Why Black Women Are Fat, Part 2 – The Skinny Girl Edition

By: Sporty Afros

Why Black Women Are Fat, Part 2 – The Skinny Girl Edition

When I read the Alex’s take on the “why black women are fat” article I wholeheartedly agreed. There are other factors at work here such as lack of access to healthy food, lack of knowledge about fitness and how food affects your health. But I think the biggest problem is the cultural perception. In the black community it is widely accepted to be overweight or “thick”. Growing up as a skinny black girl, I was affected by this first hand. I always felt like I was an alien from mars because I was taller and skinner than all of my friends.  And boy, did I get an earful. Constantly. I usually heard one of the following lines from boys:

  • “Oh you’re cute, but you’re too skinny” Usually followed by “call me when you gain __fill in the blank__ lbs”
  • “Dang girl do you eat?”
  • “Where’s your butt?”

The list goes on and on. I used to long to be a thick, curvy girl so the boys would like me. I had dreams of having a figure like Beyonce when I grew up. Clearly that didn’t happen. I was ridiculed by kids and teachers alike. One of my sixth grade teachers asked me if I as anorexic. Really?! All of the guys I’ve dated (which isn’t very many) have asked if I could gain more weight. Except for my current boo, John. He thinks I’m a perfect! Woot! I finally found a guy who likes skinny girls!

I mentioned all of this to say that I think we as a community have a long way to go to get our health in order. We lead the nation in obesity rates and preventable diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.  Along with educating black people about diet and fitness, we need to work on changing our cultural perception about whats beautiful. We need to work on accepting ALL body types. Just because you are a normal weight for your height and weight doesn’t make you anorexic.

Now that I’ve gotten older, Ive accepted my body type and tuned out all of the negative comments that I still hear from time to time. I strive to live a healthy lifestyle from my food choices to working out 3-5 times a week. As long as I do those things I don’t care what the scale says.*Three snaps in a circle*

Here are some pics of me growing up as a skinny girl…



That’s me in the middle. I was in 7th grade.



This was senior year of high school before Homecoming….Can you tell I didn’t want to take the pic?!



This was senior year of high school. The guy in the pic was my BF at the time. We ended up dating for 5 years…oh how things change.



I was a size 1 in this pic. It’s the skinniest I’ve ever been since I was 16. I had to get all of my clothes taken in! I had recently dropped about 15 -20 lbs due to stress. I gained it all back though :)

Don’t judge my outfit in this pic, this was sophomore year of college and we were on our way out to the club….geez.



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  1. I can so relate to this article!! I was constantly teased about being skinny growing up! To this day I’m still skinny and think that is how it’s always going to be…I’m slowly getting to the point where I can accept my size.

  2. 1babydragon2go says:

    I do understand your view on this issue. As an adolescent, i was called Olyve Oyl, Lurch, 2 by 4, neckbone knees. I would have given anything to get out of my AA bra and gain a bubble butt. Fast forward 30 yrs-I am 43 and I’m grateful for my chest and behind because they didnt have as far to fall when the fall began. I am 5’8″ and I weigh 165. I wear a size 12. I worried that my weight was high so i spoke with my doctor. He said my BMI was in an acceptable range. I realised that i was comparing myself to the girls in the videos and the influx of black females spotlit on television. My doctor also said that our weight is distributed differently. Our evolutionary ancestors had curly hair, dark skin and a body that stored fat in their humps(buttocks) like a camel in order to survive the heat and droughts. I say all this to say is that the things that as descendents are built to thrive in the modern expe

  3. 1babydragon2go says:

    Blame my incomplete earlier post on a twitchy finger. In short, our thickness was a sign of health because it was true. Thick today seems to have been equated with fat and out of shape smashed into a pair of of Apple Bottoms.

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