Good Job, Amber Riley


I know I'm late to the table on this one, but when I saw rumors of Amber Riley leaving Glee, I decided to check in on her.  Of course, she's not leaving Glee, but she is taking better care of herself, and her fans have been so very supportive.

One of the reasons I decided to zero in on Amber Riley is that I read another excellent response to the "Black women are fat" meme in which various pages and grassroots groups are highlighted.  Amerikkka would like to pretend that Black women are fat, lazy, irresponsible, and not doing anything about our health.  This article shatters that myth beautifully.

Also, for all our actresses and singers who are too big and who do need to lose weight...how many of them have to shed pounds before the rest of Amerikkka gets with the program?  After being diagnosed with diabetes, Missy Elliot buckled down and shed the pounds.


Queen Latifah shed the pounds.


Monique shed the pounds.



Uh, remember Star Jones?


And now...Amber Riley.

No, these women did not become skinny, and they didn't have to.  They got healthy.  So where were the armies of tabloids and bloggers when these women were shedding the pounds?  How come the obese-Black-women-do-shed-pounds story never quite seems to make the cut?   Tracye McQuirter is a Black vegan author (By Any Greens Necessary) - why doesn't she have a cooking show or a high profile book tour?

Bar patrons, do you see where I'm going with this?

Comments

  1. THIS IS FANTASTIC! For every naysaying bullshitter out there that wants to come at us about our weight, we need to throw up these images. Each woman looks great. I did not know that Monique lost that much weight.

    *thumbs up*

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    1. Exactly. I didn't know Amber Riley had lost any weight, and this was months ago. Outside of their fan circles, these ladies' health efforts go unreported because if we gave women like these as much attention as we gave the imaginary hordes of 400-lb Black women, the imaginary hordes would disappear. The myth would be destroyed once and for all.

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    2. But I think the problem is that while all of these women did a great job, and didn't try to conform to Hollywhite's standards, I think the reason we DON'T see if covered is that in that world, they are still fat. And no one wants to compliment a black lady, let alone a "fat" black lady.

      Amber Riley would have to do to a JHud and look like a chocolate Qtip before she'd get any dap for what she has done.

      I think Monique and Queen Latifah both look amazing having toned up but still being thick.

      But I've seen comments that I even think are from BLACK people saying horrific things and failing to acknowledge that they aren't skinny but are healthy. I mean, as I said before, the fact that they have good waist to hip ratios and their bellies are not large is a good sign of their overall health. They are wearing the hell out of the dresses in those after pictures.
      And I'm sorry, Queen Latifah is just a beautiful lady.

      A healthy and toned size 12, 14, or 16 is NOT getting any love from the media, and yet a lot of ladies look GREAT at those sizes.

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    3. Yep! Lately, they have been talking about fuller figured women,but the White ones more than the Black ones. Look at how they marveled Steven Tyler's daughter being one. They wanted to make her the poster child for full figured beauties. EBONY/JET have been showcasing skinny and fullfigured women for decades,but as always it was and still is,overlooked.

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    4. @M, while I think that Mia Tyler has a nice face, she does not have the same kind of body as the average, similarly sized black lady. She never really held up when they had her walking the Lane Bryant with the other models, who really had more hourglass proportions. I mean, nothing is wrong with that but it's odd that she'd get so much credit when she's not a good example of curvy/thick at all. I've usually seen in print that she's a size 12, but she a size 12 apple. But probably the same body type as her slimmer sister too.

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  2. Because ANYTHING that posts black women in a positive light is swept under the rug.

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  3. Dammit...forgot about Star Jones. Fixed it.

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  4. Missy Elliot has Graves Diesease... and ive been lurking 4 awhile like ur blog Ms.Mie

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  5. They all look great and I'm sure their bodies are thanking them for it. Again and again we see why we need spaces for alternative damn views.

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  6. Here's a question? Why do so many people act like fatness is solely the "purview" of black women?

    You'd swear that 150% of the fat people in the US are black women. No one else EVER gets called out for it. Black men act like they are never fat. I read a LOT of ugly comments from black men about fat black women(usually of the "this is why we don't want you" and I made the mistake of reading the comments on that Clutch article where Black men who couldn't spell still felt confident in saying that the article meant nothing b/c most black women were fat). Funnily enough, black men don't seem to have a problem with fat White/Asian/anything but Black women. But I have never read/heard a black man mocking THAT preference. Ever. It is common enough that plenty of White/Asian/anything but Black women will talk about how great it is to date black men b/c they are so "accepting" of all body types, and prefer "fatness."

