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Curves not Cul-de-sacs

Normally posts like this are not meant to be on this site because Merc80.com focuses more on issues of art, entertainment and pop culture.  However since I mention rap video vixens and entertainers such as Mo’Nique, I do think that this is connected to the larger issue of body image as propagated by a lot of the media and entertainment.  So with that, I invite you to read.  Please note this is not an attack, but a statement of concern.  Thank you.

Black Women- We Want Curves, Not Cul-de-Sacs

I write this out of concern.  This is not a joke, nor a judgment on all of you.  Not every black woman fits what I’m describing.  If you take this personally I would implore you to ask if, just maybe,  this is a reflection of something deeper going on within.  Some of this may come off as superficial, but I figure you would rather me be honest.  So let’s get to the point…

Black women: You need to workout more and lose weight.

 

Culturally speaking, yes, we like ‘em with a little more “meat on the bones”.  But the meat should be tender, not fatty.  If I can see the muscle striations on the meat, that means the fat is gone.  For many of you, I do not see meat, I see fat.  And we’re not talking “thick”, chubby, or “out of shape”.  We’re talking OBESE.

 

 

Yesterday,  I was talking with a Black female friend.  She has a great shape, and you can tell that a lot of that has to do with her diet and exercise.  I told her I was going to write this piece on women’s weight and asked for insight on how to speak on this without hurting feelings or being insensitive.  She said I should just keep it real.  In no way am I exaggerating when I say that in less than 30 seconds from getting out of her car,  I saw 5 different Black women.  4 of them were obese.  The kind of obese that forces them to lean back while walking to carry the weight of their stomach.

 

This. Must. Stop.

 

I’m not going to cite statistics because the more cynical among you will pick apart at it.  I say, the next time you go out, try to keep count of how many Black women you see that are overweight.  Think of how many Black women you know personally who are overweight.  Compare those numbers you have with the stats online.  Being overweight is not supposed to be a normal thing, or else they wouldn’t call it OVER-weight.

 

I go to a lot of different places and bounce between many different circles, but just about everywhere I go is with a particularly tight crew of Black male friends.  For years now, no matter what club we’re at or neighborhood we’re in,  we have remarked at how many of the Black women that are around are overweight.  This past weekend it was as though everywhere we went Black women were obese.  What’s going on?

 

I’m aware of the issues around having time to work out, the money it costs to eat healthily, and after having children sometimes there is weight that seems to never go away.  But what I also notice is how many women use these as excuses to rationalize why they should not work out or even try to eat more healthily.  30 minutes a day is not much.  Furthermore, working out but offsetting that by eating unhealthy food is never going to help.  I also know a great deal of Black women who were able to lose weight after they had children.  Some of them look even better than before.

 

At the least, try to have a healthier diet.  I have seen so many Black mothers feeding their children McDonalds, KFC, Cheetos, and other junk.  Please find a Subway, Quiznos, Trader Joes, or some kind of good quality grocery store in your area.  If you don’t have one, organize a group and fight like hell to get one.  This is your family and community we’re talking about.

 

Please stop with these “fasts”.  After fasting, your body absorbs everything you eat even more because you’ve starved it of certain nutrients.  Black women “fast” their way to losing weight, only to gain the weight back, and then have to fast again.  It’s pretty much a fact of life that you must WORK to get the results you want.  Whether it’s money or a healthy body, hardly ever does the “fast” way work.  Fasting is also meant to be a spiritual exercise in many cases.  What kind of spiritual growth do you get if you keep returning to bad habits?

 

Do men need to lose weight too?  Yes.  But at the end of the day, a man’s size and weight are hardly ever a major issue to his attractiveness.  In fact, the larger he is the more manly he appears to be.  But if you find that having a man who works-out to be an important quality to you, then by all means require that.  If you have a boyfriend or husband,  ask him to go running with you and workout together.  Exercise and healthy habits also communicate how much you have self-discipline and self-worth.  Who wouldn’t find those as attractive traits?

 

I have seen a lot of Black women complain about not finding a man.  But when I look at some of them I say to myself, “You probably wouldn’t have that problem if you went to the gym.”  Is that a superficial “man” statement?  Maybe.  But guess what?  Men like women that look good.

 

Some guys do like big girls.  More power to ‘em.  But I am also willing to bet a lot of those men like to control the girl they’re with too.

