Using Black Women for Clicks

by Niema Jordan

When I read the New York Times headline about black women and weight, I just could not engage. I was instantly drained. My thoughts moved from “wtf” to “not another one” to “I am so effing over this.” Maybe there was something in the article worth discussing. Maybe there was some information that would be awesome for facilitating a conversation about black women and health. But, I could not get over the title.

Just like there is a formula for a radio hit or a club anthem, there seems to be a formula for getting hits on an article. Attack black women. I keep waiting for the trend to end. I keep hoping that someone to write the equivalent of “D.O.A.,” so outlets back off of the attack a bit. But, the thing about formulas is people stick with them as long as they work, or until they find one that works better.

Sensationalism in media is not new. Painting black women as everything but upstanding citizens isn’t either. But, it seems to happen more frequently these days. I’m not sure if I recognize it more now because I’m older, because the ‘net makes the articles so easy to access, because I work in media, or if there really has been an increase of negativity to counter the awesomeness we see every day by having Michelle Obama as a first lady.

What I do know is that I’d like to log on or pick up a newspaper and not feel like the world is coming for me. I’d like to feel like the not-so-secret recipe has been scrapped and folks are done baiting and dissing black women for clicks or reads.

Is it possible to spark discussions about issues and solutions without baiting?
Do you click and comment when the headlines aren’t so sensational?

  • shorty doo-wop

    What else is new? It never fails, the world hates black women and their wombs.

  • Kesha

    I read then ended up skimming the article. It is ridiculous. Black women do not want or wish to be fat. Granted, there is less pressure to be skinny, but no one (including black women) want to be fat. I just could not take this article seriously.

  • Toppin (Formerly Known As Just Sayin’)

    I’m a little confused as to why the article is an issue. The writer (a black woman) doesn’t see anything wrong with being obese (and I don’t personally agree with her). She used the NYT’s website to speak her mind. You, the author of this blog, hated that she used it to speak her mind. Hypocrisy?

    Would it have been better if she used THIS website to get clicks??? After all I think THIS website does the exact same thing the author of that article (and NYT) is accused of doing.

    “if there really has been an increase of negativity to counter the awesomeness we see every day by having Michelle Obama as a first lady.”

    ^^^I really wish this conspiracy theory would die. Listen people…the “throw black women under the bus” movement started LONG before Michelle Obama became first lady or before anyone ever heard of her. In fact, both black and whites alike, threw Michelle Obama under the bus because she wasn’t their idea of a “beautiful” first lady….so goes the idea that “Michelle Obama is so perfect and people just gotta find another reason to hate black women because they hate seeing this perfect black woman in the white house” makes no sense. She was never on the top of their list of “gods” anyway. The only people I ever hear glamorizing Michelle Obama is black women.

    Get your self-esteem up. Grow a thicker skin and just brush the haters off. As long as you are alive people are going to find a reason to hate you. Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you upset over it.

  • stellaxo

    I think it is possible to spark solutions without ‘baiting’,
    BUT, not so much in todays society (where people are reading less and less in general, where sound bytes are used to summarize a 60 minute interview and judge the character of a person and with the increase in interest of tabloids and gossip [which fuels emotion rather than critical thinking and reasoning]).
    I think that baiting headlines will be much more prevalent and will likely not go away, especially with the technology and the way it (in terms of attention span and lack of effort- mobile apps cater to us so much, its second nature to many people) handicaps us.

    i want to formerly apologize for my awful and jumbled sentence construction and excessive use of parentheses.

  • Jame

    It’s more about the headline than the content. The webpage title is “Why are black women fat?” I know newspapers have laid off a lot of copyrighters, but I am sure there is a less sensationalistic way to get the point across. Like maybe something less sensational like “Opinion: Causes for Obesity increase in Black Women”

    This headline is pretty accusatory. I don’t think I have seen a headline along the lines of “Why are poor white people meth addicts?”

  • I got sense!

    “What I do know is that I’d like to log on or pick up a newspaper and not feel like the world is coming for me. I’d like to feel like the not-so-secret recipe has been scrapped and folks are done baiting and dissing black women for clicks or reads.”

    This seems like a personal problem that you may need to seek professional help with. Blacks have been attacked verbally and physically since they first arrived in the ‘new world’ so what I don’t understand is how it affects adults so much when we understand it’s history and the medias consistent tactics to manipulate and control. Also, I don’t see how addressing issues is attacking people. It seems like a lot of black people just don’t want anyone to shine any light on their negative actions or behaviors and how it is affecting our children and subsequently our future.

  • stellaxo

    also a sn: i have not, and probably won’t read this article, but I’m speaking from experience as a person having home pages like aol and yahoo- and spending maybe a good 15-20 minutes looking through “news” with sensationalized headlines that get me every time..
    i’m both a little surprised (and not surprised) that NYT has resorted to such tactics, because NYT is a website i usually visit when i want to get away from ‘unprocessed’ news.

  • Crystal

    I wrote about the sensationalism of Black women on my blog … I think the worst part is that most don’t even realize how they are being treated.

  • Queen

    Honesty.. I don’t see what the issue was with the article. Ok.. so the title was “sensationalized”..whether or not we liked the title, the author (who is black), got her point across. I read the article (title and all) this morning and in no way felt victimized..perhaps it’s not the title but it’s the article’s content that makes people so uncomfortable.

  • d_nicegirl

    Wouldn’t it help if you weren’t linking to the article and getting it even more clicks?

  • Lady T

    Once again you have an article that is published to enlighten America about black women. Yeah right! Basically sistas, we have become COMPETITION and becky do not like it. ALice the author need next month’s mortgage payment, so continue to see more sellouts in the future.

  • grateful


    you need to start payin rent because you’ve been living in my head for too long!!!


    well said.

  • Val

    “Four out of five Black women are seriously overweight”.

    Really? I didn’t read the article but where did she get that stat from? That does not sound right. One in four maybe but 4 out of 5?

  • Val


  • Ash

    That article was absolutely ridiculous, and the author should be ashamed of herself for writing it. She probably meant well, but how many non blacks will read this nonsense and take it as truth because it came from a black woman? I’ve never particularly liked the idea of issues plagueing the black community being highlighted in publications that do not cater to us, but it would be more tolerable if it were done intelligently, and didn’t make such broad, overreaching generalizations.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    that would be 80%

  • jamesfrmphilly

    “the world hates black women”

    i love black women

  • Anon

    Notice they didn’t let the comments section happen, they just wanted the page clicks. I’m SO happy that INSTAGRAM of all companies is worth more than the NYT. May they have a quick demise!

