Are We Making Obesity Sexy in the Black Community?

Are We Making Obesity Sexy in the Black Community?

by Sherrell Dorsey of Organic Beauty Vixen

Screw what’s politically correct on overweight children and adults. Diabetes is at an all-time high and plaguing African American and Latino communities. Jennifer Hudson, Raven Simone, Mo’Nique and Marsha Ambrosious are all celebrities that have gone from voluptuous curves to hard bodies that are healthy, lean and inspirational.

Did you know that African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to ANY OTHER RACE? How ridiculous! I know that real women have curves but not rolls! I’m certainly not pointing the finger because I myself has teetered 15 pounds past my normal weight since I’ve been home. We have to take back our health and no longer accept that our susceptibility to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other preventable ailments deserves their own high-fashion collection in the department stores.

Check out this clip from NPR on obesity being encouraged in the black community. Now I’m not saying everyone should be a size two but I am saying protect your health. You can have curves and still be healthy. My typical size is an 8, when I get into those 10′s (that I had to throw on last week), I know that it’s time to put down my plate and get back on track.

Let’s be the girls we were too lazy to be yesterday and take back our health! Sexy is eating healthy, teaching our children to eat healthy, exercising regularly not just for weight control but stress reduction as well and most importantly maintaining great skin.

We have to start getting in shape and developing a healthy eating and fitness routine for a long and healthy life. After all, and I hate to be morbid, what good is a cute plus-size outfit if you could end up wearing it at your own funeral? But it isn’t all our own fault right? What has the culture done to help us further our unhealthy outlook?

Here are a few of my observations. What are yours?

  • Where’s the farmers market in the hood? Unfortunately, fast food chains reign supreme in lower-income communities and especially communities of color. Without adequate access to healthy food, our options for getting fresh fruits, veggies and meats are slim when a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is out of our reach.
  • We don’t want to sweat out our hair. Even natural girls aren’t trying to mess up their do’. Hitting the gym means wasting money at the salon.
  • Grandma and mama made it so it must be good. Holidays and Sunday dinners are filled with fried foods, yummy starches and greens cooked in smoked turkey or hamhocks. As delicious as the food is, our cultural foods ignore the health impacts of high blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer.

The fact of the matter is we have to TRY! We have to learn more about our health, getting on a regular fitness plan and encouraging our friends to do the same.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Are you a plus-sized beauty that has thought about or taken the steps to losing weight?