 

I know a lot of women who gain weight and become depressed by it, and the unhappiness with their weight causes them to eat more.  They reward the pleasure center of their brain to feel better by eating.  Then they feel bad again.  Then they give themselves pleasure again by eating more food and sugar.  This cycle is no different than any other person with an addiction.  They escape reality by feeling good for a moment, but the long term effect is not healthy.  When you workout, the endorphins and oxygen circulating makes you feel good.  Your skin glows.  As you keep working-out and lose weight, you feel even better.  You look in the mirror, smiling at the hard work you put in and how good you look.  Those “video vixen” girls have had surgery, airbrushing, and make-up to look that way.  You can look just like them, all naturally!  Doesn’t that sound so much more appealing?  That’s just the beginning!

 

Everywhere, from Mo’Nique and more, I see this embracing of Black women being “thick”, which really now means overweight.  The Body Mass Index wasn’t really designed for all cultures who have different body types and eating habits, that’s for sure.  Even still, there is something to be said for having a stomach that hangs out of your shirt.  Too often I see people who try to turn unhealthy behavior into something to embrace as loving themselves.  If you really love yourself, you will strive to be the healthiest you can be, inside and out.

 

I love the curves of Black women.  The hips and backside that come from the African past.  But the curves look best in certain places, not everywhere.  Looking like the Michelin Man is not sexy or cute.

 

A lot of us men want something to hold on to.
But it’s hard to hold on to you if your stomach is in the way.


UPDATE: Since this is such a popular post and has gotten so much attention, I figured I’d also put another balanced voice in the mix.

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Merc80

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05

11 2010

31 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. J-Dawg #
    1

    This is truly written by someone who cares.

  2. Dez #
    2

    I have some thoughts. I see most fat black women that i come across at the club.

    yet, most black women i meet outside the club, are not obese. house parties, mixers, social events (not literally at clubs): those women tend to be less obese than the club going community.

    So, i wonder if this “issue” is more of a psychographic thing.

    The women that, maybe care less about their body than they do the approval of a man, are probably out at the clubs shaking their fat.

    The not-obese ones are probably doing something more useful, maybe even active. Its a stretch, haha, but i feel like there may be something to the dark, alcohol induced experience at clubs that make bigger women feel comfortable. so they go to them more than anywhere else for fun and social interaction.

    hard for me to speak on this racially, too. I feel like its more of American Women’s mentality, rather than a black one.

    But the mis-diagnosis of Thick, when really FAT, is something that should be address on a big scale…mostly because of health reasons. There are a lot of fellas who are huge and “unattractive” that need women in their lives, and can be HAPPY with a big, “unattractive” women…so again, for me, the big issue here is HEALTH not sex.

  3. Sam #
    3

    You’re an ass

  4. Celebrity #
    4

    You arent stating any facts you are just going by what you see and you are not everywhere. Women as a whole of all races have various reasons why and how they gain weight and trust is not just because they are lazy. So stop being a man for 5 min and grow up!

  5. T.Dot #
    5

    You know you don’ fucked up with this shit right? The e-herd is coming your way bruh. These big chicks is already passing this shit around Twitter! Haaaaaa!

  6. Rhonda #
    6

    I love you, but holy effing misogynist concern-trolling, Batman!

  7. laylah #
    7

    Overall, I agree with your article. But, dude, if you’re in a place like that and you’re trying to find a black woman, then MOVE. I’m from Orange County, most of the black women I know are great looking and fit.

    Unfortunately, the men there aren’t into black women, so what did i do? I moved.

    Obesity is a geographical issue. Move away and leave them broads in the dust.

  8. 8

    @Celebrity – If you are able to read this post, then you can find the statistics on Google.
    There is too much access to information that I shouldn’t have to synthesize it for you.
    Trust me, I read the numbers before I wrote this.

  9. lisa #
    9

    I”ll have to be honest and say this makes me sad, and overall pretty disappointed. Many points were missed here, especially if wanting to come from a place of concern. While some comments may be valid, other dialogue that is present unfortunately feeds destructively into cultural and/or male/female conflictual issues we already face…more specifically so as an ethnic people… at least that’s the tone throughout a lot of poignant statements that are written here.

  10. Ye #
    10

    Your ugly and can’t rap. I say that out of concern…your also blacker than I prefer and really short. They have surgery that can fix that. In our society, men should be taller so they can protect their boos. I also think, for health reason, you stay away from the mic. You can kill someone with that thing.

