Home The Op-Eds The Fat-O-Phobes Are Showing Their Behinds Again

The Fat-O-Phobes Are Showing Their Behinds Again

by Erika Nicole Kendall

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.

I’d rather see a positive photo of Black women, as opposed to a Black man in a fat suit being used to represent me.

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!!!

Dinner can be the same, cut out the mushrooms though, you don’t need those and the Turkey, that two proteins at once. No bread, if so wheat only.

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.

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Curvy Jones June 14, 2010 - 11:33 AM

Her diet advice is KILLING ME. THAT is what was still bugging me this morning. That was not the first and won’t be the last fat black woman post, but she brought nothing to the table but a Mean Girl rant.

She looks like she works out, but doesn’t and weighs 98 lbs? I mean, not bagging on her, because I’m sure her body is looking right, but REALLY?! If you have never been over 100 lbs a day in your life and don’t work out, what right do you have to tell fat black women they need to lose weight? WE’RE lazy? I work out 6-7 days a week, and she DOESN’T but I’m lazy? Fat or thin, if you don’t move your butt, ya’ll the same people.

I know much thinner people that eat worse than I do, don’t work out, drink like fish and smoke like chimneys… but they get a pass because they’re thin.

When did eggs become fattening? When did turkey sausage become fattening? When did sausage links and French toast become a healthier option than a meal of lean protein, void of sugar and starch? What. in. the. heck.

She didn’t even TRY to help. And now to sit back in comments and hurl the same tired insults over and over, while still offering nothing but ridicule and disgust and make out like the ones who take issue with her are the ones with the problem.

That’s about the 4th article from Fresh Express that is just all the way wrong. I think I have read my last article at that site. And DEFINITELY my last article from her.

I guess it is still “Black Women Ain’t Sh*t” year? Boo.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 1:07 PM

You see why general conversations about health and wellness (specifically ones that consist of people with unverifiable descriptions of themselves) are so absurd?

You’re telling me you’re 98lbs and you don’t work out… and your experiences are such that you can advise 6′ tall 300lb ME on how to work out and lose weight and “look like I work out but I don’t?”

You’re telling me that it makes sense to ADD bread and cheap pork to an already relatively nutritious breakfast? You mean to tell me that knowing five sample meals I eat for breakfast is enough to tell me what I’m doing wrong in my life, and you have the key? Sounds like someone setting me up to sell me something. SMH

It also sounds like some little chick feeling far too much of herself – she did complain about not being able to get a Black man because of her size – and lording her size and “assumed knowledge of getting and keeping said size” over on the big girls. I’m not buying it. At all.

The entire thing came from a place of pettiness and meanness… descended into “In this post, we praise the skinny girls and marvel over their knowledge and ability to stay skinny.” They all need to have seats. LOL

Lauren January 3, 2014 - 3:11 PM

I just have to write to you to tell you exactly how much I appreciate you. As someone who’s struggled with her weight all her life (and who now has a nutritionist boyfriend who introduced me to a whole world of REAL FOOD and loves me for who and what I am), I have been disheartened at all the awful advice from girls who have been 15 pounds overweight at most in their lives. I came across your page after seeing some girls on Instagram post a recipe for “skinny california rolls” made with fat free cream cheese and imitation crab. These girls sell their ebooks (clean eating guide that includes that sushi recipe, holiday guide recipe book that lists SUGAR FREE FAT FREE BOXED VANILLA PUDDING MIX as one of the ingredients, etc.) for $20 a piece, along with their “secrets to weight loss” system for close to $200. I googled fat-free cream cheese, knowing full well that it would have a list of at least 20 ingredients and should not be included in a clean eating guide anywhere, and found your gem of a post on the subject. I then looked at your meal plans and almost cried when I saw that you sell them for just $5.50, and that you have a vegetarian option and a “budgetarian” option. I will be donating as soon as I have the funds to do so. I want to let you know how much I appreciate your integrity, and thank you for restoring my hope in the health and wellness field. Keep doing what you’re doing!

Rosi June 14, 2010 - 11:51 AM

i think i love you lol

Erika June 14, 2010 - 1:07 PM

Aw, this made my afternoon. LOL

Trina June 14, 2010 - 11:58 AM

When I read that article…I don’t know. It made me mad, but it didn’t surprise me. I’m categorized as ‘morbidly obese’ but I wear a size 14, work out 7 days a week and it takes two days for me to reach 3000 calories. I’m not pre-hypertensive or pre-diabetic and I’m so within the normal range for cholesterol that my doctor e-mailed me to congratulate my good health. So yeah, I may ‘look’ like this so-called hippo, but I’m am VERY healthy.

This makes me sad because though I know I’m healthy, I know how people see me and that gets me down, because no matter how hard I work, people look at me and assume I sit around on my behind eating myself to death. And when I explain otherwise, they look me up and down and go ‘yeah right’.

