Please stop telling me whose eyes are blue
‘Ready to Love’: The balance between pro-interracial dating but not forced interracial dating
This post was originally published on Medium on October 24, 2022.
I’m on a White House mystery reading binge, and I can’t get enough of Ollie’s antics. That summarizes how I’ve treated late September and all of October, shortly after writing “I miss Black Expressions Book Club.” With so much business drama in my life, I needed something to get lost in — a familiar place that I used to depend on as a child and teenager. I needed to get lost in good books.
I found that reading outlet again with author Julie Hyzy’s “The White House Chef Mystery Series.” I’m flying through these mystery books in a week and am now on number five. Walter Mosley is the last mystery author who I could legitimately get lost in when it came to “gotcha” books. (Salute to Easy Rawlins.) Picking up a book is one thing, but wanting to read it until the end and picking up more books by the same author is a whole other. And this series has the bookworm in me wiggling with joy!
Need a good book? Check out “Shamontiel’s Bookshelf”!
However, there is one thing that drives me nuts in every book from this author. The black characters get glossed over (ex. the guy “with the durag” who saved Ollie from being dragged into a stranger’s car). Meanwhile, every character with blonde hair is a “blonde bombshell” and all the smoking hot people have “blue eyes.” One character in the book who was previously described as no big deal at first — when Ollie thought he had gray eyes — is now jaw-dropping with blue eyes.
It reminds me too much of my take on “That ‘scientific study’ that makes you hate your race.” These little subtle “compliments” can make readers think that is the only feature needed to be attractive. It is not. Making someone look a certain way in order for a relationship to work never works. It is just as possible to be a blue-eyed monster as it is to be a brown-eyed catastrophe. The same can be said for being blue-eyed and handsome, as well as brown-eyed and jaw-dropping. They are not mutually exclusive.
This leads me to my next point: “Ready to Love” can keep its all-black cast.
“Ready to Love”: It’s totally fine to “love” black people
If you’ve been a frequent viewer of OWN’s “Ready to Love” (hosted by Nephew Tommy), then you know the series’ cast members are getting progressively worse. While the show started off strong with black (wo)men who were willing to prioritize class over being competitive, later seasons have included a peculiar amount of women who seem to be trying to get Mona Scott’s eye. And a noticeable amount of men could slide right into “Love & Hip Hop” right next to them! As much as I enjoy the idea for the dating show and hoped it would be a great companion of “Black Love,” this has not been the case.
Very few final couples have lasted to the reunion, never mind months or years. Still, I like the idea of black women and black men having a televised space to find each other. If that’s who they want to date, why not?
However, one particular tweet didn’t quite sit right with me — “I’m so tired of the toxicity. Tommie shld just open it up to non-black ppl as well bc #blacklove is A BUST”