  11. Gizmo #
    11

    Merc, I agree with you and I would be willing to bet that those who are offended by this article are FAT girls. Or should I call you “thick” or “big boned” to spare your feelings and encourage your lazy lifestyle? Trust, not caring about your health and how you present yourself speaks volumes about your character… you just dont give a phuck! Monique and Starr Jones…. eventually saw the light. @ Sam, is that all you have?

  12. Gizmo #
    12

    @ Ye, based on your response, this article has clearly hit a nerve and kicked you in your fat gut with the truth. I’ll leave you now so you can continue crying in your pillow.

  13. Rhonda #
    13

    I’m a part of that big-girl “herd,” I guess. Get it? “Herd” because big girls are heavy like animals that run in herds. That’s good stuff there.

    I know that you tried to head this off with your derailing declarations of being concerned and not at all attacking or judging fat women (regardless of your blog’s actual content).

    The central problem with your blog is that you claim that it is out of concern, but it seems that your only real concern is whether a woman is attractive to you–not whether she is actually “healthy.” I’m not saying “fatness” is never an indicator of an unhealthy lifestyle, but I would argue–unequivocally–that not every woman who is “fat” is deserving of your harshest assumptions about her character/work ethic/lifestyle/self-esteem when you don’t know anything about her other than the fact that you don’t deem her fuckable because she is fat.

    Believe it or not, not every fat woman has issues with self-worth or doesn’t care about her health; not every fat women eats chicken McNuggets; not every fat woman wants you to want her and thinks “if only I were skinny” for that specific reason. Likewise, not every skinny woman has high self-esteem; not every skinny woman eats raw veggies and tofu every meal…you get the drift.

    Fat women are regularly excluded, shamed, berated, and ridiculed; and it seems to be double for those who have the nerve to love themselves as they are. I don’t see how adding to that chorus–even “out of concern”–is at all helpful.

  14. Ayana #
    14

    This was exceedingly problematic for me. It read merely as further pathologizing Black women, and devaluing of Black bodies (this socially sanctioned type of woman is worthy of love and respect; this other kind, not so much) and added nothing uplifting whatsoever for a group (Black women) constantly subject to the male gaze and popular disapproval. Black women’s bodies and very personhoods are under constant scrutiny, and no matter what we do, how we act, it’s never good enough. We’re too ghetto, too fat, too career drive/not career driven enough, too poor, too materialistic, too single, too picky, too pathological, too *something* to be worthy of respect and the very right to exist. Who loves fat Black women? Apparently, no one, and no one should, as they just… don’t live up to patriarchal standards of sexual appeal. Their bodies challenge dominant conceptions of female beauty, rendering them completely deserving of ridicule and disapproval. Meanwhile, the root causes of excessive weight gain in nation- and worldwide proportions manage to escape the scrutiny they deserve (limited access to resources; the “food” industry and its unabashed use of hormones and additives w/unknown effects on the body; stress; overwork and little free time to prepare food, etc.).

    To me, this whole thing just perpetuates discourse that already holds Black women in contempt and pathologizes Black womanhood. It provides nothing new, certainly nothing progressive or radical, such as– gasp!– unconditional Black love.

  15. 15

    What I find most interesting is that there seems to be this view that what I am saying is not true or is somehow not taking enough things into consideration. We can talk about lack of resources, time, and other things all we want, but at the end of the day, acknowledging it also doesn’t fix the problem.
    This is not meant to make people feel OK for the sources of the problem.
    Furthermore, as I said, this is not about thick, chubby, or out of shape, nor does every black woman fit what i am talking about. This is about extreme obesity that I see. It is somewhat unfair to say that I am being judgmental of their lifestyle if one of the most telling signs of their unhealthiness is obesity. I can make arguments of why many children are failing classes, but some of them are just not doing their work. Refusing to do it and the culture that excuses it, is unacceptable to me. This doesn’t mean if I see an overweight woman I will not be respectful to her, but let’s please not act as though everything is all good.

  16. Jadolphus #
    16

    Did you know that there are many people concerned about the state of health of the American people, including black women? On 2/19/2010, the Center of Disease Control (CDC) published that the leading cause of death for Black women is heart disease. Check out this interview with the first lady, Mrs. Obama: http://www.womenshealthsa.co.za/articles/interview-americas-first-lady

    In this case, a relatively healthy man, Y. Serrant, embraces courage and activates his ability to respond/react, in this case in writing, to what he has been observing first hand to be a growing problem among some women of his race and in his city–a bold decline in health–and he offers suggestions with the hope that his suggestions would/could help reduce the apparent health problem. He does this not as a woman, medical doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, preacher, spiritual leader, hater or an expert scientist, but as a caring man who would like to someday marry a healthy black woman who would be a healthy wife, healthy mother, healthy etc. He has written this out of concern. HE IS CONCERNED! News Flash: The black man is concerned about black women!!!!! Why is it so bad that black men want black women to be healthy? Out of curiosity, what positivity is there to gain from defending and living unhealthy?

