Chester French’s “Black Girls” Video Might Make You Angry or Turn You On

Chester French is a duo who had enough gall to put out a song called “Black Girls” and then promote it with a video of a white woman and black woman making out nakedly. I don’t know that I like the video. I mean, who likes music videos anymore, but it did make me stop and think, which art is supposed to do, and I get mad when it does its job. I would rather mindlessly enjoy most things because I’m lazy. Instead of chalking this video up to hipster nonsense, LET’S TALK ABOUT IT. This video is not safe for your workplace and if it is, may I please send you my resume.

These Harvard chaps seem to know what they were getting themselves into. The song begins with the lines, “This ain’t no fetish, ain’t objectifying no one/I reject your deconstruction of my taste.” In addition to this self-awareness, D.A. Wallach, the lead singer, majored in African-American Studies. He either takes his fetishes really seriously or perhaps he has genuine interest in dismantling the patriarchy. Honestly him majoring in African-American Studies is way more intriguing to me than this video, but back to business.

I’m passing on chalking the video up as a ploy to create a buzz or appear controversial. Let’s pretend that people care about their art and actual decision making skills went into play. “The video’s purpose is to celebrate female beauty, pointing the attention on same sex/interracial love,” Italian director Francesco Carrozzini said. The point here is that the video is giving props rather than fetishizing which feels true. I’d rather assume the best when there are two women kissing on my screen. It’s fairly interesting that having two women hooking up is the safe bet in this case. I think things would have gotten ugly if this video were of the two band members surrounded by and possibly making out with a gaggle of black women.

I don’t like when people have problems with things just because they feel like they’re supposed to and don’t actually evaluate it based on their own values or moral systems. People are so afraid that liking something controversial could make them seem less down for the cause, whatever the cause may be. In this case, I suppose the cause is celebrating the awesomeness of black women. As a black woman, it’s probs not the best idea to look to a couple of indie white dudes for validation. When it comes to self-acceptance, the motto for everyone should be “inquire within.”

The song’s most telling line is “my mom says I’ve got a thing for black girls.” He’s aware that certain people might have feelings about what he likes, but he doesn’t care because that doesn’t stop it from being true. There’s a difference between potentially problematic and racist, and I think he’s more likely to have pondered whether or not his attractions were coming from a messed up place than most of the people who will end up singing this song.

Rie Rasmussen and Jodie Smith

I think though most of us think we have a type, we often surprise ourselves with our own attractions. If you honestly have never pursued anyone outside of your supposed type, you’re doing it wrong. I get it. The vagina wants what the vagina wants but when do we cross the line from preference to fetishization? We never talk about fetishizing one’s own race, but I think that’s a real thing.

Is having a thing for black girls worse than never having a thing for black girls? I’m more concerned with people who hear this song and can’t relate at all. No matter what race you changed this song to be about, I’d be into it because I have a thing for all girls. I won’t deny the amount of privilege in this song though. If I voiced a continued preference for women outside of my race, people could very well assume it’s because I hate myself. Where do you stand on this video? Does it make you happy or sad?

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. *looks for a fuck to give*

    I think I left it over a white girl’s house that I was making out with…naked.

    -A Black girl

    Seriously, I don’t know. I have a thing for black women and women of color (granted I am one myself, lulz), heck women in general. Where I come from whether it is a genuine attraction or fetish, the white people in question are given the side eye, mainly by other whites who are like “why!?!”

    So I’m not sure but it’s more towards apathy. I guess in this case I would say, “know your privilege and you do you, boo!”

    PS: video turn-on

  2. Not gonna lie that video is pretty hot!!
    I mean i would definitely prefer that those two white hipster dudes hadn’t been the one to make it…It is a little sketchy, but the insane sexiness of those girls makes me forget about them

  3. Mostly I just want to give that blonde lady some conditioner for her hair. Also that’s really hot. And catchy.

    I really don’t know about the problematic/racist potential of this song. I’m still distracted by how hot it was. I also can’t speak with experience, since I’m neither black nor do I (knowingly) have a preference. (Other than for women, hah.)

