The idea to discuss weight came to me from another blog post of mine and I decided that the issue of weight deserves its own blog post.
I was asked what I thought of Gabourey Sidibe as a role model for Black women since she apparently is perceived as overweight and that Black folk are for the most part, overweight and yet they are looking up to Gabourey Sidibe as a role model and this particular commenter did not think that this was quite the thing.
My response is as follows:
It ain’t just Black folk that’s overweight, at least not in America, that is. Obesity is an epidemic in America from what I hear. Now, when I was in the southern part of the U.S., I saw both young Black girls and young white girls that were extremely overweight for their age. Back in my day, when I was their age, we didn’t have that problem, but things are different today. With growth hormones in the foods we eat and the fact that many young people are placed on medications at such an early age, I think that this contributes to the obesity epidemic that is so talked about in America.
Not to mention that this is a fast paced world we’ve set for ourselves and when everything is grab Micky D’s and go, what can we expect? Children are hooked on video games are not outside playing like children should and this is another contributing factor. Habits start early and are learned and when the habits start out bad, there ya go.
Now some people cannot lose weight for the life of them despite everything and some people have medical issues that cause them to gain weight. You can’t just look at everyone and say, “oh he/she can’t pull themselves away from the table or they should leave the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet to those who weigh 100 lbs. Not all ‘skinny’ people are healthy and not all overweight people are unhealthy. Some folks body can tolerate more weight than others. Black women can often carry more weight and still look good. When a size 8 is deemed, fat, that’s a problem.
Also, take a look at this link and it will give you a slight idea about the differences in how Black women and white women lose weight though both are doing the same exercises and in-taking the same amount of calories.
So, as you can see, many Black women have a harder time losing weight, but it isn’t, in most cases, for lack of trying. If Gabourey Sidibe is healthy, then more power to her. However, people should not look up to ANYONE as a role model to determine whether or not they should lose weight. They should talk with their health care professional and seek advice as to what their options are and if they have been trying to lose weight and can’t, then their doctor can do tests to determine if they have a condition that warrants treatment. Certain thyroid or gland disorders can cause weight gain. Certain antidepressants and other medications can cause weight gain. It’s not a Black and white issue, it is an individual and the state of their health issue.
I basically strive to be healthy and I have found that I must continuously walk and be active to keep the weight off. I can’t let up for a minute. Losing weight is a lifestyle change, it is not a diet and that is what people don’t get. It cannot be a ‘New Year’s Resolution’. There’s a saying, “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!” So, true and that is why before I open my mouth, I make sure that what I’m putting in it is worth it. If I know that I’m going to sip champagne, it will be a salad for me and that is all. But, everyone is not me.
So as for this young lady being a role model, again, no one should be a role model, they should confer with their medical professional. And since I don’t know much about her, I can’t speculate as to why she is perceived as overweight, but I am sure that if she is perceived as being overweight, she gets enough flack for it and doesn’t need any more of it from me.
Now, on the other hand, we have models who have been purported to be too big at size 4 to continue modeling. Meet Former Ralph Lauren model Filippa Hamilton is 5′ 10″ and 120 pounds
Ms. Hamilton was allegedly considered too big to model Ralph Lauren’s clothes even though she had modeled for Ralph Lauren since she was 15 years old. In this next picture, Ralph Lauren decided that Ms. Hamilton should look like, well..see for yourself.
Seriously? And even Ralph Lauren finally admitted:
Ralph Lauren admitted that the digitally manipulated image of Hamilton ‘resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body.’
What message is this sending to young girls who are caught in the middle of this nightmare of on the one hand, if they are 120lbs, they are still perceived as being too big and if they are Ms.Gabourey Sidibe’s size, they are ridiculed for also being overweight.
Just what the hell do you want people? Must women look like this?
Yes, French Anorexic Model-Actress Isabelle Caro passed away while battling anorexia and this statement was made upon her passing:
So sad, considering that the 5’4″ model had brought her weight up from 70.5 pounds to about 92.4 pounds.
A full-grown woman weighed in at a whopping 70 pounds. We’ve got a world of issues, but people should not be dying because they must have THE look, the look that society has deemed ‘beautiful’. If a person is healthy, but perceived as overweight, so be it. But to shame people into losing their life over attempting to lose weight is just beyond the end of enough.
And why the focus on women? Oh, that’s right because women are still perceived by men as mere sex symbols and men have determined what ‘beauty’ should look like. Well, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch and Stitch and Itch for all I care, could just kiss my ass since I don’t give a damn about being anything but healthy. It pisses me off to no end that young girls are killing themselves because they are told that their bodies just don’t ‘cut it’. It pisses me off when someone will use the generic wording, “so many Black folk are already overweight.”
Why did you not point to what is perceived as an overweight Black man and ask me “what did I think?,” if it is ‘Black folk’ in general who are overweight? I think that there is more than enough self-hatred in this world than for me to join in to advance more of it. Count me the hell out. I’ll not point the finger at another and say, “geesh, you’re so big I can’t stand to look at you, lose it honey!” So many people have a negative self image of themselves(especially women) and then there are those who just go out of their way to make them feel even worse. If that shit was aimed at me, I’d tell you in no uncertain terms to “shove it!” People are damned either way, too big, too small, what the hell! Concentrate on uplifting people or trying to not be a part of the problem. And unless you’re perfect, there’s probably something that you could work on about yourself, like learning empathy but then that won’t help just like no one can be taught by a class on ‘sensitivity training’ if they’re not already, sensitive.
With all the problems in this world and we want to concentrate on somebody’s weight when we don’t know what their medical situation may be. Don’t judge and if you do, keep it to yourself! I cannot believe that this is coming from you because on the blog post, “I Am Cursed,” you had a problem with the situation as it pertains to the color of your skin and now you want to turn around and bash someone who already is at a distinct disadvantage because all that is glorified and considered beautiful in Hollywood is the white skin and now you want to throw ‘weight’ into the mix. Talk about the ‘pot’ calling the kettle ‘Black’. If someone thought you too Black to be human and considered you to be three-fifths of a person, you’d have a problem with that. And yet, you don’t have a problem slinging it at someone else. If you’ve got feelings that can get hurt, so does someone else. Think about it the next time you want to insult someone because of their weight. Someone could be insulting you because of the color of your skin. Can you help that? Did you eat too many chocolate Ho Hos and they turned you Black? I didn’t think so! And just maybe eating chocolate Ho Hos has nothing to do with why Gabourey Sidibe is perceived as being ‘overweight’ in your book or in anybody else’s book for that matter!