    Check out this blog written by a white man:
    http://www.livescience.com/health/090811-bad-lifestyle.html

    And please read the report below (copied from http://www.sfms.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&TEMPLATE=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&SECTION=Article_Archives&CONTENTID=2298), which was authored by a woman:

    Exploring Unhealthy Eating Habits
    Patricia Crawford, DrPH, RD

    The number of overweight children in the United States today is associated with an unprecedented rise in type II diabetes. Consequently, there is an expectation that many children born today will have shorter life spans than their parents. Today’s children are three to four times more likely to be overweight than children thirty years ago, and rates are particularly high for African American youth. The NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Growth and Health Study, the largest study of African-American girls’ health ever conducted, can provide new insights into this phenomenon and can help us understand how changing patterns of nutrition and physical activity since the 1970s may contribute to the alarming increases in childhood obesity.

    In 1987, during the period of soaring pediatric obesity rates, and in response to rapid increases in rates of obesity and heart disease in African American women, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health funded the ten-year NHLBI Growth and Health Study (NGHS) to look at the development of obesity and Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) risk factors in black and white girls. Participants were selected from Contra Costa County, California; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. NGHS recruited more than 2,300 girls, ages nine and ten, at schools (in California and Ohio) and from a large HMO (in D.C.). The study enrolled approximately equal numbers of black and white girls, with a wide range in household income and parental education within each racial group. The study was remarkable in its very high retention rate; 89 percent of the original cohort was measured in the tenth year of follow-up.

    During the course of the NGHS study, we measured the girls and collected information on their dietary and physical activity patterns each year for ten years. To our surprise, nearly a quarter of the white girls (22 percent) and nearly a third of the black girls (31 percent) were overweight (BMI > 85th percentile) at ages nine and ten when they were initially enrolled in the study. This was a doubling of the rate from the previous decade, as measured by the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. At ages nineteen and twenty, 41 percent of the white girls and 57 percent of the African American girls were overweight. While rates went up for both black and white girls, the absolute increase was considerably higher for black girls.

    Using our wealth of annual NGHS study data on dietary and physical activity patterns, we were able to examine whether children’s food and activity environments varied by race and whether the variations might contribute to differing patterns of weight gain the two groups of girls. What kinds of changes in children’s food and activity environments did we see, and what racial differences did we observe?

    First, we observed frequent consumption of food from fast-food restaurants by all children. This agrees with other analyses showing that both children and adolescents are obtaining less of their energy intake at home than in earlier eras, and more at restaurants and fast-food outlets. Portion sizes have increased, and patrons are often encouraged to purchase meals that contain more calories through “value” marketing or “supersizing.” Further, fast food and restaurant foods are typically calorically dense, nutrient-poor, and highly palatable, and frequent patronage has been associated with diets high in fat and calories. Children who ate at fast-food establishments two or more times a week were more likely to increase their relative BMI (body mass index) than those who patronized fast-food establishments once a week or less.

    We found that fast-food intake rose with increasing age in girls of both races, but across all ages, from nine to nineteen, black girls consumed fast food more frequently than did white girls.

    Second, we observed high consumption of sweetened beverages. In both black and white girls, consumption increased with age. Further, of all beverages consumed, increased soda consumption predicted the greatest increase in BMI. This may be due in part a result of difficulties in physiological compensation for energy consumed as a liquid compared to a solid, and in part a result of the relation between consumption of soda and other eating habits. At each annual visit, black girls consumed less milk than white girls, and the increased rate of soda consumption throughout childhood was greater among black girls than white girls.

    Apart from these frequently discussed diet markers, what about overall dietary quality? Dietary patterns of eating were examined using cluster analysis to classify individual girls into discrete patterns over the ten years of the NGHS study. Eight patterns were identified: four for white girls and four for black girls. Only one could be classified as a “healthy pattern,” and it was followed by only white girls. Only 6 percent of the girls in NGHS had diets classified as “healthy.” Further, the healthy pattern was the only pattern associated with a smaller increase in adiposity over the childhood years. On average, more than two-thirds of the girls at any given age were not meeting dietary fat recommendations, with white girls only somewhat more likely to meet the guidelines. Further, nearly half of all girls had diets below recommended levels in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and zinc.