  • Anon

    Don’t give ole’ girl that much credit. She didn’t mean well, she just needed a paycheck and a byline in the Times. That whole article was some sort of self-congratulatory moment on her being fat her whole life.

  • Anon

    Girl please. Black women ARE being used as bait for articles. Trust me. l have friends who are reporters, heck, black women are how some folks get their rent paid. Not only is it an election year, but the media portrayls of us rival what was used pre-WWII. Anybody with a college education and general knowledge of history could tell you this. We’re being stripped of humanity in OUR OWN COUNTRY all because a few sell-outs were thirsty for shine and a byline.

  • Anon

    Who else is trying to air all their business out in the streets?

    The ONLY black women that don’t see an issue with this coverage always seem to come from the hood, or have some rag-tag child army behind them. I’ve YET to meet a born and raised middle class or above (and I’m talking values, not just a paycheck) black woman who supports this madness. Not ONE.

  • Anon

    The one thing that this media fallout has taught me was how desperate some black women were for attention, no matter the cost.

  • Anon

    + infinity.

  • gwan gyal

    Yes, we all know this….the media loves to talk about the negative things regarding black women and black people.

    I don’t see the big issue with the article. It is her point of view and she wrote about it. Perhaps we also have to consider that she is probably at least 50 and also lives in the south. However, I’m from the south too and have never desired to be 200 lbs.

    I must a woman that works out daily and enjoys the gym..I would love to see more of my sistas working out. This is why I LOVE running with Black Girls Run (reppin Chicago!). I love seeing other black women exercise.

    I believe that she is incorrect when she stated that most heavy people ‘are dark, poor and exhausted’ Perhaps when you split the numbers up by race, blacks have more heavy people..but I think overall, there are more white heavy people…just bc there are more of them in the US.

    The biggest part is food…access to healthy food and also overcoming the addiction to unhealthy food. Unhealthy food has serious additives that make you want more and more of it and also stick to your gut and upper arms. Even though I eat a mainly vegan diet, every now and then I indulge in some wendy’s fries..or a mcD fish filet…man oh man..the next day I usually want it again..or something similar and have to force that thought to the back of my mind. A lot of people don’t recognize this…and a lot of people don’t recognize fullness either…they eat until they are stuffed and uncomfortable. Also, eating this way makes it harder to workout…your body just has to work harder at it…versus if the body was fueled by healthy vitamin rich food.

    I def agree with Lady T..they are threatened….now that more black women have started embracing their natural hair…the last thing they have to compete with is the fit body. I know that this does not apply to 100% of black women…but most tend to have naturally curvy figures….which look SO NICE when they are fit and toned and not covered with 10 layers of flab….just natural curves..not injections needed..and naturally tanned :)

  • Yb

    “many black women are fat because they want to be.”

    Bltch, needs to be stomped out. She wrote this in HER point of view, not one resonating voice that came from black women. I hope the check is worth it.

    *sidenote White people needs to stop imposing their physical body standards on people of color as if white is “normal” and the body structure that all people of color must adhere to.

  • apple

    i dont even think people in other countries know black people are here i have heard several times from black people who went overseas and people couldn’t grasp how you could be black but still be american at the same time… still doesn’t explain how they all knew that michael jackson and tupac were from america tho :-/ lol

  • HowApropos

    Speak on it!

    I feel the same way you do, Lady T. While the headlines have so much to say about black women being the negative, in actuality we ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.

    Of course we’re gonna see these topics come up to put us down, but now I’m seeing that the underlining theme is that we are a threat.

    They can call us ‘fat’ but they don’t wanna focus on the black women who have made national groups across the country who are changing up their eating habits and overall lifestyle. You won’t see a lot of that.

    They say we’re all weaved up, but you also have the millions of black women who are embracing their natural hair and ‘falling back in love’ with themselves.

    These articles about IR come up where the black woman and the Asian are still at the bottom. What they won’t tell you too much is that many black women are starting open themselves up for other options outside the black collective.

    No offense to the sistas that want to stay with black men and in the theme of black love and keeping the black family intact. We as black women can make our own choices without being bullied for it by the naysayers.

    Are there black women out there that are stereotypical? Yes. But when that’s all you notice and write about for the sake of sensationalism, then you’re not gonna focus on the other aspects of black women culture because it kills the perception one already have concerning black women.

    Walk by the beat of your own drum, black women. Know that you are a viable competitor in this society, as much as the media don’t want you to believe that.

  • HowApropos

    Totally agree, gwan gyal.

    I love BGR and Black Women DO Workout. Both are on Facebook and they have hundreds of members online. It’s because of these sites and the local women in my area, that I was able to shed 50 lbs. I look good and feel great and it shows when I interact with people in my daily life.

    I think more black women are waking up.

    D@mn straight we’re a threat.

  • Ms. Information

    America is fat, not only black women…stop putting that shit all on us.

  • Anon

    Am I the only one who can’t stop eye-rolling at BRG? I’m a runner, and I noticed over the past few months more black women out there, but I’ve also never encountered such hositility before on the trails by the same women.

    I’m glad folks are finally taking notice of their fitness levels, but the shade and dirty looks while out there are annoying. I mean seriously, a support group for running? Come’on nah.

  • I got sense!

    Who’s airing whose business? No other black person male or female speaks for me. As far as the other nonsense you spewed goes… mmkay.

  • Ash

    Lol @ “self-congratulatory moment on her being fat her whole life.”

  • Chic Noir

    there seems to be a formula for getting hits on an article. Attack black women. I keep waiting for the trend to end.


    We are under attack no doubt about that. NYTimes is a liberal newspaper yet they are going after us like the NYpost.

  • Chic Noir

    Anon We’re being stripped of humanity in OUR OWN COUNTRY all because a few sell-outs were thirsty for shine and a byline.

    Yes, it’s so bothersome to see your own turn against you like this. The blk lady in the Pepsi superbowl commerical should be tarred and feathered for that ish.

  • Chic Noir

    I got sense No other black person male or female speaks for me.

