A Fatty By Any Means Necessary

Source

by Shanti of A Curls BF

I was sitting here this morning puttering around the house listening to NPR's special called "The Hidden World of Girls" produced by "The Kitchen Sisters". It was a fabulous collection of stories about the experiences, struggles and "inner worlds" of young women from around the world. The last story introduced a growing trend amongst women in Jamaica. Some Jamaican women have resulted to taking "chicken pills" to alter their hips, thighs and buttocks to make them more full. These "chicken pills" are growth pills that are used to make chickens mature more quickly than nature's timeline. An explanation of as to why this phenomena emerged is explained by a Jamaican man interviewed for NPR's story,
"Most males, they love to see women with big bottoms. The whole idea of Coca-Cola bottle shape" Carol says. " 'I don't want a meager woman,' that's how the men would speak. ... They're figuring if you look meager, you look poor, in the sense that you're not being taken care of."

"If you have no meat on your bones, the society can't see your wealth, your progress, your being..."
The risks associated with the consumption of these chicken pills is great due to the cancer causing cumulative toxic agent arsenic which is present in the pills. The story went on to describe that the pills are among other body altering substances that are used widely and illegally in the Caribbean. Skin bleaching is also a widely used product.


Source

The very end of the story ended with this statement from another interviewee, this time a woman,
"At the end of the day," says Stanley-Niaah, "women do these beauty practices not to diminish themselves, but to somehow assert themselves."
Many thoughts ran through my head after listening to the program. I am no feminist but immediately I wanted to blame men for our distorted attempts to please and be accepted, then of course my thoughts turned to the white man for twisting the sense out of the black race then I just had to face reality. We as women, specifically Western women have got too much freakin' time on our hands. We have it far too easy. The fact that we are willing to risk our lives for a fat ass in comparison to our fellow women folk in Egypt and Yemen who at this very moment are risking their lives as human shields against army tanks so that they may have a say in the direction and leadership of their country speaks volumes. The fact that we are willing to risk our lives and our children's lives by obsessing over hair texture and applying toxins dutifully every six weeks and shelling out thousands of dollars because of it in comparison to Liberian women who risked their lives and successfully ended a civil war through unity and persistence due to their dedication to the important things in their life such as peace and the safety of their future generations speaks volumes about our values as Western women. We exalt, strive and find a false sense of "assertion"in our sexuality when we are so much more than tits, ass, thighs, good hair, bad hair, natural hair, permed hair, divas, eye candy, single or married. I say that wholeheartedly but I struggle when I try to imagine what more we can be? What ideals, movements, principals are we willing to look past ourselves and die for? Don't we want our baby girls to beam with pride that their mothers lived, breathed and stood high due to more than Louboutin heels and fat asses? Sweet baby Jesus, I know I do...

Left to right Yemen journalist Tawkkul Karman, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee. All are Nobel Peace Prize winners.


Let's inspire one another! Comment and share what you strive to stand for as a woman.



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Shanti Mayers and Antoinette Henry are best friends whose friendship took root in Philadelphia 10 years ago. Now as adults, Antoinette lives in Brooklyn New York pursuing her dreams in theater while Shanti still resides in Philadelphia raising her one- year old daughter. The creation of their blog “A Curl’s Best Friend” is representative of the creators and their love for natural hair, their appreciation of beauty and talent, their need for self -expression and their admiration for the many faces and voices of womanhood. Keep up with them on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!

74 Weigh in!:
Anonymous said...

If we want our baby girls to beam with pride, then we have to get a man to like us first so he will want to have sex with us and we can have a baby. Then we can focus on other stuff.

Anonymous said...

I strive to be healthy, and beautiful both inside and out. But I'll define that beauty, and beauty to me is my kinky hair and all my beautiful curves. I'm intelligent, I'm succesful and a force to be reckoned with.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have ever ragged on a commenter, and for that I apologize for interfering with another's right to free speech.

Dear Anonymous @10:15am.

1. I hope you don't mean for your statement to be taken literally!

2. Maybe you posted it and was unable to edit your response?

3. Maybe your comment was intended to be facetious and sarcastic, and if so, well done.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article!

Anonymous said...

I blame a lot of this attention to the meaningless things in life on the media. There are very few places we can look to find truth. Every information source has become an outlet for entertainment drivel. We know more about the kardashians than we do about the financial state of our country. We ascribe to be the kind of people that can afford million dollar homes and make it rain than the kind of people who hold our family members and community accountable for senseless acts of coonery and violence.

Anonymous said...

Preach anonymous 10:42, it's absurd.

Onebyd42 said...