    We found that black girls were more than twice as likely as white girls to frequently engage in a spectrum of weight-related eating practices, including eating while watching TV, eating while doing homework, skipping meals, eating in the bedroom, eating when not hungry, and eating snacks. For most of the behaviors, girls who frequently practiced a behavior had higher caloric intakes compared with those who practiced it infrequently.

    Although the likelihood of a girl frequently engaging in some, but not all, of these eating practices decreased with an increase in parents’ income and education level, even when controlling for socioeconomic status (SES), black girls remained more likely to engage in these eating behaviors than white girls. In fact, NGHS was the first to report that the relationship between SES and weight differed for black and white girls. Both low household income and parental education are risk factors for pediatric overweight in white girls, but no such association was found for black girls.

    The NGHS also documented a dramatic decline in leisure time physical activity in both black and white girls from ages nine to twenty, but the decline for African American girls was greater. A direct association between hours of TV viewing and increases in BMI was observed. We documented average daily television time of 3.6 hours per day for white girls aged nine to ten compared with 5.2 hours per day for black girls. The impact of television viewing may be more significant than videogame playing, because it can reduce energy expenditure and increase energy intake: TV influences the type and amount of foods consumed by viewing children. A typical child watches about 40,000 commercials on TV each year, a number that has doubled during the years that have seen a large increase in the rate of pediatric overweight. In focus groups that we have conducted, mothers report knowing what to feed children, but not knowing how to get children to eat the healthy foods. Mothers report that their messages to their children are undermined by ever-present ads for fast foods and junk foods. Furthermore, television programming marketed primarily to African Americans has significantly more food and beverage ads and advertisements for unhealthful foods than general market programming.

    Overweight in both black and white girls in the NGHS study increased dramatically from nine to ten years of age to nineteen to twenty years of age. Changes in nutritional patterns are clearly implicated among the reasons for this change. However, we recognize that observed increases in pediatric obesity are not caused by people taking less personal responsibility for their well-being, but rather by profound changes in the world around us. It behooves all of us—health professionals, parents, and citizens—to advocate not only for an environment safe from imminent danger, but also an environment safe from risk of chronic disease. Our nation’s economic and social environment must support people in their actions toward achieving and maintaining healthy lifestyles. Without this, we will all pay the future costs for conditions that are the consequences of an overweight society. In the words of one expert, “If you have malaria, you drain the swamp. If you have death on the roads, you impose seatbelts.…” If you have obesity, you create healthier food and activity environments.

    Patricia Crawford, DrPH, RD, is Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is Codirector of the Center for Weight and Health and is a Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Crawford has led seminal studies in the longitudinal development of obesity and is currently Principle Investigator on studies exploring environmental, family, and policy approaches to childhood obesity. She is widely published, serves on several advisory boards, and is a consultant on numerous collaborative

  17. 17

    Ayana, I thank you! I concur with all that you have said.

    I hear a message, but between the title, picture (seriously, you couln’t find a reasonably-dressed plus size woman to illustrate your point?)… I really ain’t trying to hear it. As a woman who has lost a significant amount of weight, I can tell you – views such as this are in no way motivators for women to change.

    This simply appears to be yet another commentary posed to shame black women of size, hidden under the guise of care.

    But, what the fuck is new?

    Now let those of us, compassionate about spreading the word on health to our communities, handle it. This is doing it wrong.

    Paula, ACE-CPT

  18. 18

    @Madame – This post isn’t about “reasonably dressed plus sized women”. It is about women who look like that, who I am seeing often, who feel that they do not need to lose weight, and feel they are a standard.

  19. Secret One BW RTN #
    19

    I just read your blog , & I rather be with a out of shape woman , than a in shape man any day of the week .

  20. DA' HIA #
    20

    MOST SUBJECTS REGARDING “AFRICAN PEOPLE” IS TOUCHY. BECAUSE WE ARE SO INSECURE AND HATE TO CRITIC OURSELF (OR BECOME ANGRY IF SOMEONE ELSE DOES THE ABOVE.

