In general, Spanish men and quite a few women are openly appreciative of attractive ladies they see on the streets. In my orientation class when I first arrived here, our coordinator even dedicated a section of her presentation to warning us about piropos, or catcalls, that the ladies in our group were likely to experience from men on the streets.
A ish something guy passed me walking in the other direction, smiled and nodded his head with the look of someone appreciating a nice painting or a souped-up automobile. At my age, I know how to appreciate a genuine, non-creepy compliment, so I quickly smiled in his direction without halting my stride. Everything of value or interest about you is tied up in the color of your skin, the texture of your hair, and the mythology surrounding them both.
Take, for instance, the guy who I encountered on one of my first trips to the local library in Ciudad Real. Only minutes after introducing himself to me, and telling me how guapa he thought I was, he asked me for a kiss. I was completely taken aback and more than a little creeped-out by the incident and when I recounted it later to a friend — a Spanish man — he explained that it was rather common for some Spanish men to assume that a brown-skinned girl equals easy prey.
He went on to explain that most of the black women in Spain have immigrated from Latin America or Africa, and some of those who are experiencing financial problems or looking for a way to remain in the country permanently are eager to accept the advances of almost any Spaniard if it means financial security or the promise of becoming a Spanish citizen.
For this reason, some Spanish guys will test the waters, so to speak, to see how much they can get away with when meeting a morena. The having of this rare object then, is something of a status symbol for the collector, even if the having is only temporary. To the collector, you are one-dimensional item. They — both men and women — are intrigued by the rareness of black flesh.
To them, what is rare is seen as more interesting. Everything of value or interest about you is tied up in the color of your skin, the texture of your hair and the mythology surrounding them both.
Ironically, this pretty much makes the collector the bizarro version of your garden variety racist, for whom everything odious and worthless about you is based on your skin color and its associated mythos. He or she will probably lead with something that specifically refers to your race. We are at a seaside resort in southern Spain — a place heavily populated with both Spanish and non-Spanish holiday makers from other parts of Europe.
Among the rest of the crowd tanning on the nearby shore, playing in the pool and sipping cocktails at the bar, my friend — a native of Senegal and a longtime resident of Spain — and I are the only brown faces and bodies in sight. Photo via tumblr The little girl who made the comment looks to be about 7 or 8 years old. He smiles and waves at the little one while I brood silently in the background.
I ducked into the little store thinking they would definitely have the gift ribbon I was looking for. I thanked them both profusely. She said that she loved seeing them, and whenever they would come in to shop or talk, she would rub their skin. Here, she paused to stroke my hand again. Or like an entirely different chino incident, when I was perusing the aisles for some household necessity, and another shopper — a middle-aged Spanish woman — decided to grab a few of my braid extensions and marvel aloud at how they got that way, how long it must have taken to do them, and what sort of material they were made of.
Part of this uninhibited touching is cultural — Spaniards have a completely different concept of personal space than Americans. Close-talking, double-cheek kissing, resting a hand on a shoulder or back while conversing with someone — all of these are interpersonal conventions that might make the average American feel uncomfortable.
Particularly when it comes to my hair. Usually though, this kind of uninvited touching only happens with people whom I share space with regularly or have known for a period of time. And even then, the social norms regarding personal space in America makes them do so with a bit of timidity and hesitation that seems fitting for putting your hands on someone without explicit permission.
I also have to admit that sometimes it feels damned good to be positively noticed for the color of your skin. Back home in Atlanta, there are so many beautiful men and women of color of every shape, size, and type that I would scarcely garner a second glance on the streets.
She wants to introduce me to some family members who are visiting. What I think is… What? Girl… you better get a good look while ya can! Cuz, ehhh… I dunno… I was thinking of changing it. I… like… yours… too? But, what I say is: They are almost invariably owned and operated by Chinese immigrants — hence the fitting, albeit politically incorrect, name.
You can read the original post here. This article was originally posted on August 7, Follow her adventures at Solo in Spain or on Instagram ksolo