I don’t Swirl, I Date.
I have often wondered about the term, “Swirling,” ever since it made its way into everyday (US pop culture) colloquialisms to refer to interracial dating.
“Am I a ‘Swirler‘ then?” I began to ponder to myself.
I had never really seen myself that way. And there was just something about the term that just never really sat right with me in adopting it for myself to describe my ‘romantic’ life.
Ever since I was old enough to have crushes, I’ve crushed on everyone.
Whoa! Allow me to better express what I’m trying to say here:
I was fortunate to be educated in a school in West Africa that had an extremely diverse student body. So diverse that my brother was the only local kid in his class at one point. So I grew up being exposed to and mingling with people of all ‘races’ who came from all corners of the globe.
And so with that, my crushes comprised of all sorts of boys. From Caucasian to Asian to multi-racial – to whatever.
I like to see that as natural – kind of the way it would be without societal and racial prejudices coming into play. I was not really aware of their ‘races,’ just crushing on whatever my younger self found cool about them as people.
This same way of being has organically evolved and taken full form within myself today as a woman. I still am not attracted to ‘races’ but ‘people.’
I have since developed an awareness and have a better understanding of the twisted, racist messages we receive in our Neocolonial world about the ‘right’ kind of dating choices we are supposed to make. But I’m my own woman and I let my heart and my inner voice lead me in my life.
I date who I want to date, and damn the world’s racial issues to hell.
I guess the reason why the term “Swirling” itself doesn’t quite sit right with me is due to a certain energy that I feel implies a twist from the default. Like, my being a black woman means that I should, typically – and automatically, want to be with a black man.
So that each time I’m interested in a man who isn’t black – then it’s somehow going against some inherent rule of thumb. I don’t quite care for that.
On the same note, I feel that this way of thinking also feeds into the idea of people within a certain ‘race’ owning or being entitled to people of that same ‘race’ – like black women somehow belonging to black men, and vice versa.
No, no and no.
I don’t belong to anyone, and I don’t owe anybody anything as far as my own life is concerned.
I don’t feel the need to put black men on some dating pedestal – above and before all other men. And definitely don’t feel pressured by those who would criticise me for feeling this way.
I am attracted to people – their personalities, their minds, their features, their spirits. Not their ‘races.’
Now, if you consider yourself “Down with the swirl” or a “Swirler,” more power to you.
I may not necessarily describe myself this way, but I’m not against or offended by the label either. At the end of the day, the wording really doesn’t matter.
The openness and willingness to embrace Love – universal, international and human Love, is what truly counts.
Bio: Zara Chiron is a multicultural, multilingual African woman in Europe who creatively – and candidly, explores the collective ‘Afro’ Experience in writing, image and video via her website.
tags: #swirling #downwiththeswirl #interracialdating