    WE STILL CALL THE FOOD THAT WAS THROWN TO US (DURING ENSLAVEMENT) AS “SOUL FOOD.” OF COURSE I UNDERSTAND THAT WE ATE “WHAT EVER, TO STAY ALIVE” BUT NOW WE HAVE “THE CHAINS ON OUR MINDS” I USE TO WONDER AS A CHILD WHY CHITTERLING STUNK SO BAD UNTILSOMEONE TOLD ME I WAS EATING “GUTS”. I NEVER PUT ANY PORK IN MY MOUTH AGAIN. I STRUGGLED FOR YEARS ( IT WAS ANOTHER MAN THAT TAUGHT ME ABOUT MEAT) AND HAVE NOW CONCORD NOT EATING MEAT OR FISH FOR ABOUT 16 YEARS.

    I THINK THAT CHANGING MOST ANYTHING ABOUT ONE’S SELF IS DIFFICULT BECAUSE A PEROSN USUALLY HAVE BECOME INVESTED IN THAT IDEA, IMAGE OR HABIT (MANY TIMES UNCONSCIOUSLY). PUT YOUR FEELINGS ASIDE (MEN AND WOMEN) AND BE OBJJECTIVE AND DETERMINE IF THE PERSON IS TELLING YOU THE “TRUTH” ABOUT “WHAT EVER” THE ISSUE IS.

    IF YOU FEEL HEALTH IS “HIGH” ON YOUR PRIORITY LIS THEN DEAL WITH IT; HEALTH SHOULD ALWAYS BE IMPORTANT WHETHER IT IS YOUR PHYSICAL, MENTAL, ENVIROMENTAL HEALTH ETC..

    A MAN SHOULD ALSO SHOULD KNOW WHAT IS NUTRITIONALLY “GOOD” FOR HIS SELF AND THE FAMILY BECAUSE HE MAY MARRY SOMEONE WHO IS JUST NOT AS INFORMED OR IS WEAK IN THIS AREA, WHICH WE ALL HAVE.

    THERE ARE SOME BLACK MEN WHO DO CARE ABOUT THEIR FAMILY AND CHILDREN; FROM WHAT THEY EAT TO WHAT HIS CHILDREN SEE, HEAR AND IS IN CONTACT WITH. THIS IS WHAT I CALL “PROTECTING” YOUR FAMILY.

    YOU SHOULD THANK THESE MEN FOR “REMINDING” YOU THAT TOO MUCH OF ANY THING IS NOT “GOOD” (EVEN BEING TOO SKINNY). BUT THESE MEN SHOULD ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR OWN WEIGHT AND WHAT THEY ARE EATING, DRINKING OR SMOKING ETC., IF THE ISSUE IS “REALLY ABOUT HEALTH”.

    IF ARE YOU OUT EATING(THE WRONG FOODS),SMOKING AND DRINK BECAUSE YOUR “CREW” IS DOING THE SAME; OR YOU ARE NOT OUT BEING AN EXAMPLE OF “WHAT HEALTH IS REALLY ABOUT, THEN WHO ARE YOU TO TALK ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS OBESE. BEING HEALTHY IS NOT JUST ABOUT “OBESITY” BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE WHO IS ON “CRACK OR IS A ALCOHOLIC IS “SKINNY”.

    “BIRDS OF FEATHER DO FLOCK TOGETHER” SO MEN IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A HEALTHY WIFE, YOU SHOULD ALSO HOLD YOUR SELF OUT “TO BE THAT HEALTHY MAN.”

    MOST WOMEN, IF SHE RESPECT THE MAN WILL “FOLLOW A MAN’S IDEAS.” BUT DON’T EXPECT FOR HER TO “FOLLOW WHAT YOU SAY” IF YOU ARE NOT RESPECTING YOUR OWN TEMPLE. BECAUSE SHE MAY LOOK AT YOUR SMOKING AND DRINKING AS NO BETTER THAN HER BEING “OBESE.”

    I HAVE FOUND IN LIFE THAT IT IS SO EASY TO “CRITIC SOMEONE ELSE” BUT YOU MUST ALSO ALLOW A PERSON TO CRITIC YOU (WE NEED THAT FROM EACH OTHER TO GROW AS A “SPIRITUAL AND HUMAN BEING”) AND AS A BLACK NATION OF STRONG PEOPLE.

    SISTERS AND BROTHERS GET YOUR SELF A SMALL SAUCER (IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT) NOT A LARGE PLATE. AND WHAT EVER YOU CAN FIT IN THIS SAUCER AT ONE TIME THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT. EAT SOMETHING SMALL EVERY 2 OR MORE HOURS.

