About 2 and a half years ago, I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, except for one tiny detail…the dating scene. Specifically, something that yesterday’s post mentions, a preference for the blonde, skinny, white girl. Which, for the record, is not me.
Now let’s get this clear, I was not looking for anything concrete, anything long term, since I was only in Madrid for 6 short months. But after the first month when most of the guys I met were asking about my two friends in the program, who were both blonde and blue eyed, I started to feel a bit peeved. We had been warned that racism was rampant in Spain; immigration had just opened up about 20 years ago and Spain still had a lot of issues to work through. In fact, women of color in our program were specifically told about how we could be treated, as sexualized prostitutes, because, people of our color, where “always” selling ourselves on street corners. Lucky for me, I only experienced a little of this discrimination, with cat calls of “hola morena” (literally hello brown girl) or blatant studies of certain parts of my anatomy. However, a fellow female of color peer got it much worse; people asking her how much for a night, touching her and calling to her, that she left the program early.