    So they are clearly projecting one message to Black women and another one to non-Black women. What gives with that?

    But I'm kind of tired of Black men who like to publicly denigrate Black women about this as if there aren't PLENTY of them huffing and wheezing and shopping in the Big and Tall store.

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  7. Nicthommi
    Funnily enough, black men don't seem to have a problem with fat White/Asian/anything but Black women.

    The white writers at SNL agreed so much they did a skit about it. Chris Rock acknowledged the same in his routine when he said; Black men love big white women. (Please forgive the language) Black men have gone crazy for white women because they’ve been led believe she’s submissive and easy. They pine for partners who have all of the womanly curves of the black female, but none of the baggage/attitude.

    Black men have bought into 'The Lie' of the Image Makers as a cover for their own inadequacies; projecting personal fears and failures onto the black woman to augment their warped sense of manhood. They can’t take care of themselves let alone a strong black woman, so they opt for what they believe to be easier prey; the women most white men wouldn’t touch with a 30 ft. pole. Course, no matter how you slice it, every white woman (be she big or no) that copulates with a black man produces non-white children. It means one less white man on the face of this earth; that’s why miscegenation scares the hell out of white men.

    If white women are getting big butt implants, alongside collagen injections (for bigger lips) coupled with the need for darker skin by tanning; it means less quality white women to breed with. Whereas, once she's regarded as attractive by the black man she's of no practical use to the white male. For instance, white men don't just laud Jenna Jameson for her emaciated appearance and golden locks; most notably she's exemplified because she's never been touched by a black man. The paradox behind such depravity is this: Jenna could lay with a thousand white men and still be viewed as unblemished in the white male mind.

    Hence white men are constantly uplifting women like her as archetypes so hopefully the rest of white womanhood will be influenced by the message and fall in line. White men have absolutes; you're either normal (as in skinny = sexually attractive) or you're not.

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    1. I've seen that sketch by Chris Rock but not the SNL one. It was spot on. I think it's important that they make the distinction that black men don't like fat women. They like fat WHITE women. If it's a black woman, she'd better no be more than a little thick.

      I guess the part that I always have trouble wrapping my mind around is the "curves" part. To me, the women Chris Rock mentioned, Rosie O'Donnell and Rachel Ray totally exemplify the way that white women look when they "thicken up." They don't have particularly shapely bodies (and in all fairness, neither do a lot of their slimmer sisters). They don't have butts, and they have a lot of belly fat, and very broad shoulders. There is a big difference between how their bodies look and what Queen Latifah, Oprah, and Jill Scott are working with.

      I don't know how a big belly or back fat and a flat wide booty can be as desirable as what "fat" Oprah has. And it comes back to my point about how they'll give the curvy label to a heavy white woman but not to a small or medium black lady who has the prominent round butt and big chest.

      Interesting also about Jenna Jameson. I'm aware of who she is b/c she seemed to get a lot of mainstream press but had no idea that she had a no black dudes policy. You aren't lying about what constitutes "purity" for white men though. Black penis is definitely a no-no there.

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  8. Nicthommi said…
    I've seen that sketch by Chris Rock but not the SNL one. It was spot on. I think it's important that they make the distinction that black men don't like fat women. They like fat WHITE women. If it's a black woman, she'd better no be more than a little thick.

    Speaking as a married man of 30 years, I've always been attracted to plump women black or white. Its hard sometimes to resist the temptation to generalize, but its been my experience that young black men are more meticulous in their specifications for a woman (Light skin- straight hair, proper hip-to-butt ratio an all that). Now my 25 year-old son has a little lady friend who’s at least a size 14 and she's black. My wife is a 14 now and I wouldn't change one thing on her. Older black men (I'm 55 by the way) are more encompassing/accepting; hence size becomes less of a determining factor over time. I know a lot of married black men with wives in the 14-16 range; moreover, they've been together for more than 20 years. This preoccupation with youth and the pitfalls of relationships permeates the media today. But when you look at couples who’ve been married a while, you’ll see a lot of plump black wives.

    Once you’ve lived a few years your less critical about the shell of a person and you become more concerned with what's beneath the skin. Young black men are shallow and immature; its all about form over substance with them. Steadman (for whatever reasons, but I expect for love) has stayed with Oprah through thick and then literally. Now to me Queen Latifah was all chest and had very little butt; similar to Sherri Shepherd. Moreover I agree; white people will slap a voluptuous- curvy or plus-sized label on just about anything.