    DON’T BRING THE ENTIRE BOX OF COOKIES HOME. JUST GO AND BUY ONE COOKIE EVERY DAY( OR A SAMLL BAG OF CHIPS, IF THIS IS YOUR THING) NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY IT WILL SAVE YOU TO BUY A LARGE PACKAGE, DON’T DO IT. THIS WILL CAUSE YOU TO LOSE WEIGHT EVEN IF YOU DON’T EXERCISE AS MUCH AS YOU SHOULD AND DECREASE YOUR SAUCER TO SOMETHING EVEN SMALLER, AS YOU GET THE IDEA.

    MADAME, WHY ARE YOU SO “ANGERY” ABOUT THE TRUTH. REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST REMAIN “CONSCIOUS” ABOUT WHAT YOUR GOAL IS AND HOW YOU GOT TO THE STATE THAT YOU ARE IN. I AM ALSO “DETERMINE TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT.” BUT THIS “DISCUSSION’ WILL NOT DETER ME FROM WHAT I KNOW I MUST DO. I GUESS THIS IS WHY I DON’T ALLOW PEOPLE TO BREAK MY “SPIRIT OR STRENGTH.” I JUST SAY YES YOU ARE RIGHT, WITHIN MYSELF AND DEAL WITH IT. IF SOMETHING LIKE THIS DICUSSION DETERS YOUR “MOTIVATION” THEN YOU DID NOT HAVE ANY FROM THE BEGINING.”

  21. DA' HIA #
    21

    MERC, I REREAD YOUR ARTICLE AND THE COMMENT OF THE MEN AS OPPOSE TO THE WOMEN. I MUST SAY THAT YOU WERE A BIT MUCH TOO “HARSH WITH YOUR DESCRIPTION” OF BIG WOMEN.

    THE WOMAN THAT TOLD YOU KEEP IT REAL DIDN’T HAVE THE PROBLEM SO SHE WAS THE WRONG PERSON TO ASK OF HOW YOU SHOULD APPROCH THIS ARTICLE. YOU MADE TOO MANY JOKES AND COMMENT THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HEALTH BUT “FATNESS” AND I COULD SEE HOW IT WOULD BE VERY HURTING. ESPECIALLY THE FIRST PICTURE WITH THE WOMAN’S BODY HANGING OUT HER GARMENTS. MONIQUE’S PICTURE DID NOT LOOK AS BAD AS THE ABOVE.

    I ASK YOU TO DO AN ARTICLE ABOUT “SAGGY” PANTS AND YOU REFUSE. I FELT YOU DID NOT WANT TO OFFEND THE “MEN”. PERSONALLY I KNOW YOU ARE A PERSON WHO DOES TAKE PEOPLE FEELING INTO CONSIDERATION BUT THIS TIME YOU WNET TO FAR.

  22. Jacqueline #
    22

    Where as some may not have appreciated the way in which this arguement has been framed or would have prefered “facts” over one man’s opininon, the fact still remains that obesity is not healthy or appealing for ANYONE regardless of race or gender. The reason it’s not attractive to most is because we instinctually gravitate to that which is healthy. Our minds are animalistically attracted to that which is healthy for breeding purposes. We know that healthier bodies produce healthier kids. I think we should all take this opportunity to initiciate a much bigger discussion on what we can do as a community to rid ourselves of obesity and the countless deadly diseases that result from this unfortunate health condition. I congratulate merc80 for using this forum as a launching pad for such a discussion.

  23. 23

    Yohance`,you have opened up an important and long over-due dialogue here, and I thank you for having the courage to do so.

    I think your observations are on point, and I do not think that this piece was harshly written.

    I am 5 feet tall and 110lbs. I have always been at a healthy weight for my height—some call it thin. I learned healthy eating habits at a very early age and was coerced by my mother to incorporate exercise into my daily affairs.

    However, Many women that I know are morbidly obese (over 400lbs) and or over-weight(30-60 lbs over weight for their height). Many of them practice very unhealthy eating habits and site financial hardships or chaotic work weeks as excuses for this behavior.

    In the days where one can purchase a generous amount of good quality fruits and vegetables at their local Food 4 Less, Jons, Fresh & Easy, Trader Joes, or Ranch Market for less than $20, the former is UNACCEPTABLE.

    Many of the obese or over-weight women that I know are just simply unwilling to choose healthy foods at the grocery store. They instead choose prepared foods or buy fast foods like McDonald’s MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK.

