Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My skin

I recently had a convo with a Dominican kid about our respective dating habits and he was telling me of his preference for white skinned women, despite being dark himself or as he put it a “ dark chocolate color.” Wtf was his father Willie Wonka? I reminded him that there is beauty in all women regardless of color and that he should give props to the trigueña woman. After all countless of Latino composers have written songs about the allure of our piel canela, the beauty of la mujer trigueña. I tell him I feel sorry for him that he allows his romantic life to be ruled by a color palette.

He pointed out that my last boyfriend had been white as a matter of fact quite a few of the guys I’ve dated have been white. I told him that it’s not a preference with me it’s just the way things have worked out. For some odd reason I mostly attract white guys, occasionally a Latino will hit on me but it’s mostly the white guys. I love the way my mother jokingly words it, “them white boys sure do love them some Mia.” Sho’ ‘nuf mama. I told him that too many of our fellow Latinos have the same mentality that he has preferring our fair skinned sisters over the dark ones. I am an equal opportunity dater… skin color, religion, nationality; it doesn’t matter to me. I look at the soul, the mind, the heart. The skin, the outer being is just packaging much like a candy bar; the wrapping may be nice but what you really want is what is inside of the wrapping.

I reminded him that as representatives of our people in this case Dominicans and Boriquas, he surely must realize that some of our ancestors were Africans. He scoffed at me, how I dare suggest that we have an ounce of African blood in us. Where did he think he got his coloring from, a crayola box? Denial is not just a river in Egypt my brother. ¡Tu no eres blanco! (you're not white)

I wear my skin color with pride; people spend a small fortune on bronzing products, risking skin cancer in tanning booths just in the hopes of obtaining my skin color. I rub cocoa butter into my skin and it shines like copper reflective of my black, olive, gold, red, and yes even white skinned ancestors blood running through my veins…. They are all reflected in my coloring, my features…. My skin is homage to my Taino forefathers, my Nigerian great great great grandfather brought to Puerto Rico in chains on a slave ship. My Berber and Arab ancestors whose names are still being carried on by my family, my Guanche ancestors from Las Islas Canarias who immigrated to Puerto Rico in hopes of building their fortunes…. From the proud Spaniards of Albacete to the humble jibaros of Borinquen they each have left their legacy imprinted on my skin and my features. I have no trouble loving my skin because within me flows the blood of many a great people; within me flows the history of a people. I am the result of love transcending the boundaries of color, race and religion. When I look at my skin that’s what I see ….love.

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