I love black women so much.
They’re so amazing and honestly they’ve been my saving grace in Japan on more than one occasion. They put up with so much strife daily, yet they’re able to accomplish so much, so effortlessly.
As a black woman, I can attest that the dating pool out here is very limited. And I’m sure it’s the same in most places where black women are considered a minority. For Japan the dating pool seems to largely be gaijin (foreigner) fetishizers, 90’s obsessed hip-hop caricatures, and if you’re in a big city other foreigners who might be dating a Japanese woman. Dating is hard out here. And it seems like non-Black women just seem to have an easier time breaking down the barriers of interracial dating than black women.
Black women are considered to be at the bottom of the dating barrel every where you go, even in America. But with all those things fighting against you, that shouldn’t stop you from living your best life abroad.
Why Don’t More Black Women Date Interracially?
Interracial dating isn’t at a record high in 2018. I think only 10% of all marriages in America are of interracial couples. But the interracial couples you do see hardly depict black women. Even in the movies you hardly see black women as the love interest if the man isn’t black. Maybe if she’s light skinned or clearly mixed (Zoe Saldanda, Halle Barry) they can be the love interest. But often times black women get shafted. Black men and white men seem to move effortlessly through mixed relationships. I’ve seen lots of interracial couples but hardly have I ever seen black women in interracial relationships.
Culture is a very big part of all of our lives. It shapes the way we see ourselves and how we view others. Cultural background matters a lot more than people think. And it might be the biggest reason my black girlfriends give for not dating here. Being from the same culture means you understand the social normalities for each other. You know what questions are okay to ask, and what’s appropriate to say and do. You’ll likely share the same sense of humor. Dating another Black man, he’ll understand your struggles with racism and prejudice in the world. No one wants to have to explain themselves all the time.
The reverse side of that is how difficult it is to adjust to another culture. Japanese society has a lot of unspoken rules and regularities that people abide by. And if you’re not familiar with the culture it can be very easy to disrespect someone unknowingly .Language of course is a big issue. Japanese and English are hardly similar and the way people communicate in both languages is very different from each other. And finding someone who speaks fluent English here, even in Tokyo is not easy.
Anti-Blackness Exists in other Cultures
Asia is no stranger to anti-blackness, blackface, and other works like it. But I think the conversation around those things here is shifting. Slowly but surely.
Japan is a very homogenous country. The population of foreigners here is only about 1%. I’m sure there are some Japanese who have never talked with a foreigner before let alone a black person. So they can only make assumptions from what they see on TV and other forms of media. Namely hip hop videos and movies which aren’t always the best portrayals of black people world wide. Because of that living here can lead to some awkward questions, and even some uncomfortable moments of discrimination here. Some people will embrace you with open arms without much hesitation while others won’t want anything to do with you. It can be hard out here but I’ve faced worst while living in America.
The “Does He Like Black Girls?” Question
Black women are the only group of women that have to question if black men or other men even like them. My non- black friends never ask, “Does he like____ girls?” And we all know why; it’s not socially cool to date black women even among other black people. From the “attitude” to the kinky hair we’ve all heard the excuses of why people think black women aren’t attractive. I’ve heard it all from Serena’s “Manish” figure to our “unnatural” hair. Unfortunately, media also influences who we consider beautiful. It’s the reason why a lot of black women grew up thinking they weren’t pretty. We weren’t being represented. So if you’ve only been exposed to one type of beauty your whole, anything that challenges will be met with resistance.
It’s silly to think that in the diaspora of black women, the only reason why someone wouldn’t date you is because your black. And it burns; you can change your clothes, body, and hair but you can’t change your skin color. And you shouldn’t have to for anyone.
Betraying Your Race
If I had a dollar every time a black man told me I shouldn’t date interracially because that’d make me a traitor, I’d be rich. Black men date interracially all the time and people don’t bat an eye at it. But when black women do it all of the sudden everyone has some input about it. You’re not betraying your race for dating someone with a different skin tone from you. Beautiful people come from all corners of the planet, so why limit yourself to just one area? You don’t owe the world anything, and the world shouldn’t determine who it is you date. Wanting to be with someone you can relate to culturally is one thing. But being with someone because you feel it won’t make you a race traitor is self destructive.
Overcome those Barriers
Maybe you’re open to dating someone outside of your race. You could possibly be living in Japan and want to know how to carry yourself. Well, there’s no magic trick to interracial dating. To be honest it’s just like dating anywhere else, you just have to put in a little effort.
Ignore the Negative Opinions
You can’t please everybody. Some people won’t accept you no matter how hard you try and that’s true everywhere. But you have to ignore those comments and stares. You’re not destroying the black community by dating a white, asian, latino, etc. guy. And dating outside of your race doesn’t make you any less black. Sure some people won’t understand your relationship, but your relationship isn’t for others to understand.
And the same way you ignore societies comments, you have to ignore your own internal self-doubt. Everyone is influenced by media in some way and people won’t hesitate to put black women in a bad light. A lot of people believe everything they see on TV but there’s a lot of people who can see past those tactics.
Don’t Be Afraid of Social Media
It’s very standard to be approached by men in America. It shows courage, and that they’re obviously interested in you. But in Japan that doesn’t really happen. Even to other Japanese women, Japanese men don’t normally approach women. So it’s not because you’re unattractive, it’s just not something that people do in the culture. Dating online doesn’t have the same stigma in Japan as it does in America. I know in America Tinder is basically seen as a “hook-up” app but in Japan it’s treated more as a way to meet people. Yes you’ll still get horrible messages both in English and Japanese but your chances of meeting someone will increase greatly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make the First Move
I hate when people tell me they think black women look scary or intimidating. You never hear those words associated with non black women, and honestly it sounds like an excuse for someone to justify not dating black women. (Just say your racist and go)
Honestly I think most people find black women physically attractive. They just don’t see us a relatable. Again the media’s fault. I’ve had a lot of people tell me they just aren’t sure of what to say to black women… like you have to speak another language to us to get our attention. Well I guess in Japan they might have to, but that shouldn’t stop someone from approaching.
But it does, and that’s just life.Which means that you might have to make the first move sometimes.The chances of rejection are higher but, you never know it might turn out good in the end. One of my biggest dating regrets is not asking for this really handsome Japanese guy’s number while riding the first train together. He was cute, funny and could’ve been the love of my life. Learn from my mistakes please. Don’t be like me.
I’m not tell you who to date. Everyone has their own reasons for dating whoever. But I just don’t like to see black women left out of the equation of love. So to all the black women living in Japan, China, or whichever part of the world don’t be afraid to move a little outside of your comfort zone. After all someone might surprise you.