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Monday
Mar052012

Happy Fat Black Woman Appreciation Day! - You're Not Single Because I'm FAT!

 

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.

*PAUSE*

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.

*RESUME*

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.

*PAUSE*

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. 

*RESUME*

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



Excerpted from News: Fat Black Women Have The Audacity To Think Highly Of Themselves | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss 

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. 

***Housekeeping***

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. 

***END HOUSEKEEPING***

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),

The Blogmother

 

PS. For those of you interested in exploring the concept of whole-body wellness:

 Self-Compassion: A Key Factor In Weight Loss 

 Who Should I Allow To Call Me Fat? 

 

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


Reader Comments (52)

Common, I'm not with you on this one. Weight loss can be easy if you really set your mind to it. I did and I lost 110 pounds. I've been fat. I've been large. I started to work out and eat green and it made me healthy. No sort cuts just old fashion work outs 5 times a week.

I'm half expecting you to call her a white mans whore like most do.


Blogmother Comment

And this is what I mean by histrionics intended to cloud substantive disputes about issues. Why would I, someone who believes in marriage freedom for Black women and someone who reviles other women being called "whore" use such a phrase to describe someone I disagree with. I know your tiny little narrow mind can't quite grasp this, but sometimes people disagree with other people because they think the other person's ideas are wrong. Shocking! Every criticism isn't a personal attack.

And congrats on YOUR weight loss. If you're happy, I'm happy for you, but you don't have a license to savage other women because of that. Clearly your weight loss didn't improve your reading comprehension or critical thinking skills.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicky

Thanks! You said it perfectly.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwheresjennifer

This is why I have a problem with the mantra of “Take what you can, and leave the rest” or “Eat the fish, spit out the bones” that is often used in response to the opposition. When open hostility for certain groups is mixed in with beneficial information…how can you separate the poisonous content from the beneficial? Isn’t the “fish” contaminated by poisonous elements?

This isn’t about denying reality, refusing to lose weight, playing dumb to the issues, being unaccountable for one’s health, etc. But one thing that amuses me is this disbelief about fat black women who dare to perceive themselves as worthy and valuable. As if it’s an either/or scenario. Like you can’t have healthy self-esteem AND recognize that obesity is a disproportional issue among black women AND be actively seeking to rectify it on an individual level. That false dichotomy (trichotomy?) is not being perpetuated JUST by regular media.

Why are fat black women lending support to these bloggers who demonstrate this hostility on a regular (monthly, quarterly, annual, anytime the media raises the alarm) basis?

One thing I learned a few years ago (around 2009 when I stopped supporting most of the the lightbulb came on about "empowerment blogs"): a fair share of this hostility is by women who were teased, harassed, or criticized for being naturally thin or slim by other blacks, and use these opportunities to fire back at fat black women as a whole, especially within spaces where interracial relationships are often a central theme, and men have validated the slim/thin body ideal. To me, it’s the same coin, different side – the other side are the Moniquian women who declared thin women b!tches, or use phrases like, “only a dog wants a bone” or “girlfriend needs to eat a sandwich.” Hasn’t a darn thing to do with health or concern for well-being – it’s straight up jockeying for position in the social and/or beauty hierarchy.

Anyway, this open hostility has been rearing its head since the rise of “BWE,” even before the movement had a name. There are very few SAFE spaces for fat black women within “BWE,” so I don’t go where I’m clearly unwelcome. Of course, it’s no impact because I’m just one woman. But I do question why other women, especially fat, continue to support these blogs with such open hostility. I mean, if we’re so grotesque and in denial, then certainly these bloggers don’t need the collective (and I’m including financial and social media) support of us, yes?

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaphne

Like you can’t have healthy self-esteem AND recognize that obesity is a disproportional issue among black women AND be actively seeking to rectify it on an individual level. That false dichotomy (trichotomy?) is not being perpetuated JUST by regular media.

EXACTLY!

March 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Simply beautiful. I thought I was the only one that noticed how hateful some of the other bloggers were toward "certain other types of black women", i.e. fat, single parent, not as sophisticated or educated, but your calling this out reaffirms my belief that hatred and bigotry reside in ALL walks of life. Black women, including bwe bloggers, can be bigots too. Thank you for bringing this to the light. And I especially agree with your analogy between these bwe bloggers and white racists. Besides their respective agendas, there is NO difference between them. Hatred is hatred, no matter what package it comes in.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMsLJ920

Blogmother. A large portion of these bloggers who have latched on to the “BWE” label are interracial bloggers whose purpose is to convince more black women to date interracially. White men are their biggest targets. So what they endeavor to do is to try and promote behavior among black women that they feel will attract white men. This is why, as MsLJ920 stated, that they express negativity toward black women who are “fat, single parent, not as sophisticated or educated.” They feel that such characteristics drive white men away.

IR relationships, predominantly with white men, are their means of sticking it to the black men who have apparently scorned them at some point. Based on the widespread observation that white men are far less inclined to become romantically involved with larger sized women than black men are, these interracial bloggers try to push and even shame black women into losing weight. And they attach themselves to the BWE movement so as to give the appearance that their cause is a noble cause. The same blog that you link to celebrated the movie "Red Tails" despite the absence of black women in it. The clear reason is that they did not want to be antagonistic toward John Lucus who is a man they celebrate due to his long time relationship with a black woman.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInga

I thought I was the only one that noticed how hateful some of the other bloggers were toward "certain other types of black women", i.e. fat, single parent, not as sophisticated or educated, but your calling this out reaffirms my belief that hatred and bigotry reside in ALL walks of life. Black women, including bwe bloggers, can be bigots too

@MsLJ920, you are definitely not the only one, thats why I stopped reading those blogs. At first they seemed to be about living your best life (as Oprah would say) but eventually became hateful. Basically black women who didn't look or act like Kerry Washington or 80s Whitney Houston was ruining it for them attracting white men. When one of those bloggers came at Michelle Obama and her working class background I was done with them.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblkchik

I'm sorry. I meant "George Lucas", not "John Lucus".

