the 30 & over project: All This Talk About Black Women, Weight, and Body Image

Jennifer Hudson, image from wikipedia

Here are my reactionary Tweets from Tuesday, after listening to author Alice Randall on NPR discuss her “Black Women And Fat” article:

Tweet #1:  WOW! Listening to Alice Randall on @NPR @woub discuss her@nytimes article #BlackWomenAndFat

Tweet #2 :  Why are Black women always the case study for #BodyImage and#Beauty esp when it’s discussed negatively #BlackWomenAndFat#AliceRandall

Tweet #3:  @nytimes @Krissah30 If only ppl discussed #BlackWomen ‘s accomplishments ad nauseum the way they discuss our #BodyImage#Dating #Issues

Tweet #4:  There is a #Fitness culture within the Black Community. We must adapt these practices. #AliceRandall #BlackWomenAndFat @NPR

Tweet #5:  We must redefine and reclaim our own roots within our culture.#SoulFood does not mean fried chicken #AliceRandall#BlackWomenAndFat @NPR

While it seems that Black Women seem to have been put under a microscope the past few years be it for our dating situations, lack of relationship options, our career goals and education, and now our weight, I think we can all admit and agree that it’s about time that we begin discussing the plight of Black women and our relationship with weight. And whether you argue that it’s a cultural or genetic thing for Black women to have larger hips and thighs, and butts, or whether you argue that it’s a society thing (i.e , sitting at our desks being sedentary, sitting on our couches, in our cars, not walking or not exercising);  None of that matters. The fact of the matter is that we are talking about it and what are we going to do about it. What are the solutions?

I don’t think that articles like the New York Times article, “Black Women And Fat”( are the solution, rather than Black women need to have real discussions to define what being healthy means to us.  We all individually need to ask ourselves these questions: What does fitness mean to me? What does exercise look like to me? What does a healthy body image look like to me? Do I love my body the way it is? If not, What Am I willing to do about it?  Until we can do that, articles putting us out there like we are a circus spectacle is not the solution. has been running a series of articles on the trending topic of Black Women and health (see links to all of the articles here : I didn’t realize they had been doing this series until today when I got the chance to read the fifth article in a 5-Part series, “On Blacks And Fat” by Danielle Moodie-Mills (

I love that did this series  and I’m sorry that I missed the first 4 articles in the series (I definitely need to read them). And the timing is perfect in light of the NY Times article, “Black Women And Fat” by Alice Randall. While I think it’s very important that we focus on our kids and obesity with the First Lady’s, Let’s Move! movement, and it’s super important that Black women begin to focus on our weight and the impact that is having on our overall health and our survival in our communities, it can’t happen unless we begin doing it at the micro-levels, the organic levels and it’s not going to happen unless families do it together.  I do, however, feel like having celebrities step to the forefront of the obesity issues within the African American community is an important step because now, weight loss companies see that health, wellness, and fitness is not just a “white woman” thing, it’s an all woman thing. I commend Jennifer Hudson and others in their movement and if she can open a Weight Watchers Center in her community back in Chicago and inspire Black women to do more for their health, then more power to them.  I did a blog post on this very topic on this blog on April 9, 2012: ) .

Now, it seems we are in an uproar and mad about it and you know what, we should be!  It’s time for us to get in shape. But let’s not act like there are not leading Black fitness experts out there. Check out these links and get started. Also, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, I do!:

Robin Downes – Yoga, etc.

Ananda Leeke – Yoga, etc.  –

Jeanette Jenkins – The Hollywood Trainer -

Black Fitness Today – Great Resource -

Black Girls Run!  – Great Resource with a Chapter near you! -


Thanks for reading and let’s all commit to be fit this year!  #Fitness2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @ivywriter

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