Heavier Black Women Happier to Accept their Weight than White Women

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The Washington post published a short poll by the Post-Kaiser Family Foundation with looks at the contrast of healthy lifestyle and the weight average of black and white Americans. The results were that most black women held a healthier lifestyle in higher esteem than their white counterparts, however were on average heavier and ate slightly more fast food.

Initially looking at these figures we would be lead to believe that black women are overweight meaning that they are unhealthy and supposedly being overweight also means unhappy. Now please take a moment to note that there is no perfect weight or standard of weight indicated nor cardio health indication, so whose to say that the figures presented in the last chart mean that black women are both overweight and unhealthy.


The poll as seen on Washington Post: 

Views of body and image


This report was not one of the usual bash black women reports that we saw so many of in 2011, but instead a subtle contrast that reveals that black women are on average a little heavier. Not necessary that there slightly higher weight average means that they are overweight. The ideal beauty was stick thin until reggae and hip-hop videos began to flaunt “bootilicous babes”, which were for the most part black women with large derriers. These videos despite the unnecessary levels of nakedness, go to show that black women and men are more accepting of larger voluptuous bodies than other races.

A further report seen on the Washington Post ‘Black Women Heavier and Happier with their Bodies than White Women‘, goes further to demonstrate that black women who are overweight are not aiming for a stick thin body but instead for a healthy body.

Michelle Gibson who runs a boot camp fitness class for African-American women at the L.A. Fitness Club at Capitol Heights. Gibson herself from first appearance would never be considered to be someone who would be healthy or happy with her weight let alone a fitness instructor for 12 years. 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. Always having been one of the fuller figured women in the gym she loved her body.

I particularly like that this report goes on to show that women are burdened by a societal image of the perfect weight, however we should ourselves set what we believe is the perfect weight for our own bodies.

[quote author=""]The notion that all women must be culled into a single little-bitty aesthetic is just one more tyranny, they say. And black women have tools for resisting tyranny, especially from a mainstream culture that has historically presented them negatively, or not at all. Freed from that high-powered media gaze, generations of black women have fashioned their own definitions of beauty with major assists from literature and music — and help from their friends. [/quote]

Who is setting the standards for ideal weight? and who makes those charts that indicate what a persons weight should be in reference to their height? Who, how and on what basis? Women who are told by their family doctor that they are overweight according to these charts, although they may have gone in feeling happy and healthy, on receipt of the overweight label are immediately complexed and fluster into desperate, unrealistic and unachievable weight loss plans.

Those who are naturally voluptuous, as is with many black women, need to take these ideal weight charts with a pinch of salt, your weight should be judge not by a chart but by your general level of health in accordance to your weight. There are many large women that have healthy lives, being large does not immediately equal being unhealthy.




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  • http://www.shamontiel.com Maroonsista

    I keep reading reports defending being overweight and in some instances I understand why people shouldn’t feel bad about not being super thin, but let’s be real about it. Even the BMI for a woman who is 5’3 in 130s to 140s is not “stick thin.” In my early 20s I was a size 6 then a size 8 and at no point in time did anyone think I was “stick thin.” Sometimes we do more harm than good if defending being overweight leads to entirely too much heart disease, diabetes, etc. It is definitely possible to be healthy at a larger weight, but quite honestly the African-American population is still getting hit way too hard with diseases DUE to weight. Until we get that under control, I still think emphasis should be on bringing weight down to help our health. Not at 99 lbs., but what’s the harm in a woman getting down to 140s? Or even 150s? Fast food isn’t doing us a bit of good outside of adding fat on.

    • http://www.allblackwoman.com admin

      I believe that the problem is the way we look at weight in todays society in fact both women who are small and large can have just as unhealthier body as one another. The point should not always be that women are made to feel pressured to look a certain way or be a certain size, because we are not all the same. However, we should instead place the concentration on a healthier lifestyle, allow these women to learn about how to improve their diet, exercise, take better care of themselves, monitor their progress but not because summer is coming and they want to look good but because it is a fundamental point in their life. Starving oneself to be thin or place extreme pressure on oneself to loose weight fast is often highly stressful and not long lasting. We have to concentrate in educating our women to gradually change their lifestyle for the better, diet, exercise, habits, finally they all make one. Lifestyle impressions are long lasting!

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