Happy Fat Black Woman Appreciation Day!
So last week Kaiser, the Washington Post, and a gaggle of Black women bloggers and their rabid readers came for fat Black women. For those of you who don't know, second only to Black men, fat Black women are public enemy #1 to certain bloggers and their audiences. The way these Black women talk to and about fat Black women makes clear that they truly despise a group of women who have done absolutely NOTHING to them other than EXIST. It's a form of objectification that is as sinister and morally repugnant as anything the Hip Hop Industrial Complex could ever crank out. To these "empowerment" bloggers, fat Black women are not human beings, they are a problem.
It's been interesting over the past 5 years sharing the same space with a group of women who despise and hate me. You see, for all of my blogging glory, the Blogmother is a fat Black woman. These women are more than happy to let me dodge bullets, arrows, spears "for the cause," but I'm inferior to them because I'm fat.
Does that sound familiar? A member of an oppressed group working towards progress for the group, while being oppressed within the group? #IRONY!
As I head out the door, the one regret I MAY have as a blogger is not confronting the anti-fat bigotry in a "movement" that was purportedly about the "empowerment" of Black women.
This was mainly the marriage and dating wing of this corner of the blogosphere-- you know the blogs where a woman's empowerment is entirely dependent on her ability to capture the male gaze.
I want y'all to sit with that for a minute... it's a women's "empowerment" movement that is ENTIRELY based on capturing MEN's gazes. Somebody just had a light bulb moment.
When capturing the male gaze is your reason for being, then OPTICS matter above all else and apparently fat Black women are the reason why these relationship bloggers' readers are single. It's not because their readers are deluded hateful shrews... no, its fat Black women's fault. #chileBYE!
On some of these blogs about "uplifting" / "empowering" Black women I read that the only reason ANY MAN would want to have sex with a fat Black woman is to "hit it and quit it".
“And though she’s never married, she contends she never lacks boyfriends, black and white. “Men have always said to me, ‘You’re not fat, you’re p-h-a-t fat.’ And when I’m not teaching, I’m all girl.”
Hmmm. O.K.E.Y. D.O.K.E.Y.
I guess this isn’t a good time to bring up the terms, “hit it and quit it” or “jump off.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard a man say freely that he’ll sleep with a rotund woman for a variety of crass reasons but wouldn’t dream of getting serious. Empowerment Blog
Yeah because men never hit it and quit it with skinny women *cough* Tiger Woods*cough*Basketball "Wives"* cough* Jersey Shore*cough* theentireVH1andyMTVschedule *cough*
In the same post, the blogger put up a photo of a fat Black woman in workout clothing and mocked her appearance. #KeepItClassy!
And in all fairness Miss Chubby and Happy is attractive, but she needs to STOP with the half-top.
Mind you the woman is a FITNESS INSTRUCTOR, but I suppose we Fatius Blackwomanicuses must workout in burkas.
On another blog I read the often cited conclusions that fat inherently kills. I can find an equal number of articles that say no, it's the sedentary lifestyle that kills. Correlation doesn't necessarily mean cause.
Count your calories and get a fitness regimen that works for you and stick to it! Skinny Woman's Weight Loss Tips.
Ah yes, the easy peasy ONE SIZE FITS ALL weight loss methods of skinny folk.
So simple. So loud. So wrong. Here's my own study:
This study shows that conventional wisdom — to eat everything in moderation, eat fewer calories and avoid fatty foods — isn’t the best approach,” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study, said in an interview. “What you eat makes quite a difference. Just counting calories won’t matter much unless you look at the kinds of calories you’re eating. NY Times.
Do you know what they would call a diet pill that allowed people to lose weight with ease? They'd call it a BIOLOGICAL WEAPON. The ability to rewire a millennium of evolution to re-wire the body to drop pounds instead of retain them would basically replace the nuclear bomb as the greatest threat to mankind. Yes, your heart is not designed to carry excess weight or flourish under a sedentary lifestyle. Your body is also not designed to lose weight with ease. If it figures out you're trying to intentionally lose weight, it does everything in its power to stop you. So figuring out how you and your body can BOTH get what you want, is a complex negotiation that goes beyond count calories and workout! And if your body disagrees with you... your body ALWAYS WINS!
And that's just what the bloggers said, the comment sections were far more vile and hate-filled. I especially LOVE the way these concerned women take on the techniques of pimps, child abusers, and woman beaters by saying they need to be rude and nasty to fat Black women...to "help" us understand and how dare fat women complain about it.
There's no fat shaming going on here, hearing the truth about FAT causes you to feel ASHAMED then that's on you. Comment's Section.
Oh can you feel this commenter's CONCERN for fat Black women? Hmm, they are ticked off that fat Black women might have found joy in their lifetime, but applaud and encourage fat Black women to feel ashamed.
I have to pause because I want y'all to sit with that for about 60 seconds.