I agree COMPLETELY with Anonymous 10:42, it's a damn shame!!!

Anonymous said...

hmm well I think you have a ton going on here in this article. It's not always as simple as I want this hair , shape, or skin just to brag about how wonderful I am. There are cases in places in the world where if your hair isn't a certain texture, your skin not a certain color than you cannot achieve anything and people are willing to put their lives on the line for that.It's not as simple as they're doing it to be famous and please men, and all other vapid pursuits.

Anonymous said...

So what are you, with a life in theater ( a form of entertainment) doing to support our sisters abroad and right here ( there are some serious issues right here at home?

No doubt the things we give so much time and value to in this society are disturbing.

But I get a little tired of what I sometimes feel is a false concern for other issues in the world. More of a way to tell everyone else how wonderful you are than any real concern for anything.
Ask your self why is so much time and attention spent on Kardashians, etc It's very easy to be a clanging cymbals and stand on their soapboxes or in this case your internet blog and "preach"
It's an entirely different thing to actualy do, and until the doers out weigh those who don't care or those who simply preach we'll have the same problems.

Anonymous said...

I think I understand the over all point that the author is making however, I dont particularly like the comparison. I think a complex matter is simply watered down. African American women live in a cutlure in which they are minority. In addition, they are females (twice minority).

Yes as a black american woman I am much more than my physical big booty and big thighs. However it has bene my big booty and big thighs that have been mocked and sexualized my the largely culture and within the last three decades the black culture. I am not ashamed of my curves and I am not going to apologize and I can say this without buying into the notion that I am only my curves.

Anonymous said...

I was always taught and I tend to believe that the truth always exists.
Some may tried to mask it making it harder to find, and others may choose to ignore it or not believe it, but still truth exists.

In this day in age it may be harder to find the truth, but I think we are to rely on no one but ourselves to find it. That may be extremely hard, but as they say anything in life truly worth having doesn't come easy.

Anonymous said...

Why are we being so harsh on this blogger who is just trying to bring some of these issues to light. It's a beautiful Sunday morning, and some of you women need to sit down and chill out. Antoinette, the article was well written and brought up valid points. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

And to answer your question, as a woman, I strive to be a role model for our daughters and little sisters. I will succeed in this white male dominated world with my afro. I am beautiful and i don't need anyone to tell me so.

Anonymous said...

This post really struck a nerve with me. Yes. Unfortunately some women are jacked up in the head and it's sad how focused we are on the meaningless crap in our society. It seems that many people have forgotten what it was like for us back in the day when black women were constantly getting raped by white men. Our ample hips, butts, breasts and thighs somehow sent the message that we were some type of vulgar, oversexual beings that was theirs for the taking only when no one was looking. It took a lot of years and many generations of wonderful women to help rebuild our dignity and help us to recover from being treated like that. Now women feel the need to put themselves out there like some sort of circus attraction just to get attention from some sex crazed loosers?! I have noticed how black women in the old days fought so hard for their families and communities. The women were the ones who were suffering, working two jobs and trying to keep their families together despite all of the oppression. Many generations of women have offered these black men so much love and support. They wiped many tears and helped thier kids hold thier heads high at some of the lowest times in our history. They loved their sons, nephews, grandsons, brothers and fathers SO MUCH even when society turned its back on them. Now, some of those fools turn right around and treat black women like animals, killing their self esteem, then pick over black women like they are damaged goods at the second hand store. Black women are so deep, loving, and loyal. One day I hope that more black men will come to respect that. To answer the question above, I strive to find some things in life that I would die for! I have a daughter, and I would die for her in a heartbeat, but I know that I must do more and give more. There is SO much love inside of me to give, and I am preparing myself to do whatever I can for my child, my family and my community. I simply don't have time for an idiot who's simply looking for a woman with a big butt. Get the Hecht outta here with that Bull*ish!!

Anonymous said...

I loved this article and the message. I strive to be a wonderful mother to my son and to raise him into a strong, educated, black man. I will keep him around positive male role models and keep him in the church no matter how tired I am on Sunday mornings!

Anonymous said...

None of this is new info. There are and will always be women whose top priority is to find and please a man.

Anyways, can we talk about the chicken? I already don't eat red meat and pork, and I've been trying to wean myself off of poultry. I've heard of the fattening practices and my question is how are the "cancer causing agents" not passed into the human system from the chicken? Guess I am heading to being a pescatarian a lot sooner...

Emily CottonTop said...

