want and I will too!

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