The Truth About Having A "Preference"

Thursday, June 25

By Yosan Zerai

 In our society, a common question that is asked is "What is your type?" Countless times the answers have been blonde with blue eyes or brunette with green eyes, of course, along with the assumption that the significant other is white. The common excuse for this is, "That's just my preference." However, the ideology of a "preference" is fueled by the Eurocentric beauty standards that society has pressed on us our entire lives. For years, the ideal body was tall, skinny, blonde, tan, etc., yet these descriptions often exclude people of color. 

Due to these ideologies, people of color often feel undesirable and insufficient. Having dark brown skin, having smaller eyes, and having wider noses were all qualities labeled as suboptimal. It is understandable that people of color feel this way because they are underrepresented in our communities, our media, and the entertainment business. Furthermore, as trends such as tanning and the "fox eye" are popularized by influencers such as Bella Hadid, they are labeled as edgy and unprecented which minimilizes the discrimination that people have experienced for years for their natural features. 

However, when you do see a truly beautiful person of color, they are seen as the exception for their race or ethnicity rather than who they really are, just a beautiful person. This is internalized racism developed by society telling you that white people are the model of beauty. Microaggressions such as "you're pretty for an Indian girl," or "you're not like most Black women" are insensitive and leave everlasting, detrimental effects on that person of color with that person not feeling worthy or comfortable in their own skin. A single person does not want to be the beautiful exception from their ethnicity or race. They want their people as a whole to be seen as gorgeous and recognized for their beauty. 

So, no, you don't just "prefer" to date white people. You grew up with white cartoon characters, white actors, and white models on the covers of magazines and walking the runway that created the impression that white people are the standard of beauty. Understanding and seeing the wholesome beauty of other ethnicities and races is part of dismantling such exclusive ideologies of beauty and including everyone in your perception of beautiful. 


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