I read an article a while ago that suggested that black women were delusional about their health and over confident about their bodies and this led them to staying fat …the article suggested that fat was traditional for black women and it set fat = unhealthy. Which is a crock of shit….sooo
Firstly, the body type for black women is traditional BECAUSE of their poor health ( which can be traced back to slavery)but they CAN be fat and healthy which is why focusing on how they LOOK is a bad way to go. there is alot of evidence out there that suggests one can be healthy and fat w/ “rolls” (see the HAES research) , there is merit in discarding the idea that we should talk about WEIGHT and instead attack HEALTH and only health. I take issue with the idea that black women who are overweight or obese are somehow “over confident” , and that they are “delusional” about their health. Its insulting to declare a fat person delusional on merit of them being fat. Or that a group of women who have been encouraged and portrayed as ugly insignificant and inferior can be too confident. Not to mention all of the bigotry that fat women in general face, add that to color, and class and your looking at a social system that makes being a fat black woman with confidence almost impossible. Black women (and other autonomous adults) are experts on themselves, rarely will you meet a person of any size who doesn’t know what their lifestyle and health are like. Until you treat people like experts on themselves you cannot tell them anything even if its beneficial
The conversation needs to change from fat black women are over confident, fat black women are delusional, to a discourse about how to help black women make healthy choices when they face a lack of access to grocery stores, health care, finances, nutritional knowledge and safe spaces to workout. The conversation should center around beating this accumulation of fat BEFORE it accumulates, rather than shaming body types and tacking on stereotypes to these body types. I am an obese woman. I love my body but I also value my health. I am not delusional about what i need to do to remain healthy and fit but I ALSO know that i can be a fat girl AND be healthy. That is my goal, that is what I work on. I do not focus on losing weight, weight loss is only a symptom of health and fitness and the reality is that when women who are my size trade their lifestyles for healthy and active ones they do NOT lose substantial amounts of weight but they DO become healthy. Only about 5% of people who are very large lose and keep their weight off over their lifetimes, not because they are lazy or delusional but because fat is hard to get rid of and is NOT an indicator of bad health.
A girl ate chicken nuggets for 15 years and almost died but no one thought this was an issue…why? because she was THIN. She was unhealthy because of her lifestyle but you couldn’t tell by looking at her….a body does not tell you the lifestyle of a person. Yes some people get fat by over eating and eating poorly but they can STAY fat and change their lifestyles and become healthy….that is the message we should be sending. All bodies should be valued, and health should be encouraged not a false beauty ideal that people are trying to obscurely connect to health. Not to mention the many women who suffer illnesses that cause them to gain weight and have nothing to do with their food and fitness