At the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show on Sunday, U.S. surgeon general Dr. Regina Benjamin talked to CNN about the widely held belief that black women don't exercise because of concerns about ruining hairstyles. She says it's a real issue that she's dealt with herself, but it's not a good excuse:
Has this hair issue become an easy crutch for not exercising?
It's an easy excuse, but it's a real excuse.
If you go out and spend $40-50 to get your hair done, you don't want to go out and get it all sweaty and wet that afternoon before you got to show it off.
Other ethnic groups would come up and say the same thing. I've heard it from Hispanics. I've heard it from a couple of my older white patients that I have at home. They're saying I get my hair done every weekend- I don't want to be exercising after I get my hair done.
I don't think it's limited to African American women.
How do you deal with this issue?
I exercise at night. That's my solution: Exercise at night so when I finish, I can be at home. I'm a night person anyway.
Did it ever prevent you from exercising?
A little bit. Early on when I was in college, I remember I liked swimming, but I didn't swim because it messed your hair up.
It was a factor, it was a thought — it didn't stop all the way, it becomes a decision point.
Read the rest of the interview at CNN.
In other news: Sharpton's MSNBC Gig Is Official.