Urban-Era

I hope I’m educating outsiders about the long time existence of fatphobia in the African American community.

So many people believed and still believe black women don’t experience fatphobia because of the myth that most African America men like curvy or thick women. This belief ignored years of fat black women or bigger black women who’ve suffered through body image issues, and eating disorders. Every time there’s a study it’s perpetuating the myth that all of us are happy with our bodies because our culture loves bigger girls. That’s complete rubbish and I know that with a fact. That’s not true and has never been true. 

What they don’t know is that our culture’s definition of “thick” is a skinny girl with an acceptable amount of butt and boobs, and has always been.

I mentioned the video model/urban magazine era and how I’ve been around long enough to remember it, and how many believed that era supposedly highlighted the belief or myth that black men preferred bigger women because they were using video models in their videos. In Westernized America where Victoria Secret models are the standard, in black culture video models are equivalent to my size.

If you Google Ki Toy, Melyssa Ford, Vida Guerra, KD Aubert, Bria Myles (some of their pictures are NSFW, and I can’t think of anymore, those are the most popular one’s I remember right off the top of my head), and see what I mean by slim girls with an acceptable amount of butt and boobs. 

And over time the girls got thinner, and the actual thick girls got called too fat, and turned away from videos. Even in old school Hip-Hop videos (Baby Got Back for example), and R&B videos the women were slim not “thick” and definitely never fat/plus size.

There has never been a time in our culture where bigger black women were actually celebrated. The only time we did feel a litte reassured is when another fat black woman made it possible for us to feel comfortable (comedian/actress Monique). And plus size/fat black women always got/get the short end of the stick. We were always seen as the symbol of failure in the black community. The poster child of poor decisions. We had to go through years of being told how fat we are compared to other races of women with some loser pulling up outdated information about our bodies.

If you look in black culture fat black women are always people’s punchlines, it started way back then, not just because social media exists. Those hurtful images and comments turned into memes to bash fat black women have always been there. Joke upon joke comparing us to animals or inanimate objects in the most brutal or antagonizing way.

In our music and in film or t.v. like Big Momma’s house, Friday, Norbit, Martin (character Cole’s girlfriend Big Shirley where she would never be shown, but they’d play up horrible stereotypes about her size and weight by making loud footsteps sounds with the floor shaking indicating how big she was)and many other representations, it’s extremely prevalent to see fatphobia in black culture.

Our fatphobia also comes with racist perceptions about fat black women and black culture so that adds to the burden. Racism is a driving factor of fatphobia.

Fatphobia and eating disorders target black women too.

To accommodate for unprecedented levels of population, super-district sprawls became an increasingly common sight. These are the precursors to the cities in the Attrition era, urban planning taken to an absurd level of hyper-density. Not only many hundreds of thousands of people were housed in these districts but also these area were for the most part highly independent and capable of operating autonomously if need be, in what is referred to as ‘war protocol’. Like in the example of the Minsk super-district, there are multiple levels to these sprawls and they include their own factory floors at the bottom which more often than not were dedicated to arms manufacturing, especially as the war ramped up to a fever pitch.

flickr

Benziger House in autumn by Jeff Reuben
Via Flickr:
The Nicholas C. and Agnes Benziger House, located at Edgecombe Avenue and West 150th Street in Harlem, was built in 1891. Its owner was a successful book publisher specializing in Catholic books. Designed by architect Williams Schickel, this house was built in an area that included other mansions, including one by James A. Baily of circus fame. However the area soon developed with apartment houses, so this building is a vestige of an earlier less urban era in Harlem’s history. (As a point of clarification, this area was in the past considered to be part of Washington Heights, but in our times the dividing line between Harlem and Washington Heights is commonly considered to be 155th Street After the Benzigers sold the house in 1920, it was used as a medical facility for a time and later as a “hotel,” according to some sources, or a brothel according to others. Today, this building is operated by Broadway Housing Communities, a non-profit housing provider, as a residence for formerly homeless single adults. *** “The Benziger House was constructed in 1890-91 in a section of Harlem that still resembled a country village. The house was the residence of Agnes Benziger and her husband Nicholas, a successful publisher, manufacturer and importer of religious books and articles. Designed by the prominent German architect William Schuckel, the mansion features a flared mansard roof pierced by numerous gabled dormers and a richly colored iron-spot brick façade. The building remained in the Benziger family until 1920 when it became part of a medical institution. In 1989, the property was acquired, with support from the City of New York and the Abraham family, to provide permanent housing for homeless adults.” NYC Landmarks Plaque

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Guys: Onitsuka Tiger Court Tempo Sneakers

Girls: New Balance 574 Gray Sneakers

3) Urban Outfitters

Guys: Vans Era Ion Mask California Sneaker

Girls: Fessura Flower Light Mummy Sneaker

4) East Dane and Shopbop

Guys: Converse Jack Purcell Sneakers

Girls: Superga Cotu Classic Sneakers

5) Revolve Clothing

Guys: Generic Surplus McNairy Sneaker

Girls: Supra A-Morir Skytop Sneaker with Pony Hair

Don’t let that sneaker love die! Tell us, which kicks are you coveting at the moment?

I’m always going to love Keith Urban, I’m always going to love John Mayer. I’m always going to love people like that, who I feel are truly authentic, and that’s not to say that my music will ever sound like theirs, but I’m inspired by people who I feel know exactly who they are, and that inspires me to continue to figure out and inform who I am as an artist.
—  Taylor Swift talking about musical influences that might be heard on her third album (x)