I wrote an article the other day about my view of what beauty was as a child raised in Jamaica... And how I felt about myself in comparison to my white or light skinned friends. There a number of things that plague the Caribbean community ...
1. The beliefs that if you are white or light skinned or a "brownin" as we called it... U looked better than those that are dark skinned. The result... To this day women bleach there skin

2.) the coca cola bottle shape phenomenon- men almost always say " if yuh nuh have the shape... Me nuh have nothing fi seh to yuh" hence chicken pills are rampant. These things were put in our music... How special it was if u were pretty brown skin... Long hair... It was ingrained in our culture. For me as I got educated my view was different I no longer "hated" my kinky hair and my skin I accepted me for who I was. In some parts of the island women do not have the opportunity to be educated... Men as well. Bob marley talked about appreciating the black woman and black culture... He loved his black wife with the kinky hair... But even him,.. He messed around with pretty little light skinned girls too (that's how we got Damian marley) ... I think the author is in her right to highlight these issues because they are real.. I lived it for a long time.... Things are changing though... That's the positive part... Nothing wrong with talking about it.

Anonymous said...

I have a little different take on this in regards to the coke- bottle shape frame. I've had to live with that all my life. I am naturally very petite, because of that all my life I got told you aren't black, or you need to eat more, you aren't attractive no man will want you etc because of my smaller frame. Those things took a toll on me as a girl and younger woman. I'm a bit older now and no not to pay any mind to it, but it's easy to get caught up in it when you're living it day to day. Those women have my empathy.

As for the other stuff, all I can do is be the change in my little corner of the world and hope that that makes an impact.

Anonymous said...

Black people have been so brainwashed and raped in the head. The white man REALLY did a number on us and he got us good!
We hate each other if we don't look close enough to the "the man". We hate each other if we look TOO much like "the man".
We are soooo far behind as a people and now we are just doing it to ourselves. When is this madness ever going to stop. SOME PLEASE send a message to the world that your skin color and your body shape is pretty much out of your control.

We are so uneducated, but we will spend our last dime trying to look good because no body wants to be shut out of the in crowd.

Stealing hair from beauty supply stores (not afro textured hair though). Weave shops popping up everywhere now. Weave SIGNS on the streets and the highways. Note that weave shop billboards aren't advertising afro textured hair either. Need I go on???!!!!

We are so F***** in the head!

Dana said...

Wow! Thanks for the article...a crying shame but extremely thought provoking.

TheDaezy said...

" I am no feminist but immediately I wanted to blame men for our distorted attempts to please and be accepted..."

Oh my god. When the hell are people going to pick up a freaking dictionary and look up the word feminist. Feminists aren't man haters who walk around blaming men for stuff. Acknowledging that we live in patriarchal societies and the majority of what we know has been constructed by men, doesn't mean you hate them. However you must be willing to challenge them.

Feminists believe in equality of all people regardless of their gender (including transgendered and inter-sex people here) and collective female empowerment. Anyone who believes a woman isn't and shouldn't be limited by her sex is a feminist. Anyone who believes men aren't and shouldn't be limited by their sex is a feminist. Anyone who believes transgendered individuals aren't and shouldn't be limited by zir sex is a feminist. I don't know who went around telling people that feminists were evil femi-nazis, but we need to stop perpetuating it. All it does is confuse and impede progress for the cause. Don't be afraid to call yourself a feminist. De-stigmatize the term and take back its power! I guarantee that people will still like and date you (if that's a concern).

M said...

Good article. It's good to start a discussion or shed light on things that some people may have not even heard of. What is the REAL point of attacking the author? Goodness gracious! It seems to me that some people just leap at the chance to criticize in this black hair community. UGH. We need less criticism in our community and more meaningful discussion even if we don't agree. Great job Antoinette!

WineGrrl said...

@TheDaezy: Thank you! There is nothing wrong with being feminist!

Anonymous said...

Emily CottonTop, As a Jamaican woman, I appreciate what you have argued. However, In Jamaica, the chicken pill phenomenon is not "rampant." There is a small segment of the population that takes fowl pills, but these are usually women who participate in the Dancehall- a space that has a very specific definition of beauty -and who want to make become Dancehall Queens. Even among these aspirants, the practice is uncommon.

Miche'al said...

I read this before and think it is crazy!! But when went to Jamaica all of the men where all over my 200lb+ girlfriends. However, my 130lb self was totally ignored. (Shrugs)

SB said...

Great article I like a break in the hair action sometimes. Ladies there is plenty for us to do here at home and aboad. Lets start by reading some books about our history and knowing who we really are and what we have done in the past. Lets not just talk about problems but be a solution to the promblem. Marcus Garvey, "Footsoldiers of the UNIA".

ATWC said...

