To Henrietta: About Fat Phobia and Black Females


One owes it to one’s self to keep one’s word.  Helps with self-esteem more than fitting into that cute little black dress.  Henrietta, as I promised it to you after you commented on my critique of  the film, The Help, I’ve been owing myself this post for almost a year now.   I said that I would make it the very next post. I did not keep my word.  There have been 48 posts here since that August 2011 article. 

I wish it were true that it slipped my mind. But, that’s not true.  I just couldn’t see my way around my fat phobia.  (no pun intended—except maybe in my subconscious).  I still have A LOT of said phobia. When I’m out and about, I keep a tally of fat black females I see versus those who are not fat—just to prove to myself that studies such as that in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology are correct that black females are not the jumbotrons of femaledom. 

So, this is what you said:

Rather than citing statistics about the weight of Black females as compared to the weight of white females, why not address the fact that the single minded focus of only ONE body type as sexually attractive is RWS in action? The idea that the only attractive body type is wispy and slim is an extremely Eurocentric concept. Why do you feel the need to use a European concept (the need to conform to a certain body type in order to be attractive) and use statistics to “prove” that white people are “wrong” about Black women. Why not address the idea that there IS no “ideal” body type in terms of physical attraction??


You’re exactly right, Henrietta. And. I’ll go a step further and say there’s bigger slice of  attractive “black” females at every size, IMO, than any other group of females.  Yeah. I said it.  And, so have black males and even non-black males.  Hanging onto the singular wispy aesthetic only supports white domination (racism).  Henrietta, I thank you and hope you will forgive the delay. And, of course, I hope you read this mega-tardy article.

So, here’s an informed and incisive piece buttressing this stance. 

From One Skinny Girl To Others: A Few Words on Fat Phobia

You’ve probably already read it.


3 Responses to “To Henrietta: About Fat Phobia and Black Females”

  1. And this is why I say that white females aren’t running anything. Here’s a female who will starve herself to death just to please her man. She is completely subservient to him. What ever he wants, she’s willing to do. She’s his main tool.

  2. Interesting is while watching the olympics and all the SUPER in shape males and females, I saw not one bony female. I saw no females with scrawny legs. What’s even more crazy is I was seeing articles about people (I’m sure white males) who were complaining about the females being “fat” at the olympics. This bony female phenomenon is a white male thing and I wonder why he finds this to be so sexually appealing. Some have said it’s because they resemble males and he finds that appealing. I don’t know. I’m just saying.

  3. Thanks for acknowledging the anti-fat attitudes that are so popular currently and thus kinda inevitable to pick up. The intersection of racism, weight prejudice, sexism, and heterocentrism is intense, too. I’m a fat activist from way back and I care about being in solidarity and fighting all forms of oppression, hate it when I mess up, but keep learning and trying.

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