Seriously...Shut the Fuck Up Already

So another article was released (this time by a Black woman, of course) about Black women being fat.  I've read a bunch of different excellent responses to the article, and I'll be honest...the cheap Black woman-bashing of the article is not what bothers me.

It's the gigantic pink elephant in the room people either really can't see, or simply don't want to see.

War has been declared on non-skinny people, whether they are healthy or not.  This is not just about Black women, or even just women. I'm getting the feeling now that whenever these articles about Black women come out, the writers aren't just talking about Black women; they're talking about people in general.  Black women just happen to be the group of choice for criticism.  In other words, you're not going to get a severe backlash if you bash Black women.  You're going to get *crickets* from almost everyone but Black women, and that's an acceptable margin of wrath.

Let me break it down for you: in America, thin is in.  It's a fashion statement.  It has not a goddamn thing to do with health, okay?  America is a nation known for its narrow, dichomotous thinking.  In America, white is good, black is bad.  Rich is good, poor is bad.  Straight is good, gay is bad.  Small bodies are good, big bodies are bad - period.  In America, there is no in-between.

I am a size fourteen.  Aside for my single cup of coffee in the mornings with my cinnamon raisin bagel, all I drink is water.  Whether its sparkling water or just flat water with lemon juice - all I drink is water and I drink it non-stop all day.  I stopped drinking sweet tea once I moved to the South and learned what real sweet tea tastes like.  I don't even drink alcohol often (ironically) - I drink water. Why?  Because there's very little reason to drink anything else.

For lunch, I eat a lean microwaveable meal at work.  My main reason is that it's cost effective.  Every pay day, I buy about ten lunches for a dollar each.  So eating lunch at work for two weeks costs me about ten dollars.  Now that's recessionomics right there.

I generally avoid eating meat unless it's chicken (not fried).  Since I get off work later in the evening and have to eat dinner so close to bed time, I've started eating a single bowl of cereal in the evenings.  After that - water.  Cup after cup of water.

My skin is amazing.  No zits, no splotches, no lines, no problems.  My face baffles even my own relatives who are wondering why folks from the same gene pool aren't matching up.  I tell them every time: water.  Drink your friggin' water.  Skin often one of the first body parts to indicate a health problem, and according to my skin, all systems are a go.

My apartment is on a second floor, as is my cubicle at work.  I deliberately avoid elevators because I've been blessed with two working legs and I see every stairwell as an excuse to exercise.  I don't get winded climbing stairs.  When I run errands, I don't try to park as close to the store, salon, office as possible.  Walking doesn't bother me; as a child in Cameroon I remembering walking everywhere - school, church, market, even the hospital, and sometimes to different towns and villages.  I currently spend my evenings stretching before bed, working to regain and maintain some flexibility.  It feels good, gets the heart rate going, and it strengthens the legs.  My body is firm, I don't have problems with cellulite, and I'm often complimented on my legs.

I've been checked out by doctors multiple times during routine check-ups.  My health is fine.  At one point, not only did I have good blood pressure, but I had the ideal blood pressure and I remember the shocked look on the medical assistant's face.

Despite all this, I am a size fourteen and am considered "fat" in America.  And once you are considered "fat" in America, you're automatically deemed unhealthy.

Mind you, I'm an old-school West African; I don't consider "fat" an insult - call me fat and I'll shrug.  But tell me I'm unhealthy and I get really annoyed, because "skinny" has somehow become falsely synonymous with "healthy" and more folks need to call foul.

Don't get it twisted; I believe in limits.  I believe that emotional eaters need help (I'm not an emotional eater, by the way.  As my roommate can attest, I'm not even much of an eater).  I believe there is such a thing as "too big" and that people who are too big need to do something about it, especially in the case of children.

But in the meantime, people need to shut the fuck up already.  We got the memo: thin is in.  Thin is friggin' "in" - whooptie friggin' do - it doesn't mean shit.

Don't believe the hype.  How many actresses and singers have we seen lose all the weight only for their careers to go absolutely nowhere?  How many people have we known personally lose a bunch of weight only to be in the same dating/working/overall living rut they were in before?  I can't count how many women I've known personally to lose a bunch of weight only to find that it doesn't magically transform your life the way all the pills, diet programs, and exercise machine commercials (which made a shit-ton of money off you) promised it would.