2 years ago, I didn’t have health insurance. I got sick and had to go down the the county hospital in the ‘ghetto’ where I can only assume they see a lot of these ‘fat black women’ by the way they treated me. In this area, apparently no insurance + obese = obviously uneducated. I had to deal with a nurse who incorrectly corrected my English and the billing department who was surprised I could spell California. But that wasn’t the worst part. The doctor glanced at my chest x-ray, said it was clear and goes ‘Lets talk about your weight’. She lectured me for 30 minutes about control and how I was ‘delusional’ to think I was healthy at my weight. How I should eat less and work out more. At no point did she ask about my eating habits or my work out habits. When I tried to tell her, she looked me up and down. She then sent me home and told me to take some Motrin.

A week later, I was rushed back to emergency…a fever of 103, 12lbs lighter, wheezing, dehydrated and a irregular heart beat. Saw another doctor who looked at the SAME EXACT x-rays I took the week before and said I clearly had pneumonia.

Goes to show that everyone, including medical professionals have trouble distinguishing between ‘looking healthy’ and ‘being healthy’.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 1:11 PM

You know, I have a personal beef with doctors that I won’t detail right here, but this is a BIG issue.

The cheaper the hospital, the more likely you are to have a doctor that treats-on-sight. That doctor had a preconceived notion of you before you even opened your mouth, and KNEW what she was going to talk to you about.

Being overweight is a complex issue. And until people accept that and stop believing that a calorie is a calorie, so eat less of ’em, we’ll forever be stuck right where we are.

Holly February 28, 2013 - 12:01 AM

Hi Erika, I love your blog and use it for inspiration with my weight loss journey. First thing first, I am a pediatrician. I am writing to say don’t judge us all. I recommend your blog to my patients and their parents along with other healthy sites that I find motivating. The reason I am writing today is to urge you to stop Doctor bashing. We are not all alike. I am sorry that you have come across doctors that I like to call JA, but just like all men are not the same the same is true for doctors. Get to know your doctor and the motivation for why they became a doctor. By doing that you will probably find one that fits you and will talk with you in a way that you gel with. To give you more of my background I am a single mom of two who also has Multiple sclerosis. I am treated a lot with steroids which does not help my waist line or my resolve. What does help are my patients and my desire to be a role model to them. I know that because I have been and continue to be a patient I am can uniquely identify with my patients. I want them to have the care that I would want if I went to see a doctor. I do agree with Trina, weight should have never overshadowed the doctors ability to diagnose her. Just like I do not believe the ER is the best place for the conversation of weight management to occur. When you are not a patients primary care doctor you do not have the full story and can miss big things, in this instance they missed a pneumonia. While I do believe that doctors who prejudge are terrible I also do not believe that we are bad as a group and do not deserve the constant bashing that you do on your website. Like I said I love your site and feel that you have good advice.

Erika Nicole Kendall February 28, 2013 - 8:44 AM

So, wait. You want me to “stop doctor bashing,” but you can’t refute anything that I’ve said across the blog? You want me to “stop doctor bashing,” but you don’t have any response to the number of MDs who’ve commented elsewhere on the blog about the shortcomings of the field?

So, basically, you just want me to stop truthtelling when/because it paints you and your peers in a negative light… but there’s nothing to refute.

Wow, okay.

Thank you for the support, and I’m glad that you’re “not like the others,” but your efforts would be better spent trying to not only make a difference in your profession but also contributing here in a positive way…not just telling me to look the other way. If you think that I’m being willfully dishonest or in some way ignorant, by all means speak up. Otherwise, I don’t know what to tell you.

Miesha June 14, 2010 - 12:12 PM

I agree with everything except for the recommeded meal, it really depends on the person and the amount of exercize to determine a good menu for them. Also, check the stats on Smoothie King smoothies, they really can destroy all your hard work, but they taste great!

Erika June 14, 2010 - 1:20 PM

Which “everything” did you agree with? Everything the writer of the original post said, or what? LOL I just want to be clear.

Ralonda June 14, 2010 - 12:32 PM

I love it! This is real talk. People don’t seem to understand that as they are insulting folks but couching it in false concern, that it is still an insult. Then they get mad at you when they get the sideeye…especially when their lives are FAR from perfect (example: a godcousin got on facebook taumbout people posting food on their updates, and said something like “always talking about smothering cocoa puffs, why don’t you smother a treadmill”) Mind you, this fool drives drunk and has courtdates up the wazoo. *whoosah* /rant over.

I would also like to say that you again for this blog. I read it everytime you update it, and am proud to say that I have lost 27 lbs since May 10th (still more to go…I can barely tell). Thanks for the inspiration. If this person REALLY wanted to help, she would educate herself, and in turn do things to motivate and education us so called Fat Black Wimmens.

Erika June 15, 2010 - 9:00 AM

Yesssss!!!!!!! 27lbs since May? I LOVE THIS!

