keep looking…

i was searching online for images of love, romance, happy couples, etc. for a love collage i want to do.  in particular i’m thinking of classic or vintage couples looking happy, caring, intimate but not overtly sexual.  what are you picturing so far?  remember that.

in my mind i’m hoping for at least a little diversity.  if you search any old bing or yahoo search engine for romantic couple, kissing, romance, love, etc., good luck on finding any black or biracial people.  or interracial couples.  or latinos, asians, natives… surprisingly you find a couple of east indians.  i scrolled down maybe 15 times before i found a black couple.  more asians than not were cartoons.  in good old standard regular love, there is no diversity.

searching by black gets you nowhere except black and white photos of white people and/or soft porn.  african american romantic gets you a few decent pictures, but by far you primarily get cartoons, book covers by terry mcmillan, and soft porn.  african american love?  super heavy on the cartoon porn.  what’s with the cartoons?  what does it say that i can more readily find a soft porn cartoon of sexy tribal black love than a normal black couple?  f’d up.

african american loving couple.  that’s where i finally found some images i could use.  and it took me all night, working my ass off like i’m playing catch phrase to get just the right combination of words to elicit live action relationships.  even then, wading through stock photos and cheesiness, it’s hard to find just a genuinely happy couple.

i’m not surprised, i’m just frustrated and disheartened.  along the same lines as my rant against the educational system in my earlier post. hidden colors, it’s demeaning to look up love, romance, happy couples – normal things, things we all strive for, and find no one that looks like me without inserting a pc identifier into my search.  if i want to see myself i have to be so specific that i’m forced to think about race when initially it wasn’t necessarily about race.  i just wanted to find some photos that i could relate to, wish on, mentally insert myself into.  (and let me tell you, forget about looking for biracial women in relationships, all you will find is hair beauty, mixed black/white couples, everybody’s favorite gorgeous babies, or sexualized biracial women.  thanks.  helpful.)

privilege is real and it lives in the small things, too.

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6 thoughts on “keep looking…

    • google with that particular phrase, “happy couples in love” was more colorful, i’ll give you that. i thought at first that google was maybe more inclusive. but going back to “romantic couple, romantic kiss” etc., it was the same things i’ve found before. maybe google thinks couples of all colors can be happy and in love, but not all can be romantic..? either way, i feel the same. and i don’t appreciate you trying to undermine my legitimate rage, you monster.

  1. Wow, this is amazing because I opened up the comments on this post to point out that part of the frustration that comes with issues like this is that (at least to me) it feels like there will always be someone who wants to dismiss your feelings as if you invented or imagined them. How lucky am I that one of them happens to have shown themselves just to prove that right? Thanks Christopher John!

    • to be fair, chris is my best friend and that was at least partially joking (it’s not in person so i’m not sure how much, but i was definitely joking back on the monster part). but i hear you. it is frustrating and i was nervous to even publish this blog because of how crazy some people will inevitably think i sound. part of the trauma of being a person of color is the paranoia you have because of how other people question the legitimacy of your experience with race. which is obviously much bigger than search engine drama.

  2. i did not mean to de-legitimize your marginalization I really thought I was on to something. Try searching for romantic images without the word gay and see if any pictures of happy loving gay couples come up. Hetero-normative imagery is so prevalent that even while doing my own searches on the topic, I didn’t notice the lack of gays.

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