You want to change yourself?  Change your life?  Then you have to sit down and have the scary conversation with yourself about you, not your body.  Ask yourself honestly if you believe you're a good person, who treats people with kindness and compassion.  Are you hard-working?  How do you treat your coworkers and do you do your best at work?  Do you take care of your kids?  Do you love them and hold them and put all their needs first?  How do you treat your friends?  If you're in a relationship, how do you treat your significant other?    How many people would honestly mourn you if you died?  Would anybody even care?  Are you a decent human being?

I like me some eye candy as much as the next pygmy, but Negro, please...there's fantasy and there's reality, and America needs to grow the fuck up.  The most attractive man at my job right now is not at all attractive by conventional American standards.  But he works his ass off, puts his teammates to shame, earns his quarterly bonuses and annual raises without fail, and is one of the most polite, civilized people I have ever met.

If he asked me out tomorrow, not only would my answer immediately be "yes", but I would consider it a great honor and be deeply flattered.

*grumbles* ...to think this country actually wonders why its divorce rate is so damn high....

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"Everyone hates a Black woman until they need one"

Comments

  1. One thing I HATE about the way that fat is associated with black women (and full disclosure, I'm fat, but do work out, drink my water, have skin that people, including those in the beauty business, ask me about) is that it's really an attack on the body shapes that are associated with black women.

    So black women who actually are "small" get labeled fat for having shapely legs and a shapely rear-end even when they have tiny waists and flat stomachs. My friend's with the 20 something inch waists and enviable backsides are not fat. Nor are the ones who wear 34G bras.

    I am often amazed at how beautiful black women's bodies can be, at a myriad of weights, merely b/c of the weight distribution that some of us are blessed with.

    And if your issue/concern was health, then you'd understand that the black lady with the ample rear doesn't have increased health risks if she isn't carrying a load in her stomach and on her back, as so many heavy white women do. It increases your estrogen levels, but it's not insulin resistant.

    Haven't you noticed how one reason a lot of black women do wear larger clothes than their white counterparts is not b/c they are fatter but b/c they have thighs and a butt (and nothing ever fits in the waist or stomach). Yet they'll call themselves skinny or normal in a minute even with a spare tire or large belly and ample backfat.

    But yeah, it just becomes one more way to call black women ugly. Big butt=fat. Thick thighs=fat, and then fat=ugly AND unhealthy. So you've killed two birds with one stone.

    Definitely taking care of oneself is ideal, but what your body ultimately will be can vary a LOT.

    And I don't really like the fact that a black woman attacked the idea of black men loving black women as they are.

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    1. Exactly. This is just a new way to villainize the body shapes which so many have coveted for literally thousands of years. They couldn't get it naturally, so now it's time for the sour grapes routine - "Well...we don't want to look like that anyway."

      Whatever.

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    2. The other common refrain I hear is the conflation of the word curvy with the word fat, so a curvy black woman is automatically obese, and white people will make the statement that it's impossible to be skinny but still have large breasts (large breasts correlate to large person in their minds).

      But again, it's b/c you rarely see regular, non-ethnic white women who are small with large chests. Plenty of black women have them. And I've noticed that MOST of the white women who do are "ethnic", not the watery blonds that they worship.

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    3. The black female body is constantly being attacked. I think it's a call back from slavery/colonization. During slavery everyone was able to touch, use, and abuse the black female body. Sara Baartman is the most widely known example. The black woman is deemed hyper-sexual regardless of age, career, or sexual history. This is why no one speaks up when the black woman's body is publicly criticized.

      I wish they would shut up ... but they won't. If they don't talk about black women who will they talk about?

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  2. Ms. Mie you should have your own Webshow on youtube seriously.


    "Don't believe the hype. How many actresses and singers have we seen lose all the weight only for their careers to go absolutely nowhere? How many people have we known personally lose a bunch of weight only to be in the same dating/working/overall living rut they were in before? I can't count how many women I've known personally to lose a bunch of weight only to find that it doesn't magically transform your life the way all the pills, diet programs, and exercise machine commercials (which made a shit-ton of money off you) promised it would."