Forget the article, let’s hear it for THIS!

Tiffany June 14, 2010 - 12:57 PM

Wow this “nutritionist” sees to me a complete idiot, I have never met anyone that would say no oatmeal or grain. Does she that salad from Panera has like 5 grams of saturated fat. Glad I didn’t read all the blurbs in pink or I think I would be really peeved. If she is an actual nutritionist, maybe she needs a refresher course.

Peace, Love and Chocolate

Erika June 15, 2010 - 9:01 AM

Oh, girl, nothing about her posts read “nutritionist.” It was absolutely nothing more than “I’m 98lbs, I can show you how to lose weight although since I’m only 4’11”, my height and weight are proportionate and I’ve never really had to lose weight.” That’s it. LOLOL

true2me June 14, 2010 - 1:11 PM

Wow, I said my article wasn’t targeted at healthy ppl of any size, however, we would all b in denial if we believed that most obese women are healthy. It also wasnt about being skinny, but being healthy. We can rightfully assume if a person is obese they aren’t healthy, because most likely they are visually so heavy due to poor nutrition. Sure I used harsh words, but I wasn’t speaking anything that wasn’t truth. Further , yall went in on the slim girl who wasnt harsh. Smh. Eat right, work out, and if need b, lose weight. Ask ur doctor, I’m sure he/she will agree . Ok thanks

Erika June 14, 2010 - 1:22 PM

Your “article” was ridiculous, unintelligent and thoughtless. Any concern that your “article” attempted to convey was SLAUGHTERED by the insults YOU threw in the comments.

You can shake your head all you want – you ventured off into territory that YOU are not knowledgeable about even in the slightest, and instead of addressing the real issues that come coupled with obesity… you started talking about looks. You wanted to call people hippos. YOU put up a picture of a Black man in a fat suit as YOUR representation of what overweight Black women look like. It WAS about “You’re not skinny, and we are. Eat that, fatso.” Absolutely idiotic and immature.

I’m not concerned with your harsh words – even if I was 300lbs again I wouldn’t be concerned because neither you nor the “98lb nutritionist” know what you’re talking about at all, lol – I’m concerned with the fact that instead of moderating the conversation YOU started by helping it stay on track at truly addressing the TOTAL issue… you let it descend into foolishness. You then contributed to the foolishness, and expect no criticism? Naw, girl. LOL Take these lumps, lol.

You can save your thanks, mama. I wish you would’ve saved that sorry blog post too, but no such luck on that one. LOL

Ebonie B January 30, 2011 - 11:45 PM

Bravo Erika. Hypocracy and self rightousness needs to be exposed for exactly what it is. Even a someone of below average intelligence knows that “meal plan” is ridiculous. SMH!!! I am flabbergasted…and at a loss for words….but when I do find them, I will be posting them….

Ann June 23, 2011 - 6:10 PM

Erica, where is the “Like” button? Because I need to hit it, oh — 1000 times.

Kendall June 14, 2010 - 1:20 PM

I am so SICK of women tearing others down because they don’t fit into their criteria of what is healthy, beautiful or what is FINE. I am a size 16 (OBESE HIPPO) and the largest of my friends but they eat more and worse than I do. There are so many other factors that cause women to gain and hold onto weight other than what ignorant people think. I am not home eating bons bons all day and still cannot drop 20 pounds and how do you listen to a 98 lb woman? She may be genetically inclined to be small. I am not upset because I am a HIPPO or because I am bigger than man. I am annoyed because this is pure ignorance from a miserable person that is not an EXPERT on how to lose weight or who should lose weight.

Erika June 15, 2010 - 9:07 AM

Unt unh, mama – don’t claim that- she wants to call overweight women obese hippos, that doesn’t mean any of them have to “claim” or “accept” that.

She was thoughtless and callous and uninformed – clearly – but with any luck, she’ll learn.

Brittany June 14, 2010 - 1:41 PM

I saw that post and I was highly irritated. A few weeks ago on the same site there was a post called “FAT! The Insult Du Jour” and it basically posed the same questions you just did. A similar rant ensued saying most overweight people are fat because of poor diet, eating too big of portions, etc.

The fact of the matter is, I’m 5’2, 117lbs and yesterday over the course of a 24 hr period I ate: tuna and crackers, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, two slices of pizza, two bags of gummi bears, three hostess cupcakes, a 99 cent bag of Jay’s Hot Corn Chips, and some hot wings. How freaking unhealthy am I!?!

Like I said in the “FAT!: Insult Du Jour” comment section:

“The notion that everyone who is slim is a vegetable eating, tofu enthusiast is absolutely ridiculous. A larger portion of Americans actually eat unhealthy and the biggest determinant in weight is still how our body metabolizes food.”

There was no intent to help in that post. It was extremely hurtful and condescending and done under the guise of “keeping it real.”