    I guess intent matters a lot, and I don’t know what the artists’ intent is. Would/should we have perceived the video differently if it was made by a black artist?

  4. I’ll just be making that still my desktop background now.

    My first reaction was oh shit what are these white boys thinking, the second was damn that’s hot. Granted I can’t recall all the lyrics, and I think a few feel a bit problematic but overall I think we can all get behind loving black chicks(that’s what she said).

  5. My friends put this video on my facebook wall to make fun of me for typically being attracted to black girls. But I’m not a racist fetishist I swear! I would date any hot woman that I liked but it just works out so that… idk these hot women are usually black. So in the context that I first saw this video it was just hilarious, because it was an effective tool for my friends to call me out really hard in good humor. Also the lyrics didn’t seem very creepy or offensive. But I understand how they could have been. But it’s just so fucking relate-able.

    This is also the third comment I’ve made this week that states my preference for women that are not white.

    Ugh. I swear I’m not creepy guys.

    • I have friend, who is White. And I put the video on her wall for the same reason. LOL.

  6. “If I voiced a continued preference for women outside of my race, people could very well assume it’s because I hate myself.”

    I’ve actually had that happen before, and that was just because I revealed my dating history (not even my actual preference…which is girls who are into me).

    This song/the artist has me all confused. On the one hand, he’s making a good point/not denying something he likes (and also, white men singing about how much they love black women isn’t a genre we usually here). On the other hand, did he really just compare two girls making out to him and his bandmate making out with a GAGGLE of girls? A GAGGLE?

    On the third, mutant hand, that ish was really hot.

    • I think the comment about the gaggle was Brittani’s. She was saying that in this case, two women making out in the video is safer than if the video showed the two singer dudes with a bunch of black girls dancing around them or making out w them.

      Also- I totally relate to your type being ‘girls who are into me’ lol

  7. Oh gosh. Usually I have this giant thing for blond girls (but it’s actually a problem, I spent two years in choir just wanting to bury my face in my soprano section leader’s hair and then her boobs)but I just want to give the blond girl some serious deep conditioner and a makeup lesson (her hair was so. gross.) and then beg the black girl to do really dirty things to me with that gorgeous mouth.

    I honestly was much too busy being turned on to worry about objectification. Am I a bad person?

    • Her hair was horrible, but the clumpiness gave it better contrast against the black girl’s skin.

    • I have a question!

      A serious one.

      Is it still objectification if I enjoyed it? Does that make me just as bad as the straight male?

      For instance. A$AP Rocky’s new video Goldie ( has the usual. Gold teeth. Expensive cats. Cursing.

      But I for one wasn’t offended by the objectification of women in this particular video. I’m only offended when things seem raunchy and tacky I guess. If I can appreciate the beauty in it, I’m no longer offended.

    • I totally relate to the choir story. Except we were both altos and I was the section leader. I just could not manage to make sentences in front of her, which was problematic considering my status in the choir. There were a few times she had to finish my sentences for me…..
      Her hair was definitely conditioned…..

  8. What I get from this is how uncomfortable society and family still make us feel for interracial relationships. This is an age-old trend, interracial couples exist and have existed for centuries, yet they still face racism and discrimination from both ends of the spectrum.

    These guys, I feel, tried to approach the subject with a some sense of sensitivity, though it has it’s problems. Butt shots, however quickly it’s done, does incite a certain anger, given the anatomical feature in question. They opted for more face and back shots, and fleshed it out with a bunch of shots of the other woman, but they could have been more creative with the body parts they showed (neck? curve of knee/thigh? shoulder?).

    But eh, they’re men. They like boobs and butt and face and back, I get it. I do too :)

  9. I’m kind of split down the middle. On one hand, I’m glad that there is a song celebrating black women instead of tearing us down. On the other hand, I think that the video doesn’t match the song. The very first lyrics are: “This ain’t no fetish, ain’t objectifying no one..” but I kind of feel like it’s doing just that. But with the very next line being: “I reject your deconstruction of my taste.” I honestly don’t know what to think.