    You know I always had a kick at my old job. Like someone would buy weight loss pills and I will tell them that it will kill them. My co-workers hated me for that.

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    1. Yes, b/c besides interviews where they ask her about her what, 2 year old weight loss, what work is Jennifer Hudson doing?

      And how is it working out for America Ferrera? Has she worked since Ugly Betty?

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  3. I said it before and I'll say it again:

    http://brothawolf.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/curves/

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  4. You should see the thinspo tags on Tumblr... Alot of false promises and self hate. Not to mention fat is to blame for their shitty lives.

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    1. Because when you blame a problem like fat, you can make money.

      But if you tell people they need to get their shit together and be productive members of society, there's no profit in that.

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    2. Yeah but many of those girls under he thinspo tag have mental problems. I went through one of the girl's blogs and she refers to her anorexia as Ana. I honestly feel bad for them.

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  5. have you ever tried water with lemon and cucumbers?

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    1. No, but I've heard about it.

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    2. Is it supposed to have some kind of benefit?

      I always see it in places that are being "fancy." So a lot of nice hotels will have pretty water dispensers filled with ice water and cucumbers and another with ice water and lemons or limes.

      If I had to chose, I'd take the cucumber water b/c it changes the flavor the least.

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    3. I particularly enjoy lemon or lime flavored water with mint.

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  6. When I went to school it was the thick curvy girls that got the attention. It was something I observed over and over again. Even in my own neighborhood thick girls had to beat the boys off with sticks. There is nothing wrong with a curvy, ample- copiously thick woman.

    As long as white men set the agenda anything over a size 4 that’s not blonde and blue-eyed will be considered ugly and obese. What white men really want is a Stepford wife; dutiful and conforming- with the boyish charms of a flapper.

    An article in the Pittsburgh Press said it so eloquently: A Quaker city physician talks of plumpness:

    "Every woman who is thin would like to be 'stouter,' says a witty and observant Frenchman, and the observation is undoubtedly correct. While there may be considerable difference of opinion as to the aesthetic merits of embonpoint, everyone will agree that a scrawny neck, pinched features, a gaunt figure, or spare shanks are not elements of beauty."

    White women are getting fatter; that’s what white men are worried about. Black women have always set the trend when it comes to beauty, so its no surprise white women opt for the fuller lips- the darker skin and the ample backside. If the average dress size in the United States is a 14 (a size 14-16 in the UK) then its reasonable to assume the people buying these dresses are white women. Historically- the white woman has embodied every virtue and hope of the white race.

    Furthermore, such Cultural Miscegenation represents an attack on their world-view; conversely, if the prominence of the white woman is co-opted in any way (they ponder) what hope is there for us?

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  7. I don't even hear this shit anymore. It's so pervasive that it may as well be background noise as far as I'm concerned. The problem is INSIDE, not OUTSIDE, but it's far too easy to make attempts to change the wrapper instead of the gift. Especially if you don't consider yourself a gift.

    I stopped giving a shit about what others have to say about my size years ago. When my cholesterol went up, I took steps to bring it down, and didn't bat an eye. Being healthy is far more important. I made a lifestyle change and weight loss was one of the results, but not the goal. As soon as women understand that it ain't about the numbers on the scale but the numbers on the medical tests, their lives will become that much less burdened.

    Just sayin'.

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  8. It's one thing for White society to dictate beauty standards for Black women,but it's another when one of our own does it.

    What does this woman want Black women to do, lose weight to please others? That is the message I get from her. So what if a Black man or or race of men appreciate a fuller woman. Realistically, as Ankh stated, the average woman is a size 14 and over. This so called war on obesity is no more than a war of self love. Ironically, a couple of days ago, I came across two women who was upset with friend of theirs and I understand why. Their friend's fiance planned a wedding,but one of the stupid requirements that came from him was that she would lose 50 lbs or he would drop her. Sadly, she did just that and on top of that they still end up breaking up. Judging by the words of the author, women should settle for losers like the friend's fiance.


