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 We had to go through years of being told how fat we are compared to other races of women with some loser pulling up outdated information about our bodies.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.