Hello All-
I am Shanti of A Curls Best Friend and I was actually the author of the above article. I want to say a few things in defense of the article and what I was trying to convey
I was not on any soap box, I had never heard about the use of chicken pills and I thought it was a relevant and important discussion to be shared. It always amazes me to see the contrast of lives specifically of women in this world. Some women are fighting to be physically accepted and admired (which we all do) while others are fighting to feed their babies or fighting for their civil rights to the death. My hope in sharing the article was to encourage my fellow women to think about what they stand for and what they are willing to fight or die for and to share our thoughts with one another. Boom. Dat's it!
For the writer who suggested I shut up get off my soap box and do something, I would love to! What should we do??? I think that discussion is key to immobilizing change. Do you think that Malcolm X or Martin Luther King just jumped the hell up one day and brought about a civil movement without first thinking, talking, learning, debating and "preaching"??? I am no Martin or Malcom but I know when I discuss with others it ignites and fuels passion and desire for action.
For the other women taken aback by my statement "I am no feminist but immediately I wanted to blame men for our distorted attempts to please and be accepted..." I was referring to the hyperbolized stereotype of a feminist woman which is one who is angry and blaming everything on men. I am sorry if that was taken offensively. Although I don't proclaim myself to be a feminist, my views on male female equality are the same (although I have some differences in my beliefs here and there). I am grateful to the movement for all its done for women. I didn't mean to separate myself because of any aversion to it. I just don't label myself a feminist in the same way I don't label myself a democrat or a republican.

Anonymous said...

Heck I'm tryin' to LOOSE weight, not gain weight. And why would you do that?!?! Get someone to like you for who you are.

SB said...

@ACBF
"I would love to! What should we do??? I think that discussion is key to immobilizing change."
Look into Pan-Africanism

ATWC said...

@sb Pan Africanism is more of a concept. We are asking about something more tangible. Think tanks, groups, organizations and such.... We have some in mind. We are wondering if you can offer us more.

CurlyInTheA said...

Thanks for spreading the knowledge. This may not be my reality, but it is some womens' reality. Idk why some people choose to shoot the messenger. I have had heard ofsome Jamaicans using teeth whitener to lighten their skin, but never chicken pills to get a curvier shape. Before we dismiss this by saying this doesn't happen in the states, just remember that women are dying getting back alley buttock injections due to the pressure they feel to have a video vixen body-most of whom have surgical enhancements anyway.
Http://www.hairnista.blogspot.com

Berthia D said...

Hmm thats crazy. I personally think large hips, big butts and full breasts are very attractive. But sadly I didnt get the right genes. Women should work on achieving them by exercising and healthy eating instead of using pills.. hmmm

Anonymous said...

As an avid visitor of your website, it made my day to see that you are aware of things happening in Liberia.My family is from there and to hear how great the country used to be to what it is now is hard to imagine but it is life. My own cousin who is a girl struggles to attend school. She could have easily given up but every day she takes over two hours to get to and from school trying to better herself so that one day she can be of use to the society. Ellen Johnson has done so much to rebuild and setting a great example for the women of Liberia.

Kam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kam said...

I can certainly understand the writer's point of view and even gave a few head nods while reading, but the generalizations made in the article are off putting. As are the insinuations by some posters that the "white man" has something to do with it. No, The individual has something to do with it. If you (and I speak of no one in particular) give someone else the power to define your sense of worth, your sense of self, that's all you. And quite frankly, not all of us are preoccupied with $500 weaves and putting our bodies on public display. I see the author's aim but it never helps to speak on a group as a whole...we simply aren't all the same. Just my two cents, otherwise an insightful article nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

This was an excellent article! I agree with everything you said. Women will inject their bodies with silicone, hydrogel, calk, jello, pudding...lol....anything to get a plumb bottom. Women will risk their lives and have an unlicensed individual perform these procedures in a hotel room to make themselves look more appealing. If you have to enhance your sexual parts it means (at least to me) that you are hoping to use sex to get ahead in life. Be happy with the way God made you. Not every man will like you physically and thats fine! All these enhancements and women who idolize it only dumbs down the young women in society and makes them believe that your physical will get you "more" in life than your mental. Lets hold some real values in life and get ahead that way. You only attract the wrong things when you have to change your outer...use that money and energy to work on your inside. Go to college, talk to a counselor about your insecurities bc at the end of the day if you dont you wont even be happy with the enhancements you've made!

Bianca said...

I strive to be an excellent example to my daughter by doing what I was put on the planet to achieve!With strength!

Anonymous said...