    Not too long ago, I had read an article about about Overweight Black women having confidence in themselves. As a thick woman, I can attest to that and there is nothing wrong with that. Self love is what the writer should be teaching women. If you lose weight, it doesn't mean anything without confidence. I have come across people who weren't physically attractive,but had dynamic personalities that made people notice their inner beauty. I have a friend that I admire. To some people, she was no Gabrielle Union and she's full figured,but she never had problems drawing men and having fulfilling marriages with them. On the other end of the stick, there was a woman on my job who was a stunner and didn't have a confidence or attitude problem,but she didn't draw the men as much as people would have expected for her to.

    From those examples I've learned that people will see you for you no matter what size you are. I'd rather be like my friend because the men that she came across are quality and if they think that these are some desperate men looking for any woman on the street, they are wrong. Her deceased husband and current fiance were/are good looking and treats her like royalty and she does the same to them.

    Lastly, I have a problem assuming that obesity comes from leading a food filled, lax lifestyle. Not every obese person, as Nichtommi mentioned, is like that. I'm mostly on my feet. I laugh at some my skinnier friends when they balk at me walking a mile home. They get tired walking a block up the street. This is something that I've done since childhood. Just because someone is skinny doesn't always guarantee good health.In some cases like me, it's best for me to keep my weight. The way I'm built I wouldn't look right being 128 lbs,because it would literally have me look like a bowling pin: an abnormally small top and a big bottom. I did this once and my rib cage was showing as a result of it. My sister has a heart problem, he doctor told her that she shouldn't get under 108-145lbs because it can cause her agonizing pain. Depending on age and/or body frame, people should weigh according to that( frame) and age.Society is just telling people to lose weight,but you still have to be careful about it.

    Another thing that looked at a poster where there was an advertisement about medication about AIDS related belly fat. I admit that I was a little shocked about it. I was so used to people becoming smaller from it that I had no idea that it could do that in them. Would the writer tell them something is wrong with them over something they can't always cannot control? Another, reading depressing stories condemning people for their weight cause stress..in turn.. may cause weight gain. The last thing people want to hear that something wrong with them because they are not part of the so called status quo.

    The writer really needs to be careful with her thoughts. Her idea of " encouraging" people will cause them more harm than good.

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  9. You Just made me run down and order a large ice water! I had excellent skin until afew months ago when I wandered off into carbs and drinks again.

    I heard about lemon juice and seltzer water before, good to know others use it and it works. Will start it, perhaps consume a spoon of vinegar to aid with insulin levels.

    They can heap blame but can't work to make food an easier, healtier choice? Puh-Leeze....

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    1. Exactly. Where are the fast healthy food joints? Why is it so hard to eat vegetarian when you're in a hurry?

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    2. It is sooooo difficult trying to find a healthy variety in the neighborhood where I live. Everything's fried twice and dipped in grease with a side of fat. And there's no shortage of liquor stores, either. But no one wants to talk about that.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. K,
    This thin is "in" bullshit started with a supermodel named Twiggy. She revolutionized the skinny, doe-eyed gamine look that Mia Farrow, Nastassja Kinski, Kate Moss and countless others desperately emulated.

    White America, being a bunch of drones, will follow the herd. If the models on the tele look a certain way...then that's the way it HAS to be.
    As for the attack on black women's bodies....

    ****sighs****

    Welcome to AmeriKlan.

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    1. I recently found a book about the history of the war on Fat & non thin body types in America and France, and apparently it goes back even farther than Twiggy. I'm talking back to the Puritans and the Pilgrims. It's really very fucking disturbing. Especially since it has little to nothing to do with health,but has everything to do with maintaining some kind of "Great White" "Holier than thou" image.

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  11. The whole body policing has gotten ridiculous in recent years. And the thing is, it's a catch 22. Society tells a person (especially a woman) to lose weight and be as thin as possible but when they do, then they get accused and mocked of allegedly having an eating disorder. Case in point: Calista Flockhart. Now she's a beautiful and naturally thin woman, and she still caught hell about her body.

    Hell Kate Blanchett and Drew Barrymore, two beautiful and very tiny women have been called full-figured. WTF?

    Just most recently Ashley Judd and Jennifer Lawrence (the actress from the Hunger Games) have caught heat in the media about their "sizes." You're talking about two very petite women who have beautiful hour glass shapes and actually have curves and somehow they get accused of being too big. Again WTF?!!!!