    “I won’t deny the amount of privilege in this song though. If I voiced a continued preference for women outside of my race, people could very well assume it’s because I hate myself.”

    This all the way. I have this happen to me all of the time. Never mind that I date up and down the rainbow, the fact that I date outside of my race at all is problematic. (To my family at least. I guess I should be see the bright side of them going: “Why aren’t you dating more black girls?” instead of “Why are you dating girls?” but that’s a different story.) Hopefully the guy recognizes his privilege. And if he is speaking to his reality, then hey, do what you do. I’m certainly not going throw stones at him just because he’s a white guy who is into black girls.

    • “On the other hand, I think that the video doesn’t match the song. The very first lyrics are: “This ain’t no fetish, ain’t objectifying no one..” but I kind of feel like it’s doing just that.”

      Yeah this is the weird for me. Like they’re saying “Hey, it aint not big thing to date a black girl, get over it world!” And then like “Hmmmm, what is the most shocking imagery we can shoot of a black woman with someone white? How about if we have the black woman making out with a white WOMAN? A woman with long blonde hair that she can drape over the black woman’s body? It’ll be a startling- and pretty!- contrast. Hmmm, still not really drawing enough attention to the black/white thing though… I know, let’s have them naked and shoot it in black and white. Ha! Get it? Black and white. We’re so clever.”

      • Exactly. I think I would like the video more if they had just shown a relationship between a white man and black woman, and then played around with visual effects and stuff. No need to shock and titillate to get your point across.

    • Agreed. I think for me, the main difficulty is – it’s objectification, but it’s also objectification of something (interracial relationships specifically & black women in general) that’s normally not seen positively, let alone objectified. Does that make sense?

      • Yeah I get what you mean.

        I would also like to add that I’ve been singing the song for like the last hour so it is definitely catchy.

  10. wow, that is one helluva catchy song!
    umm I didn’t feel the lyrics were problematic so much as the video, because Rie Rasmussen seemed quite obviously the pursuer and Jodie Smith (once she’d turned round and was no longer just an anonymous figure) seemed far more passive most of the time. Which sort of made it feel – to me – more objectifying.. but that might just be in my head, in which case it’s probably *me* with the problem..

  11. This video makes me very very happy, but then again, my speakers aren’t plugged into my computer so I’m living in blissful ignorance of any controversy so OH MY GOD!!

  12. Rie’s fingernails make my vagina nervous. But at least she’s super down with the girlsex…

  13. “I don’t like when people have problems with things just because they feel like they’re supposed to and don’t actually evaluate it based on their own values or moral systems.” YES

    People have told me I have a “thing for black girls” so many times. I have dated/hooked up with many more white girls and no one has ever told me I had a “thing for white girls”.

    But I’m not sure how I feel about this, maybe a need to watch it a few more times, yeah?

  14. Giving these guys the benefit of the doubt — and adding to what brittani said — “It’s fairly interesting that having two women hooking up is the safe bet in this case. I think things would have gotten ugly if this video were of the two band members surrounded by and possibly making out with a gaggle of black women.”…maybe the point of it being a same-sex couple is:

    1) it rids the video of any creepy institutionalized power dynamics often present in (or projected onto) sexualized imagery of white men/black women together

    2) the blonde bombshell is, in america, the ultimate symbol of female sexuality, the woman everybody is trained to find attractive and want to have sex with — so it’s like “fuck you, she doesn’t wanna have sex with you indie white boys, she wants to have sex with this girl, duh”?

    • I think seeing the images through this lens make the video a lot less problematic than it definitely could have been, especially as regards institutionalized power dynamics, and Riese I love your second point…but it’s still hard for me to look at incredibly sexualized images of women (particularly two or more women together) created, directed, etc by primarily straight men for what is likely to be seen as a predominantly straight male audience and completely absolve them of any guilt or responsibility for objectifying women. Like a lot of other people have pointed out, though, it could have been a lot worse/creepier. Do they get points for that?