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInga

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.
______________________________________________

Actually Gina it's quite the opposite.

An 'insane' person would have feelings.

A 'sane', rational, PSYCHOPATH delights in shaming, humiliating and causing divisions between people. I've seen it. Unfortunately, the internet is the best place for psychopaths to ponerize 'the decent people' (presumably the ones who actually have hearts, empathy and feelings).

PONERIZATION is a word you must look up.

I'm sorry to see you go from this forum, but I do understand why.

I think it's important not to waste good energy on people who don't deserve you. Try to see through clear eyes. Through the manipulation and brainwashing techniques. When you see these "BWE bloggers" clearly, you give their words no power. Every disparing word toward fat black women seems to me like a cry for help. The fact that they wasted volumes writing about women whom they hate is pretty laughable.

Also I would wonder if they are indeed human. A human being would recognize another's humanity. They would empathize with their struggles to lose weight. I find women who have no weight issues and have always been thin, and are impolite and don't understand why people are fat, well, I'm just going to say it...they have no emotional affect. They have an emotional deficit. Psychopaths have emotional deficits. They are brain damaged, but these people are brilliant at creating rational arguments that manipulate 'good' people.

At anytime, we, as human beings (with souls and empathy and feelings) can choose what side we are on.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpsycho nappy

"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."

Blogmother, I love your blog and all but I have to admit that it seems like you are guilty of taking things PERSONALLY just like one of the BW IR bloggers you have issues with.

Blogmother Comment
Ah, yes, the "Nothing you said is credible because you are personally offended"/moral equivalence tactic. My point in including that anecdote is to demonstrate the absurdity of these women "revering" fat Black women for their "activism" and wanting to share their resources, while publicly reviling them. That quote is about my inclusion in a CLASS of women. If that quote is the only thing that stuck in your mind in this entire post, then again, that's YOUR personal reading comprehension and critical thinking deficit. I wish you well with that.

Like wise, I don't run around the internet whining that people are making personal attacks on me specifically when they blog about fat Black women. I'm writing about a class of women. I don't think these bloggers were thinking of me when they wrote their posts. That's the point, they weren't thinking.

So if you need to make this post equivalent to going on another bloggers platform and throwing a temper tantrum in the comments section whining about other bloggers being out to get you, then you're not logical and we don't need to interact anymore.

Nice try though with the obfuscation and redirection...now, back to whether we ought to be trashing fat Black women... you know, what the post was about! You demons can roll up in here all the day long avoiding that question if you want to.

I'm offended that you don't think I have a right to be offended at these attacks because they came from other Black women. #chileBYE!

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess

I am very happy to see this post. I love most of what the BWE bloggers have to say, but this aspect of their message has always made me uneasy. I'm fat myself, and even when I wasn't fat I had thick thighs, a protruding belly, and a wide butt--and I'm a man btw. Bone structure differences are ridiculed by some people
but that's fact.

Losing weight was never permanent and made me feel like I was running on fumes. I felt bad about being fat for a while but eventually I figured out stuff that I enjoy doing that gives my life meaning. Once I saw how eating well (that includes vegetables and also rich foods like French fries) and staying active made me feel more energized than trying to maintain a lower body weight, the issue clarified for me. I'm gonna eat a very nourishing, caloric diet and try to live as best I can using technology and medicine. I recommend that fat black women do the same. Don't ever think you're less than or that you're a thin woman in a fat body. You are a whole person today and you can empower yourself today and make the world a better place today through your character. Thank you for this message. I hope the BWE bloggers will eventually see where we're coming from but we can't wait around for that to love ourselves.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBluegrass

I love you so much for this. Seriously. This made my heart so happy, but my mind, so mad that you have to point out that Fat Black Women are people, too. And @ Inga, let me just say; "You ain't Never Lyin" about these co-opting IRD Bloggers throwing all kinds of Black women under the bus. So if Black women with blue hair streaks becomes the next target, they're going to go after them for not adhering to some unattainable, shallow standard of what a Black woman should be, in the name of looking good to White men. Men who helped create the fat Black mammy stereotype that they shudder and froth about, that stereotype that has caused the oppression of BW of all shades and sizes, that same stereotype that DIRECTLY AFFECTS FAT BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS and use that to degrade us. It's like we're being insulted ,TWICE.

No you will not castigate us in the name of Black womaninity, because we are women too. Fat Black women are Black women, too. Fat Black women are people, too.