The blogger and her readers are ANGRY because fat Black women MAY have found JOY...but are indifferent or HAPPY at the thought of fat Black women experiencing SHAME.
That's some ChrisBrownish foolishness right there. "Sorry, but you MAKE me hit you because you don't do what I want you to do... and if you feel bad about that... That's on you!"
Shame, stigma, humiliation and hate are NOT the things one associates with someone who wants to "help." Only a truly insane person would think this.
This wasn't the only Black women's interest blog that pounced on fat Black women last week, but it is one of the most egregious examples. Almost all of the Male Gaze Obsession Wing of this corner of the blogosphere have put up their fat bigotry post at some point.
So today fat Black sistren I salute you and leave you with this from another blogger who has some common sense:
In other words, if you’re fat and have the audacity to still think you’re worth something, society’s going to put you on a petri dish and nitpick you apart until you value yourself as little as they do. I mean, come on. You’re fat. Surely you can’t be all that.
That’s creepy to me. That’s also not where a healthy body image or a healthy journey stems from, either. Lots of people lose weight because they learned to hate their former selves, hate fat and, essentially, hate fat people. I don’t think longevity – in other words, maintenance of any weight loss that stems from that kind of hatred – can stem from that kind of place. BGG2WL
Please know that hateful, petty, juvenile, emotionally stunted, self loathing woman-children who happen to blog are just garden variety mean-spirited bigots. There is no "empowerment" message here, just RAGE directed at YOU. You're not crazy and you are entitled to be offended, heck even angry, at this foolishness.
I would LOVE to have a conversation about whole-body wellness. Lord knows Black women need to focus on self-care. But that's not the conversation these folk want to have. They want to make themselves feel better by attacking a group of Black women who have done absolutely nothing to them other than exist. That's key here. While I don't like the WAPO article, the Black woman who is a fitness instructor has done absolutely nothing to these women for them to warrant the junior high school attack on her decision to wear workout gear.... to the GYM! I can only image what she would have to say about my water aerobics gear. How dare I not swim in a burka! Can you imaging the way these women treat fat women who go to a gym? Do you know the number one concern fat women have when thinking about going to the gym? - What other people will say about them when they go.
I'd love to discuss the non-weight related benefits of exercise, developing non-food related coping skills, 5K, 10K and tri- training, etc...but now is not the time. You can't talk about wellness while fending off a knife attack.
There is NO DAYLIGHT between what these "empowerment" bloggers are saying on their blogs about fat Black women and what White supremacists are saying on their blogs. None. You can go read the comment threads and they look identical. That's a problem.
As I head for the exits, its kind of sad watching this corner of the blogoshpere implode. The fact that someone will hijack a message and then twist it and then weaponize it and use is to try to destroy the people the message was originally intended to help is heartbreaking to watch.
Movements are always in danger of being taken over by predatory folk, just open up your history books. Heck look at the evening news. It is one of the most inherent weaknesses of disintermediated activism ie movments driven by social media and not organized groups on the ground of people who had a preexisting relationsihp. Organized groups have the infrastructure to take advantage of the power vaacum created by popular uprisings against the status quo. In power vaacums and the confusion that ensues, charisma becomes a powerful weapon used by those who want to tap into that power. In the end, people want a show.
It now appears that this corner of the blogosphere is going to systematically target subgroups of Black women for annihilation in the name of "progress." Heck, maybe it was always this way and I couldn't see it because I was in the middle of it. To the extent I helped in any way to create this monster, I must accept the responsibility for that failure and learn from them as I move on into the next phases of my journey. And I am CONVINCED that this implosion is one the Universe wanted me to see before I go.
And if someone wants to catch the VAPORS because I pointed this out, so be it. If you're woman enough to throw sharp elbows then you ought to be woman enough to accept the blowback without engaging in DISRUPTIVE histrionics, temper tantrums and public theatrical mental "breakdowns" designed to take the focus off of substantive matters.
Anyone who feeds you a load of bull that weight loss is simple or its a matter of character or "will power" and "motivation" is either a liar, a fool or BOTH. But nuanced complex discussions of health and wellness aren't really the points of any of these blog posts. The goal is to make sure fat Black women know that these bloggers are disgusted by the idea that a fat Black woman might be happy. The point is to put fat Black women in their place. But I'm not going to the back of the bus! I fought too hard to get here, so I'll gladly stand on the pedestal right beside you. Strike that. *uses fat to hipbump skinny woman* I'll stand up here all by myself-no sharing today :)
Happy Fat Black Woman Appreciation Day!
Yours in the Struggle ( and I KNOW it's a struggle),
PS. For those of you interested in exploring the concept of whole-body wellness:
PPS. Notice that in this whole Washington Post debacle, it's fat Black women's survey results that are "abnormal" and not White women.
PPPS. Did you call Kaiser? -Phone: (650) 854-9400