      On an unrelated note, I really really hate that guy’s voice and the rest of the song because of it.

    • Adding to the symbolism of the blonde bombshell, I think there’s something to be said for the casting of a black woman with dark skin and natural hair instead of another bombshell-type, just with slightly darker skin. I think that speaks volumes with regards to the band’s intentions–or at least the director’s. It seems celebratory of beauty that is often eschewed in pop culture.

  15. A couple of white dudes gloating about their entitlement to lust after whoever they want. How novel.

    I dunno. I get that people have intrinsic preferences, but any attraction that’s based solely on a person’s physical characteristics (whatever they may be) comes across to me as shallow and, yes, objectifying.

    • Are white guys allowed to lust after whomever they want? Maybe at Harvard. Where I’m from in the South white guys are allowed to use black women and all will be forgiven, but to actually want one? To lust after one? To pick a black women above other available women is a big cultural no-no.

      • I guess I’m just uncomfortable with the whole idea that being the object of someone’s lust, for reasons that revolve solely around innate physical traits, should be celebrated as some kind of forward movement in equality or whatever. But then that’s only my opinion as someone who does not fall into the category of people that this particular song is about, so. Take it with as many grains of salt as you feel necessary.

        I also just really dislike the song itself. Brillo pads to my ears.

  16. Also:

    “I don’t like when people have problems with things just because they feel like they’re supposed to and don’t actually evaluate it based on their own values or moral systems. People are so afraid that liking something controversial could make them seem less down for the cause, whatever the cause may be.”

    Thank you so much for saying this.

  17. Nergh. I still feel like it’s a bit dumb and not very interesting or ground breaking.

  18. its from a mans point of view so of coarse it contains a bit of bigotry…however its hot and makes me love being black and white.

    • I do not understand how it automatically has some degree of bigotry if it is a man’s point of view. Bigotry can go both ways.

      • I kinda don’t like this either. It’s like saying privilege is a corruption one can never purge, and I think that’s far too essentialist for my liking. Not to mention it really invalidates the honest work many people are doing to close the divide.

      • You are correct, I retract my previous statement about men. I value the view of men and women alike, I tend to be very sarcastic.

  19. My brain is telling me to get all Foulcault and Fanon on this but my body says otherwise…

    • Yeah, my brain actually thought the phrases divided self-perception and “l’etre pour l’autre” when I was watching this which shows how badly my class on racism in France scarred me. Luckily it went other places eventually.

  20. can somebody tell me if “black girls” by violent femmes is racist? i’ve been confused about that for like 10 years

    • That elephant noise they make with their trumpets= cool

      Implying that jungle noises have anything to do with Black girls who grew up in the USA= not cool at all

  21. if you have a “thing” for black girls, it’s because there’s an assumption that it is not normative to date them or be attracted to them. Black women are NOT the standards of beauty, if they were, we wouldn’t need to comment on how long it took for People magazine to name a black woman as THE HOTTEST. Black women are not thought to be aesthetically attractive as a normal standard–when they are, they’re exotic, have european features, have distinctly non-European features, and they’re touted as an exception. Often tokenized in groups of lists that make them stand out because there’s usually one or two others.

    As a black woman who identifies as a bi queer woman, I am finding this to be true with the numerous partners across the races that I have dated. Yeah, so only ONE said that they have a “thing” for black women–that made me feel HELLA awkward. I don’t want to be a place for fetishistic desire. I want to be a person you are genuinely attracted to, and not just because I’m black–I also don’t want to “happen to BE black” either. When you are not a normative standard of beauty (read: blonde, white, thin), it becomes easier for people to state aloud their preference for you because you’ve been now maneuvered into being an exception. Furthermore, it becomes all too easy to see it as flattery when you’re grappling with your self-esteem that has been undoubtedly affected by the fact that you constantly feel undesirable and unattractive; this fact DOES NOT escape the queer community and frankly, everyone has an implicit bias/preference, whether or not they are conscious of it.

