All in the Eyes

Where did you get your eyes from? Your mother or your father? He raised his camera capturing the portrait of her pale beauty and oval eyes in the soft light. Any girl would be embarrassed, yet flattered to receive the attention.

As this flattering moment ensued, I sat on the steps outside of our yoga studio, next to her friend...

Her friend of equal beauty and (if not more) “depth” to her complexion/appearance. Her brown curly hair and tan skin reminded me of my cousins who are 1/4 and 1/8 African American.
He never turned to capture us. Capture our eyes... Or capture our beauty.

I remember my friend with his masculine brown beard and blue eyes telling me Freshman year of college, “Who wouldn't like her? He needs to step up and get her or I will. She’s tall, perfectly tanned with long brown hair. The perfect woman... Beautiful.”

Years later he “objectifying-ly” told me “ You do have a nice ass.”

My Nigerian friend insisted he would never marry “Black” (of any shade). He had to have  an Asian woman “give him” a baby to  “match my eyes and the beauty of a Black and Asian mixed child.”
My prom date and life long friend exclaimed on our way back from prom, “I will never date a black girl, because they demanded too much. Dating ‘white’ is easier to manage.”

As her feathery blonde hair skimmed her brow, her light eyes looked into mine asking,
“Shamime, how will I tell her she will receive different treatment from the little blue eyed blonde girl, regardless of the facts? I remember being pulled over with my black friends and questioned less and that my Black husband was tracked into the ‘dumber’ classes due to the color of his skin.”

I listened attempting to formulate an answer.

She continued, “I don’t think she sees a difference in how she is treated or received. In her Santa Monica Private School, I am blessed that she has not faced different treatment, but I can only shelter her so much.

I explained the above experiences I had, explaining her daughter may never notice anything until college...or until she loses out to a friend with the same qualifications (either for a job, school project, or most likely a BOY).

Nothing makes a girl “blacker” than a white boy:

When he doesn’t “want” her she wonders why (when she’s the most popular and his best friend).

When he does “want” her, friends say, “Be careful he might have a ‘thing’ for you know, ‘black girls.’ Or just want a taste.”

When they get married, no one realizes (other than friends) they are “together” when in public.

When they have kids, he realizes he married a black woman.

If they divorce, people whisper “Well, they were so different.”

**I must note that nothing makes a female “blacker” than any race based treatment.  It is not just a white guy. Even some black guys reject a black woman based on a plethora of stereotypes and “preferences.”**

I told her blonde hair and light eyes,

“Even in yoga I am still ‘Black.’  Yoga is unique, it allows acceptance on a level extremely close to a colorblind Utopia...however, that is only during class or during yogic ‘events.’ While focused on my mat I can forget my skin color and the people next to me can smile because I am not dating their son or they are not wondering if they should hire me, or even ask me out...But as soon as I roll up my mat and get looked up and down by a white guy with tattoos, like a piece of meat walking down the street in 1970s Mississippi, I am back to being Black.”

It is All in the Eyes. Forever in Action. Never an Absolution.


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