Grown-ish Explores Dating Bias for Women of Color

By Lindsey Mutz

Review of Grown-ish 1×10 “It’s Hard Out There for A Pimp”

This week, Grown-ish tackles an issue that has not been largely explored by popular media, probably because of the nuance behind it: the stereotypes behind dating as a woman of color. The focus of this episode is on twins Jazz and Skylar, a welcome chance to explore their unique chemistry. The twins complain to their friends that they’re having trouble dating on campus—no black guys want to date them because they all prefer white women.


Jazz and Skylar aren’t just lonely, dating bias is a real thing. As Grown-ish smartly points out, 82% of black men show bias against dating black women. Both Jazz and Skylar want to date black men, but going to a predominantly white college, their options are limited. Aaron weighs in on this debate, pointing out that he dates black and biracial women all the time, but his friends are quick to point out that he has a preference towards light skinned black women.

Jazz and Skylar site popular media as examples of the struggles black women have in the dating scene—many famous celebrities of color have white girlfriends or wives. And white exotic women, like Gal Gadot, are at the top of the list of dateable women. Nomi points out that she faces similar stereotypes as a Jewish woman, but Skylar and Jazz point out that she doesn’t have any trouble attracting dates. Being black, their actions reflect all black women, whereas Nomi is free to act however she pleases without negatively affecting her race.

This issue is complicated, and it becomes even more so when Jazz, fed up with her limited options, flirts with a white guy, appropriately named Chad. Skylar is furious, thinking Jazz is settling for guys she doesn’t really want. Jazz fires back, saying she’s trying to work with what is available to her. They fight and separate at the party, prompting Skylar to walk up to a black guy named Doug and ask him, point blank, why he dates white girls. His answer? “Because I can.”

In the episode’s secondary plotline, Zoey and Luca team up for a class project, which brings them closer together as they drive around all night long, searching for inspiration. Luca’s mysterious, sentimental ambiance intrigues Zoey, and I can tell that Grown-ish is hinting at a possible romantic rekindling between them. I wouldn’t be opposed. They have great chemistry and there is a lot of potential to explore what could be a unique relationship.

At the end of the show, Jazz and Skylar make up and agree not to let the dismal dating prospects on their campus define them or their love lives. And they even reconnect with Doug, who, after some reflection, admits that he just wants to have an open mind when dating different types of girls. Jazz and Skylar can’t help but agree, and Jazz and Doug have a moment of sexual tension that tells me that we’ll definitely be seeing Doug again.

A solidly well done episode of Grownish tonight, exploring a lesser-noticed issue that affects women of color. They did a great job with it, highlighting the issues behind dating bias without proposing a clear solution, indicating, perhaps, that there isn’t one – At least for Jazz and Skylar who are still trying to figure it out.

Featured Image and Image in article via Grownish Twitter.

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