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After editing her photos to make her skin white, while leaving all of her features and profile details intact, she concluded that online dating is skin deep.
“My features were not the problem,” she wrote, “rather, it was the colour of my skin.”With that in mind, I’m ashamed to admit it, but to some degree I tailored my Tinder persona to fit into the mould of eurocentric beauty standards in order to optimize my matches. But from growing up in a predominantly white area and having my hair, skin and culture under constant scrutiny, I knew that not everyone would.
I didn’t want to totally write him off for his strange Insta-shrine but I couldn’t get over how uncomfortable it made me feel.
It’s as if I had instantly been reduced to an instrument for sex, rather than a multi-dimensional person.
For instance, I was wary of posting photos with my natural hair out, especially as my main pic. I didn’t have any white Tinder-using friends to compare matches with, but with the matches that I did receive, I had to consider whether or not each guy genuinely wanted to get to know me or had only swiped right because I was Black, hoping to fulfill a fetish or fantasy.
One such instance happened when I met with a guy at a west-end bar and we had a really dreamy date.
As a Black woman who's crossed the great racial divide more than once, I’ve seen first-hand how interracial relationships get judged and ostracized (I’ve been called out of my name many, many times).
But after falling in love with my ex, I experienced the intensity of my first serious relationship and endured the pain of my first breakup.
Once we had parted ways, I longed for something casual again. Once I got to swiping, I was reminded that casual didn’t mean simple.
This manifests in many ways, from harsh stereotyping to hypersexualization and the policing of our appearance.
From my experience, being a Black woman on Tinder means that with each swipe I’m more likely to encounter veiled and overt displays of anti-blackness and misogyny.“Online dating dehumanizes me and other people of colour,” Roderique concluded.