I don't think there's anything else to say that you haven't already said. Bless you for speaking out on this toxic nonsense going on.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMissIce

Beautifully written post. I stopped reading the infamous website after her last meltdown and read Khadija's response with a large amount of glee but as she states, she's no long a part of the BWE movement. She's a hustler. She hustles these throngs of women into buying this thing and that thing. "This will get you a man!" "This will fix your hair!" "This will make you lose weight and finally be able to compete with Becky and Mei Ling". I thought about your comment on the power void and wondered if she'd be so blatant if Sojourner's Passport was still sending out new material. I feel sorry for the women and young ladies who buzz around her electric light not knowing they might get zapped. BGG2WL is the best sight out there and has helped me to live a much fuller life and I'm so glad you mentioned it so much. This witch hunt against "fat" black women is nonesense and I hope it drives more women from the computer screen to live their own lives away from the poison of other people's own self hate.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoddessM

Ladies,

I completely understand the reactions to the BB&W link. I stopped reading that blog months ago. When I saw so much support and strong arming other BW into supporting Red Tails, I knew I did the right thing. Personally, I feel that blog is trifling and all about capitalizing on the "BWE" movement for personal gain, not true fellowship with other BWE bloggers.

However, I don't feel all BWE blogs are "anti-fat BW". I think that's taking things a little too far. There are plenty of blogs that urge BW to lose weight out of genuine concern for our sisters. I'm getting the impression some of ya'll are lumping all BWE sites in with BB&W.

As a BW who has never been above a size 8, I can tell you it's to my BENEFIT for more bw to be overweight! Yeah, I said it. The brutal truth is there are more men (BM and others) who are more attracted to slim/athletic women than larger women. Hence, the more big women there are, the less competition there is for me. I have seen nonBM literally fall all over themselves at the sight of a slim/athletic BW. They can go ape-sh!t when an attractive, fit BW walks by. All thin BW know this. So, when a thin BW is urging other BW to lose weight, 9 times out of 10 it is coming from a genuine urge for all BW to find better mates, move up in society, etc. Otherwise, why would we really want more competition for the best men? It makes no sense.

The above "BWE" blog is the exception, I feel. That article is trifling just like the entire blog. There's a cadre of BW who take these empowerment messages to the extreme, and use the "BWE" umbrella to spread poisionous ideas, like the one in that article. All true BWE BW should stay away from that site.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

Thank you Gina! It is sad that some of these so-called "empowerment" bloggers and their followers really don't recognize or care that they are just as hateful and damaging (maybe more damaging) as any other negative force. Funny how some people can trash you and try to beat you down and because they use buzz words like "concern", "help" and "empowerment" they think you're just supposed to lay down and take it.

Why does it have to be an either/or proposition? In fact how can I work toward my best, healthiest, happiest self if I don't feel like I deserve happiness and success? SMH @ some of these crazy, insecure, issue-laden women who claim to be "empowered" and want to "empower" others. Thanks, but no thanks, your brand of "help" hurts too damn much!

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLMH

"Like you can’t have healthy self-esteem AND recognize that obesity is a disproportional issue among black women AND be actively seeking to rectify it on an individual level. That false dichotomy (trichotomy?) is not being perpetuated JUST by regular media.Like you can’t have healthy self-esteem AND recognize that obesity is a disproportional issue among black women AND be actively seeking to rectify it on an individual level. That false dichotomy (trichotomy?) is not being perpetuated JUST by regular media."

I am a Black woman who has always struggled with her weight, I am currently doing weight watchers and have actually lost quite a bit of weight, only a bit more to go until I'm at my goal weight. By the way if any of you want to lose weight THE RIGHT WAY, weight watchers is the way to go. Jennifer Hudson wasn't lying.

But any way, about so-called BWE bloggers who TRASH overweight black women. there is a difference between wanting someone to live a healthy lifestyle and just being an azz. I think we all know that obesity is a problem n the black community, but there are complex reasons why SOME Black women struggle with their weight and it is hard to lose weight because sometimes it's an emotional issue, so trashing overweight Black women and shaming them is not going to change any thing.

It would be more effective to encourage and help Black women who want to lose weight to do so, not insult and demean them. Finally, I think a woman should love herself no matter what her size is. I agree that you can definitely be overweight and still love who you are as a person, why shouldn't you? In fact, I would even go so far to say to truly live a healthy weight, no matter what size you need to love yourself.

some of these so-called BWE bloggers really are just worshiping white men and putting white men even above Black women and I don't go for that. how can you be about BWE but worship white men even above Black women? I also dislike the way SOME of these BWE bloggers, I call them the "something new crew," will call out Black men, fat black women but RARELY EVER do I see them address the racism that some white men have against Black women, NO they get a magical pass and it's insulting, it's offensive. They need to just change the name from BWE to "I worship white men." Nothing wrong with dating interracially, but come on that shouldn't be the MAIN thing that's going to empower Black women and losing weight JUST to catch a white man is pathetic.

Even if every Black woman was a healthy weight and obesity was at it's minimum in the Black community, we'd still have to deal with racism. Also most Americans in general are overweight, but people do not write article demeaning overweight white women who love themselves. it's just overweight bw who love themselves apparently, it doesn't make any sense.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpumpkin

Excellent post Gem.In every movement their will be infighting and those that were never apart of it as much as they were fame/money/attention seekers who threw themselves in the midst of it.

I appreciate your voice and all you have done.I look forward to your future projects.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

Thank you for this article. I've said it before and will say it again, so-called black women "empowerment" blogs care more about white men than they do black women. If you're falling all over yourself over white men, don't fit their idea of what you should look like, or *gasp* have a preference for black men, you're called all sorts of mammies and "mules". They're no better than the rest of these bw-hating fools out here.

