Ebony & Ivory
Love transcends all things – even the colour of your skin.
You’ve probably noticed by now that this issue has a theme: colour. Flip through the pages and you’ll doubtless find dozens of vibrant fashion finds through which you can express your unique sense of self. This column is also about colour, but of a darker hue.
To be perfectly clear, we’re talking mixed-race couples. Now depending on your upbringing and level of personal conservatism, that phrase – you know, the blending of different cultures in one hot romance – would have elicited one of several responses in you. Perhaps, you have no problem with the concept. If so, we’re good. Feel free to flip forward to the next page. Perhaps you’re ambivalent, in which case I invite you stick around for what follows. If you’re uncomfortable with the notion, sit the hell down because there’s something you need to hear.
As someone who grew up witnessing the transition of South Africa from apartheid pariah to Rainbow Nation, I’ve seen dozens of couples cross what was once seen as a socially (and even morally) unacceptable boundary with glorious results. Of course, there’s not always a happy ending but that’s more to do with the individuals than the cultures from which they hailed. I have dated Anglo-Saxons, several American Jews, two Chinese Canadians, and a Thai Buddhist. Without fail, it was the women with whom I theoretically had the least in common who taught me the most. I ended up marrying one whose gene pool and cultural background was so different to mine that our respective parents still have nothing to talk about. But our differences paled in comparison to our similarities and continue to do so. I’m not suggesting you embark on a pan-cultural romance-fest – we naturally gravitate to those most like us – but if the opportunity does come your way, at least consider the option. Whatever you want to call it – infatuation, attraction, lust – there are certain connections that transcend everything we think or believe about ourselves – something so visceral and elemental that centuries of prejudices or mistrust can fall in its wake.
Of course there will be challenges. Probably a few more than if you were with someone who ate the same food and celebrated the same holidays you did growing up, but insurmountable they ain’t. In fact, the relationship will probably prompt you to re-evaluate much of what you believe to be true and right. You may even find yourself at odds with people who disapprove of your conduct.
But here’s the thing, even the staunchest and most outdated ideas will crumble in the face of love and its transformative power. Your ongoing happiness will eventually trump the lack of suitability once ascribed to the person who is clearly bringing you this joy. And if others can’t see it, it’s not your problem.
If ’s , at
’s ! at"#