Erika June 14, 2010 - 1:54 PM

Thank you! And this notion that it’s all about portion size and “put the fork down?” THAT is why we can’t tackle obesity in this country.

I mean, keep it real – with as MANY people as there are singing the same sad song about portion control… don’t you think there’d be less than 70% of AMERICANS listed as at least overweight?

Jay June 14, 2010 - 2:04 PM

Erika, I won’t address the “article” because you have already done so much better than I could have. I just want to thank you for all you do to motivate and inspire others. If I had seen that before I started following your site, it might have gotten under my skin. I have so much I want to type but just so this won’t be too long, I just want to say keep doing what you’re doing. We need more people like you.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 3:37 PM

Thank you! You can rant and rave just as much as you like in these comments – no swears, though. LOL!

huny June 14, 2010 - 2:10 PM

that yatch is a MORON. way to dismantle her, E.

all these “obesity in america is an epidemic!” bandwagon jumpers. later for this pseudo advice. the much bigger epidemic in america, I’d venture to say, is this ongoing belief that thin people have the health market covered. most of my thinner friends eat horribly, because their metabolism allows them to do so and stay “looking right”. out of all the people dying of heart disease how many looked so-called healthy? how many times were their families shocked, surprised and caught off guard cause hey – they “looked” healthy? how many people are dying of malnutrition, anorexia and bulimia?

I don’t have any goals to to be thin. I don’t find it aesthetically appealing. I like thickness, and centuries of art depicting rubenesque women maintain that many other people throughout history did too. my ongoing goal IS to eat healthy and be active. if that results in slimming down – cool. but I don’t lock myself in a closet cause I’m a size 16. and I won’t be shamed into feeling bad about myself, either. that’s not me in denial…that’s me not giving a f*ck about a stranger’s faux concern.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 3:37 PM

THIS, dang it. That’s my girl!

Evelyn June 14, 2010 - 2:14 PM

Well done, Erika. If there is one thing I have learned it is that you never, ever know where someone is on their journey. No one would be able to tell by looking at me that I exercise 4-6 times a week, and that I am working hard to change my eating habits to be as healthy as a person can be. No one would be able to tell that I’ve lost 24 pounds. Today I weigh 286 pounds, by any measure morbidly obese, but I am on the path. Any voice that attemps to judge me unfairly and “put me in my place” or “reeducate” me to the “truth” that I am ugly and lazy and worthless is a lie. I reject it as such.

This blog has been a safe haven for me. It is a place I go to to remember that no matter how hard this journey gets, there are others who have been successful, and I can be successful too. I come here and am encouraged by my sisters who are walking this path me. I will not allow myself to be discouraged or sidetracked by foolish little girls who do not know me and are not interested in anything but negativity and angry rants. This is me being “true2me”.

I’ve never met you Erika, and I’m not sure how old you are, but today I felt like I was protected by a big sister who had my back. God bless you. God bless you all.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 4:14 PM

Awwwww, this made my evening. 🙂

Jennifer June 14, 2010 - 3:06 PM

I’ve been reading your blog for about a month now, and really enjoy all of your articles, I’ve picked up some great useful tips. Loved how you broke it down in this one. 🙂

Erika June 14, 2010 - 4:14 PM

Thank you! I love bringing y’all out of the shadows! 🙂

Ty June 14, 2010 - 3:36 PM

I don’t know what’s more pathetic.. The fact that she took time to write such an idiot piece of shit blog or that she came here and pretended to be someone else who agrees with it. For whatever reason she feels inferior or something in her life isn’t right. There’s no other reason to sit there and try so hard to hurt people. With how moronic it’s written, it’s impossible to cause any hurt, but the fact remains; happy people who are content don’t take the time to TRY so hard like she did. Her advice was asinine. “that’s two protiens” since when did protein become the enemy? It’s essential. If she’s never worked out then she has no muscle making her all water, bone and FAT. 32 years and she’s still so far out of touch.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 4:15 PM

Definitely the fact that she came here to defend it. Here, of all places. LOL

The author of the original post and the “98lb nutritionist” are two different people, though. It’s hilarious, and sad… and hilariously sad. Emphasis on the “hilarious” part, though. LOL

Rita June 14, 2010 - 6:18 PM

I simply have no words for this kind of ignorance. I can only pray some of my sisters don’t buy into this pseudo advice. If there is anything I’ve learned from Ericka’s site and through my own journey, is to always do your research. There is no perfect formula therefore all advice isn’t good advice. The difference between ingorance and knowledge is the ability to learn and study.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 11:41 PM

“All advice is not good advice.”

THIS! I just hope women take heed to that.

huny June 14, 2010 - 6:54 PM

go evelyn! 24 pounds is awesome; you’re on your way, girl. I don’t know you from a can of paint and I’m proud of you.