I respect this blog because you are the only one who speaks up for black women UNCONDITIONALLY.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkicks

As a BW who has never been above a size 8, I can tell you it's to my BENEFIT for more bw to be overweight! Yeah, I said it. The brutal truth is there are more men (BM and others) who are more attracted to slim/athletic women than larger women. Hence, the more big women there are, the less competition there is for me. I have seen nonBM literally fall all over themselves at the sight of a slim/athletic BW. They can go ape-sh!t when an attractive, fit BW walks by. All thin BW know this. So, when a thin BW is urging other BW to lose weight, 9 times out of 10 it is coming from a genuine urge for all BW to find better mates, move up in society, etc. Otherwise, why would we really want more competition for the best men? It makes no sense.

Lynn, my response to this is the same is that it has always been:

Most fat black women are fully aware of their fat status. Again, I don't think MOST fat black women have an issue with being held accountable for their own health and welfare. There is an entire industry, profiting billions of dollars, targeted towards the overweight and obese. Thus, I think it's safe to say that most fat black women know they're fat, and even that it impacts the quality of the candidate pool they have in terms of romantic relationships. Is there a vocal contingent who believe otherwise? Sure, and that's their right to do so.

In any case, my perspective isn't limited to the aforementioned blog - frankly, I've caught whiffs of "disdain masked by concern" with other blogs, since AT LEAST 2009, though certainly not all BWE blogs. Nevertheless, I support those who support me. Period. The smoke and mirrors aspect of "concern" isn't an issue for me - I just hope more women have had the scales removed from their eyes, just because the message comes from other black women.

I think the somewhat insidious subtext has been there long enough that this isn't just a situation of "the emperor has no clothes," or overreaction. I think this has been building for a while, and it's come to a head.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaphne

@Lynn

I hate to break it to you, but there are some studies whose findings are to the contrary. Over 2,000 men were polled by social network site Badoo, which surveyed men from several countries, including the United States. Most did not want women below a size 10-12. Men prefer curvier women. We can talk about what men say in public vs. what men actually do in private, but that is not necessarily the reality--nor the focus of Gina's post. I've gotten just as much male attention super think (under a size 8), as I do as a size 10-12. At the end of the day, the point of this point is not about the competition to seek male attention, it is about the bastardization of the " black women's empowerment movement" -- and using a certain segment of black women as a target. By its very title, it should be understood that the focus SHOULD be on the well being of ALL black women, not whether or not some thirsty chick can get a man (white or otherwise).

For the record, I have silently followed various BWE blogs for years, and the blog above is NOT the only offender.....

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeriouslyReally?

I understand the emotion behind the Blogmothers post, but i think that we cannot get sidetracked and hurt by a few idiots who think that the way to end the mistreatment of Black women in America and in the American media is by becoming "skinnier" or "prettier" or "more attractive" to men. Internal fighting among BW about weight, hair, etc reminds me of a previous post the Blogmother had about the "Perfect Black Girl" syndrome - I honestly believe the some BW have become so afraid of the utter discrimination and mistreatment of ALL BW that they will find fault with the most ridiculous things about other BW in hopes of dodging the discrimination/ill treatment/violence bullet themselves - you know, if so-and-so Black girl hadn't been fast, then mr. so-and-so Black man/white man/American would not have assaulted her, or if so-and-so Black girl wasn't so fat, then so-and-so Black man/White man/American would like us ALL so much more and not diss us on TV. Of course, that's pure crap and a prime example of "Perfect Black Girl Syndrome" - at least the way I interpret it.

Fear changes nothing, and only exacerbated a problem, PLUS leads those that are in the most danger into the very mindset of those who wish us the most ill will. Fat or skinny, BW in general are, and have been under attack - by the mass media, our own communities, our own men. No matter how much weight you may gain or lose, it will not change the fact that we're all BW and in the same struggle. Our treatment gets no better based on our body size, weight, hair type, or skin shade.

I saw a commercial with Beyonce last night purporting her beautiful skin to be the result of a "secret" ancestry of African, French, and Native Indian - as if that is a different admixture of most all Black Americans, and as if having that mix makes you somehow "special" and flawless. Ridiculous of course, but that is a prime example of fear leading BW down the path of the detrimental worldview of those who hate. Meaning, Black is not good enough - you must claim admixture to be good enough - or BW are not good enough - you must become model thin (even if other races of women are not)to be considered a beautiful Black girl. Sad but true. This argument over 'fat Black women' is fear talking and until we move from that, we as BW will continue to be pigeonholed into nothingness. As BW, whoever we are , we HAVE to be proud of that and see our beauty in all shapes, shades, and sizes, and stop trying to transform other BW to make our acceptance into "the mainstream' easier.It won't happen that way. Period.

Fat or skinny, WW are seen as whole humans that come in all varieties. BW need to stop being afraid of what the white majority will do and say,what Black men will door say about us, or what those those racist, discriminatiing, powerful organizations(like the media) wil do or say about us. Until we lose that fear, we will never be seen over ALL as the beautiful people that we are.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHey There!

There are nuances on this issue that I will respectively have to agree to disagree with most of the commenters here. I'm fine with that. No one can make anyone else strive to bring their "A" game to the table of life. That's not to say that everyone who is overweight is lazy or just don't care. I hope no one reads that into my above statement. There are always a certain amount of people who will be in the larger range for various reasons. Not everyone can be a size 8--just like I can never be a size 0. Each BW has to do what they feel is best. I do feel some ladies here take any urge (even the genuine ones) to maintain a HEALTHY weight and read in "Something is wrong with all 'big' BW" in the message. It's on each one of us to receive the message in the spirit that it is given. I can tell you, diabetes runs rampant in my family and it kills me to watch my female relatives refuse to take any healthy preventative steps. But that's me and I have to let it go.