    That’s what you think. The actions of other blk people do speak for you as much as we would like that to not be the case.

    I’ve noticed that when I’m having a customer service issue face to face, the manager seems to visibly relax when they realize I’m not one of “those” blks.

    Salespeople also seem eager to help me when they realize I’m not one of “those” blks.

  • Chic Noir

    anon The one thing that this media fallout has taught me was how desperate some black women were for attention, no matter the cost.


    I think it speaks to where we are culturally. Attention hoing is an American epidemic. Too many of our women have forgotten what it means to have pride and self respect.

    We need finishing schools in the hood again.

  • Chic Noir

    + 10^10

  • Anon

    “It seems like a lot of black people just don’t want anyone to shine any light on their negative actions or behaviors and how it is affecting our children and subsequently our future”

    YOUR CHILDREN. I don’t have any. What I’m wondering is where home training went and how so many black women were so neglected and desperate for attention that they bring their personal issues under a national spotlight the minute a black president was elected. No really. I never heard of needing to put your dirty laundry in the street for the neighbors to come around and look at before. This is some truly new ish. No other group is begging for attention towards their negative behavior because they’re dealing with their problems IN HOUSE. Anyone with eyes can see the obesity issues in our community. And that woman is what 50? Talking about 200lbs? Whew, I can’t with her trying to justify her bad life choices by saying that black women “want to be fat”. Uh, no. That’s middle age and denial. Now younger black women being obese? Honestly, that’s a discussion for another forum because telling the TRUTH would step on too many toes in a forum where talking about values is deemed as “nonsense spewed”.

    The ONLY reason these articles are being displayed in the national news is to make us look TERRIBLE. For a screen name talking about “sense” that one fact right there is so beyond obvious. I’m going to need somebody to tell me with a straight face that this run of Black women articles ISN’T for normally ignored writers to finally get a byline in the paper before the journalism biz does another round of layoffs.

  • Chic Noir

    gwan gyal The biggest part is food…access to healthy food and also overcoming the addiction to unhealthy food.


    When you see a person of normal height pushing 300 lbs, something else is going on. Maybe it’s glandular or most likely it’s an addiction.

    There have been studies that proved junk food is as addictive or more addictive than heroine.

  • Anon

    About the only time I agreed with Rush Limbaugh was when he stated that in some majority black areas, cultural values and norms were diminished to the point that orphanages or weeklong boarding schools were about the best option. I STILL agree with that. I’m just in shock that woman allowed her name and picture to be out there with that ridiculous article. I’m willing to put money down somebody will have “the sugar problem” by 60. SMDH while rolling my eyes.

    I’m slightly convinced that there is a larger contingent of older black women who are setting us up to not have any options since the “community” is gone. Have you noticed how many of these BW authors putting things out on front street are from fatherless homes? I have.

  • Talulah Belle


  • Anon

    If I’m not mistaken, one of the majority shareholders is a Mexican billionaire. So, keep that in mind in terms of the slant, which articles are allowed comments, and the race of people depicted in certain articles. The Times has become such a mess, it is truly a shame. They USED to be a paper of repute. I peep it with bbc these days.

  • Anon

    “No other black person male or female speaks for me.”

    Well, if you’re out and about, or have traveled abroad, unfortunately you’ll find out that if RayRay and Pookie were there before you, they already spoke for you whether you asked them to or not.

  • Chic Noir

    anon I’m slightly convinced that there is a larger contingent of older black women who are setting us up to not have any options since the “community” is gone

    Genocide by pen.

    Blk Americans are heading to the point of no return, to the place where Native Americans are.

    This sort of older blk woman likes to see herself as a martyr for the blk community. I call it pain porn. It’s why I’m against so many of those “it’s so hard being a dark-skinned blk woman” articles. Esp when we know a thin pretty dark-skinned blk woman has it easier than a older fat unattractive woman of almost any race.

    These articles are making blk women to be a thing of pity and losers. We are not people to be pitted.

    Evia did a set of posts called the “mammy chronicles”. Lord knows she caught hell for them but she was right on time. If people didn’t take it personal, they could’ve fleshed out the true meaning of those posts.

  • deep.honey

    I saw it yesterday, and made sure that the NYT knew how I felt about it. Contact their public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, @

    E-mail: [email protected]
    Phone: (212) 556-7652
    Address: Public Editor
    The New York Times
    620 Eighth Avenue
    New York, NY 10018
    Twitter: @thepubliceditor

    Enough is enough. Would they print similar pieces of irresponsible journalism that stereotyped white or Jewish women? They wouldn’t dare. Let them know that Black women refuse to be their scapegoats for all of the ills of society, and we are sick of the generalizations and intentionally incendiary reporting about our community for pageviews.

  • HowApropos


    I’m so much in my own zone with my earbuds in, that I never really notice anybody checkin’ for me on the trails.

    Are you trying to get these runners’ attention somehow?

    I wouldn’t take it so personal.

    I wouldn’t guess that anybody would have an attitude because the ‘feel-good’ endorphins are rushing through you.

  • thinkpink

    Your website is guilty of the same thing. I have frequented your site for years and upon it’s inception this was a space for positivity. You (the writers) need to walk the walk. You do no have to regurgitate negative articles about black women in this space. That’s what this website has become. A regurgitation of negativity under the guise of being pro black women. I see ten negative articles on the main page and not one about black women who are accomplishing , achieving or inventing.

  • Johnylee

    Okay, I have read this article and I am not offended. Sorry. Her stance is not “Black women want to be fat”, it is that Black women were told by many sources that it was “okay” to be “fat.” She furthermore states that it has to change. We have to be more concerned about our health. Now we all need to stop acting like calling a Black women “thick” or “big-boned” wasn’t considered “sexy”. It didn’t matter that we were knocking on Diabetes Type 2 door or that Hypertension was going through the roof. And let’s not pretend like our diet was “healthy-based”. Shoot, I grew up in the South…gravy and fried foods were my friend! Now I have never been “obese”. In fact, I did not get over 135lbs until after my 35th birthday and my 5th child. But now I have been at 170lbs for the last 8 years and with luck, no serious health issues, but that’s pushing it. I have been conscience about my health for the last few months and while I will cosign, there is an obvious attack on Black women in the media…this isn’t one of them. We need to be shouting about our health issues be it physical, emotional or mental! We need to take actions for ourselves and our family. This issue is serious!

