Picture this. My friend, let’s call her S, is a tall dark girl with short natural hair, a beautiful smile, and long legs. Some days, she wears blue jeans, and a simple tea with a colourful cardigan, and but some days, my home girl pulls out a dress that ends mid thigh. WOOOOO, CHOCOLATE! She slaysssss. My other friend, let’s call her M, just got married and the way she looked in her dress with her beautiful bright smile. WOOOOO. CHOCOLATE. Both girls are beautiful and strong and bold and they GLOW. They look like they’re made of silky smooth dark chocolate, they glow like they’ve got honey dripping from head to toe, and they shine just as bright as the sun. Yes, I just compared them to food. Yes. They look like beautiful smooth chocolate. See, I am admiring my beautiful friends but i’m not actually seeing them as food. I see them for all they are, I see their activism, I see their brains, I see their humor, I see their attitude, I see them and who they are. When I tell them that they look like smooth silky dark chocolate, they smile and we laugh together. It’s taken as a compliment.
Now, let’s move on to a different example
Tinder! Ou la la, I get a Tinder notification. Some random guy that I swiped right to has messaged me. FUN! I open it and the first thing I see if the word chocolate. *sigh* “Hey sexy chocolate” This is not the first time. I have also gotten “Your silver braids are making me like your chocolate even more”. Bro, what? Now woah. I know what you’re thinking. I call people chocolate, why can’t others do it also? Well they can. If my friend said I looked like some hot milk chocolate ready to be sipped on, I’d laugh and say thanks. Shoot, if another black person who I wasn’t friends with said that, i’d have the same reaction. This is because we have that connection as black people. When a random white guy calls me chocolate, first of all, he doesn’t know me, so if he looks at me and the first thing that comes to mind is chocolate, that’s a problem because that’s all he sees. Second of all, chocolate is an inside joke and complement within the black community. When someone else says it, and they don’t have that understanding with you that they can say it, they’re overstepping. He doesn’t know me well enough to call me some food.
At that point i’m some random black girl whose skin is dark enough to look like chocolate and that doesn’t make me feel special. It makes me feel fetishized. It makes me feel degraded by someone that I don’t even know. DON’T CALL ME CHOCOLATE. I’m not your brownie. You can’t have me.