I see the issue very similiar to the 'youth' issue other BWE bloggers bring up. As a BW that's closer to 40 than 30, I know I got serious about finding a suitable husband late in life. Most BWE bloggers state bg's should start looking for the right 'quality' guy in their early 20s, since youth is on their side. I'm approaching middle age and I've never been married. I have to take the lion's share of responsibility of that because I waited to long to get serious and aggressively evaluate every man I date. That's my fault and it stings a little. Still I know that I'm still alive, God blesses me everyday, and everyday I have another chance to meet my husband. I face the reality though most suitable men of my age group are already married, attracted to younger women, etc. So my pool of available men is smaller.

Weight issue is the same thing. Sure some bw may be overweight or obese and no one should disrespect any one because of it. The harsh reality of life is more conventionaly attractive people get treated better, get paid more, have more dating options, etc. There was a study done on jury's punishment decisions for criminals. Except for con artists, in every other criminal category the offender got a lighter sentence if they were more 'attractive'! It's not right, but that's the way it is. In general, people treat you better if you are more attractive. It's one thing for an overweight bw to say they are 'aware' of this, but without experiencing the impact on one's quality of life, it's easy to dismiss how benenficial 'attractiveness' can be to a woman. This is a patriarchial world, and I believe women have the right to use any slight advantages she has to carve out a great life for herself. Not to mention, BW will be healthier and live longer maintaining a weight that is healthy for her body.

BTW, I do not like it when BW call anyone, even themselves 'fat'. It's a demeaning term and I don't think it's good for anyone's psyche to hear it. I try not to call any BW 'fat".

Blogmother Comment
Again, this is not a dating and marriage blog. Our definition of empowerment isn't "mancatchin" If that is your definition, then more power to you. You assume that people are unaware of all of the messaging about obesity. You assume that FAT women are dumb or can't reason. I suspect FAT women know more about the way the world treats FAT women than anyone else. So respectfully, we don't need to be taught anything by skinny women. There is no "nuance." You either treat people with dignity and respect and recognize that humanity is made up of mind body and soul, or you don't. I don't have to take on your definition of attractive. Picking on fat Black women and behaving like a 12 year old is unattractive as well.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

I was looking through her blog and saw a blog post dedicated to Gina on February 20th. Is that part of a larger scheme to ally herself with a blog as popular as this one?

Blogmother Comment
I don't know. I don't care. It's irrelevant. I didn't have anything to do with that post you mentioned. I didn't know about it until I saw my name on Twitter. I think some people from the outside looking in think every blogger wants to be "known." That's not the case, some bloggers "happen" to be known. If you see my name its to promote my conference or an issue, usually, violence against women and girls.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrina

What's wrong with the word fat? I use words every day. They're my most important tool. The problem isn't the word. The problem is in the mindset of those who believe that those who are fat are unworthy. Less than.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoslynholcomb

This is one of many reasons why I won't even touch the BWE movement with a 10 foot pole.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNew Black Woman

Before any more "concerned" skinny (or fat) women come up in here to share how much better their lives as skinny women are and share their unsolicited view points on the "health" of someone they do not know. Consider the following:

What type of mental disorder do you have that makes you believe that you are entitled to discuss another Black woman's body or health? Is she your mother, daughter, sister, aunt or friend? If not, chances are you are just being rude, arrogant and obnoxious. How about we discuss your pap smear? How about we discuss your last screen for STIs? Can we publish the films from your last mammogram? How about the notes from your last therapy session? Or your last psychological screen? No? Well why not? We're concerned about your health! Oh you mean matters of a health related matter are private concerns? So much so that the entire medical field is terrified of committing violations of healthcare privacy laws that they make you sign a HIPPA form? So what makes one "health" condition more private than the other?

Its a demonstration of how little regard you have for another person that you think you're entitled to carry out a public vivisection. It's not helpful or concerned, it's just rude.

March 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Some black women will go out of their way and around the block to show they are not "that kind of black woman," meaning whatever stereotype they are running from this week. They don't stop to think that while they are so busy distancing themselves from the stereotype or the week that is being hung on our necks, the larger issue (no pun intended) is that we (black women) are only being defined in stereotypes. We are not given the dignity of being looked at as individules. Why is it only one black female type can be on the public stage at a time, and none of them are positive (the loud mouthed shrew, the gettto ride or die, the long-suffering single mom, the stuck up high yella, the fat sassy, or fat unhappy or fat maid woman, the sexually promiscuous, the man-hater).

Yes there are some body types that will NEVER be thin even at their healthiest. Yes, genetically, people who descend from some African groups have more of those muscular, thicker body types possibly. But lets not forget that obesity and poor healthy even among the thin are problems for all of us pre-packaged eating Americans.

The main issue for black women, if they really cared about black women, is the overall attack on us. On our self-esteem, bodies, safety, pocket books. Many do live in poverty and in food deserts and lack health care and safety but that causes so many other problems beside being fat, like, oh for example, being put in danger of attack from the very people around you. Can you say Dunbar Village.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBee

Lynn was just concern trolling and in such just revealed everything we need to know about her. Shes old and thin with no man and it troubles her. Not our problem, lady!