  • thinkpink

    The issue is not its seriousness. The issue is that the article targets black women when obesity is an American problem. I am from the south too…good ol’ Texas…and fat is not limited to black women. Whites, hispanics and a growing number of asians are overweight here. Why deal with black women separately? And while black women may call themselves “thick” it doesn’t prevent us from caring about our health. No one wants to be fat and anyone who is overweight…black or otherwise…is aware thats its a problem. The real issue is that black women often attempt to maintain a level of confidence in the body they have. That’s what this article and numerous others are about. Fat white women are supposed to be depressed. How dare these black women walk around with a modicum of self esteem!! We’ll show them. Quick! Fat shame these black women so they start hating themselves as much as possible until Michelle Obama gets our of office. Remind them they cant aspire to be her. Sure she’s fit and happily married but we cant have them look up to that. So spew out as many articles as you can telling them that they are doomed to a single, childless, overweight exsistence. Oh and while your at it tell them that they’ll only achieve $5.00 of wealth regardless of whether or not they go to college. Black women are achieving. We are getting healthier. We finally have some inspiration out there. Michelle, Jennifer Hudson, awesome blogs like blackgirlsguidetoweightloss are encouraging us to get healthy and simutaneously articles come out telling America how fat and sloppy we are? Come on man you have to be smart enough to see past the bs and realize what’s really going on.

  • H

    This is so on point. I wondered was the media trying to get black women to commit mass suicide lol. They had to know that wouldn’t happen. What other group of women in the history of this country have put up with what we have? These other women would have to pop pills like crazy if they were constantly called fat, ugly, loud, ghetto, and unattractive.

    I read articles on Yahoo a lot because I like to read the comments. Any article about race is always a top story. Race is a sure way to get people to read. For some reason, black men seem to be off the table for the media. You never hear anything bad about them. I guess it’s too much to keep kicking them, so to attack black people, they’ve decided to attack black women. I mean how many things have we heard about recently. Black women are the least attractive. Black women are fat. Black women have low net worth. Black women can’t find a man. Black women don’t like their hair. I’m just waiting to hear one article like this about white women or Asian women or Hispanic women.

    What next? I feel like some medical researchers will say that cancer is actually contagious, and black women are the ones spreading it around lol.

  • Alexandra

    So timely. When I checked my subscription today, the same thoughts were running through my head. I immediately thought would an article about White or Asian women be received the same, or would it be printed at all. I usually read most of the top articles on the Times, and I did read it and learned nothing. nada. diddly squat.

    Of course the author would be Black. Whatever.

    I can’t say I’m even shocked anymore. Over time I’ve just become desensitized to this agenda

  • HowApropos


    so on point!

  • Alexandra


    I’ve been saying the same thing since the beginning of this ‘agenda’. I do think the media is continually making its rounds to promote stories that will encourage netaive misconceptions about Black women, however they also finding Black women to exploit; Black women who are readily available to poor out their issues to media outlets, while they milk it for what it’s worth. The media wouldn’t have so much to go by (other than stats) if some Black women weren’t cooperating. I fully agree.

  • Barry

    I read the article this morning before seeing this and I honestly wasn’t offended. The title is edgy, but the article itself is written by a black woman for black women. I’m urging anyone who has already expressed an opinion on this to please go and see it for yourself. Is there an attack on black women in the media? Absolutely. But this isn’t a part of that agenda. This is targeting black women with the goal of uplift and improvement through self-care and self-love. As a black man, if I said that I wanted to see more young black men finish college, does it mean that I’m attacking them? No! It means that I want to see my brothers do better because I love them. The original article is 10 times more positive than this response by Niema Jones, which is just half-baked, misdirected frustration bubbling over.

    If you don’t want to read it, take a look at some excerpts from the article below. Then honestly tell me that it is putting black women down.

    “My goal is to be the last fat black woman in my family. For me that has meant swirling exercise into my family culture, of my own free will and volition. I have my own personal program: walk eight miles a week, sleep eight hours a night and drink eight glasses of water a day.”

    “I call on every black woman for whom it is appropriate to commit to getting under 200 pounds or to losing the 10 percent of our body weight that often results in a 50 percent reduction in diabetes risk.”

    “But it is not just sleep, exercise and healthy foods we need to solve this problem — we also need wisdom.”

    “I expect obesity will be like alcoholism. People who know the problem intimately find their way out, then lead a few others. The few become millions. ”

    “I may never get small doing all of this. But I have made it much harder for the next generation, including my 24-year-old daughter, to get large. “

  • Chic Noir


    Oh you’re so right. Carlos Slim is the money man for the NYtimes now.

  • rosie

    I agree. Perhaps it would be better, at least, if the pieces were framed more constructively and with an academic analysis rather than merely reporting what “so-and-so” said about black women/girls topped off with the obvious conclusion of “and that’s not cool!” Otherwise it brings out the haters, exploits insecurities, and it’s simply trash.

  • rosie

    And what is so unusual about a running club? BGR must be one out of hundreds.

  • C

    @Chic Noir

    Evia is brilliant. Thats why I love Black women! There are always those Black women who see through the bs and are not afraid to tell the truth…no matter who gets mad.

  • DeLite

    thinkpink: “The real issue is that black women often attempt to maintain a level of confidence in the body they have. That’s what this article and numerous others are about. Fat white women are supposed to be depressed. How dare these black women walk around with a modicum of self esteem!! We’ll show them. Quick! Fat shame these black women so they start hating themselves as much as possible until Michelle Obama gets our of office. Remind them they cant aspire to be her. Sure she’s fit and happily married but we cant have them look up to that. So spew out as many articles as you can telling them that they are doomed to a single, childless, overweight exsistence. Oh and while your at it tell them that they’ll only achieve $5.00 of wealth regardless of whether or not they go to college… ”


    Years ago, an old African cabbie said to me “I dont care how ugly a woman might be, if she dont think enough of herself to love herself who gonna love her?”

    I always remembered that comment from that cabbie because (although very coarsely stated) I felt like it spoke to a greater truth, which is for example… A 300 lb woman may not look her ultimate best in form, but that does not mean she shouldn’t try and look her best in the shape she’s currently in.
    Now… have I stated that it is okay to be unhealthy?… no I have not. Have I stated that it is okay to willfully disregard being in poor health and that you need to change?… no I have not.