I am completely amazed at the negative comments. I didn't find anything negative in the article. I think it's absolutely absurd the measures that some women take to alter their natural bodies. Injections, pills, and all that stuff is ridiculous. There are bigger issues at hand than having a Nikki Minaj booty. But sadly, that IS all our culture focuses on. If you were born that way, great. If you were born flat, great. Work with what you have and love it. We always worry about what a man is going to want. If your butt is big, trust and believe if he cheats, her butt will be flat. And vice versa lol. I say that in jest, but it's true. We need to learn to love what we we're born with whether it's kinky hair, straight, flat chest, big boobs, etc. Our kids, especially in America, need to know that there IS more to life that this. Conversations are needed before change can happen. One person can't do it alone. It takes a village. I soooo appreciated this article...Chicken pills!!! Wow.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps charity should begin at home. The injestion of foreign substances to achieve curves is also present in the U.S. Some females and transgender individuals have unfortunately resorted to using substances that amount to industrial fillers, with consequences resulting in casualities or physical deformities.

I would also suggest buying organic poultry and meat to ensure that dangerous hormones are not injested. When I observe high school girls who are curvier and bustier than I am (at 41), excluding genes, one of the contributing factors is those darn happy fast food meals.

Anonymous said...

Me personally, I'm trying to lose my meat. Been curvy since 12 and while it seemed great at first, it turned out that it sucked. Men liked what they saw, they didn't like me, at all. It was rare that young boys and men had a genuine interest. I find that the less I show off my assets, I seem to attract a better quality of men. Men still stare and try to figure out if I have a booty, but they are usually disappointed since my butt doesn't stick out my jeans anymore. If it does, I still hide it with jackets and shirts. And me personally, I think those big donkey booties are nasty.

My point is, my worth does not lie within my body shape, its my mind. I refuse to go down that road again, and I want a man who likes ME..for me. I choose to work on and better my inner self, and I think other women should do the same.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with anonymous 5:45. I am ASTOUNDED that so many chose to attack the author of this beautifully written piece.

How convenient that whenever there is an issue prevalent among women of color, we deflect to, "That's a generalization/stereotype" foolishness. Are you kidding me?!?!?! Duh! We are well aware that not every Black woman on the face of the planet feels pressure to alter her butt and thighs, but if even ten young women have felt pressure to do so based on what they see in popular culture, we have a problem.

It means we DO in fact need to examine our value systems, what messages are being taken away from music videos, etc. It also means we may be regressing from women who once lived on purpose, to shallow women who only want to receive attention for our sexuality.

Thank you for starting an important conversation! Maybe one day we (Black folks) will be strong enough to handle others pertaining to the steady decline in our productivity.

Jena

Anonymous said...

Question: Why is it that everytime we talk amongst ourselves about sistas doing weird things to their bodies, Jamaica always comes up?. I never heard of the chicken pill phenomena and consider myself widely travelled there!. What race were those people with the fix-a-flat crazy glue butt business? Who put food in the garbage and starve themselves to death, even on their deathbed saying they're fat?. Who is trying to replace their hymen or if found out could face honor-killing. Ever race of women is off the rails changing their bodies.enough drama here to keep your coffers full. Why don't we have ads on tv running around the clock showing some black women with the caption' beautiful skin'. lef di lickle country people dem wid the con-agra fowl feed.

Zeitoune MP said...

Great piece Nikki!I almost missed this one today.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else think that was a picture of the Style Pantry lady before they scrolled down and saw the whole picture? I was like WHAT?!

April said...

Being a feminist doesn't mean being a man-hater or anyone who likes to blame all of the problems that women have with their self-esteem or socially on men. I consider myself a feminist because I'm all for the empowerment, education, uplift, and equality of women. And I don't hate men. Feminists get a bad name a lot of the times because the term is so misunderstood.

Now what I stand for as a woman is education, ambition, community, being proactive, and helping those less fortunate than myself. We're all beautiful and should be valued by our minds and our actions over our appearances, and it's sad that we aren't always seen that way. I definitely struggle sometimes with being on the slim side and my self-confidence isn't always high because of that, but ultimately I know it's my mind and my ambition that will get me where I want to be.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, the comments here and many that follow other articles I have read throughout the internet highlight our self-hate. We are in sad condition. Very sad. We can keep blaming everyone else for our problems (including ourselves, as a collective) or we can take a good, honest hard look in the mirror and start there.

Not everyone is going to have the same values. We need to accept that. In regards to striving for something more in life or making positive changes, I can only assist people who share the values that I share and won't lash out with self-hate and/or bigotry. I just don't tolerate that and move out of the way fast. I do think some of us value the superficial way too much . When some of us are exposed to someone who shares our skin color, but looks, thinks or acts differently than we do, we lash out with hate and unkind words. . . instead of living and letting live.
This , along with having to navigate the ignorant stereotypes that some of us are doing our best to support, is so very tiring.
But, I CAN ONLY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY REACTIONS TO THESE THINGS and my thoughts and actions in my own life.