She weeps for the fat young black women, cause if her skinny size 8 self cant find a man, how in the hell can a chunky one find one? Stop projecting Lynn youre not concerned, youre quite basic in your thinking. Please explain how fat is a demeaning word? More adjusting the word PC bull crap. Fat is fat, just like stupid is stupid.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey Tandino

Please go on this site to have all the fat phobic . and fat hatred argument invalidated ..

http://bigbeautifulblackgirls.tumblr.com/

I guess these fabulous fat gilrs did not get the message that they are supposed to be less than humans cause they are fat !!!

when i go on tumblr and see them happy with Gasp! thier boyfreind I guess the message that they are not supposed to be fabulous .. loved because being a fat black women is the worst thing to be. fat shaming has been going on forever on many of those blogs.. and you can't uplift all of us while being vicious to others because they don't fit your standard of beauty . wait a second that sound like the people who try and oppress us.. and yes i can't beleive that the white male gaze is all that matter.. like white men are not racist or sexist . they are all little unicarns of goddness who love all black women .. For black women to be empowered they need to define thier hapinness for themselves .. to be left alone not degraded, or oppressed bu any member of society.. be it black , women , and others..

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZi

So what makes one "health" condition more private than the other?

Well, HELLO, obviously it's because our condition is "visible," thus public and subject to scrutiny. (/sarcasm)

That's why you don't generally read conversations about food or exercise, unless it's ALSO about fatness. (Exceptions being the fitness spaces, where it's about training for an event, or fitness levels are directly tied to your profession, etc.) Because no one cares if you eat "crap," as long as it's not physically manifested on your person.

Most conversations I read online about food is puritanical in nature: good vs bad, scapegoating food groups, or even demonizing individual micro-components within food (it used to be fat, now it's carbs, specifically sugar). And yet, the country is still holding steady in terms of percentages of people considered overweight or obese. I've not read up on the history for a while, but this has been going on, in some form or another, since the late 19th century. Yet overall, people in the US are fatter now than 100 years ago.

That's why the declaration of "we need to talk about this!" is laughable to me, since it is talked about. Frequently. I've yet to meet any black woman, who was born and raised in the US at least, who made it to adulthood and was shocked (shocked!) to learn they were fat, because some "concerned" person took them aside and let them know. And no, Jennifer Hudson doesn't count, since Hollywood is a vortex of pathology. Heck, we live in a country where some (mainly whites) refer to First Lady Obama as "full-figured." Really? THAT'S the mentality we want to co-opt as it relates to combating obesity among us? And no one wonders why maybe it's not working?

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaphne

This discussion is very interesting. I guess there is a patronizing attitude in a lot of 'BWE" writing on weight.

I do follow many BWE Blogs and I generally love them but there are some things that kinda throw me off. BW are getting hated on EVERYWHERE on the interwebs. Why would a bwe blogger spend sooo much energy and time on shaming other bw?

I don't get how supposedly empowered black women were trying to basically shame other bw into watching Red Tails. Why? For whose benefit? Why should bw support someone who does not support them? Last time I checked, George Lucas had a black GIRLFRIEND. He hasn't even married her so how does that become a reason for me to watch the film?

There is one particular one who is quite a drama queen. I will miss you when you leave blogging. So very few women have your courage and undivided focus, I tell you. I still go over Khadija's old posts. That kind of courage is rare to find.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbelleafrique

You are striking at the heart of an extremely important topic. I actually think that it's bigger than the 'fat black girl abuse' which is very real, very pervasive, and disgusts me to my very core.

The abusive treatment of overweight black women is a symptom of a larger problem. Basically, we didn't all agree on what 'empowerment' really meant. Some felt it meant 'get a man', so any black woman who they believed contributed to a certain 'stereotype' (overweight, lack of education, hair choice X,Y,Z) became a target for annihilation in order to 'save' the more worthy black women.

Some believed that BWE meant elevation and prestige, (usually for the blogger themselves). Goals: Get on CNN. Sell a book. Get some dumb, meaningless award for your blog. Be called upon as an 'authority' of black women. Stroke your ego by getting many acolytes became the main goal to some people -- and to hell with women that were trampled in the process.

I have never, in my 40 years of life, seen more vicious, savage, going-for-the-jugular communications than I have witnessed when the so called 'leaders' of the BWE movement got together behind closed doors. EVERY and I mean EVERY attempt to work together devolved into nuclear-level wars. Words were used like battle axes, bloodying everybody in sight, for the slightest grievance or even a simple misunderstanding. For women who profess to love black women, a lot of BWE bloggers sure love to shred sisters like a pit bull being thrown a slab of meat.

I had to step away from the blogging world because I did not like the changes that it was making in me. I found myself dodging arrows, getting angry, and occasionally throwing grenades back -- writing and saying things in anger that I am ashamed of today.

Back to your point though: you are right about the bashing of fat girls on too many blogs that claim to care about them. Black women are not good enough -- they must be transformed into a more palatable demographic for the world. Not as much interest in dismantling the oppression that warped our world experience in the first place.

It's part of a continuum of the devaluation of individual black women -- just seeing readers as a faceless mass -- forgetting that behind that computer and anonymous moniker is a living, breathing human being with feelings. Of course this is not all BWE bloggers, but it does seem to be a growing trend.

This constant negative feedback cycle is the reason I that I had to step out of this movement. We can't stem the tide of racio-mysogyny if we can't even speak to each other with compassion.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShecodes

The viciousness stems from an absolute hatred and loathing for black women. I knew this when they posted The Mammy Chronicles. And never believe for one moment that it's only a certain type of black women they despise--it's black women in total. The fact that they have any followers at all is the saddest indicator of just how low some black women's self esteem is. Why on earth would they stick around to read blogs where they are constantly encouraged to make themselves over in some other woman's image? In what way is that different from what we've been told all our lives? And they use as an example some Chinese woman simply because she managed to marry a wealthy man? Seriously? This home wrecker is what black women should aspire to? Anybody can marry a half-dead man, if you're willing to sleep with a corpse. Hell, Anna Nicole Smith pulled it off and she wasn't even a sentient human being!

