I happen to glance over at Paula’s blog, and see this. I’m not linking the actual thing that caused this rant – if you’re curious enough, you can follow the trail, though. I won’t be donating any traffic to this ridiculousness.
To make a long story short, a blog post appeared asking why Black women are, well, so fat. The post came attached with a photo of – get this – Eddie Murphy in a fat suit as an illustration of what the target of this post, “fat Black women” (as they were called repeatedly in the comments,) really look like. Like men in fat suits.
The post included the following:
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.
My goal here is to get you to accept that most of you don’t really have a handle on your health and that you were NOT born to look like a hippo. [..]
Stop trying to justify your fatness.
So… let’s talk. Aside from the fact that the post was written by the same person who wrote something titled, “Hood Chicks Are People Too;” aside from the fact that the post was written as if the author got picked on by a group of “fat Black chicks” and then ran home to pen her rant; aside from the fact that the entire thing is so juvenile, I probably shouldn’t even address it here… there are two important things to witness, here.
Firstly, this was written on a site that, from what I’ve seen, aims for a comedic approach to semi-sensitive issues. I get that. I suppose it was “gun for overweight Black women” day. I guess I get that, too. The interesting thing, though, is that while the post tried to say “concern,” the comments left you to find these treasures:
You don’t need to be a medical professional to see that some people too damn big
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.
This post isn’t about being skinny..it’s about being healthy..you must be overweight and unhealthy…keep on being that way if that’s what you want…I dont want that for you..but I can’t stop you from enjoying another 3000 calorie dinner tonite
If an obese woman believes she looks good that size then she won’t do anything about her health..she looks like a hippo and has 20 s rolls on her body. She is not THICK..she is LUMPY…and there is NOTHING RIGHT with that..nothing AT ALL. Sure it’s insulting to say hippo…but maybe ..just MAYBE if I didn’t say say “big is beautiful” less of you would be inclined to keep slowing killing yourselfs [sic] and jacking up your insides…
…last one, I swear…
morbid obese people look worse than hippos
So on a site that tries to bring humor to serious situations decides to let one of its contributors tackle the issue of overweight Black women with a “serious tone,” underestimates the amount of women it would piss off because they are the target of the article (and ceremoniously represented by a picture of a Black man in a fat suit) and THEN goes on to just straight up fling hate? Because saying a group of people who are, by appearance, morbidly obese (a clinical term related specifically to the correlation of height and weight, NOT appearance.. so that’s a fail on its face) look worse than hippos is not even insulting. Those kinds of generalizations are hateful.
To imply that a woman should feel shame because of her body is astounding to me. That a woman who has pride in who she is should not simply because she is overweight? Isn’t this the same notion that American society slams us with every single day? “You don’t look like me, so be ashamed of that.” It appears in various forms and is echoed from various mouths, but society is full of people who use appearance to give off that “I’m better than you, get on my level, and until you do get on my level you are a ‘less than’.” vibe. It’s meant to fill a void – there’s nothing internal to make them feel good about themselves… so they grab for external reasons to feel good. Meh.
I’m pretty much over the author. There is one last piece of business I’d like to tend to, though.
I happened to see this comment:
curious, don’t take this the wrong way, on average, what do you eat everyday? Give me a breakdown, How many meals and what is it and how many snacks. I may be able to help you. But you gotta commit. I have a lot of overweight friends that “claim” they want positive advice but when you give it to them, they never follow through and make excuses as to why they ate something bad, or ate excessively. I’m 32, I weigh 98 pounds and I look like I work out, but I don’t. [...]
I want to put you on to an easy way to drop at least 20 pounds without even really doing much. So if you are open to suggestions, holla back.
…it received this response:
1.Eggs, soy milk, turkey sausage (breakfast)
2. apple (snack)
3. chicken breast w/ salad (lunch)
4. banana or cherries (snack)
5. Turkey w/ broccoli & mushrooms (dinner)
*nothing but water w/ meals*
…the 98lb nutritionist (who later clarified that she is 4’11”) then told her the following:
First mistake, that Breakfast is no good. LOL!! You need to minimize that, that’s the easiest meal to minimize.
Eggs AND sausage is two fatty items. What about Sausage, 2 links, French toast, and a grapefruit. If you do eggs, do them boiled, eat the white part only. Or just a bowl of cereal by itself. No Oatmeal or anything with a lot of grain.
The apple is good, Green ones are the best.
Lunch. How about a Chicken Cesar from Panera or something. Not a whole breast AND a salad, combine the two. Rotate every other day, do a Plain Cesar at least twice out the week. I do Plain Cesars.
Soda, one a day if you must.
Since you are tying to lose weight, the banana is no good. Eat another green apple, or watermelon. Or Fruit Snacks or a smoothie. Don’t know if ya’ll got Smoothie King, but the mango one is the bomb!!!
Or, if you eat a big Breakfast, eat a light dinner. [...] Don’t eat after 8:30pm.
I cannot say this any louder, and I cannot stress this enough. Just because someone is proportionate… doesn’t mean they have the market cornered on how to get proportionate or how to stay there. Someone who is 4’11” and 98lbs is not running into the same problems as someone who is 6′ and 300lbs with weight maintenance. Not only is this piss poor advice (don’t eat eggs for breakfast, but eat French toast? allowing soda? Skip the fruit, but have some fruit? No oatmeal? Oh lawdy, the BGG2WL girls would have a field day with that.) but it is misguided – are we talking health or “getting skinny?” Are we even encouraging a healthy perception of self? Or are we shaming women into feeling horrible about not being skinny and “looking healthy,” then giving them bad advice without helping patch them up after the emotional breakdown we try to cause? Or do these people even give enough of a damn to bother?
I know my questions will go unanswered, and that’s okay. I also know that I’m not even included in the demographic this original article targeted, and that’s okay too. The fact remains that I am always going to be the same person I was at 328lbs, and that person is still sympathetic to the struggle of losing weight and becoming healthy, no matter how far I’ve “made it.”
The fact also remains that the focus on “looking healthy” as opposed to “being healthy” is the same misinformation that compels women to remain unhealthy. Think about it – telling me that I need to be skinny to be healthy, and I never reach my region’s definition of skinny (I doubt Los Angeles and Atlanta have the same definition of skinny)… I’m gonna give up and go back to what I’m doing. “Screw healthy. These pringles are callin’ me.”
All I’m sayin’ is I like my fatophobes the same way I like my anecdotal nutritionists – silent. I know that an article about the perils of “being fat” tends to make the “not fat” crew feel a little better about themselves… but for the love of everything healthy, don’t cloak your insults in faux concern and please don’t make the problem worse by offering your pseudo-advice that works for you to people you don’t really give a damn about. Neither of you are helping.