When I read the Alex’s take on the “why black women are fat” article I wholeheartedly agreed. There are other factors at work here such as lack of access to healthy food, lack of knowledge about fitness and how food affects your health. But I think the biggest problem is the cultural perception. In the black community it is widely accepted to be overweight or “thick”. Growing up as a skinny black girl, I was affected by this first hand. I always felt like I was an alien from mars because I was taller and skinner than all of my friends. And boy, did I get an earful. Constantly. I usually heard one of the following lines from boys:
- “Oh you’re cute, but you’re too skinny” Usually followed by “call me when you gain __fill in the blank__ lbs”
- “Dang girl do you eat?”
- “Where’s your butt?”
The list goes on and on. I used to long to be a thick, curvy girl so the boys would like me. I had dreams of having a figure like Beyonce when I grew up. Clearly that didn’t happen. I was ridiculed by kids and teachers alike. One of my sixth grade teachers asked me if I as anorexic. Really?! All of the guys I’ve dated (which isn’t very many) have asked if I could gain more weight. Except for my current boo, John. He thinks I’m a perfect! Woot! I finally found a guy who likes skinny girls!
I mentioned all of this to say that I think we as a community have a long way to go to get our health in order. We lead the nation in obesity rates and preventable diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Along with educating black people about diet and fitness, we need to work on changing our cultural perception about whats beautiful. We need to work on accepting ALL body types. Just because you are a normal weight for your height and weight doesn’t make you anorexic.
Now that I’ve gotten older, Ive accepted my body type and tuned out all of the negative comments that I still hear from time to time. I strive to live a healthy lifestyle from my food choices to working out 3-5 times a week. As long as I do those things I don’t care what the scale says.*Three snaps in a circle*
Here are some pics of me growing up as a skinny girl…
That’s me in the middle. I was in 7th grade.
This was senior year of high school before Homecoming….Can you tell I didnt want to take the pic?!
This was senior year of high school. The guy in the pic was my BF at the time. We ended up dating for 5 years…oh how things change.
I was a size 1 in this pic. It’s the skinniest I’ve ever been since I was 16. I had to get all of my clothes taken in! I had recently dropped about 15 -20 lbs due to stress. I gained it all back though
Don’t judge my outfit in this pic, this was sophomore year of college and we were on our way out to the club….geez.