This is the type of thing that we've seen time and again. A good message. A powerful message can be twisted and warped beyond all comprehension when placed in the hands of those manifesting internalized hatred. The lack of compassion. The lack of empathy for the group they claim to be promoting is absolutely chilling. The language used is not that of elevation, but that of annihilation. Years ago I posted on this board that genocidists don't start out wielding machetes and ovens. People would recoil in horror. No. First they use words to convince people that the despised "others" are less than. Are subhuman. They appeal to the need within the brutalized to feel superior to others. Only then can they strike and "cut the tall trees."

Many black people are walking wounded, and incapable of creating a movement of empowerment and elevation. Before one can engage in such work one has to carefully examine one's motivation. Are you looking to elevate black women, or simply your own interest? Have you done the work FIRST to heal yourself of living in a culture that despises black women and all we represent? Any movement led by those who have not done this crucial work is doomed to failure. Black women's empowerment cannot and will not come through who we pull cover with, regardless of hue. Empowerment should and always will ome through the manifestation of SELF LOVE and when you truly love yourself you will love, and have empathy for others. Only then will you be capable of sustaining a meaningful relationship.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoslynholcomb

Great post Blogmother! >>>hug<<< Your voice of sanity and truth will be greatly missed :(

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentera reader/lurker

Great post Roslyn and very nice to hear from you again.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

This is why I stopped reading each and every one of the BWE blogs. I would occassionally disagree with them and everybody on the site went in - it was like a cult. I have to admit that I too would sometimes participate when others went against the crowd and then I slowly began to become uneasy about that and stopped making comments at all. What I noticed when I took the opportunity to observe was that anytime anyone spoke up/ disagreed the crowd that came to these sites acted like the person cussed their mama out when all they did was disagree or try to bring something they felt was revelant to consider to the discussion. I won't read or support BWE's because they seem to be about further division not empowerment, uplifiting each other or understanding.

I fight disrespect about me being ME, a black woman who wears her hair natural and YES who is also fat from the world at large daily. I don't need nor will I accept it/support it from a black blog/blogger/ followers either. I agree that the focus seems to be more about black women being thin enough to get an interracial relationship/man than getting healthy for themselves. A man is not a cure all and denying my culture and hating myself does not empower me or any other black woman either. It simply gives folks a superiority complex and frankly I think they have enough issues/complexes as is.

Going to miss you Gina, but know you need to move on!

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNikita

Great Post...

and great insight @ Rosyln! Also, re: "The language used is not that of elevation, but that of annihilation." ...

Some of those folks are adamant about their nasty language being "truth" and the idea that the "truth isn't always nice." ... I'm always amused when sanctimonious people use that same myopic argument to rationalize their obnoxious agenda or behavior, and then will try to accuse those who call them out, as being enablers. People often like to dish, but can't stand being served a heaping helping of their own shortcomings.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffey

I will miss you very much but wish you much happiness in the paths you now plan to take. I have learned more than I can say from your blog, and it has influenced not only my health but what I pass on to my daughters (42 and 36 yrs.) and my grandaughters (5, 20, and 22yrs.). I applaud your courage to tell the truth and , to remind your readers of the necessity of treating t themselves and others respectfully. You have been a role model for this reader. Thank you sincerely.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergwoman

Good luck in your endeavors, Gina. Besides Khadijah, you were the only one worth reading.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryou will be missed

I won't try to give an in-depth explanation of the impact that several exchanges online recently have had on me. I will only say that I am very disappointed and hurt by all of this. It would seem that women who are concerned about advocacy for BW would be able to fellowship with one another, without so much confusion and strife, regardless of differences. I have respect and appreciation for several different bloggers. But, all of the recent contention is making me feel like I need to take a break. What was once edifying is starting to feel less so. I think I will pare down what I follow, because it leaves me feeling down and discouraged. Things shouldn't be this way. As I've told you before, Gina, I appreciate everything you've down here at WAOD. And, while I advocate healthy living for BW, I believe that women who are overweight have a right to a strong sense of self-worth. Some of these comments about various attacks on BW are surprising to me, because I've missed them. It's an unfortunate situation. And, it seems to be doing more harm to the cause of BW advocacy than good.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFormavitae

*le sigh* To be honest, I missed most of 2009-2011 because I was incredibly busy. So I don't know if there was a turn for the worst or radicalization or if that always existed. I know that the Twitter War over NWNW was one of the most embarrassing moments in Black Women's Social Media History. I probably should have spoken up more forcefully, but to be honest, everybody looked crazy and I just backed away slowly.

@formavitae everyone should take a break from blogs on occasion. I do, and I blog.

March 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

IMO, it goes back to the very beginning. After all, the Mammy Chronicles mess was in 2008, very shortly after they came on the scene. They overplayed their hands with that one nd revealed too much of their Clarence Thomas type loathing for black women, and after the hue and cry, it disappeared. Gradually, over time they'd do these posts of "concern". In one when I pointed out the pathology of overeating the blogger made her lack of concrn evident, and that's when another blogger said she wouldn't want her children around fat black women, and if I'm not mistaken that was in 2009. So yeah, the loathing and disdain has been there from the beginning.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoslynholcomb

@roslyn man how did I miss all of this? I guess I really am in my own little world and that may be a good thing.