To answer the question posed in the article:
I strive to be (and maintain being) a person who is healthy, humble, honest, trustworthy, compassionate, knowledgeable ( academically, professionally, AND spiritually). I am constantly striving for higher levels of mental and physical fitness. I also strive to keep negative people out of my close personal circle.

Anonymous said...

I find it fascinating that many women vehemently distance themselves from the word 'feminist' (as though it is a four letter, profane word), but love the benefits that all women in this country (and around the world) enjoy as a result of the blood, sweat and tears of feminist work. It's disingenuous and bass ackward ignorant.

THAT amazes me.

Anonymous said...

Chicken pills, eh? Dayyum. Somebody need to start exportin' some of these U.S. steroid chickens to Jamaica. That way, at least they can enjoy eating what will give 'em a big'ole swoll-up look. Cuz, from looking at some of the chicken eating mammas stateside, these U.S. chickens W O R K overtime!

Anonymous said...

ummm she never said anything bad about being a feminist she just said she wasn't one. It's obvious she is a stand up woman trying to better those around her because she took the time to write the article. You guys are so busy looking for a reason to hate that you are missing the entire point. WHICH IS A HUGE REASON WHY WE ARE ALL SO F'ED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. HELLO! shame on you. Look at the bigger picture instead of nit picking as you sit back doing nothing behind a computer screen and watch... while criticizing someone who is bringing light to the subject and actually doing something about it. Women are taking chicken pills because their heads are so screwed up. Do you know how serious that is? But wait... you probably don't because many of you only want to argue and fight. Go watch the housewives of atl if that's all you want to do and let this woman do some real work. Bravo shanti. Thank you for posting this because I didn't know it was happening. You taught at least one person something today.

Anonymous said...

Let me just put this out there...JAMAICAN women bleach their skin and take chicken pills. Please don't generalise and say that women on a whole in the CARIBBEAN do these things.

Anonymous said...

Amen @ Anonymous 1/30/12 1:51am...Amen. Love this site but lately it seems all some posters want is to be hostile and arguementative. Freedom of speech, difference of opinion, open dialogue ...it's all great but being negative and mean just for the sake of being so...not cool.
Sometimes if you have nothing constructive (not sayng you have to agree but provide something that adds to the conversation) to contribute its best to just keep it moving.

Anonymous said...

I'm Jamaican. I don't think she is attacking Jamaican women. NPR focused on women in Jamaican. Why is everyone being so sensitive? Currly Nikki is probably reading this in disgust.

Mimi said...

Yes it is true that these things happen in Jamaica but it is definitely NOT the norm. I don't personally know anyone who has bleached their skin or taken the 'fowl pill'. The majority of people in Jamaica find these practices absurd. I am sure it's not all women in the States who are doing botox and getting breast implants which even though they are commonly accepted practices, are on a base level no different from the bleachers and the fowl pill takers. Women looking to change what they have naturally to feel better about themselves.

Anonymous said...

I am Lawrence:

I think sexuality is personality more so than physical appearance. Ive seen petite and (unconventionally) shaped women ooze sexuality. Having said that; I believe a petite woman with strong self confidence and esteem can be just as sexually enticing as curvy women.

Anonymous said...

Wow, can we not see the real reason for this post? Why do you think she is attacking anybody? She is asking how we can INSPIRE one another instead some of you are doing the complete opposite. Why is it so hard to just lift another woman up? I read most of these posts and they have nothing to do with what the author is asking; what do we want to stand for as a woman? I want to stand for strength, courage, and inspiration; to inspire my sisters to be trend setters in life. Be the first to complete your life's dreams and be a driving force for the next. Excellent article author.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:15, Doll you have some incredibly low selfesteem. Smh, hopefully your under the age of 18 and if so then its not too late to change your mentality. If not...then I feel pity for you. As for the article, I am described as petite but with a shape and have no problem pulling men. I live in the Bronx, NY and have seen women do this to themselves, especially Jamaican women, so this doesn't surprise me. Seeing this first hand it appears that their bodies look distorted to a degree since there top portion does not match their bottom. I find this unsettling especially with the bleaching of the skin. The women in the Caribbean seem to change every aspect of themselves to please a man but you don't see the men doing the same. Thank God I was born here and mother told me everyday that I was gorgeous and beautiful just the way I am.

Anonymous said...

