Racism and attraction

Very thoughtful post over on Peril about race and attraction. It covers gendered racial stereotypes in mainstream movies, whether race is an acceptable exclusion criteria on dating and hook-up sites, and how racism can play out through such cultures. It also raises an interesting point that attractions to anyone outside the current white, young, thin, non-disabled, gender-normative body ideal are regarded as a fetish (when attraction to those ideals is not).

This touches on something that I explore in Rewriting the Rules about how attraction is often regarded as ‘natural’ and unchanging. It is considered acceptable that we have certain ‘types’. But in a culture where attractiveness ideals are increasingly narrow, excluding many in ways which reflect and reinforce patterns of privilege and oppression, might it be useful to challenge this: to consider how our attractions are influenced by wider culture, and to explore practices which might open up our conceptions of beauty and attractiveness rather than closing them down?


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