America is obsessed with the concept of black women’s unloveability. Head over to Google news and type in “black women” and “marriage” and you’ll be hit with a barrage of over-analysis on why no one wants us for marriage, in online dating, anywhere — and this fascination is strange seeing that black women are a mere 6% of the American population. MadameNoire writer Christine Mwaturura came up with the ingenious plan of changing her race on a dating site to see exactly what life is like on the other side.
I created Online Stephanie to see if the grass is greener on the other side of the racial divide. Stephanie is an unassuming looking, moderately attractive white woman with dark brown hair and a warm smile. Her personality and hobbies are exactly identical to mine: she listens to Beyoncé, practices yoga and is a self-described health enthusiast. She’s looking for the same type of guy as me: at least 5’9”, athletic build, college educated with no kids.
So according to the “common knowledge” that black women are virtually ignored on dating sites, Mwtururua should have been flooded with a barrage of eligible bachelors and marriage proposals, right? Um… actually no. This was her tally at the end of the week.
Number of Profile Views
Stephanie got 27 views in one week. I got about 34 views per week.
Low-Grade Interactions Received (e.g. winks, photo likes, and favorites)
Stephanie received more interactions than I did on a per week basis.
High-Grade Interactions Received (email)
Stephanie received 5 emails in one week compared to my abysmal 1 email per week.
Quality of Emails
Stephanie’s in-mail messages were generally crafted better. Men would actually take the time to write an entire personalized paragraph to introduce themselves, whereas a good portion of my in-mail was incoherent gibberish like: “How you are beautiful eyes and your beauty beloved charming you the most beautiful angel.” Say what?
Quality of Suggested Matches
Stephanie got more slightly better looking matches than I did. She also never ran into an issue where a match’s profile specifically excluded her race from the ethnicity preferences, in comparison to me where I’d often see Black women specifically excluded from ethnicity preferences.
And while Stephanie’s outcomes were better than Mwtururua’s, at the end of the day none of the new prospects were good candidates for her.
When comparing both online dating experiences, the most curious thing that came out of it for me was that even though my number of per week profile views beat out Stephanie’s, this did not translate into more interactions. It seems like men are happy to look at a Black woman but won’t initiate flirting. On the flipside, men are spurred into action when presented with a non-Black face… As a whole, Stephanie’s online dating experience felt better than mine, but only marginally so. At the end of it all, of the men who had initiated some form of interaction, there wasn’t a single guy whom I would have picked for a date. Stephanie would have ended up watching Netflix alone on a Friday night, just like me. So yes, even though there is a pervasive discount applied against Black women online, maybe the result of it doesn’t matter all that much in real terms. Online dating sucks… for everyone.
Read the full story here. Ladies, what are your thoughts?