I think it's sad that any woman would have to alter herself, whether she's in China getting her feet bound or in America, saving for butt injections. That's why it's so important that we continue to have open dialogue and express ourselves. I think the fact that becoming "natural" is a growing trend speaks positively of those who refuse to let society define their beauty. We are beginning to embrace our beauty, and I take comfort in that; my hope is that little girls everywhere can one day do the same.

GiGi said...

First-I also don't understand why so many people here are attacking the author who has written such a thoughtful piece with a global perspective. She did not say anything negative about feminism, and it's rude to snark that she does not know the definiton. She is asking what can we do as women to make the world a better place, and some of ya'll are attacking her because of your perception of one line she wrote. Maybe that makes you feel more hardcore.

Two, can we talk about the numbers of women willing to mutilate and distort their bodies to appeal to sperm donors? It's amazing how some women have such low self esteem-a nod from any worthless bloke standing on the corner is enough to risk ingesting toxic substances. It's human to have insecurities, but women like this take it to another level. And they would skin another woman alive to get to one of these guys, too.

Also, if someone clearly asks for suggestions as this writer has done, why challenge them by claiming they are merely shouting from a soapbox? Meanwhile you haven't offered anything to the convo besides ugliness. Anyway, thx for posting the article.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, but as others have said, it has a few problems. One of them for me, like TheDaezy pointed out is the misused of the term feminist. We, as women, really need to understand and embrace this term and fight the stigma attached to it. OP, the misuse of the term feminist and your further explanation on it invalidated most of the article for me.

jacky said...

Yeah, we should stand up and be who we ARE not who others(or guys)think we should be.Truthfully we are more than eye candy and we should show them that because if we don't they'll end up getting pleased and we'll end up getting burned hardcore.YOU is the best YOU that you can be...i mean who says beauty only lies in a full figure?.I see different kinds of beauty everyday in every woman because we're different.If every girl looked almost exactly the same in the curvy aspect,guys would go after the girls that seemed different (less curvy) because what they want is someone unique to live with forever.

Anonymous said...

@ TheDaezy, in general feminists do NOT "believe in equality of ALL people regardless of their gender". People who believe in equality of all people regardless, are called activists. But secondly, let's not get caught up in semantics, this is a very thought-provoking article and it has stimulated discussion which is always good. Thirdly, I sincerely hope that readers are not narrow-minded enough to believe that such practices ONLY occur in Jamaica! This happens all.over.the.world! Women in this country or any other "first world" nation may not be swallowing chicken pills because that seems so unsophisticated. Rather they are using padded underwear and/or plastic surgery to augment their butts, breasts, noses etc. "First world" women are bleaching their skins and popping in colored contact lenses. So don't dare look down on the poor "third world" Jamaican woman and think "thank God I was born in this country", because women in this country have just as many problems with self-esteem (let me remind everyone of the powerful new documentary Dark Girls http://officialdarkgirlsmovie.com) But why...that's the important question? Why do women in general feel the need to change ourselves in order to feel pretty or to attract a man? Is it due to having too much times on our hands? Or is it due to self-hate or a lack or self-esteem? And why should black woman hate ourselves? As the author expressed, it started during slavery when black couples and families were separated and auctioned off and when our beautiful black women were at the white slave owner's mercies. That is where it began but it is up to us, all over the world to end it! We have the power to educate black little girls and to ensure that she knows her self-worth and that she is beautiful just the way she is. What types of role models are we exposing our children to? We need to do better. Unlike our fellow females around the world we are not fighting for anything anymore. We all need to get upon our soapboxes and shout out to anyone and everyone who will listen. Malcom X said, "a man who stands for nothing will fall for anything". And with Black History Month approaching, lets resolve to stand up for something/anything that bring about powerful change.

Erica S said...

WOW! this is just crazy! It's sad how women are quick to jump to extreme measures to make themselves "better" when really we should just love whatever our bodies naturally do. We should love the way our hair decides to grow, the way our skin decides to color the way our butts decide to form. It makes us all unique and beautiful. I would hate to live in an area where everyone had a huge butt. How boring is that! lol

Tiffani said...

I am astonished by Chicken Pills?! I seriously can't get over it. Chicken Pills... WOW! I am so glad I had positive role models in my life who taught me about self image and I have enough self esteem to love me or me.

Anonymous said...