Cryssy June 14, 2010 - 7:25 PM

wow so much great information Erika… she never answered my question on twitter but that crap she posted here was pointless.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 11:41 PM

LOL Double co-sign! Thank you, Cryssy. 🙂

thewayoftheid June 14, 2010 - 7:48 PM

The ether…the shit that makes your soul burn slow…

I cannot thank you enough for this post.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 11:42 PM

Oh girl, we already had this chat so you allllready know. LOL

Thank YOU for commenting. 🙂

tressiemcphdotcom June 14, 2010 - 8:13 PM

First, the last time I checked obesity was an AMERICAN problem. So, how does this always become about black women? Or, isn’t everything “funny” and obscene not about black women these days?

Our credit is bad because we’re dark (so, not making that up:http://www.tressiemcphd.com/2010/03/fix-your-funny.html)

We are single-handedly responsible for herpes rates (also not making that up: http://www.tressiemcphd.com/2010/04/what-in-world-is-wrong-with-black-women.html)

We must be both “ladies” and men according to the brilliant observations of a serial monogamist and high school drop out (aka Steve Harvey).

Ay yi yi.

Beyond the fact that medical research shows that statistical definitions of normal by weight and size is ethnocentric and misguided (sources:http://www.halls.md/bmi/heritage.htm; calls for diversity in bmi standards: http://bit.ly/9dnUhj ), why is it acceptable for people to comment on the person of another?

How about every time someone offers unsolicited advice about weight loss to black women we get to offer unsolicited advice about how they should care for their uterus or their prostate? Transgressions of civility give permission to respond in kind, I say.

And the use of the Eddie Murphy picture to represent black human beings born female who identify as women is beyond problematic. For that I blame everyone from Eddie, to film distributors to the millions of people who keep making black women the punch line because they are too lazy or stupid to be insightful enough about human nature to write a real joke.

The example of the 98 pound armchair nutritionist makes clear, to me, the real issue here. This public flogging of black women’s bodies is all about mate competition. Every woman, of every race, seems to be in some great sprint to the lowest common denominator to prove to some man somewhere that they are different than (insert whipping post). Sadly, we’re the most convenient whipping posts. We don’t have a political lobby. We have little social capital and distribution channels to control our image. Few, if any cultures, of means exalt beauty standards that reflect our natural features. And, mostly, our sons, fathers, and brothers have little inclination or power to counter the myth of our big, black, undesirable bodies.

The result is that crappy post: a woman competing, in only subconsciously, for a marginal advantage in mate selection by finding someone less desirable than herself. smh

Erika June 15, 2010 - 12:02 AM

“This public flogging of black women’s bodies is all about mate competition. ”

Don’t think I didn’t notice ol’ girl mention “I can’t get a man because they expect me to look like their overweight moms. I bet most of y’all can’t even picture what 4’11” and 98lbs looks like.”

This is EXACTLY why I said, it sounded more like a bunch of chicks that had their feelings hurt by “Fat Black Women” than it sounded like actual concern. They all needed to sit down with that one. LOL

Sheera June 14, 2010 - 9:40 PM

I responded to that girl’s original post and instead of her responding to me she chose to respond to my sister who called her a b*tch (SMH) … I found the vast majority of the comments callous and I’m glad that someone else took up this subject. That true2me chick cannot possibly have an inkling of the self esteem that MANY full figured women have.

I think the thing that people with this ‘skinny is best’ attitude do not really care about health. IF they did they’d pay it forward. My cousin is a basketball player and when I lived in the same city with him he offered to workout with me and support me; my ex-friend would work out with me; people that care do more than spew vile. Someone tell me if I’m wrong but can’t one soda a day amount to about 20 lbs a year?

JoAnna June 14, 2010 - 11:42 PM

That girl was waaay offbase, as in AWOL. I remember when I was first diagnosed with Type II diabetes, and weighed in at 367lbs. I was scared yet determined to not become insulin dependent. I had to lose the man I was dating ’cause he didn’t want to hear about me walking the dogs, and fresh vegetables, and why wasn’t there any pop in the house. He was an ex-Marine, taller (6’3″) weighed at least 75lbs less than me, and could pick me up in his arms. Not long, but he could! He loves big women and I was getting too small. So he sabotaged my diet with unhealthy food in my face until I kicked him to the curb.

After a year of hard work I’m under 300lbs, my meds have been cut from 4/day to one, and my doctor hopes to cut that last med in half by the Fall. My cholesterol/trig levels are excellent, and my doctor told me to bring my A1c up to 6 (I was at 5.6). So my friends take me out for sushi to celebrate (’cause we do go out to eat!). I’m enjoying an eel roll and seaweed salad when the friend of a good friend begins to go off about taking the fat girl out to eat, and that I should go on a water fast for 2 weeks, then a colonic, then vegetarian diet. I told her she know didn’t a thing about diabetes and uncontrolled low sugar levels. She told me that she knew that eating too much brought it on, therefore not eating would take care of it. So I said the only thing I could think of:
“I may be fat today, but I’m loosing weight and getting healthier every day. A year from now, I’ll be smaller, more gorgeous, and won’t even remember you. But you’ll still be mean-spirited and ignant. Sucks to be you.”
Then her friend had to step in before the heifer hit me but that’s another story.