    Each woman needs to assess her own personal health as well as her standard of self worth. And where changes are necessary, go into action on your own behalf. HOWEVER… while doing so (in the mean time and in between time) Look As P.H.A.T. (i.e. Pretty Hott And Tempting) as you can possibly can!!! Don’t ever let Anyone Else tell YOU what YOUR brand of beauty should be!… FAT or SKINNY!

    And while I am at it, let me also say that I don’t get all the “why are we so afraid to look at ourselves sentiment” I have seen expressed in other prior comments. I do not believe we as Black Women (or as Black people) are afraid to look at ourselves or see the truth about our ways (socially or medically). What I do belive is that sometimes depending on our circumstance we dont know how to help ourselves; and most of the time we are unwilling to help each other – and yes, sometimes we DO need a “Support Group”, even if it’s a support group for running, to help us engage in our various paths to personal betterment. Why would that be looked down upon? Why wouldn’t it be seen with a “supportive eye” instead of a “rolling eye”? Why don’t we give each other the “nod” of affirmation instead of the “smh” of disapproval? Are we so euro-conditioned that we individually take up where main stream media leaves off?… to marginalize, become snobs and self-hate”… even to the point of comparing ourselves to other races? THis type of ridiculousness I do not subscribe to. I AM an independent thinker.

    Finally, I must say: That the atricle was PURPOSELY titled and written with an inflammatory slant designed to get attention and is derrogatory toward Black women on the whole. Thus, granting an otherwise invisible “writer” her own personal 15 min of fame… at the expense of helping to negatively frame and even reinforce how Black women are seen by any and every other ethnic person of a different race (who reads that article). Yet another black person who actively joins the BRB (Black Race Bash) of 2012 under the guise of trying to “enlighten”, and shamefully so.
    THAT ARTICLE is something to “smh” at… and give the “nod” of disapproval to.

  • Ya Ya

    This topic is rather interesting.. I don’t know if was the author’s intention to
    “negatively frame and even reinforce how Black women are seen by any and every other ethnic person of a different race (who reads that article)” and I can’t really assume that she wanted to get her 15 minutes of fame.. I don’t what her intentions were really…

    Interesting.. I wonder what people’s reactions would be if the article were featured in Ebony instead of the NY times (with the same title) . The fact that white readers may be reading seems to be a bit of a turnoff. I can totally see why that maybe an issue.. but on the flip side I feel this may be a double edged sword to say it’s ok here and not ok there.

    Let’s be honest this article is a far cry from the reality shows: RHOA and BBW.
    Magazines just keep doing interview after interview.. drama.. drama. drama. Trying to get clicks I guess…

  • Jess

    thank you!!!!!!!!

  • Gigi Richardson

    I totally forgot about Alice Randall since I went to her book signing for the book “The Wind Done Gone.” She came across very positve at the time.

  • Tania

    To the author of this post: It seems like you did not even bother to read the piece? I’m not sure you can comment on something when you can’t even take a few moments to engage with it. Furthermore, black women ARE disproportionately affected by diabetes and obesity. This is not an attack on black women but a bringing to life of an important issue.

  • Laugh

    @H-Well said!

  • sigh

    No. It is not in your head, nor is it just because of your work in the media.

    These hit pieces are very, very real.

    I chuckle when I think about how I used to rant about being invisible. Talk about you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

    I don’t even want to read that Alice Randall piece. This is what wounds me the most. So many of these barbs come from black women!

  • HowApropos

    Sorry, Anon, but it sounds like you have an axe to grind.

    How is it your business that more black women are starting to work out? What’s makes you better than them because you’re a ‘seasoned runner and they’re just starting out?

    And WHY are you mad because the trails are full of black women trying to get used to running for the first time? Share the road and keep it moving.

    I live in a city where the trail system is one of the best in the country, and when I see other black women running, it’s great to see and it’s very welcoming.

    Not so sure why you’re venting about black women wanting to get healthy and trying to get used to running. The trails belong to everybody.

  • Anon

    Chic, “follow the money” is one of the BEST key points my grandpa ever said.

  • http://[email protected] Anthony Malone

    Ok when is an article just an article without the conspiracy. As a black male I certainly understand how the media can and has dogged us out however, this weight issue is real in our community. I currently reside in Atlanta, GA and I’ll tell you we have some serious issues here with obesity young, old, male female, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, whatever…Everyone consumes junk, there are literally hundreds of fast food restaurants in our communities. We consume more than normal portions of food and think the garbage sold, ie two for one bugers and supersize items are great deals for us and our kids, so everyone’s getting morbidly obesesd. I came to Atlanta some years ago from NJ and gained pounds quickly. I weighed over 200lbs by eating out drinking alcohol, smoking you know all the vices that would get you on the diabities and highpertetion bandwagon. Finally, I had a little surprise and some common sense which lead me to change my bad habits. Now I’m a non-smoker, I don’t drink alcohol and I now run marathons. Oh and did I mention I’m 175lbs and haven’t felt this good sence HS. So sometimes it comes down to hearing the truth. So yes everybody we’ve gotten fat and white people don’t have to tell us this all we need to do is look in the mirror.

  • Faith

    I believe that there are few positive images and stories of black women although I don’t know if this article is adding to the negative images. The New York Times has an interesting debate in response to Alice Randall’s article on May 6th.

  • Ravi

    first off, 4 out of 5 black women are not “seriously overweight.” these stats are determined based on BMI. only a little over half of black women have a BMI of at least 30, which is the line for obesity. around a quarter have a BMI between 25 and 30, which is moderately overweight, not seriously. and BMI is NOT a good indicator of health and fitness. It’s only based on weight and height but it tells you nothing about body fat percentage, the location of the fat, cardio-vascular health, blood pressure, etc. outside of the extremes, BMI is a completely useless stat and used more for insurance purposes.