    So yeah, this video is sexy as fuck. And yes, I was like FINALLY SOMEBODY WANTS TO SAY ALOUD THAT THEY LIKE BLACK WOMEN, but then I thought….why would they have to use popular culture to do so and why is it a provocative statement? Obviously, they’re commenting upon something…and trust me, it isn’t a “post-racial” society.

    At the end of the day though, I was like, FUCK YEAH YOU LIKE BLACK WOMEN. SHIT. THIS AFRO IS SEXY.


    • GIRL. your first and second paragraphs…why are you walking around in my head and describing all my thoughts right now?


  22. “I won’t deny the amount of privilege in this song though. If I voiced a continued preference for women outside of my race, people could very well assume it’s because I hate myself.”

    So very true. Actually when the video started with “But ignoramus always look in my direction / They’re so frustrated I don’t keep it in the race” I assumed the singer was a black guy, because white folks focused on “keeping it in the race” naturally get lambasted for racism, while POC who don’t do it set themselves up for guilt or accusations of racism and self-hate. <– pretty much the whole "dating outside the race" (thanks, Carmen) discussion during the Queer Women of Colour Panel

    That was the only vaguely coherent thought I had about this, other than that I'm on the "turn you on" side.

  23. I dunno, maybe I don’t think hard enough about why I like the people that I do, but I’ve had a lot of relationships outside of my race and I’m always perplexed as to why people want to talk about that, and what the reasons for that might be.

    I’ve been called a self-loather so many times it’s not even funny. I’ve had my doctor and my therapist ask me what the reason that I date outside my race is…and I dunno it’s just very confusing to me. For me there’s nothing to exclaim, there’s nothing to question, it is what it is.

    Sometimes you meet an attractive person, sometimes they’re completely awesome and fun, sometimes you like them, sometimes they like you back, sometimes they’re black/indian/asian/middle eastern/hispanic/white…

    Like I said, maybe I don’t think deeply enough about these things.

  24. I don’t know. I guess I’m confused as to why anyone should care that a couple white guys like black girls? This article sort of makes me feel like we should care, and I’m not sure why. I mean, “you do you” right? So you like black girls, yay, good for you, alright moving on. I agree with the people who experienced totally apathy. (Except for not feeling very apathetic about watching two cute girls make out, yay!)

    • i feel like we tend to work the “girls making out in music videos” beat, in general, like on this website

    • see comment above.
      then you might understand why this might be a big deal maybe to black girls especially.


      • Haha oh man. I’m feeling really bad about my first comment. No, I totally get why it’s not a non-issue and why this video could be problematic. I just really really wish it wasn’t. Sometimes I like to pretend I live in this world where people don’t have issues with each other, and where we’re all just people. Obviously that’s not where we are. But I like to pretend. And I think I was right that there shouldn’t be a problem with white guys liking black girls, in theory. It’s just when we start wondering WHY they like black girls that it gets all complicated. And those are legitimate concerns. I just wasn’t looking that far. You know? I don’t know if I’m expressing myself well or not. I feel all flustered, haha.

    • i’m going to be real with you, you look like you are trivializing and diminishing the viewpoints of people who may legitimately have concerns with this song and video. just because you feel like this is not worthy of discussion, doesn’t mean it isn’t. let me EMPHATICALLY impart to you , WITH OR WITHOUT this article i would have concerns about this video and i would want to deconstuct it. that’s what critical thinking is: looking beyond the surface and “you do you”. nothing in this world happens in a vacuum.

      • Oh no, absolutely. I in no way meant to trivialize people’s concerns with this video. I mean, the fact that people are having concerns shows that we should discuss this, and that it’s not trivial. I’m sorry if it seemed like I was trivializing people’s legitimate concerns. I guess what I was expressing was more of a naive wish for it NOT to be an issue. But we don’t live in that kind of world.

  25. but he rejects your deconstruction of his taste……i think that says it all.

    i like the video tho.

