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Wednesday
Feb292012

Washington Post and the Kaiser Foundation to Black Women: Y'all Are A Bunch of Zoo Animals to Us!

Well la ti freaking da! Didja know that Black women and White women have different standards of beauty? Well in case you've been hiding under a rock, the Washington Post as part of their Black Pathology/ Special Snowflake Series on Black folks, decided to turn Black women into exhibits at Washington Post Human Petting Zoo so everybody would walk by and gawk at us. Courtesy of Lonnae O'Neal Parker:

No one in this boot camp works out to be model thin. And nearly to a person, they reject any notion that they should, or that that standard is even cute. Or realistic. Or mentally healthy. That’s especially true of Gibson, 41, who has been a fitness instructor for 12 years, though you wouldn’t necessarily know it by looking at her.

Like many black women, Gibson describes her 5-foot-4, size 14-plus physique as “thick,” and considers herself ultra-feminine — no matter what the mainstream culture has to say about it.

She’s one of the most full-figured women in the gym, but she’s in love with her body. And it’s a sentiment that syncs perfectly witha recent survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation that focused on African American women. The poll found that although black women are heavier than their white counterparts, they report having appreciably higher levels of self-esteem. WAPO

Doesn't the Kaiser Foundation have something better to do with its money? Can a sister get a filmmaking grant? Some micro loans to start a business? A legal defense fund? An all expense vacation trade mission to Brazil? 

As one WAOD reader pointed out on the Facebook page, the world is OBSESSED with making sure Black women know that they are the "other."

Why won't they (the media) leave us da heyl alone?? GEEZ! The OBSESSION with what a sis is thinking, doing, feeling, dating, wearing her hair.... I know we are fascinating...but dag!Take a break. WAOD Facebook Page

To add insult to injury, they equate Black womanity to a Sir Mix-A-Lot song, Baby Got Back. And Lannae couldn't resist bringing up that Psychology Today article declaringthat Black women are objectively less attractive than other women. 

Many have taken this as an opportunity to castigate, belittle and chastise Black women and spread erroneous scientific mumbo jumbo that completely fails to distinguish causation from correlation.  That's a WHOLE OTHER
post.

If you're irritated by being made into an exhibit at a human petting zoo and you want the Kaiser Foundation to stop giving the Washington Post money to "other" Black women, let Kaiser know

Reader Comments (11)

The people and media outlets obsessed with us are crazy and evil. Nuff said. Start making your own and ignore EVERYTHING that comes from the mainstream media. Seriously, these people are haters and there is nothing we can do about their sickness and lack of intelligence other than pay them no attention and MAKE OUR OWN.

BTW, I guess i must have been under a rock because I knew nothing about this Washington Post story. I do my best to avoid most everything from the mainstream media news sources, so I'm sure I missed it.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHey There!!

"Many have taken this as an opportunity to castigate, belittle and chastise Black women and spread erroneous scientific mumbo jumbo that completely fails to distinguish causation from correlation.' ... "

Yup... including other Black women to further push their agenda.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffey

"The poll found that although black women are heavier than their white counterparts, they report having appreciably higher levels of self-esteem."

this comment right here SAYS IT ALL..." oh ya'll fatter than what you should be, but that's okay, Black woman poll says ya'll happy being fat, how cute."

Patronizing, condescending, wildly inappropriate. there is nothing wrong with loving your body, but obesity is a serious problem in the Black community and America in general 60% of Americans are overweight and MOST white women are overweight as well, so this is a load of bull sh-t. I agree stop treating us like a petting zoo animal. I don't see them making article about overweight white women and how they see themselves, but with Black women this is okay.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpumpkin

here is an online petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/washington-post-and-kaiser-foundation-apologize-for-a-condescending-and-stigmatizing-article-about-black-women#

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpumpkin

@pumpkin, The Blogmother HATES online petitions. Contact Kasier, the WAPO doesn't care about petitions, only the loss of revenue from a disgruntled sponsor.