    When I was a collegiate athlete, I had a BMI over 25 despite the fact that I had only about 6% body fat, could run a quarter mile in 47 seconds and 2 miles in 10 minutes, could bench press 250 8 times and leg press 700, and my resting heart rate was about 54 BPM. I was the picture of health, but I was moderately overweight according to BMI, BMI doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle.

    the NYT article was filled with untrue “facts” and BS opinions rooted in both a false dichotomy of either being skinny or fat and the idea that the skinnier you are the healthier you are (Twiggy was too skinny and not at all healthy).

    and when did black america prize belly fat? i’m not seeing too many 200+ women held as the beauty standard. surely we do like big butts and thighs, but not so sure about double chins and spare tires. having some extra fat in the lower body is not a detriment to health, BTW. it’s all about where the fat is located.

    the author should leave the health advice to people that actually study health. instead of accusing black women of idealizing being fat, maybe she should look into actual causes of a nationwide health crisis (corn syrup, fast food, poor exercise habits, smoking, drinking, lack of access to fresh foods, etc.)

  • Anon

    But 80% of black women probably ARE overweight. I’m being for real, I’m not surrounded by black women my size. And while I’m tall and on the slimmer side, I’m not whippet thin. But I don’t see lots of shorter fit black women on the streets.

    Look at the Ms. Black France article, those young women in the picture were fit. How many young black girls look like that in inner cities NOT pushing a stroller?

    Yes, I’m upset at the venue of the article, the spokesperson, and the intent, but I REFUSE to not show how much I care about other black women by pointing out that the definition of thick has changed to obese in the past 20 years.

  • Anon

    Faith, they allowed that article to be published FOR a debate. Notice they turned the comments off. I knew they would have a follow up article based on that alone. Real talk, I have a few friends who are reporters. Rent gets PAID off of these add clicks. Black women are one of the most reliable targets for press. Seriously. They will not touch black men, but due to the election year and our President, ANYTHING black will get page hits. This isn’t conjecture, this is market research. We have no communal support (yes, they’ve done research on this too), so it is a KNOWN fact for the past few years to target black women as the subject matter for rants, hits, and links.

    I’m passing on this info for those who were STILL questioning whether or not this is a accidental. It is not. There are papers with a business plan to exploit us. #realtalk.

  • Anon

    Riiiiiiiiiggggggggggght. And you missed the part about these older women trying to block my way, throw shade, and other “seasoned” runners noticing that the new BW running in groups were hostile to us on the trails?

    What part of “go read that body envy article’s comments” did you miss?

    “What’s makes you better than them because you’re a ‘seasoned runner and they’re just starting out?” ——————- Guuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrl, let me tell you this. ANYTIME someone brings up a “you think you must be better” argument, I give sideeye, but when GROWN women are trying to force me off a path that I’ve been running for YEARS, it must be me? AND other black women who have been out there for years have said the same thing? It really can’t be BRG chicks not knowing how to share the trail and throwing shade at those of us who look experienced? Okay. Rock with that.

  • minna k.

    Thank you J. Philly. Love you back! :”)

  • Ravi

    No they aren’t. You aren’t being real, you are basing this off of misinformation. The start is simply not true. Look it up. No sense going from your intuition when the data is readily available. Moderately overweight is not seriously overweight. Obese is seriously overweight. Thick is not obese. Thick is serena williams, buffy, or deelishes. They are not obese. Obese is Precious. Are you really arguing that when black people are saying thick that they are talking about girls with 40 inch waists? Thick is small waist with a large butt, not large everything. Pushing false stats isn’t caring. We have real problems, desiring to be fat just isn’t one of them.

  • Clutchette

    I disgree and if you think that please stop visiting this site. I see so many positive articles on this site and I can’t allow for you to try to go in like that. Where else should we discuss these issues? If not in our company where else. This site lets the readers discuss and they don’t do it in a “get clicks” way. But, removing your self from this site is the best thing you can do. Cause they take feedback serious and don’t want your comment to stop this dialogue forum to stop because they report all news.

  • Anon

    And also, what’s with this new attitude like there was aparteid out at the gyms, trails, and parks for the past 40 years? Who was keeping people out of sneakers and running around? Weren’t we funding a Jordan’s craze at one point? Because in the 90′s, some people were all, “Just ain’t down like that”, when it came to working out, and now after we have a new fit First Lady, somebody was holding folks back from exercise?

  • Karen

    Stop trying to act like this site don’t post positive stuff. So sick of people saying that! And when they do people like you don’t comment. Bye!

  • Anon

    I’m not basing this off of misinformation. I used to work in the sciences, then the medical field. Several of my family members and friends are Dr.’s, Nurses, and Nurse Practitioners. A good friend from high school is a nutriiontist. I COULD keep it real here at the actual numbers of black women who have health problems in their 20′s and 30′s that other groups don’t see until their 40′s and 50′s but I know some folks ain’t ready for that. You just tried to justify being “kinda” over weight, and brought up SERENA WILLIAMS who is a world class tennis player and one of the best that America has produced. Folks need to stop frontin’ like they have SERENA talent and stamina. Yes, she has thighs, she also has Grandslam titles.

    I said it before on this site, the worst lies are the ones you tell yourself.

  • Anon

    And, just so you know “Precious” or Gabby isn’t obese, she’s morbidly obese, especially for being what 28? I would say if she can’t take off at least 40-50lbs by 35, she’s looking at high blood pressure meds by 40.

  • http://[email protected] Anthony Malone

    Wow people it’s interesting to read the comments responding to this article. @Anon, I must say “Pookie” you went there be nice…I read the article and really did not get that the authors interpretation was for lack of a better term “embracing ones obesity” she did however, give some examples of how some in our community past and present look at thickness, full-figures or whatever you want to call it some of us like our women thick. Today’s interpretation my friends of then and now are quite different. Ph the people not only Blacks are sized beyond thick. Back in the day you had what maybe one fat kid in your class, but now skinny is the minority in some communities. I just came back from Europe and when I returned via Chicago, I saw the difference in in Spain many walked, cycled and seemed to say active whether they were young, or old. Cars were smaller, even the roadways. Here everything is “super-sized” we often confuse big with better. Bigger cars, large plates of food seem like a bargain, We give new meaning to the buffet. People go there and clock in like their putting in work.We would rather get a new tattoo than pick up a barbell, or run.and when we do go to the gym we socialize, stay on the bloody cell phone, sip on water or power aid and set the treadmill on 2.5 or 3 miles per hour. Hell the average person walks 3 miles per hour. Ok let me be nice, I’m just saying its an article and I agree with the comment if this was in Ebony would it still have the same sticker shock?

  • Talulah Belle

    @Anon, very very well said. Black women are lying to themselves about their weight and about the enormous costs we are paying for being overweight. Denial kills.