We could have done something else to celebrate but this was a change for us as a group to go from the Asian all-you-can-eat buffet followed by a trip to Coldstone, to a nice restaurant with sushi prepared tableside.

As for the doctors… My first doctor told me I would be on insulin anyway in a year, so why was I wasting his time by asking for his advice? I had to see him for a followup in 2 weeks and had lost 9 lbs. He went into his spiel that I should aim for 1-2 pounds per month, and that taking extra pills wouldn’t help me if I continued to eat fastfood everyday, etc, etc. I was finally able to interupt him and said I thought I was doing well for losing 9 lbs. He shut up, gave me my meds and told me that it was probably water weight. I changed doctors that day to get on the 6 week waiting list to see the head of the dept, but it was worth the wait to get a doctor who tells me what I can expect from my condition and my meds, and encourages questions.

Erika, I wish those judgemental skinny people would put on a 60lbs fat suit for a week and do everything in it. Just for a solid week to experience the frustration that no matter what you do, it seems the weight isn’t coming off. It’s a daily battle and having people jump in your face with bogus “advice” on why you should hate yourself just for breathing and walking around is hateful.

Erika June 14, 2010 - 11:59 PM

“the friend of a good friend begins to go off about taking the fat girl out to eat”

Errr… what? And it gets even better?

“…I should go on a water fast for 2 weeks, then a colonic, then vegetarian diet.”

I… I can’t even with this. It does give me an idea, though.

Coffey June 15, 2010 - 1:57 AM

I’m the author behind – http://thefreshxpress.com/?s=fat+the+insult+du+jour
and happened upon your blog via the “Why Are Black Women So Big” effery … and I must say that I love the delivery of your mission…
The author of the aforementioned nonsense obviously has much researching and soul searching to do.
I admire and co-sign your journey however. That is all.

Erika June 15, 2010 - 8:49 AM

Thank you and thank you – I also love the fact that you wrote this so recently, and it’s the complete opposite of what was just published last week. How… awesome.

In fact, skimming the comments section of your post, I can see the author running that same G there, too. Interesting. #butnotsurprising

Elita @ Blacktating June 15, 2010 - 8:04 AM

Can I just say I am still LOLing at the 98 lb nutritionist’s advice. Don’t have eggs for breakfast with sausage, that’s too much fat. Instead have sausage with french toast, which is bread that has been dipped in….(wait for it) eggs. Add the butter and syrup and of course you’ve got a MUCH healthier option. Don’t eat a chicken breast with salad, eat a salad with a chicken breast on top (how are these two things different?) And to suggest CAESAR dressing for someone on a diet just shows how stupid she is. That is the most fattening, calorie-dense dressing you could choose because all it is is oil and cheese. COME ON! And since when do mushrooms have too much protein? Just because they taste meaty doesn’t mean they are full of protein. They hardly have any protein. Don’t eat a lot of grain? Drink your calories in the form of a Smoothie King smoothie?!!? All horrendous advice. Sorry, I know this wasn’t the point of this post, but I just can’t get over the hubris displayed by 98 lb nutritionist.

Erika June 15, 2010 - 8:56 AM

YES! This was EXACTLY my point!! And what makes it SO sad is that someone who truly does not know better – someone who might’ve pieced together their daily diet from tidbits they’ve found on the internet; not really knowing WHY it works, just knowing that it’s worked for someone (’cause let’s admit it.. it happens like that); and really just believing that a “quick fix” exists and thinking that “someone that small must have the answer” – will take that like it’s gospel! THAT is the kind of stuff that really burns my toast!

I’m laughing, but I’m laughing to avoid getting even madder, LOL.

Liyah June 15, 2010 - 11:25 AM

Erika…girl you need a hug right now. But I agree with you, that blog post wasn’t necessary and was used as a place to throw insults to overweight people, it didn’t help anyone.

As a native Washingtonian there are a lot of overweight black women BUT there are also a lot of overweight white, latin, asian, middle eastern..bump it PEOPLE. And one thing I learned at an early age was that demographics played a huge part in the obesity issue.

I grew up in an area where fresh fruit & veggies were usually close to rotten by the time it was placed in the local grocery stores. And who wants to eat that? Even the stores weren’t appealing, but I started driving out to more prominent areas to go produce shopping and purchased meat from Halal stores. Granted everyone can’t do this because not everyone can afford higher priced items. I could get a bag of apples for $4 in my neighborhood yet I paid that much for 3 single apples in a prominent area. That’s discouraging and doesn’t help in a household full of people. Another issue was in my neighborhood we were SURROUNDED by fast food places and carry out spots. I’m not saying the prominent areas didn’t have theirs but they had options. We had burgers, chicken, mexican or chinese food. These other places had those plus african, greek, and vegetarian spots to say the least. So the chance to experience something other than grease was available.