For the author to post that this is a growing trend among Jamaican women is a gross misconception and generalization. This phenomenon started in the 80's and has grown nowhere, because as another poster said, the practice is only amongst a certain group of women. Please do not get it twisted and start painting a picture of all Jamaican women, as many here are commenting, as being insecure and crazy. I have never seen a chicken pill and I know no family member or friend who has ever seen or used these chicken pills. Let's not get it twisted. As other posters have pointed out, world over women are always trying something weird to achieve a perceived standard of beauty.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shanti! THANK you so much for writing this article. I am very impressed! Thanks also to CurlyNikki for posting it, this has just convinced me that "CurlyNikki" is not exclusively just another fashion-media-bimbo-hype page, but a place where we can actually step out of ourselves, just for a moment, and try and understand ourselves, society and culture from a more objective view. I feel that it is quite genious to insert such an informed article into a page mainly concerned with physical looks - it gets us off guard and places us between a rock and a hard place, suddenly we realize how shallow we've been. Some of us are willing to admit it and try and do something about it, while others throw up their defenses and try and hide from the fact that we're overly concerned with something that has very little importance in the long run.

The three things that I felt are of significance for us to think about and speak on are:
1. How do we want to be part of making a better world?
2. Are we aware of the effect of the media on our self image and how can we protect ourselves and help educate and protect others?
3. How are we going to stop "the industry" from abusing "us"=the people of the world?

I'm just going to leave ya'll with this thought from the Writings of Baha'u'llah: "All praise and glory be to God Who, through the power of His might, hath delivered His creation from the nakedness of non-existence, and clothed it with the mantle of life. From among all created things He hath singled out for His special favor the pure, the gem-like reality of man, and invested it with a unique capacity of knowing Him and of reflecting the greatness of His glory. This twofold distinction conferred upon him hath cleansed away from his heart the rust of every vain desire, and made him worthy of the vesture with which his Creator hath deigned to clothe him. It hath served to rescue his soul from the wretchedness of ignorance."

PinkGirlFluff said...

Great piece! Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was so powerful! And definitely food for thought!

NikNak said...

Personally, I feel as though it's no one's business what another person chooses to do with their body.

This problem has gone on since the dawn of time, but people just can't get past it. STOP MEDDLING!It is none of your business what a person chooses to do w/ their body. If they want to put a gazillion tattoos on it, or triple D breast implants, it should be of no concern to you.

You are your own master, and that's it. No one else's. Stop trying to dictate how people should live their lives, just to suit you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for shedding light on the truth! and thank you CurlyNikki for posting it! Regardless of the nay sayers it's the truth anyhow. MESSAGE...pick it up!

Anonymous said...

I could have donw without the profanity but this was an interesting topic. My family is from Jamaica and I never heard of this but I wouldn't be suprised either.

Anonymous said...

I see clearly what you're getting at but if we're going to target a topic like this wouldn't it be necessary to talk about those who goes through surgery for big boobs, butts, smaller waists, fuller lips, a younger face... I'm Jamaican I've heard about the chicken pill, but those things were from years ago. People rarely use those things anymore.
Whether we want to agree or not we all alter ourselves, the very makeup that some ladies put on is an alteration. Contouring one's nose, contacts( one is born with brown eyes and you wearing blue contacts). I don't want to seem against the article for I'm not, but regardless of anything if we're going to talk about it lets talk about everything. That's the very thing Bob Marley was trying to teach us when he said "emancipate yourself from mental slavery"

Isis said...

The examples given in this article regarding the western womans desire to alter her appearance are by no means exhaustive or wholly representative of the values of the vast majority of western women. Although the topic itself is an interesting topic in itself I would like to leave this page with the encouraging and thoughtful message which can be found towards the end of the article. All over the world women battle on a daily basis for a worthy causes that will shape the future prospects of many lives to come.

But I believe the western consumer can sometimes have conflicted interests for example: Damn my hair isn't straight, let me go sort this mess out vs. Damn this society doesn't appreciate that childcare cost are so high its preventing me from working more and therefore progressing in my career. Or: I'm gonna have to book in with the surgeon to sort out these thunder thighs vs. Our government have postponed taking action on a conflict ridden country in order to make a new Oil deal with them despite them killing thousands of their own innocent people.

It has no direct impact on me what any other woman chooses to do, but the effects are there and can be seen through history. So when someone posted earlier that it is no-ones business what a person chooses to do, quite frankly, I find that viewpoint regressive, egocentric, and disrespectful of all the work individuals strive to do for the greater good of society and humanity as in the end it is more than just that one person who benefits from their success. If everybody took that care-less attitude @NikNak I fear I wouldn't even have the opportunity to education today, being 1. A woman and 2. a woman of "ethnic minority" background.

Lilie said...

Nikki, I love your blog! I've been looking for something just like this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your passions, your style, opinion, and your family! :)

Sasha Monique said...

TOO MUCH MIXUP WE GOT TO DO BETTER

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