  26. i’m not really cool with this. i feel like the song on it’s face is SAYING that they aren’t exoticizing black women, but the video seems sensationalistic and fetishizing of black women, particularly since it’s not even the type of coupling they are referencing in the song(black female/ white male) but its a black woman and white woman. what was the point of doing that? because there was DEFINITELY an aim, and i’m not really willing to give them benefit of the doubt about it. it’s nice to see an interracial lesbian couple, but not in the context of a problematic song where two white men are proclaiming their desire for black women in way that reads to me as fetishistic.

    like someone said upthread, i am kind of wary of being someone’s fetish or exotic “black girl experience”( which i have DEFINITELY experienced in the lesbian community). i happen to be black, which is important, but first and foremost i’m an individual.

  27. “I don’t like when people have problems with things just because they feel like they’re supposed to and don’t actually evaluate it based on their own values or moral systems.”

    Thank you so much for this.

  28. I paused Beyonce to watch this. I definitely didn’t need to pause Beyonce. I could have just muted the video, no need for sound! Those girls are hot!

  29. Great article Brittani! I really enjoyed your commentary and I definitely felt that initial sense of confusion where I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to love it or hate it, but as a black girl in a relationship with a white boy I couldn’t help but think about how I would feel if my boyfriend made a song like this and people were deconstructing it. I think the fact that people even feel like maybe they should be offended is a bit problematic in general. Like even when he EXPLICITLY states that he’s not fetishizing, people worry that he’s fetishizing. Is that because they find it so odd that a white man could possibly like black women? That if he does he must be somehow deviant/have some ulterior motive.

    I really really liked the video and the whole idea of it. I think it’s a bold statement and I love the contrast with a dark skin woman and a blonde bombshell that Riese pointed out.

    • i personally feel like the video is fetishizing and that makes me suspicious about the intent of the song AND the video. just because someone explictly says something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t examine the intent or context behind their words, actions, or thoughts. as i said upthread, nothing happens in a vacuum.

  30. … omg this video was sooo hot = wow … ANYWAY I think that the problem with racial preferences, intentional (racist) or unintentional (a result of environment) is that it implements the idea that people of a certain race should be with their own and not mix. Having said that, I personally had never really expected to be attracted to black men because I grew up watching T.V. and films that showed white people (i.e. the main characters) getting together. And then I realised that I didn’t actually like ANY men like my trusty T.V. shows said I would, and then BAM! no racial preferences – just a lot of ladies. :)

  31. As a woman… I liked the video. I was waiting for you guys to mention it. Ended up blogging about it too:

    I don’t feel any type of way. Chester French wanted to make a point that it shouldn’t matter if they find Black girls attractive. We live in a world where that’s still taboo. It’s taboo to find someone attractive attractive because they’re not your ethnicity.

    Along those lines, it’s still taboo for a few many to find someone of the same sex attractive.

    So conjoining the nature of the lyrics with the demonstration of the video makes sense to me. Even if it’s the brainchild of two White Harvard grads. They date outside of their race, so they’ve experienced plenty of shade. Apparently enough to write this song.

    And we already mentioned the video is awesome? Okay lol.

  32. I need to stop re-watching this. I mean I’m just trying to formulate my opinion…yeah that’s it.

  33. Let’s all make a remix called I HAVE A THING FOR WOMEN! What do you think? WE CAN EVEN MAKE AN AUTOSTRADDLE CD AND SELL IT FOR PROFIT! AND MAYBE JUST MAYBE HAVE A SUMMER CONCERT TOUR! Back to this video review yeah it seriously sucks. If you have a thing for black girls why not make a video showing your face while on a neat-o picnic date with one. Why have a lesbian couple do all the work!?! It is not fair that mainstream musicians are using the LGBT community as an escape goat for more ratings and money and popularity. If you like black girls Frenchie show your face kissing one! :P

  34. I think this video should be titled ‘I have a thing for bisexual blond stringy hair.’

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