    Personally, as a black man and an artist; when I think of Voluptuous this is what I have in mind. Now with this same definition in mind please scroll down to the 5th row, second from left: The Himba piece. I’m talking about a woman who has both full curves and a butt to match. I speak of a woman who can fill out a gown or a pair of jeans as if the garment were painted on. I’m referring to a Full… ripened… succulent woman.

    Sadly, in the eyes of a white mainstream such a woman is found to be morbidly obese and in need of serious help. Lest we forget the Venus of Willendorf is one of man’s earliest known sculptures. Obviously somebody had an eye for the plump- fertile woman from way back. You know, some time before the white man's advent.

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    1. Yes, I agree with your definition of voluptuous and some women hold that shape very well at a variety of weights. The white women I mentioned don't have nice shapes, and that would be true if they were lighter. It all depends on the basic shape. Oprah is an hourglass figure that she holds well, and in my opinion, looks better while heavier (I've actually heard white and black men say that they like "fat" Oprah better...)

      Even if she wasn't Oprah, I can see a black man of Stedman's age being quite happy with a woman of her size. I don't think it is as true with younger people.

      I dislike the attack the body type that is associated with black women b/c it is inaccurate to say that a woman who has a large chest and butt but not a lot of viseral body fat is obese and delusional b/c she likes her body. Does that make sense? The fact that some of us have a different ideal that we aspire to is not a problem. I don't want to look like Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Anniston. Ever. I aspire to be my best me and I have a right to like myself at every size. I HATE black women who act like the fact that I can look at the after pictures above and say that I'm somehow destroying the black community b/c those women are unhealthy. They look great. They have done a great job.

      The Williams sister, two very different body types, get attacked as looking mannish and fat too.

      I think I'd give Queen a bit more credit than Sherri Shepherd though. True, she's not bootylicious but with the breast reduction and the fitness routine, she is looking pretty fierce and a lot more balanced. I don't Sherri could ever get to that look (granted, Latifah probably has about 7-8 inches in height on her).

      But I think we are in agreement, and I have noticed that I get a lot more winks in the South or Midwest than on the West Coast (where I'm invisible).

      Generationally, our aesthetic preferences have changed as we've become more a part of the mainstream so I'm seeing/hearing more and more of my friends who would rather be a size 2 or 4 than a size 10 or 12. Of course, everyone is convinced that a 12 is borderline obese although it looks different on just about everyone.

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    2. Actually, at the end of the day, people just don't like it when black women like themselves. We aren't supposed to like ourselves. We get put down a lot, and it clearly infuriates a LOT of people that we don't hate ourselves, so there is always some "excuse" that they like to give (you're fat, you're ugly, etc) that gets thrown in as a reason why.

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  9. Nicthommi said...
    Generationally, our aesthetic preferences have changed as we've become more a part of the mainstream so I'm seeing/hearing more and more of my friends who would rather be a size 2 or 4 than a size 10 or 12. Of course, everyone is convinced that a 12 is borderline obese although it looks different on just about everyone.

    That’s it in a nutshell (once we assimilate and take on the aesthetic preferences of the majority race). But I say resist. To hell with the majority-view of beauty… resist! This is the statement black women have been making throughout the years and I couldn’t agree more. That’s why whites remind me so much of the Borg with that haunting, inclusive statement: “We are the Borg (whites). Lower your shields (Your individuality- standards/practices) and surrender your ships (racial identity/history). We will add your biological (big lips-hip and thighs; skin color and hair styles) and technological distinctiveness (your soul music, art/culture) to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us (by means of coercion through Slavery/Jim crow- Political manipulation). "Resistance is futile.”

    However we disagree. Resistance is needful. Blacks and other non-whites remain hopeful/receptive to the ever expanding realm of possibilities. We will not go quietly into the night; we will not surrender our identity without a fight. We are unique and we are beautiful. Confidentially, I like Oprah bigger myself. Now this is between you- me and the lamppost. But I used to sigh quietly as the camera panned to show her hips and thighs; spreading in that chair while she interviewed guests. Oh my.

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  10. Nicthommi said...
    I think I'd give Queen a bit more credit than Sherri Shepherd though. True, she's not bootylicious but with the breast reduction and the fitness routine, she is looking pretty fierce and a lot more balanced.

    Just saw a few of the older before pics of Miss Latifah. You're right; I stand corrected.

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  11. All Beautiful BlackWomen!!! Love it! Thank you,Mie.

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