    Many of these women are also unwilling to exercise on a regular basis or make small changes to their daily programs that would help them maintain a healthy weight (i.e.-biking or walking to work once a week instead of driving)

    I think many of the readers who are offended by your concerns are not doing their best to take care of their health and are angry that you have called attention to their unhealthy patterns.

    To Those Readers: If you are offended, don’t be. Just begin making small changes that will substantially improve your health! The issue here is health! Not aesthetics! Yohance` has not suggested that every morbidly obese or over weight black woman lose weight to improve their look, he has suggested that they lose the weight to improve their health.

    Kudos to you again Yohance` and please continue to address these important concerns in our multi-faceted “black” communities!!!

  24. gina #
    24

    what a double standard. its ok for a man to be fat but not a woman. maybe we women should stop being so accepting of fat men since you guys apparently have a problems with us. it boggles my mind. it seems most fat black men want a skinny girl. if a man doesnt want to date someone that is his size then he needs to lose weight.

  25. 25

    I read this last week, and had been meaning to post. Basically I didn’t take any offense to anything that you said, I feel you.
    And not because I’m slender or skinny, I AM overweight, I have always been slender but with a larger frame, I have always ate healthy, but I stopped being active and gained weight; so I’m back in the gym BEFORE I get to the point of being obese.
    And it DOES go both ways, I recall dating a guy that was ‘hefty’ and when he took off his shirt he was “michelin man” obese, total turn off, he was then, JUST a friend. I don’t want an obese man or find them attractive just much as you don’t want that in a woman.
    Only thing I think you could have focused on more was the health issues related to obesity, we’re out here literally killing ourselves with McRibs and shit.
    And no I do not condone pill poppin, lap-bands, shots, lipo, or starvation.
    But as far as i’m concerned good read.

  26. 26

    Also I want to add, and I don’t give a damn who disagrees, we (black people) have to unlearn our slave diets, the scraps, chitterlings, over salted everything. Most of what the majority of the population puts in their bodies isn’t even “Food”.
    We have to challenge our acquired taste and try new & different things.

  27. 27

    Great work! Stay honest and keep sharing! Thank you for the inspiration :-)

  28. Francis #
    28

    I have always thought that young black girls need more sports in thier life. Basketball and track are the only black girls sports. Its not just diet. If you look at other sports for women outside of basketball and track… most are considered white girl sports. So all while growing up it’s ingrained into the culture to not be active1

  29. 29

    in the beginning of your statement there was a freudian slip..not at the “white” weight range… lolololl

  30. 30

    You know, it’s a good thing we live in a country that allows us to have free speech which also allows us to have an “OPINION”and I value everyone’s opinion, but that’s all they are. Just as some of you seem to be disgusted by these bigger women, there are just as many that love and appreciate them as well. For some it may appear that they are lazy and don’t work out, but a majority of them struggle with their obesity EVERYDAY, often for years and in addition they have to deal with people that look down on them and insult them and try to lock them out of society. It’s not always their fault that they are the way they are and wouldn’t you agree they need ENCOURAGEMENT instead of DISCOURAGING remarks? I salute the girls who have accepted what they are for the moment because they either know that they won’t be this way all the time or have just learned to accept it. Why should they hide just because they don’t fit YOUR criteria of what a woman should look like? Like I said earlier, that is YOUR opinion, my opinion is that it shows how shallow people can actually be. I love women of many shapes and sizes, however, it’s the woman that feels and acts with positivity despite negativity that turns my head. I love a huge woman that is cute and confident as opposed to a cute huge woman that feels ashamed of herself. I have a friend that loves well toned women on bikinis with the flat stomachs and tight butts, but as soon as he sees a dumbbell or barbell in their hand he gets intimidated and they are no longer attractive to him. I think he is an idiot in that respect, still my friend but a rather paranoid friend. We have a lot of issues in the world today, but to sit back and talk about other folk weight issues? First “extract the rafter” from your own eye, then you will be able to see how to extract the straw from your brother’s eye.

  31. Dawn #
    31

    I agree with you to a point. As an overweight black woman, doing everything I can to GET HEALTHY and in the process lose weight, I have to disagree with you on your acceptance of the black man. Just like you say you and your friends demand certain qualities in your women. We (black women) demand certain qualities in our men. Don’t allow the black man to get off the hook for not taking care of his body and put all the pressure on the woman to look a certain way…..while I’m doing everything I can and learning everything I can to become a better me, tell your friends to step up their game, go back to school, learn how to talk with some sensitivity, and for God’s sake stop going around making babies all over town.


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