Weight on the Watch

by Zettler Clay

Weight

Black women,

If you can only see yourselves as we see you.

I took a trip to Los Angeles over a year ago for the first time in my life. Like any half aware person, I went to L.A. with a certain perception of glitz and glamour of the Hollywood life. The biggest notables of my trip were, in no particular order:

1) The division of classes (there are some grimy areas in L.A…not too far from the pretty ones)
2) The bustle of the acting scene (everybody is trying to make something happen out there)
3) The skinny women

For the last point, there were some exceptions. But that was the rule. The Hollywood culture infiltrates the female psyche in an obvious and damaging way: thin is in, thick is disgusting. Females were doing whatever they can to stay in that desirable mode, so that they can land a role and become that next star. Being a lifelong Atlantan, I couldn’t – and still can’t – fathom the notion of thinning yourself out to make your self more appealing. That is counterintuitive. However, there in La La land, it was going to happen. Damn whether her body type is fit for a size 2, she is going to get to that size.

Over a year later, it hit me: That nonsense isn’t just on the West Coast; it is pervading women everywhere. With an ever scrutinizing eye on the obesity rate here in America, there is an inordinate amount 130 pound women wanting to be 120 pound women. And 145 pounds? Please, depression central.

This is not only neurotic, it’s psychologically dangerous.

Different people, families, races all have specific body types. If your family, for generations, has been chomping on seasoned ribs, collard greens and potato salads at the frequency rate of a CNN political debate, then chances are that you will be a little thicker than a family that pinches its seasoning and settles for more turkey and cheese sandwiches. More straight to the point, black people generally are thicker than white people. It’s a law of life. So why can’t you realize that? Why let another sect – who secretly envies your body type and aging mechanisms – establish your sense of beauty?

The reason I have been pushed over the edge to vent to you my thoughts on this is because I am constantly hearing you agonize over your pounds. While I was at the gym recently, there were a group of women huddling around the scale like meth addicts jonesing for a fix. It was a sickening sight.

Much of this damage is done on the subconscious level. There are scores of women who can’t even pinpoint why they want to be smaller or why curves are viewed as anathema or why some of you ogle over women in magazines as much as men do (don’t even try to deny…I’ve seen it many times). This has a subtle trickle out effect as well. Imagine that you go into work to see that co-worker who just makes you feel bad about yourself (you know that I’m talking about; the one who is the “perfect size”, who reminds you of what you want to be and where you’re not physically.). Your mood has become inexplicably sour for the next hour or so, and if you see her again, maybe even the whole day. Work productivity goes down, attitudes towards others sour a bit and behold, you have a lost day because of some false sense of vanity.

Imagine this effect over a relationship. Personal insecurity in a relationship is about as helpful as chapped thighs. It doesn’t lead to relationship bliss. Beautiful women, I don’t know if you ever heard this before, but I have to have to let you in on a well-known secret:

Men like women with meat on them.

I understand that that may be presumptuous of me. Many women beautify themselves for themselves, not for men. So where does this concept of beauty come from? Environment? Parents? Media?

All of which brings me back to my West Coast trip; the place where the distortion of beauty has its home. It was amazing to me to navigate through the place where the most popular sitcoms are shot, where the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame lies, where Robin Williams and Neve Campbell (who, ironically, looked as if she had been eating salads for dinner for the last 365 days) walked right pass me and of course, and more petite girls.

Understand that there is nothing wrong with endeavoring to lose weight. But lose weight because it is healthily expedient, not because of some societal stigma. The more time you spend fretting over your kilograms, the more time that your man will spend sliding away. There’s nothing more frustrating to a man than to be with a thick woman that wants to lose weight (if you gain 50 pounds after he gets with you and a baby is not involved, then that is a different story).

Going from 140 to 130 is overrated, unless your cholesterol level demands it. Otherwise, relax and rejoice in the curves that you’ve been blessed with. Because I guarantee you that your man will.

