I had a very interesting conversation this morning with my co-workers. There were 6 of us ( 3 black women, 3 white women) chatting over coffee and as always, the conversation turned to weight. All of us have been working on losing and in the course of discussion, an interesting point was made. Black women and white women have different ideas of "skinny". We talked about how the images we see of both black and white women in the media are so different. The ideas we have of what is considered a "healthy" size was drastically different. As one of my co-worker's said. "After some point in seeing someone losing weight, if they get too skinny, I just want to feed them a sandwich." I know as a black woman, we always hear lose weight but don't get "too skinny". It's important, we are told, to keep your butt and all the other curvy parts lest you lose your man. *eyeroll*
From the time we are little girls, black females see what is considered "fine" by black men. Using urban dictionary's definition, thick is what you wanted to be called. Thick implied you were fine, sexy, wanted by the men. As teen aged girls, you wanted that attention. Then we were bombarded with images from music videos and reality shows like THIS or THIS . Never is healthy mentioned in this at all. You were encouraged to be big because that's what society wanted from you.
Then I read this article and to say I was distressed and heart broken was an understatement. One of the women interviewed bragged about the fact she maintain herself by eating junk food and not exercising. In addition, she subscribes to the belief that "black women don't want to be skinny."
A damn shame.
There needs to be serious conversation about the way we are letting ourselves being portrayed in the media. Not just black women but all women. I look at young women in the school I work at and I see them emulating the images they see on TV. Worse, I see the young men treating them as objects, not as classy, beautiful young women. One day, I hope we can open their eyes and allow to see the life their parents intended, a happy, HEALTHY life!