One of my frats (Skee-Phi!) got me hip to this site a while back and upon randomly browsing, I came across a piece entitled, "Why ARE Black Women So Big?". In my heart of hearts, I was naively hopeful the subject line was merely an attention-grabber needed, to actually incite meaningful conversation on the topic - so I wasn't too alarmed. However, as I read it's entirety ... I was sadly disappointed. While there were some valid points ...
"... as slaves, we ate the scraps given to us. We ate the crap the Master didn’t want. So we had to make do and those unhealthy recipies for down home Southern cooking was passed down throughout the generations. But now we have new info..THAT S*** AINT GOOD FOR US."
... it was combated by surface causation to black women being bigger than our counterparts, exacerbated generalizations and isolated experiences to the author - sprinkled with insults.
Maybe I was just being sen-si-tiiiive as Kanye would say, standing at 257lbs at one point in my life, mind you. But as people who obviously felt some kind of way about the post's tone (as I did) started to comment, the author's replies were even more offensive:
"... You failed to understand this post was about health. I’m KNOW you are overweight cause you got mad enough to take this as a personal attack towards you and your obese friends. Now that you got that off your chest..do you promise to eat right and take your mad, working at lane bryant ass to the gym or the track and work out. Perhaps if you did, it would relieve of you of some of that pent up bein overweight anger you possess. You will feel a lot better."
"Obese people resemble Hippos…*shrugs*…if they like looking that way..then they dont have to read any further..I will not apologize for stating my opinion..no matter how mean it may seem."
At that point, I realized this wasn't meant to help. This appeared to be contrived to exploit and demean the subjects of a widespread epidemic, errr ... or to get traffic? Either motive, the author succeeded, bravo! All of that aside, what stopped me dead in my tracks was this:
"To you unhealthy size 16 women who write all these “We aren’t all a size two posts”. Please sit down and just accept that you are overweight and stop glorifying it. If you are heavier than your man (unless you just like your men bony) then you should be ashamed of yourself."
To imply a black woman of size should be ashamed of herself!? Oh, no ma'am. The last thing a woman obviously suffering internally with potential insecurities or misdirection needs to do is be SHAMED into anything! How is that 'healthy'? And, of course there were the anticipated 'yeah black women are gross, fat and lazy' comments from unpictured males, who probably haven't had a woman since Will Smith got 'Jiggy With It'. I think they come from the same breed as those, 'why I don't date black women' commenters - easily found on your nearest Bossip, MTO, and hell - FreshExpress post, lol.
Do I believe obesity should be accepted? Absolutely NOT, specifically in MY community and I make that clear everyday. It's not healthy, we in fact need to do better if we wish to thrive. But, it's how you say it.We as a race have had enough belittlement cast upon us, warranted or not. I totally walked away with a feeling of; this obviously non-hippo-looking woman, just sh***ed on everyone who was above a size 8. Adding salt to the e-wound, the post's feature picture was of fictional 'Rasputia' as played by Eddie Murphy in Norbit, of course.
I'd be remiss if I didn't advise, in her conclusion, she posed the question of what can we do as a community to get healthier. Aww, how sweet. Here's a start and gratefully most are already in effect or expansion:
We terminate the internal bashing, juvenile ridicule and subtle "shots".
We open up meaningful forums for dialogue, initiated by those with genuine interest and concern.
We create blogs/vlogs and produce literature to share our health journeys and garner support.
We research and educate ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors.
We acknowledge mental and behavioral health as a valid factor, in addition to diet and exercise regimens.
We start community fitness/nutrition support groups and programs.
We solicit funding and volunteer at free health check-up drives (you wouldn't believe how many lives change, once blood pressure and/or glucose levels are disclosed).
We let our money speak for itself and rally vendors for healthier options, in our neighborhood markets.
We charge our elected officials to push for adequate recreational facilities and the resources to maintain them.
We empower and enlighten, under the beautiful light of positivity.... you know, stuff like that.