I was at a bar last night for a friend of mine’s half birthday party (yes, parties are in order for such occasions) and I was on number 6 of Ciroc Red berry, cran and pineapple–well I started with Ketel and switched to Ciroc, but I digress…needless to say I was unsober. I’d requested “No Hands” from the DJ and when it finally came on I was feeling the full effects of my libations and backed it up on a guy who had been dancing with the girls in my circle all night. As Roscoe Dash started to spell his name I realized that the guy really wasn’t dancing with me and I stopped and stood upright and he proceeded to move on to blonde girl in a sparkly dress who could barely find the beat but it didn’t let it stop her from trying. It was, perhaps, the 2nd time in recent months that I was acutely aware of how different I look from 90% of the women in this city. Now mind you, my hair was wild and free (I’m sure that didn’t help the situation–Its rare enough being a black person in San Diego, then add crazy natural hair and you are begging for eyes to follow you), but I thought I looked pretty nonetheless. I’d never (after that moment) felt so unattractive in my life though.
California, and in particular SoCal is a beautiful place to live but what I’m finding is that its a lot of smoke and mirrors. I was talking to a friend of mine who has been living here for about three years now. She’s lost 80lbs since she made the move and has kept it off, does marathons, etc. We were discussing dating and she noted how hard it was here because, well, for a black woman who wants to date a black man “Good luck!” I hate that. I didn’t really want to believe it. She’s up in LA and she cited the pleathora of “other” beauties and of course the stereotypical looks-obsessed Hollywood types are everywhere. Now this, is totally true. Everyone wants to be a Kardashian. Here in SD, its even worse because there are about 5% blacks in the whole city, and I’d guess that a lot of that is only due to military–soooo guess what? That means the majority are black men not black women. Seriously, where are we? I have been out in different areas of town to different restaurants, clubs, bars, shows, events, etc. and we are an extreme minority. When I go out people come up to me like I’m a circus attraction and tell me how pretty my “dark skin” and “wild hair” is. Its odd. All that to say (in a round-a-bout way) interracial dating is just a given. I accept that black men may date white girls, it is another thing all together to be blatently rejected in favor of one while sharing a meaningless dance at the club.
Being 100% honest though, things like that…okay so I’ve been of the mindset that I want to get healthy and lose weight and do all these things to prioritize my physical well-being. As self destructive as it is, I just wanted to sit and eat cookies which sadly is what I did today. Its not about the white girl…the black guy…the lack of black girls…its about in that moment not feeling good enough, and it just got to me. I’ve noticed it “getting to me” a lot more here just because of the environment. Sometimes, like with my hair, I own that I am never going to fit in and so I feel way more free to rock my kinks here than I did at home (where someone would inevitably tell me I needed to comb my hair). When it comes to my body though, or even my body type its just completely anomalous here. There is a huge push to be outside and active and fit, and then of course its a beach city, I live literally 8 miles from the beach and everybody dresses like it. It is just truly another world. Girls wear crop tops to class…and maybe girls are okay to be bigger in the south because we cover up (even though its hotter) but its just different. At this time in my life where, I want to be happy and whole and healthy, I’m finding it to be such a struggle to feel any of that, like it is real work. Today was one of those days where I felt none of the above. I know one thing though…I need to get my head back in order before my academics start to suffer. Tomorrow…I’ll do better.