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It makes one consider just dating whomever Mom thinks would be nice . In order to find the kind of guy I wanted—to be seen by him—it seemed that the ultimate message was: I needed to be white. I admitted to myself that there were non-racial differences that could have contributed to the message rate. Perhaps people found Jessica more attractive, her features more enticing or approachable, her smile more endearing.
There is no purely scientific way of measuring these factors. But it is difficult, impossible in fact, to conclude that race did not play some significant role in the message discrepancy between the two profiles. Online dating dehumanizes me and other people of colour.
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On the other hand, maybe online dating dehumanizes everyone. Moreover, it is short-sighted and dismissive to claim not to be attracted to an entire group of people without first seeing what the members of that group have to offer. It is one thing to say that you have a preference for brunettes or have tended to date brunettes.
Such categorical exclusions are significantly more often directed toward people of colour. The elevation of white beauty is not limited to white people.
Lighter skin is prized. I have had several white boyfriends, and it is routine for people to tell me how beautiful our kids would be. Even I am guilty of perpetuating these messages.
My sister is significantly lighter in skin tone than me, has a more Caucasian nose, and appears biracial to outsiders. Growing up, I remember being so envious of her lighter skin and straighter hair, calling her the pretty one and myself the smart one.
I internalized this messaging, often thinking that if I had just gotten the gene for light skin, or the gene for the long, wavy Indian hair of my mother, I would be considered more conventionally attractive.
In fact it goes a long way toward undoing any bias against you. Some professional matchmakers in the US have discovered that people of all races prefer white matches. Research by Kevin Lewis, a sociology professor at the University of California, San Diego, has demonstrated that cross-race messages in online dating are comparatively rare—individuals disproportionately message others of the same race.
However, the users he studied were more likely to cross race lines if they first received a message from a user of another race. They were then more likely to initiate interracial exchanges in the near future.
These findings support the idea that there is more nurture to attraction than nature. I decided on a third strategy: putting up pictures of myself as a white person. With the help of another friend, I tinted the colour of my skin and eyes in Photoshop and posed in a long blond wig.
My features remained the same. I was left with pictures that really did look like me, except for the colouring. High-school romances tend to have limited life spans. Those that endure until graduation day rarely survive the post-high-school years. If one or both young people leave home, the physical distance has a way of opening an emotional distance between them, and eventually the relationship coasts to a halt.
Still, when an adult relationship ends badly, at least the wounded party knows from having weathered other disappointments that the all-too-familiar hollow feeling and veil of depression will inevitably lift.
The first time they experience romantic rejection, the sadness can seem bottomless.
The vast majority of kids, though, will get over their hurt and be fine. A little extra sensitivity helps, too, for in this situation, knowing what not to say is as important as choosing the right words.
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In the Americas, the surviving enslaved people would be sold and then goods produced by slave labour would be carried back to Europe for sale. With this mentality, slavers denied the fundamental human rights of millions of African men and women. Millions of enslaved people were brought to the Americas through this route, and some of those people were eventually enslaved in Canada. The territory was eventually renamed British North America, and Black enslaved people came to replace Indigenous enslaved people.
Compared to the United States, enslaved people made up a much smaller proportion of the population in British North America.
This means that some of the worst traits of slavery in America, such as the employment of overseers and the horrible practice of forcing enslaved people to reproduce, did not happen in what is now Canada. The very nature of slavery meant that its victims were stripped of their basic human rights and exploited. Most wills from the time treated enslaved people as nothing more than property, passing on ownership of human beings the same as they would furniture, cattle or land.