I liked dating in the dark

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I am a black female who has always been aware that I am ’pretty for a dark-skinned girl’.

I know that only because I have heard the phrase countless times.

If he is emotionally solid and not much gets to him. On top of that doesn’t share his feelings very often – This challenges her in many ways too.

First, she can’t help but to wonder what’s going on inside his head – more mystery – it entices her to get things out of him which he won’t share with another woman. Second – it shows strength beyond what she might feel comfortable about in herself. Third – it proves to her without a doubt he is in complete control and can handle adversity sometimes again, better than her.

In Africa, it seemed that I encountered patches of ignorance that I blamed on colonial mentality and white hero worship; in America, and specifically, amongst black people, it seemed critically important to know exactly where you fell on the colour scale and what it meant. I was repeatedly told by boys, even those darker than me, that I was ‘pretty for a dark-skinned girl’.

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I got accustomed to being offered lightening or brightening products at spas or beauty counters, as well as suggestions on fixing ‘dull’ skin.Then I thought of what kind of person I would be, if I allowed other people’s insecurities permeate my consciousness.If I took on the burden of hating myself so other people wouldn’t have to do it for me.Once I realised I was firmly anchored at the bottom of the dating pool, I became accustomed to hearing the word ‘preference’ casually thrown around to justify behaviour that felt a lot like prejudice.Once the can of worms was open, it seemed I could never go back.

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