So I went out with some friends this past weekend, and my friend and I got told that we were exotic looking when I revealed that I was of Indian origin to this dude on the street. HOW is that a compliment even? And really though, if you break it down and analyze why it’s being said then it will strike you that there’s more of my people on this planet than there are of you. So really, you’re the exotic one.
“You’re so exotic!”
I have had people say that to me and let me tell you something, it is not a compliment. Calling people exotic is a colonialist backhanded way of saying someone is attractive to you but you refuse to place them on a human level. So they can’t just be ‘beautiful’ – they’re a beautiful non-white because they defy traditional white beauty. I used to think it was a compliment until I realized that comments like that are always coming from loaded preconceptions that usually involve me being second-rated to whites.
So people, take note: Indians and other “exotics” are just normal people. And if you’re giving us a compliment, please don’t use food words to describe our skin color. That’s just wrong.