  • Ravi

    I used to work in the sciences too. have tons of friends that are doctors and my mother teaches health. so what. that’s hardly makes you an expert on statistics. I wish you would keep it real and keep it relevant. We aren’t talking about the health of women in their 20′s and 30′s. I understand that there are health problems in general, but we are talking about something else. We are talking about the rates of obesity and overweight black women. Nothing you have mentioned makes you even slightly more knowledgeable about this simple statistic which you could have just googled. Try including those actual numbers, given that’s what the conversation is about.

    i didn’t justify anything. I just pointed out that you and this author are misinformed. moderately overweight is not the same thing as “seriously overweight.” You don’t need to be a doctor to understand the difference. this is a distinction that is made by the people that put out the obesity statistics.

    Clearly, you misunderstood why I brought up Serena. She, along with the other girls I mentioned, is thick. Her tennis ability is not at all the point. I was just giving you an example of thick. I could have just as easily mentioned a ton of actresses and hip hop models to show you what thick is. Thick is not obese. Gabby is obese. Morbidly obese IS obese. It’s a subset of obese. just because you put a modifier in front of the it obese doesn’t mean it’s not obese. That’s like saying Shaq isn’t tall, because he is REALLY tall.

    and I don’t think you are lying to yourself, you are just misinformed.

  • Ravi

    *that hardly makes

  • Anon

    I believed you until the “tons of doctors” and then you STILL kept trying to front like Serena isn’t a WORLD CLASS ATHELETE. If I was Serena I’d be ticked that you tried to group me in with chicks claiming curvy.

    “hardly makes you an expert on statistics” – uuuuummmmmm, I left the field, but that WAS part of my job.

    “I wish you would keep it real and keep it relevant.” – I DID keep it real, and that right there is the problem. Most folks claming “thick” DON’T look like Serena. You’ve seen her waistline right? Well, most “thick” girls I know don’t have one that goes inwards and with muscle tone along the abdominals. I see denial is a stttrrrrrrrrooooooooonnnnng force to be reckoned with .

  • Ravi

    I don’t need you to believe me about the doctors I know. I already said it was a moot point. You still are not getting why I brought up Serena. her being a world class tennis player has nothing to do with it. It’s the way she looks. it’s the small waist in combination with a large butt. why do you keep mentioning the world class athlete part? it is her look that is relevant. If you were Serena you would be laughing at the chicks that are fat that are claiming to be curvy. People can claim to be curvy all they want, that doesn’t it make it so. If you have a 40 inch waist, then you are not thick. That’s not what the word means. I’m not saying that there aren’t some fat girls claiming to be thick, I’m arguing that they are delusional. Serena is how thick is defined. Buffy the Body is how thick is defined. Bria Myles is how thick is defined. (and Bria Myles doesn’t play a professional sport)

    and if it was part of the job, then you should know where the stats come from and actually post from authority. the stats are out there, find one source that says 80% of black women are seriously overweight. Such a source does not exist.

    you aren’t keeping it real and most of what you stated wasn’t relevant. how many doctors you know isn’t relevant. having a nurse practitioner in your family isn’t relevant. What is relevant is the actual stat in question. Unless you can actually show that 80% of black women are seriously overweight, then you don’t have anything relevant to say. it appears making unsubstantiated assertion and poorly placed ethos arguments are an even stronger force to be reckoned with.

  • Anon

    Well the majority of BW are overweight. True story bro. And there have been grumblings of contacting one of the organizers to make sure that the newer runners are aware of moving out of the way, or not running in a blanket or fan so that other people in either direction can pass by them without having to go off of the paths. That’s a safety issue to prevent injury.

    “Then you’re mad because these fat black women are hogging up the trails and not paying you attention.” ———–> The problem has been them hogging up the trails and paying me too MUCH attention. I’ve noticed this behavior. So have others. I don’t always run with a partner, but sometimes in the mornings, there are a few folks out there that you recognize due to years of random chats here and there, or shared orange slices. We’ve noticed and discussed the uptick and angry glances, along with not properly sharing space. There is etiqutte and protocol to running on trails, just like with biking in roadways. And so I can let you know (and you can relay this to your friends, really though, I’d appreciate it), it is considered RUDE to run/walk more than two at a side esp. on a trail because you’re blocking the path of other runners/walkers/bikers.

  • No


    I take care of my health but I am the ONLY woman in my immediate family that is not overweight. I was a vegetarian for six years and got dogged for it every. single. day. I stopped to appease other people and now I am returning because I have ballooned. My family members tell me I am “too skinny” (I am a size 10) or that I “need to eat because brothers like ‘em thick” (I am engaged to a non-black man/the ONLY ONE that will be walking down the aisle since…???).

    Keep thinking you are under “attack” and that everybody is just hating. Nobody is jealous of fat, sloppy, big butts, and big guts. Keep telling yourself you are “curvy” when you can’t see your toes when you look down. Blame any and everyone except yourself for your addiction to bad food and your slovenly lives. Sit and watch the rest of us (figuratively and literally) run past you.

    This article was not an attack it was just too much of the truth.

    Stop. Making. Excuses.

  • Ravi

    right, and you keep pretending like you had a legitimate argument and know what you are talking about. The fact remains, 80% of BW are not seriously overweight. The CDC puts out the stats, so if you still doubt what I say you can actually go there and educate yourself.

    and concerning the Ms black france girls, they looked skinny. skinny does not = fitness. fitness has a lot of different sizes. I worked in an inner city high school for 8 years and came across girls of all sizes. some were skinny and not at all fit while many others were not unlike serena williams. there were at least as many Serena types as there were obese girls. there were also girls of all sizes and fitness levels pushing strollers. one of my best distance runners had a kid in high school; not sure what pushing a stroller has to do with anything. the ideal was always the thick girls (Serena Williams shaped). girls were trying to have more butt thighs and boobs, not flab and gut. double chins were not the standard. no one was trying to stay over 200lbs. like this author was talking about. I don’t know how it was where you are from but that’s how it is in Michigan; and we have some of the highest rates of obesity in the country.

  • Anon

    “You typed all that to prove WHAT?” ———> That more than two people is rude, and having a running/walking group with anywhere from 5-15 people clogging up the trail and refusing to go single file, or two to a line when someone else is passing them or coming from the opposite direction is a safety issue. Saying things personally doesn’t seem to work so it may be time to contact the organizers.