A person who has never been overweight cannot tell an overweight person how they should feel or should think about being overweight. And trying to insult an overweight person thin is not the answer. We know there are options available that do not cost a whole paycheck but losing weight or getting healthy is a decision that has to be made on that parties time. When he/she is ready, it will be done.

Christen June 17, 2010 - 12:21 PM

So happy that you responded to this. I read the original article and the comments that followed in absolute disgust. Some of the comments on there were just ridiculous

BlackBerry Molasses July 23, 2010 - 10:59 AM

I know this post is so old, but I felt the need to comment.

I want to know what color you want your shiny new Lambo to be. Because you truly deserve one for all that you’ve done, but especially this.

I read the article on the FXP and didn’t bother to enter the comment/poo- flinging session.

I AM one of those chicks who works out exceptionally hard (hell, I did p90x TWICE), does her best to eat as healthy as possible and still wears a 16. I do all the right things, but don’t look it. I don’t do it for looks. I’m doing it because my father has the trifecta (hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol– and he’s THIN) and I don’t want that to be me. But my numbers are great and my doctor (blessedly) continues to compassionately encourage my healthy living.

But I have an admission to make. Reading that article caused me to question my commitment to my lifestyle. It actually had me a little messed up in the head for a while. I was downing myself because, for a MOMENT I questioned whether or not I was doing enough. I even almost cancelled my trip to Las Vegas with my dearest college buddies because I was going to be the biggest girl there (or so I thought). My homegirl had to give me a reality check (and I love her for it) cuz I was slowly going off the deep end.

That alone proves just how fragile a woman’s– hell a PERSON’S psyche can be. How certain things people say or do can be triggers and tipping points that can send them off the edge into unhealthy thinking and behavior. You never know a person’s history or where they are on their journey. Reminding yourself of this is important before you go judging folk or screaming “INTERVENTION!”

I’ve always been a big girl- even as a baby- just like my mama and her sisters, so being super slender clearly is not in my genetic make up. But the day I realized I was about to buy a pair of size 24 jeans was an eyebrow raiser for me. When I went to my doc because my feet were constantly swelling and she told me my blood pressure was in the pre-hypertensive range?! Oh that shook me into reality so fast. I’m 4 years into my new lifestyle and love it. My goal is fitness and health for life– not a specific dress size.

Rooo August 25, 2010 - 8:32 PM

“They all need to have seats.”

Borrowing this.
Will probably overuse.
Will give credit.


ChellBellz December 6, 2010 - 11:48 AM

oh wow…that diet just made me cringe. Oatmeal ? you need those grains, but she said eat cereal? Cereal that is packed with chemicals that you can’t pronouce or justify for even working for your body? I don’t get it, but don’t eat oatmeal that is actually natural? These people are crazy, giving out advice, I don’t see anything on here that had a ton og Veggies, and when did green apples become better then red? Last time i checked an apple is a freaking apple.

This child needs to have a complete seat and rethink her life.

Stephanie April 15, 2011 - 10:16 PM

So I’m waaaaaay behind on this…..but wow. THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE! Every woman, man, boy and girl struggling with their self image because of their weight need to be encouraged by individuals like the women on this blog. Let the church say amen LOL

LaDonna July 15, 2011 - 11:07 AM

Just read this for the first time. I believe all that should be said has been. Thank you Erika for helping high light the difference between health and dieting to “look” skinny.

I have the same message as most here. Looking and being healthy are very different things. I have a grandmother notorius for fat bashing. She was so afraid of “looking” fat that she was doing what my sister and I like to refer to as “death” diets when we were teenagers. She was in her 60s mind you.
She even tried to put me on a few.

The crazy part is she was a nurse, probably could have armed herself with nutrition and taught me about “healthy” eating. But instead she constantly made comparisons between my sister and I and our slender cousins/friends. Always glorified how beautiful they were (when in fact if you’re going by facial attractiveness, they weren’t and aren’t) and ignored us in that process of praise.

She eventually told one of my younger cousins she doesn’t like fat people. My sister and I, in differing variations told her, “We don’t have a weight problem, YOU do”. I flaunted my big girl swag in front of her so much till she got the point I couldn’t be brow beaten.

And to this day I hold to that averment. I do NOT have a weight problem. I have a healthy eating problem. A misunderstanding of my bodies needs and food for fueling and nutrition. There’s a marked difference between the two. My skinny friends who frequent Mickey D’s and eat cheetos have a health problem too. But you can’t tell them that.

Erika may I say…thank you! thank you!! thank you for all your information. You’ve started a ball rolling for me in terms of health and wellness. I’m on a mission to be singularly educated about health and weining myself off my chemical addictions due to this “Chemical Nation” I live in!

