By the time I hit my mid-twenties, after years of dating both inside and outside of the United States, I came to a terrible, lonesome conclusion: American men don’t find me attractive.

The first time a guy actually asked me out, I thought he was messing with me. I was studying abroad in London, and years of steady rejection, along with daily reminders from my male bully that I was “too dark,” or “too black,” ensured that I would never believe this guy when he said I was beautiful. I was inoculated against compliments. So I told him to f*** off.

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