Sincerely,

Z.C. IV

  • J.S.

    Sounds like my boyfriend wrote this article LOL

  • Sasha

    Hmmm….a lot of thoughts. What I will say is that while I appreciate this perspective, I do not appreciate the generalizations. You said “men ike women with meat on them” then went on to say it was presumptuous so since you don’t speak for all men you should have said “I like women with meat on them”. I won’t even touch the comment about there being “specific” body shapes/ figures for people of different “races”.

    In my opinion, the idea of thick isn’t disgusting, the idea of fat is. I don’t ever want to be thick or fat, I like being skinny. I’ve been skinny my whole life and prefer it that way. the young woman in the picture above has the perfect body in my opinion but then again I could be biased because thats what I look like.

    To wrap it up, I felt like this piece wasn’t for me but at the same time I wanted to comment because I believe you are pushing a notion that feeds into the very system you’re trying to separate yourself from.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    why I don’t mess with LA

  • http://wwww.habariganiamerica.com Mommafucious

    This has to be written by a man. It is understandable in the acting profession to be leary of women dieting. But the average Black Women holding the article’s opinion are usually drastically but naturally overweight, with no hope of gaining the self-control to become and stay at a healthy personal weight. We Black Women are fighting a loosing battle against a history of cultural delights set to kill, men with a need for something extra to hold on to, and food-addicted obese women. This has got to stop. Women need to take control of every facet of their lives, mostly their bodies.

  • Sasha

    Agreed, this is what made me raise an eyebrow about the article. I can’t speak for the ideas of a whole racial/ ethnic group but for whatever reason, which I’m sure are many that I can only speculate, it is often Black men I hear saying this. The idea of “thick” has been distorted so much that fat, obese and morbidly obese women believe it is an accurate descriptor of what they look like. It is deeper than looks and outward appearance, there’s a psychological issue at hand and also a possible health issue. I have never been to Atlanta or LA so I can’t really form an opinion of what he saw. What I can say is that I’m from the DMV and the women of this area I have seen on Facebook and instagram that describe themselves as thick are actually fat. The “curves” the author is talking about are actually saddlebags, love handles and rolls.

    The issue I have with this is that women who are concerned about or monitor/ watch their weight, fitness and what they eat are considered “meth addicts jonesing for a fix”, frustrating to be with or have psychological issues which is sad but I guess its easier to attack people of a minority group than address the issue regarding a growing majority.

  • JDB

    I actually like this article. He’s not really saying we’ve never heard before, but he’s adding a little something positive at the end. He’s got some disclaimers regarding those who are naturally skinny and excessively overweight or unhealthy. Sounds to me like he’s just telling those of us who have more curves than your average “I like you just the way you are” which is alright with me. Thanks!

  • Tiff

    Who cares how men like women?? Women need to concern themselves with what they like on their bodies and WHY. It’s all about the motive. If a woman is comparing herself to someone else then her motive to lose weight is unhealthy.

    Personally, as a woman in the 130 range, I have the right to set a goal to lose or gain 10 pounds if I so desire (I don’t desire either). It’s my body. However, if I’m setting that goal because I want to gain weight to look like Beyonce or lose to resemble Chanel Iman then that’s when I need to sit on a therapist’s couch and talk it out.

  • Badu

    I can’t stand the deranged regressive and stupid cult of fat hating yet I find this whole article alienating.

  • Tim

    Go look at utube 60′s or early 70′s Soul Train Video if you think young black women have always been big or big bone. Back then young black women didn’t start gaining weight until after marriage and kids.

    Let’s be honest 140lbs is considered anorexic and demonized by overweight black women. Most of these still young women are close to or over 200 lbs and think they’re healthy yet can’t walk up two flights of steps without being out of breath.