    “Again, stop being pathetic and mind your business while running.” … I used to be able to, which was the point.

    Some of ya’ll act like exercise and fitness is brand new. I’m waiting for Black Girls Can Do Yoga to come out at this rate.

  • Arianna

    @H – Your comment is on point. I just had this exact same conversation with one of my friends. Dear Media, please leave Black women alone…

  • edub

    “Are there black women out there that are stereotypical? Yes. But when that’s all you notice and write about for the sake of sensationalism, then you’re not gonna focus on the other aspects of black women culture because it kills the perception one already have concerning black women.”


  • edub

    No, I HATE BGR because they feed into the notion that we can’t make good choices as individuals. And then the people who join these groups tend to develop superiority complexes and start looking down on others. See: natural hair movement as another example.

  • edub

    “Some of ya’ll act like exercise and fitness is brand new. I’m waiting for Black Girls Can Do Yoga to come out at this rate.”

    Or..Black Girls Eat Greek Yogurt. Geez, enough. I have a friend like that, she joined BGR and now is sooo obnoxious–as if she invented running herself. I’ve also had to block her facebook posts on how enlightened she is because she drinks Red Bull and eats Greek Yogurt.

    These movements, I feel, infringe on black women’s ability to just be themselves. If you want to run, run. It does not have to be a march on washington.

  • Yb

    Wtf are you talking about? Did you even read the clutch article or decide to vent your bitterness toward something that has nothing to do with the article?

    Please do one of the two:

    Continue to not eat so blood will not flow to your heart, forever ending your stupid rants


    Eat so blood will flow to your brain allowing you to access your reading comprehension skills. Thank you. :)

  • DeLite


    I NEVER MENTIONED Michele Obama in ANY of my commentary.

    I find it slightly interesting that your response revolves around YOU and your contention that you are being “mean mugged” at the gym, on the trail, at spin class or where ever else you mentioned because, really, no one cares.

    I also find it odd that you chose to “cut to the chase and speak to me as adult”??… because the only topic you are speaking on is YOURSELF… and how You are so despised for being so much better than other women who are not where you say you are in the fitness arena.
    I am also mildly curious as to what YOU might be gracious enough to do or to try, in attempt to diffuse some of the self-described hostile workout environments of which you so often seem to be in the midst; however, not curious enough to actually want to hear about it – because again, no one *really* cares.

    My initial commentary was not about any of that… Not in Any way. So you missed the boat with your “reply”… and , of course, the point.

    Thank you in advance for sparing me, and yourself, from any further commentary.

  • http://[email protected] Anthony Malone

    @ edub, I appreciate your thought’s and commentary regarding BGR and the other org you’ve mentioned however, I must say the ego’s of some of it’s members should not overshadow the mission of the organization itself. We can say the same for many members of various organizations whether they be fraternities, sororities, sports clubs, any organized group with quasi status can have a rogue member who swaggers their affiliation with the group in an inappropriate way. Thus, I would give them the benefit of doubt.

  • Krysie

    I actually agree with you here. Article aside, the main issue is that a majority of Black women are morbidly obese according to the standard BMI. In addition, if you were to look at other races, Black women are at the top in terms of obesity, with Hispanics coming in at a (very close) second.

    I am astounded that a good portion of the respondents of this article seem to not agree that obesity is a problem in the Black community, especially for Black women. The Black women on here appear to have a tendency to be defensive especially when the issue hits close to home, but we cannot ignore the fact that we are killing ourselves.

    My guess is that the reason Black men are not attacked for this issue is because, in general, men are more inclined to work out in the gym or play sports, which would of course, decrease body fat (and add muscle). Not necessarily saying that Black women are excluded from these activities, because clearly, that is false, but there are numerous findings that suggest that Black women live a sedentary lifestyle, in part, due to low SES (socioeconomic status) and lack of education.

    However, people, especially Black women need to learn to come to the realization that they are not necessarily being attacked, but should have an increase in awareness.

  • Anon

    LOL. So I’m supposed to roll out the welcome mat at the gym now?

    I find it curious that several “responses” brought out the “I think I’m better” when I specifically stated that it is not just me who has noticed the angry looks. I’ve talked to other black women who are on the thinner side and YES, there is a contingent of black women that has just started working out and yes, there is a hostile environment at times in the changing rooms, on the trails, and during classes.

    The fact that so many black women weren’t running/walking until a specific group had to be created (because there were running groups before BGR) isn’t uncoupled from people just joining the gym bringing in their insecurities with that as well.

  • Ms. Information

    @ Anon….haven’t ALL women done this for centuries? Fully clothed I have received mean mugs..I don’t think this has anything to do specifically with the gym culture…even if it does, I have noticed that many of the women that joined my gym in January are no longer there…furthermore, why put your own energy in the negativity of others? I have admired other women’s bodies in the gym thinking “Damn, I can’t wait until I get to that point.” Maybe you get nasty looks because you give them? Just a thought.

  • Ms. Information

    Random thought: the funny thing is that I attended a CDC led seminar last week and one statistic that they brought up on a slide is that WHITE WOMEN ARE THE FASTEST GROWING GROUP OF HIV CASES AGES 24-34. When my co-worker asked for the slide, the commentator made up some lie and said no……where is the front page news on this? Where is the hoopla and the statistics on this?

  • Chic Noir

    Miss Information,
    Chile you speak a lie! No way in hell did the CDC say this! Do you have a link from there site? Oh I wish someone had recorded the seminar. Of course the MSM won’t go in on WW the way they do “us”.

  • Chic Noir


  • C

    Very interesting@ Ms.Information

    Life is interesting….Whatever you put on someone, will always come back to you.

    Why isnt this info on the front pages, so more White women know they are at risk and can better protect themselves.

  • C

    I agree with you@Ravi

    I see a lot of slim Black women and a lot of thick Black women. I also see overweight and obese Black women but I do not think they make up the majority of Black women so I also question that 80% statistic and I am basing that on what I see daily, not on statistics. I go to Lucille Roberts sometimes, and I see slim and moderately overweight Black women most of the time.

  • Ms. Information

    We approached the speaker for a copy of the slide or a link and he really gave us a cockamamie story…I find this VERY interesting.

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