By India Taina
Alright, for all intensive purposes, let me just start out by saying that this in no way, shape, or form is a message saying that women of color have to aspire to live like white women to attain any type of freedom in their relationships with anybody else, or their relationship with themselves. It is thus titled for comedic effect and is just for laughs as well as pointing out that sometimes we have to allow ourselves the freedoms that white women are so freely given in society. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it!
“Y como vas a mantener una familia si no sabes cocinar?” (How are you going to maintain a family if you can’t even cook) says my father, at the dinner table, with my then boyfriend in attendance, and fully fluent in Spanish. “That’s why I only date men that can cook,” I reply, in English, and am met instantly with a sigh of disgust and disappointment. “Eso no es bueno, you should at least do 50/50 and help him cook.” My mom looks on, surprised, and adds her 2 cents, “Really? It’s been over 13 years and you’ve never even come close to 1/99.” 14/10 mom.
“You should definitely hit the gym more, and study harder, and eat healthier, and go out less. Also why do you need therapy, you’re fine. It’s all in your mind. Be more grateful.” Basically a summation of my prior relationship in a nutshell. And I’m sure tons of women of color reading this can relate in one way or another to the expectations laid upon us in maintaining relationships with all these rules and roles and what not. It’s a cultural thing.
And if we ever do sum up the courage to break it off with the guy that already received abuelita’s blessing, you best be knowing that there will be no other men allowed near, for like, a year after you break up. Because what kind of example would you be setting for “the kids?” (In Hispanic families, “the kids” could be siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, really anybody under 18 that supposedly looks up to you and that you must shield at all costs from the realities of American life). So with that said, how the hell DO YOU get through a break up, especially when that break up is the one that your Tio Cholo bet money on was going to end in a baby (Lawd Jesus). Well, here are some things I picked up from some of my white brothers and sisters that I think can definitely be used to not only get us through, but open us up in ways we didn’t even know were possible.
“White Girl Single”: A phrase describing how white girls do “single”; activities related to being “white girl single” include blocking your ex and all his friends but making a fake account to make sure he isn’t being a whore without you knowing, piercing your nipples after said break up because he thought it was “trashy”, and of course, cutting hair and getting highlights, whilst captioning the Instagram photo of said hair “So I did a thing…”. “White girl single” can also encompass taking camping trips with friends (that their parents don’t know about) and dancing on bars and putting it on IG live, unafraid of their Tias sending it to their moms. This is how to be White Girl Single, for Colored girls:
- Surround yourself with your best friends that you may or may not have put on the backburner because of your relationship
Hey man, it happens to the best of us. We think we found Mr. Right and all of a sudden your whole world looks like his face, and everyone else just happens to be around. As long as you weren’t a straight forward, all-out ASS HOLE, your girls and guys should understand, and will be all around you to help you come out of the relationship hole. Don’t go all out crazy at first, especially if you’re hurting. Movie nights in and nail parties are the go to for the first 3 weeks (or longer, depends on who you are) or so. After that, put on your little Fashionnova (or Forever 21, my readers are diverse af) top with the titties all out and contoured by the GAWDZ, and the leggings that make the booty look XTRA fat with fries, and go fucking wild babe. Go dancing, go bar hopping, go netflix and chill with a guy on Tinder (but please baby stay safe with that, FaceTime ahead and put your location ON girl!) Whatever you do, do it without the fear of “Que diran?” or “What will they say about me?”. This life is for you, and if you have been living as restricted as I have, it’s time to buss it open (your social life, that is, but if other things buss open in the process DO YOU SIS, THAT’S YO BUSINESS).
2. Be completely and utterly open to “hanging out”
Now, for me, at least, the only comparable word to “hanging out” in my vocabulary was “chilling”. But I’ve come to find that “hanging out” in the Caucasian world has manyyy more implications than chilling. See, to white people, hanging out can mean “Netflix and Chill”, it can mean camping, it can mean hiking, it can mean fucking, it can mean swimming, hell, I’m sure to some it can even be used to describe marriage. Whatever the implication, be down to do it. I never really “hung out” with anyone (the white way, at least), and this is all due to the way I was raised and now I live at home plus my relationship was kind of restricting so blah blah, I was and still can be sheltered af and have not lived the fullest life that I could’ve. But “hanging out” has allowed me to. So, hang tf out sis. It’s gon be alright. Go for that camping trip in a tent. Swim in a lake with no bathing suit. Brush your teeth after breakfast (nah I’m playing, we don’t have to take it that far now!) But you get what I mean, just hang and be free from the restrictions that your culture (or your former relationship) (or you yourself) might have imposed on you.
3. You might have to have a talk with your parents
If your mama blessed your ex with the palmas (*palms* for my English speaking babies) of last Easter and your grandmama started having dreams about their being a new baby in the family (knowing everyone other than you is either way under age or has their tubes tied), then this section is for you. Parents can be tough, especially if they are the kind who go around bragging about your relationship and feel like you have to settle early. Not only that, but I find with my own parents, they are not particularly fond of new people in their house, and “hanging out” is just another way of saying “out of wedlock”. So acting “White Girl Single” in a Brown Girl House, might not go over so smoothly. My advice? Talk to them. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are of age to have conversations about staying over other people’s houses for the night, or going out late and coming home (respectfully and courteously, of course) really at any time. You might have to have this conversation multiple times before reaching any kind of head way, and you also have to realize you might not ever get head way. In which case you gotta live life and do you, sis. So if you have to move out to live that life, do so respectfully and on good terms. Family is family, and leaving the nest is part of life. Hey, you left your relationship, didn’t you? Something’s got to give, and you got to grow. All these things shifting at once can be scary, but as someone once told me, “That’s just life, baby”, and they couldn’t have been more right.
4. Don’t be afraid
If there’s one aspect of White Girl Single that has probably opened me up the most since trying it, it has been adopting the mantra that myself and my confidence are untouchable. And we all know this isn’t just a “white girl” thing, right… we’ve seen this ultimate confidence in Beyonce and Shakira and Lebron James (because it’s not just a “girl” thing, either). I’ve seen it in countless of my friends of color and my white girls and bros. No matter the color or the culture, we all have something in us that we feel cannot be stolen or copied or changed. We are untouchable, in that sense. And being in that state of mind might sway you to flash your newly pierced nipples at a gay bar. Or it might drive you to try new things you never thought you would, like girls (one time for my lesbianas, love you for real). And hey, this confidence could transform you to do daring things in all aspects of life! You could totally change your career, or ask to be on top (promotion wise, you nasties!) or finally start doing what everyone told you that you couldn’t. I guess what I am saying is, don’t be afraid to be “new”. Because being “new” might just be the real YOU, coming out of your shell.