February 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

And on goes the fat-shaming of happy Black women who are not thin. And on goes the dissection of a group of Black women . They found out how happy Black women are in some aspect, and now they likely wanna try to take it away from them. Because you know, Black women,especially the fat ones, don't need to be smiling, finding emotional,spiritual,sexual fulfillment While Fat. That is a crime ,a sin to Thinfolk. Especially Anti-BW Thinfolk. The stuff we were ridiculed for, we are embracing, and that is not only a threat to White people , but thin people,too. Maybe they'll appoint a specific group of fat Black women, get them to lose weight, and have everyone else to aspire to be their size or else they suck as human beings/fail at life/stupid/worthless, like how they do with White women.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMissIce

I have to agree with MissIce. Our weight is used, too often, to denigrate us, all the while hiding behind the thin, sanctimonious veil of "concern." Yes, Americans are overweight, BW included. Yes, we have high rates of pathology within our community, such as diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer. But the last thing we need is faux concern doled out by people with disdain for us. I would rather look out for my own fat interests, in my fat body, and continue to work and find satisfaction in my life despite what others may think of me and my fat body. To them I say this:

"You cannot hate someone for their own good."


P.S. Why would a woman's weight be the only thing which affected her self esteem (as the article implies)? Why not her educational level, attained life goals, and meaningful relationships? o.O

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrownielocks

I definitely agree with MissIce and brownielocks.

I read a blog post and subsequent comments on a Black run blog-- (supposedly geared towards empowering Black women)-- that was riddled with nasty language and downright mocking in its delivery. I agree that folks in the Black community and AMERICA IN GENERAL need to be more attuned to our health and with being active... regardless of one's physicality.
People are so determined to fat-shame and make women feel horrible about themselves any chance they get. As useless as the article was, I don't think the writer was trying to rationalize obesity... It featured a group of secure, Black women (one of whom was a fitness instructor) who just happen to be happy with their bodies and are making the BEST of their situations... maintaining fulfilling lives despite being women of size.
I am always amused by how PRESSED folks are about fuller figured Black women leading happy, active existences... who have social lives, are successful, and attract decent dating prospects... because apparently full-figured women are SUPPOSED to be miserable, UN-dateable, and confined to a hapless life at home w/ a pint of Hagen-Daaz.
From some of the stuff I've read, folks (esp. written by women) are so ANGRY that fatties have the audacity to be HAPPY FATTIES. The WAPO article and the backlash is ridiculous... it always starts off with faux-concern; "Well, being plus size is unhealthy... ... ..." before it disintegrates into a bunch of anti-fat propaganda.
It just feeds into these quasi-studies the media insists on presenting dissecting Black women's bodies, dispositions, and love-lives. I'm also sick to death of seeing these types of articles too... regardless of how well-intentioned publishers think they're being. People in general need to mind their own business... everyone doesn't share the same aesthetic and health, activity, and happiness can happen in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffey

here is the Washington posts explanation/ damage control: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ask-the-post/post/the-posts-black-women-series-why-we-focused-on-black-women/2012/02/28/gIQArEwJiR_blog.html

they need to take the article down and put up something more useful, how about an article on housing discrimination and how that affects Black women? how about an article on how racist the media is and how that affects beauty standards/black women? How about an article on institutionalized racism and what can be done to change that. that is something i'd like to see.

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpumpkin

I wish the issue here was clearer. I counltnt figure out initally what the issue was. In any case I email Kaiser and asked them what the motivation was regarding doing a poll about BW only. I urge others to contact them as well.

March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKiki

I'm so glad to have found this article..after coming to your site via the Kevin Hart article. My Black owned business almost just signed a deal to have Kaiser has our employee healthcare provider...Unfortunately, there are some thick Black women on the staff and I do not want to offend them...Lost business for them
Thanks for sharing...I had never heard of this study.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone in GA

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