Let’s Talk About Black Women’s Obsession with Chris Evans
Oscars 2019. A beyond beautiful Regina King just won an Oscar for her exquisite performance in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. As she gets up to accept her award, Chris Evans — Captain America — does the gentlemanly thing and assists King up the steps to the stage. The Internet as a collective swooned but NO ONE swooned more than Black women.
Black women love Chris Evans. It ain’t like an “oh, he’s handsome” type of adoration. It’s a “I will throw all of me onto his face” type of fascination that would rival the thirst for Idris Elba or Michael B. Jordan.
I mean, I guess I get it. The blue eyes, the beard, the tendency of manspread during interviews. Anyone can look alluring in a GIF on Tumblr. He did look pretty damn good at the Oscars, I’ll give him that. But to me, Chris Evans looks like every White dude you find on Hinge, Bumble or Coffee Meets Bagel. You know the types who always have a picture of themselves posing with a dog. There’s tons of pictures of Chris Evans with dogs. He fits the prototype to a damn T!
But he is “that man” to a lot of Black women, this piece of White candy that is adored and accepted. Mind you, he’s not the first non-Black man to get Black Girl Internet into a tizzy — anyone remember the Cary Joji Fukunaga/season one of True Detective era?! — but he is the latest to set it off.
Where did this come from? Within the deep annals of the internet contains a theory that Chris Evans prefers Black women but will never declare his preference publicly because big, bad Hollywood would have a fit and take his leading man status away. There’s this often shared video purporting to show Evans grabbing the phone number of an unidentified woman of high melanin count outside some establishment and the somewhat substantiated rumor that he dated actress Naomie Harris. Beyond this, it’s full conjecture and it’s throughout all of Black Girl Internet.
Chris Evans x Black!Reader is a subcategory on most Marvel fanfiction websites and fandoms. In most cases, the reader is also plus-size and the stories are full of fluff — cute and romantic — or flat-out smut, romance novel huff and puff to straight-up porn. While he’s not the only White Marvel character to find himself to be the dreamy destination for Black women in the fanfiction culture (Bucky Barnes and Thor are a close second and third), stories with him and a Black lead tend to be the most popular yet catch the most static.
White fanboys are super protective of Captain America. He’s their last Great White Hope in a Marvel Universe that is geared more toward women and people of color. With fans clamoring to see more gender and race diversity within the Marvel Universe, we might not see a White superhero featured heavily in the films for a long minute. Plus, Black people have Black Panther. Why can’t they thirst over him?! (Or Killmonger for that matter because, sis, the Erik Killmonger fanfiction community is live, legit and VERY uncut.)
Black folks’ history — or ire — with interracial dating is a topic that cannot be summarized in this here story. Just know that the open admittance and acceptance of Black folks dating outside of their race is a new one — even within our own culture. I remember watching Waiting to Exhale, one of the seminal movies about the Black women’s experience in the 90s, and marveling at a pissed-off Bernadette — played marvelously by Angela Bassett — burning all of her husband’s belongings and for why? Leaving her for a White woman. All of that made sense within the Black Love era of the 1990s in film and television and we seem to be in one of those image-driven eras right now thanks to social media.
But through social media, we’ve also seen an abundance of interracial relationships especially through platforms like YouTube and Instagram and those relationships feature Black women with White men. There even is a hashtag #BWWM (BlackWomanWhiteMan) on sites like Wattpad, Pinterest and Tumblr. There seems to be something very rebellious and maybe even revengeful about dating Chad, Trevor or Jake. Or in this case, Chris.
We ain’t supposed to date that. So in fantasy, Black women created this world where Captain America dreams to cape for them even if he’ll supposedly never admit it.
This is my attempt to write every day in July! You can follow Write Every Day In July using the hashtag #wedj2019.