‘You’re so exotic’, and other things ethnic minority Soton students have heard whilst dating | #tinder | #pof

If you’re an ethnic minority you’ve heard at least one of these, and if you’ve ever used one of these lines you’re cringe

Dating in this world is complicated, and at times soul-crushing, enough already. Do they fancy me? Are they talking to other people? Are we compatible? However for ethnic minorities their background brings in a lot of other shit to deal with. Do they even fancy people of my colour? Do they only fancy me because of my race? Are they going to say a borderline racist pick-up line?

Here are some one-liners we have heard while dating, submitted by real students at Soton Uni. So if you’re ever chatting to a person of ethnic minority background please save both of you the embarrassment.

‘I only/don’t date (insert race) people’

Physical attraction is obviously important in dating, however to exclusively date or not date a race is at best making a sweeping generalisation of all people of that particular ethnicity. It’s fine to be attracted to certain physical features, like height or hair length, however to assume all members of a particular ethnicity share the same features denies people of their individuality.  Aditya*, Physics and Maths, third year

Whenever anyone says they only date black guys I instantly get Get Out vibes. Turn the flash on that camera. Ain’t tryna get stuck in the Sunken Place. Michael, Biology, fresher

What race do you think he is? He’s half Ethiopian, half English, but looks Spanish. Don’t make assumptions about an entire race

‘So you must be like road’

Usually said once you mention you’re from London with a glint in their eyes that they’ve bagged some sort of exotic creature. I’m studying medicine at a Russel Group university, I barely have time to sell a Freddo bar let alone a ten bag.

And, what because I’m black and from London I must do road? No number of Quad Vods would make me forget that. Junior*, Medicine, fourth year 

‘Wow you’re pretty for a (insert race) person’

Am I supposed to be proud? Do I put this on my CV? Me being pretty shouldn’t be dependent on my race. Elsa*, Economics, second year

I’m sure my grad scheme would love to hear that I’m pretty for a brown girl

‘You Nubian queen’

I’M FROM GHANA, NOT EVEN FROM THE NUBIAN AREA! It’s just a cookie cutter pick up line with no thought or care about you as a person.  Sara*, Politics , fresher

‘I’ve never been with a (insert race) person’

There’s a difference between someone saying this as a statement, and someone saying this as if they’re just ticking something off. Am I just some exotic new dish for you to try? Like you know I am an actual human being with other aspects to me other than my race. Make a comment on my fancy dress instead. Hamshish*, Biomedical Sciences, fresher

Put bungee jumping on your bucket list instead of doing a brown guy

‘I really support the BLM movement – *proceeds to waffle about systemic racism’

I’m glad you are educating yourself on the injustices our people are suffering from and have suffered for centuries, but I’m not on Tinder to hear about how “eye-opening” that one protest you went to. I just wanna meet fit boys, not get a history lesson on something I live through. Kaelyn, Economics, second year

‘I’d love a bite of (insert chocolate flavour)’

Bro. Come on. It’s just cringe and creepy. It’s just objectifying us, minimising us down to a piece of chocolate. Tonya*, Criminology, second year 

Spot the difference. One is a chocolate bar, and one is an actual human being and not a piece of food.

‘Wow you’re so exotic’

I grew up 20 minutes away from you. Were you expecting me to ride an elephant here? It’s not as smooth as you think, just makes you seem ignorant. Keya*, Medicine, second year

*Names have been changed

Related articles recommended by this writer:

• Solent lecturer sacked after claiming black men ‘need all the help they can get’

• Soton Black Students’ Network calls on societies to sign anti-racism charter

• ‘Actions speak louder than words’: Soton students on the Uni’s BLM response




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