For instance, there is no getting around the fact that every time a minority athlete chooses to exclusively date women who embody a Eurocentric standard of beauty, that athlete is reinforcing a message to young fans that this is the type of woman a successful man should aspire to be with. Meaning that when that young fan grows up, the idea may be internalized that his beautiful, dark-brown girlfriend may not fit in his lifestyle any longer should he become successful.
Of course this concept is not entirely race-specific. R&B goddess Angie Stone was candid about the criticism she received for dating R&B heartthrob D’Angelo, because she doesn’t look like a video vixen. After appearing to intimate that fairer-skinned entertainers are more attractive than those with darker skin, rapper Snoop Dogg acknowledged that his brown-skinned daughter inspired him to become more conscientious of the diversity of models he selects for various projects, something he wasn’t sensitive about before.
But when it comes to Tiger Woods and why some are obsessed with talking about whom he or others like him may date, there is a conversational elephant in the room. I am referring to the marriage rates of black women — another topic about which I have turned down television interviews. This is mainly because I have yet to see an instance in which the subject was covered in the media in a manner in which I would have felt proud to participate. But that issue still doesn’t inspire me to care whom Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant or O.J. Simpson, for that matter, are dating or married to.
I can’t think of a single black woman I know personally who would want to put up with any of them. They seem like walking, talking egos and headaches. I’m absolutely not saying that is the case for all men or people who have a specific preference, but my point is, before expending energy questioning or condemning such men’s choices, how about asking why you — or anyone — care in the first place? Would you actually want to be with a guy who only wants to date someone who embodies a standard of physical perfection defined by society — a standard many of us don’t agree with anyway?
I have more important things to worry about than who they, or any other person I don’t know and will never meet, is dating, marrying, talking to, creeping with or doing anything else with, for that matter.
And frankly so do all of us.
Keli Goff is The Root’s political correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.