Cherished November 16, 2011 - 6:12 PM

There could be a hundred comments to this blog topic but there is one message that your blogs scream to me when you talk about this topic and that is “FALSE CONCERN”!!!!! It’s like someone taking a knife and stabbing you in your back when you turn around. There is no real love and concern and like Oprah has been saying in her Lifeclass messages “When someone shows you who they are believe them”. I believe her and bloggers/tweeters/commenters’ like her to not really care.

I really want to scream “Nutrition 101″…. hell first grade class nutrition with a picture of the nutrition plate from myplate.gov as a start to a life long journey of learning about food, health, marketing, genetics,economics, psychology and all of the other things that play into why “AMERICANS” are struggling with healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.

Chaka December 30, 2011 - 8:32 PM

Honestly, the very same things have been said on this forum. I don’t think it’s true of all Black woman, but we do have a delusion about our weight/health. Using a picture of Eddie Murphy in a fat suit was definitely not a good idea, and maybe the nutritionist was off point. However, you sale meal plans on this site. While they may be useful to some, they may not be best for others. The truth is still the truth even if it’s wrapped in sheep’s clothing!

Erika Nicole Kendall December 30, 2011 - 10:35 PM


1. No, nothing works for “everyone.” Nothing is true for “all,” ever. You won’t find that I’ve ever said that because I wouldn’t. This site is A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss, a guide to weight loss from a Black girl. I am ONE Black woman. I call it how I see it. Black women are not a monolith. What I do here is NOTHING like what was done in that post.

2. Even if we DO have “a delusion about our weight/health,” it doesn’t mean treat women like shit because they don’t look the way you think they should. There are women who are “overweight” who don’t have any adverse health issues and are actually maintaining the size they have. So, no, everything isn’t true of all Black women. Again, we aren’t a monolith.

3. The meal plans I sell on this site have nothing to do with bs advice. C’mon, now – “don’t eat eggs for breakfast,” but “eat french toast?” Do you even KNOW what’s in french toast? If you don’t, then maybe you’re not understanding what made that advice so ludicrous. My meal plans are meant to help people convert to eating non-processed foods, and you are free to make that into whatever you will. It’ll never change their original and ONLY intent.

4. People take advice from whomever they choose, and there are people out there who think they deserve to be told they look like hippos and that’s who they want to advise them on their lifestyle changes. Whatever. America has been telling fat people they look like elephants and hippos, are unworthy of love and even that they aren’t worth being paid the same as their smaller counterparts… and we’re still two thirds overweight. PerHAPS the problem is the bull advice and the horrific way its delivered?

The truth may be “the truth,” but if you aren’t able to deliver it with tact, then maybe you should leave the “truth telling” to people who not only have adequate knowledge, resources and fundamentals to back it up, but also the tact to deliver it with compassion. It’s okay to just STFU, sometimes. 🙂

MissJoy December 31, 2011 - 2:27 PM

“It’s okay to just STFU, sometimes.”


As the year comes to a close, I can honestly say that statement was the statement of the year.

Shannon June 16, 2012 - 1:24 PM

Shouldn’t I be ashamed of how I look? I mean, I did this to myself, now I must suffer the consequences of my choices. Can be ticked by the author; she’s right.

Erika Nicole Kendall June 19, 2012 - 4:23 PM

You think you deserve to feel shame because of what someone else thinks of you?

The author isn’t right – and, quite frankly, she wasn’t that bright. People need to stop hating themselves, and thinking that’s going to lead them into success. I can tell you straight up – it won’t.

Shannon September 20, 2012 - 7:27 PM

“You think you deserve to feel shame because of what someone else thinks of you?”

Well, yes. Isn’t that how this works?

Erika Nicole Kendall September 20, 2012 - 8:09 PM

No. It’s called self-esteem.

Janine September 19, 2012 - 8:51 AM

“All I’m sayin’ is I like my fatophobes the same way I like my anecdotal nutritionists- silent”

Kristina March 18, 2013 - 11:39 PM

Wait… what? First of all, French Toast? YOU MAKE IT WITH EGGS!
Okay *deep breath* I’ve seen something like this. It was a picture of a healthy, muscular man and woman. On the man’s side it said ‘how a man gets in shape’ and lists a bazillion weight lifting workouts. Next to the woman it say ‘don’t eat like a hippo’. -_-;;

Shame is not going to help people lose weight. It stresses people out, which heightens cortisol levels. Not good for weight loss. So people like this need to stop adding to the problem. Why do people seem to think they can just say whatever they want to people?

“I will not apologize for stating my opinion..no matter how mean it may seem.”

It doesn’t seem mean, it IS mean. You can tell that she knows that. Anyone would know that. Shaming people into losing weight won’t work. Gah… people like this just make me angry.

Comments are closed.