Loving Your 'Thickness' Is Not a Barrier to Fitness

Ebony's Erika Nicole Kendall says that black America's health problems are not caused by black women who love their "thick" bodies, and destroying their self-esteem isn't a solution.

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Ebony's Erika Nicole Kendall says that black America's health problems are not caused by black women who love their "thick" bodies, and destroying their self-esteem isn't a solution.

We talk a lot about what fat-shaming does to us as a society, but do we ever really talk about what it does to us as individuals? Take the idea of "thickness," for example.

For all the years that I've been writing about weight on the Internet, I'd need more hands than can be found in a starting five to count the number of blog posts on major outlets discussing how the love of "thickness" is, somehow, giving Black women a pass for being fat. Everywhere I turned, in a search for articles offering their thoughts on fitness in communities of color, someone wanted to talk about the dangers of this love of "thickness." Apparently, it's rather heinous and destructive for a Black woman to be in love with her body, regardless of its size, because she doesn't look the way someone else thinks she should.

What is the logic behind believing that, in order to encourage Black women to live healthier lives, we have to beat them down emotionally, destroy their self-esteem and tell them they can't be happy with themselves until they are thin? Do we do this to Black men, who are also overweight on a grand scale, and tell them that we don't expect them to satisfy us sexually until they lose weight? ...

Read Erika Nicole Kendall's entire piece at Ebony.com.

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