    And in regards to fat = unhealthy, I'm always amazed that people conveniently overlook pro sports and pro wrestling. I mean look at the number of linebackers in the NFL. Many of them are VERY big boys but have crazy stamin and can move like cats.

    And I'm a huge pro-wrestling fan. You want to see some impressive and healthy plus size folks, look up Samoa Joe. This mofo is 6'2" and weighs 280 lbs. and is as quick and as agile as a cruiser weight.

    Or better yet check out the WWE's Kharma (aka Awesome Kong aka Kia Stevens and Ankhesen you might wanna check her out as a post for the Black Girls Club). When she leaps from the top rope, she does it with grace. And is far faster than opponents half her size.

    *smdh*

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    Replies
    1. Actually, I thought the Jennifer Lawrence thing was in relation to the movie because her character was written as thin but still healthy and that's exactly the physique that she displays in the Hunger Games movie.

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    2. I thought Ashley Judd's thing was more about her FACE although she said her face changed b/c of weight gain caused by steroids instead of plastic surgery/botox.

      Her face does look different but I chalked it up to cosmetic procedures which they fight tooth and nail to deny having.

      Ashley Judd annoyed me b/c she only seemed bothered by her thin white privilege when she seemed to be losing it. She did a lot of humblebragging about that whole thing. B/c her face does not look good. Full stop. She's over 40...and her aging process has accelerated.

      I also thought the Jennifer Lawrence flak was more about how a child fighting for survival would look. Full disclosure, I haven't read the books or seen the movie, but I thought she looked too healthy for a kid who isn't being cared for and who is living in the rough(of course, I don't know the story so that could be wrong).

      The whole white scale of thin vs. fat that they promote skews towards their own body types. As a woman, I notice that clothes are cut to fit their body type, not mine. They call you "thin" if you have skinny legs even if you have a thick/no waist. And then they call that thin "youthful."

      It's odd to me that Drew Barrymore had a breast reduction b/c at her "curviest" she still had small breasts to my eyes. And I'd say that calling her curvy was symbolic of their warped sense of size rather than an insult. They save most of those for us, so I can't cry too many tears when the system that they happily profit from turns against the.

      I mean, I had the experience of a white lady who looked about 9 months pregnant(but was about 60) but who had stick legs question me about my size as if she was a normal weight. It was strange. Her whole family looked like walking apples so in my opinion, they were just a different shaped fat (and I always thank my lucky stars not to have that shape) but in her mind, I was fat and she was thin or average.

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    3. No according to some "insiders" they felt she was too "big" for the role. Yeah I was making the same face you're making now.

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    4. I read Hunger Games and the people in her district were starving. So I think it makes sense that people were saying she was "too big" to play a starving child. I ignored it. I cared more about the fact that the casting of her character was for strictly white girls and not the description given in the book. Olive skin, dark hair ... etc.

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    5. That is really interesting considering how they were apparently howling about the black characters that were cast.
      But they never like to see "colorblind" casting go in our favor.

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  12. Diabetes is about sugar and denatured overvalued white grains, white bread, white rice, white sugar...Most health problems are about unhealthy foods. When healthy foods are eaten and moderate exercise is taken weight will balance itself people will be healthy.The Amerikkkan lifestyle does not support true health.Focusing on fatness or thinness is not the answer. Twiggy figures aren't any better or healthier than the truly morbidly obese, good grief.

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  13. I love this. America is waaaay too obsessed with thinness. At first it was because we had an "obesity epidemic" and whatnot, but now it has NOTHING to do with health. Did it really have anything to do with health in the first place, anyway?? I'm fat, but I eat healthy, work out regularly, and drink tons of water. I'm trying to get to a healthy weight for the sake of my health... but I'm honestly not that unhealthy compared to a lot of other people! I don't have diabetes, high blood pressure, or cholesterol... and people often jump to the conclusion that I do, JUST BECAUSE I'm fat. -___-

    I can't wait to move out of America... maybe to England. Lol.

    - Esther
    http://roseywinterrose.blogspot.com

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  14. Agreed!! I want to drink lots and lots of lemon water but dammit, it makes me wake up at night needing to wee. Don't have the same problem with just plain water.

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