This isn't anti-White, just pro-Self love
Written by: Ayesha Go | Photos by: Colin Pieters
As a twenty-[bleep]-old woman, the sound of my biological clock gets louder as days go by. A sophisticated, educated, fashion-forward young professional, I compared my biological clock to a Rolex; classic, elegant, and mature form of telling time with the hands smoothly flowing from minute to minute. Exuding refinement, my Rolex reflected who I was and was a testament of time to come and not just time that passed. No sound. No obtrusive noise. In a class of its own.
A year ago, there was a girl I was friends with. Smart. Educated. Beautiful. While she had, and I’m sure she still does have, tremendous qualities, you could tell she was insecure and not confidence within herself. Always second guessing. Over analyzing everything. Finding all the wrong in the world and not doing anything to change her circumstances. It wasn’t a surprise to me that her lack of self-awareness would also cause her to treat her love life the same way. There was something wrong with every man that wanted to date her. He wasn’t tall enough. He was too dark. He didn’t look like The Rock. Huh? I was confused. She wanted this ideal sense of a unicorn; a man that didn’t exist but was only represented through the figments of her imagination.
Her ideal man had to be tall. Golden skin tone, as she worded it, as if he was Hawaiian or Middle Eastern. Could wear sweatpants, but could also wear a suit. While she didn’t specifically say this was because she wanted her kids to look a certain way, knowing her, I could tell that was a factor as well. Experiencing people like this was the exact reason why I told myself I would be a Rolex and vowed to always remember who I am, what I represent, and what I stand for.
As the years progress and social media timelines overflowed with engagement, baby shower, and family photos, my refined Rollie went from being in a well respected league of its own with no loud fodder to sounding like a time bomb. Tick, tick, tick, bomb. My thoughts of a family had officially made me lose what made me refined and accepting of my life. I had become impatient. Constantly questioning my choices. Doubting my journey. Looking at other people’s blessings, and even my own blessings, in disgust as my shortcomings.
If my impatience wasn't enough, the external fodder crept into my psyche. During this time of impatience and impracticality, you may fell alone as your clock begins to transform from a Rolex to a kitchen timer—harsh, brash, and lacking the decorum you would prefer—but you’re not alone. Your loved ones around you hear the ticks, also, and notice your new out-of-the-ordinary behavior. For me, this shared questioning of my life and what would happen in the next few years didn’t comfort me. My loved ones’ concern about my happiness and future of a family didn’t involve me. My lack of self-awareness, which was a combination of lack of comfort with myself and my life journey, made them feel it was acceptable to choose my happily ever after for me. I went from a Rolex, to a kitchen timer, to a standard idea of Happily Ever After that everyone picked for me and not because it was best for Ayesha: from Rolex to Michael Kors.
There’s another friend I had who’s family had their own sense and idea of beauty. Children with light, fare skin. “Nice” or “good” hair. Light colored eyes. These children would continue the family’s legacy and name and had to look like this so they didn’t look like the typical offspring birthed from their ethnicity. Because of her family’s standards of beauty, she chased this idea of beauty that I wasn’t even sure if she truly believed herself. Another example of a unicorn that didn’t exist and another event to solidify my oath to being a Rolex.
During my peak Michael Kors moments, I was at my most uncomfortable when talking about relationships and love. The young woman who wasn’t easily offended had become defensive and hostile with every discussion of love, relationships, and family. I would ignore these mutterings and not give them any credence; why give light to something created from a dark, ignorant place. My opinion, if I reminded myself I was a Rolex and not a Michael Kors the chatter wouldn’t bother me: I would know it wasn't real. A figment of a skewed imagination that proves, or disproves, someone else’s open mindedness and not my own.
As a Michael Kors watch, those around you ask questions based on their experience and the experiences of other people they know. All of this has nothing to do with the receiver of the message. Are you having kids anytime soon? When will be the right time? The list goes on of the never-ending questions a women receives when she's nonconventional. But, there was one thought in particular that would come up often and which bothered me the most: being told I should have a baby with a White man.
You should have a baby with a White man. The statement rings throughout my ears over and over. Louder than any kitchen timer and testament of my impatience. Once again, if I remembered I was a Rolex, this wouldn’t have bothered me, but I lost my sense of self.
Every time I heard the statement, “You should have a baby with a White man,” the first thing that popped into my head while on the defensive was “Why?” My question was often followed by “Because you need someone to match your intelligence” or simply “Because your babies would be so cute. They would have that big, curly hair, and blue eyes, and…” These suggestions of me pledging my union to a man who happens to be White, not because of our love for one another, but because of how our degrees would look hanging on the wall next to each other or the possibility of our children having wild, untamable hair made me cringe.
I thought I could fight it away with rebuttals of how educated Black men are and how my children would be educated and beautiful despite how light or dark they were. I thought I could poke holes in their arguments by reminding them a Black man and Black woman came together to create the Black men they fawned over so much. I thought telling them to date a White man would reverse the defensiveness and help them see things from my point of view. Nope. My fight was lost. My arms were swinging both trying to raise and wave the flag of the Black man and simultaneously fighting the ignorance to oblivion, but it didn’t help. But as someone over the ignorance and hurtful statements I decided to find a better way, for me, to deal with these suggestions: I vowed to never have a baby with a White man.
I vowed to never have a baby with a White man not as an act of being anti-White. Declaring to never have a baby with a White man was my way of taking a stance on my own happiness and to never let the thoughts and opinions of others change my perception of my self-love nor what it love looks like in a partner. This was my wake up to realize I was being a Michael Kors when I actually hate Michael Kors.
Light skin and conventional norms of beauty have been something I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember. You should look like this. This is what beauty is. This is what you should want your kids to look like. These statements and more have caused me to rebel against the norm and vow to never do what I was told. I vowed to never conform to what everyone tells me. I vowed to be open-minded and not force myself into ignorance. I vowed to love my choices and myself even if that meant me having a baby with a Black man that doesn’t fit into society’s multi-pieced puzzle of beauty; ragged edges to go against the grain of the smooth, defined lines created by society.
While I’ve had friends that looked at me as just another Michael Kors along the assembly line of others, other friends saw past my temporary impatient and still viewed me as the Rolex I always wanted to be even when I wasn't acting like one. These are the friends who fully understood me and accepted me for who I am, and they taught me a valuable lesson about myself: one that would lead to my 'wake up call' to donate my Michael Kors to lovely woman willing to give it a good home, care for it while I worked my way back up to get what I really wanted: I had my eye on my Rolex.
Could vowing to not have a baby with a White man be an extremist stance to take? Yes, and no. I can admit, getting in the way of your own love is the fastest, and easiest, way to end up unhappy. Bitter. Angry, Alone. I’m not suggesting getting in your own way. You have to do what makes you happy. Which is the reason why my stance is also not an extremist point of view. I have to do what makes me happy. And if that means me getting married and having a baby with someone outside of my race, then fine. But, if that means me getting married and having a baby with a Black man to continue our culture and have a beautiful, Black baby whom may be as light as day and dark as night, then I’ll take it smiling from ear to ear.