March 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

I stuck around because I believed that black women desperately need an empowerment movement. Each time a new blogger would come along I would check her out hoping she was free of the type of hatred that undermined any positive good their message could give. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions each new blogger was worse than the ones before. Nothing good can come from a tree that is poisonous at its very foundation. The indoctrination that we receive in this country is so profound that such a movement is not possible. All we can do is encourage individual black women to seek empowerment on her own terms. And maybe, when all is said and done that is a better route anyway.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoslynholcomb

Hello all,

I read through most of the comments and I get where most are coming from. There is an elitist attitude among some BWE blogs. I do have mixed feelings regarding the weight issues. I was always super skinny growing up and hated. I would have done anything to have a body like the thick Janet Jackson. LOL. Now that I am older I am struggling with my weight. According to my BMI, I am about 35lbs over weight. I hate this extra weight because I just don't always feel good physically. When I was small I had more energy hence, I was more active. Then I became complacent and the weight crept up on me. I never took offense to the weight loss tips. I actually enjoyed them. As individuals are responsible for or own bodies and image so no one should ever tell us what our weight should be. But is it fair to assume that all black women should be offended by the message? I'm not saying that being fat means being unhappy but guess what some are unhappy. I read urban blogs and they will tare Jennifer Hudson apart because of her weight lose. Most say she is ugly and that she looked better fat. I don’t think that is fair either. I don’t want to start a fight, just wanted to share a different view. Thanks for your consideration.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercns

But is it fair to assume that all black women should be offended by the message?

cns,
I don't think anyone here is telling women to feel a particular way - offended or not. I think most of the comments here are those who perceived the subtext or blatant disdain, and/or attempted to *reasonably* challenge the bigotry. BUT were dismissed as being in denial, being lazy, wanting to be fat, etc. Again, there is a false dichotomy being presented: either you're fat and (possibly) unhappy with low self-worth, actively trying to lose weight, and raising the alarm about obesity in black women....OR you're fat with healthy self-esteem, and denying obesity, not trying to lose weight, complacent, possibly deluded, etc.

As for women insulting Jennifer Hudson's slim physique - it's like I stated in an earlier comment: Moniquian women who degrade slim women and slim or fat women who degrade fat women are two sides of the same coin. Neither perspective has EVER been about concern for anyone's well-being. That's just a smokescreen for the real deal - attempting to declare which beauty ideal is superior.

What Roslyn and others have stated about this going on for years is true, in my estimation. But it usually wasn't as incisive as it was on the blog mainly referenced in the original post. No scratch that - on that blog, the underlying disdain was always apparent...folks just got really bold and hateful with it this time. Others were specious in appearance, so more difficult to pinpoint and easier to dismiss the "naysayers." Particularly when some of these conversations include health and well-being.

Heck, I remember one commenter who dared to comment on BGGTWL about the disdain, and was ripped apart for it on a completely separate, unrelated "empowerment" blog about it. It was absurd.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaphne

@CNS for real, sincere weight loss tips "Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss" is actually a fairly balanced reasonable message. BGG2WL offers recipes, insight to why someone might overeate, support etc. as does several other sites such as Weight Watchers or SparkPeople. However, let's not pretend that something along the lines of "Lose Weight Now or Die Alone You Lazy, Indoctrinated Woman" is anything other than negative and hurtful. Any reasonably intelligent person knows that HOW you deliver a message is just as important (if not moreso) as the message itself. That is why advertising, focus groups, politics etc are billion dollar businesses. I have NO mixed feelings about weight loss. It is hard, worthwhile work that requires committment as well as support! I have had successes as well as set backs in my struggle with weight as many women have. What I find offensive is someone, ANYONE thinking that because I am fat I don't deserve, dignity, respect, common courtesy, love, happiness, sucess etc. Let's be "real" for a moment and admit that there is nothing "nuanced" about the terms I just used. Anyone who really can't see the difference between and insult and support doesn't really deserve my support.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLMH

Hello all,

I love the BGGTWL cite and it is a favorite of mine and I will try to be more discerning.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercns

Good Afternoon Gina,

I don't often comment on your blog but I have been a reader for a long time but I wanted to say I will miss your work and your words of encouragement. You are a very wise woman and God has truly blessed you thanks for saying what I've been feeling for a long time now about some of the BWE blogs one in particular that you've highlighted from the comments section has become what seems like a haven for attracting those that bring confusion and discord to the movement so I find myself just spending less time reading and more action being taken in my own life and being empowered in my own way and not the way others think black women should be.

So Gina God Bless you in all that you do and whatever your next step is for you i know it will be truly empowering for you.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterelle rochelle

Well, I'm 51, divorced, black and fat. Since when is being any of those things a crime? As if there aren't non-black women with the same things in their lives? Amazing how the media constantly wants to demonize Black women. Just today, I just saw an op-ed piece in the NYT running down Black fat women. That specific paper is the WORST when it comes to "sista hating!" This media generated war on Black women has been going on awhile now, but this year it seems to escalating at an alarming rate. I'm sick of seeing us picked on so much, and I'm sick of this nonsense that we have to look and act like skinny white women in order to earn the dubious reward of having a man in our lives. So he can just keep on judging us and being conditional about his love for us based on the numbers on the scale. I'd rather be alone than put up with that crap! At any rate, I wish the media would find something better to do and just leave us alone. They need to quit with talking about large sized Black women as though we were all on the same level as drug dealers and pedophiles.

May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina

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