    Men like big women? What young men want and like is sex but they’re embarrassed and don’t want to be seen in public nor by their friends with an overweight woman. I’ve never seen a 200 pound woman who wouldn’t look better if she lost 30 or 40+ pounds.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    I don’t think the author is speaking of drastically overweight women. He specifically references 130 lb women that are trying to get to 120 — women that don’t have weight problems that are trying to get skinnier for aesthetic reasons. Just because there are drastically overweight women that need to lose weight because of health reasons, doesn’t mean there aren’t women that are not at all overweight trying to achieve a skinny ideal. LA is known for such women. I agree that women need to take control of their bodies — especially from the beauty industry that force feeds this super skinny ideal to the population. I was just talking to an LA friend the other day that is trying to lose weight. She has a flat stomach and a small waist; she just wants her butt to be smaller. This is not because of health reasons. She just wants a butt “that inspires worship.” I believe this is what he is talking about.

    The curves the author is speaking of are likely in the lower body, not the mid section. I’ve seen many women in the DMV, in person and in social media, that are thick without rolls or love handles. Maybe it’s the circles I associate with, but I find that to be the norm in the black professional crowd out here.

  • Tim

    Also, men like curves. Lose the fat keep the curves.

  • MimiLuvs

    I found this article to be interesting. Usually, Clutch has the articles that is geared to inspire over-weight/obese black women to make more positive choices in regards to their health (and bodies). So, to read this article is different. I wouldn’t say “refreshing”… Just different. I just hope that the comments doesn’t turn into the “Us versus Them” crap.

  • Beth

    Agreed. There are all sorts of generalizations in this article that are troubling, and some that are straight-up medically inaccurate. (Such as you’re bound to be heavy based on what your grandparents–who likely had a lifestyle that was more physically active without going to the gym–ate.)

    While we’re at it, can we stop focusing on the body types that men like anyway? Trying to have a certain body type to please a man is just as troubling as fat shamming–neither are about doing what makes you feel best about yourself.

  • Reese

    I don’t really comment here, so I’ll keep my words simple and direct. It’s the author’s preference to favor thick and curly women. Unfortunately, I cannot and won’t fit in that category because my frame and stature won’t allow for that without chronic health concerns to arise. Genes are an important factor too. I’m petite (under 5′) and at a healthy weight (116 lbs). Women mainly comment on how “skinny” I am and how men want a thick woman, so they eat and don’t workout. If I had my way, I’d be an Amazon with define muscles, so I’ll settle for physical fitness and healthy eating. I believe men are attracted to confidence and goal-oriented women, but looks help for the initial attraction. I’ll work on myself, try to stay from shallow men and appreciate all women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes.

  • Medusa

    Yeah, coming from a family with a history of bad diet isn’t genetics, first of all. And black people are “thicker” than black people? What the everloving fuck? Also, 130 pounds might not be healthy for some people while 120 is. 160 might be healthy for others. Also, having curves has nothing to do with how fat you are or aren’t, that’s a body type. You can’t starve yourself into an hourglass figure if you’re not an hourglass figure. This article is a patronizing mess.

  • cabugs

    Shout out to the DMVers!

  • G

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Yb

    Your Soul Train article is weak. Just like other T.V. shows Soul Train will let they people they find most visually appealing on their show. Where there fat black men and women standing in line to get on that show? Yes.

    Where they allowed in? No. The people on Soul Train represent a small portion of the black population in the 60′s and 70′s. Using a TV show to reflect black life or appearances is ridiculously stupid.

  • Yb

    *Soul Train arguement is weak

  • cabugs

    Boo, I’m under 5 feet too! Haha, I usually don’t concern myself with weight loss or gain, all I want is to gain inches. It’s kinda funny because while people think of their ideal weight, I worry about my ideal height – 5’2, but I’ll settle for 5 feet. I believe women stop growing when they are 22 so I keep hoping for that miracle that will lend me 2 or 3 inches, but I’m running out of time lol.

  • Peyton

    “Different people, families, races all have specific body types.” I think because of this statement,some families will pigeonhole each other at a certain weight or perhaps deny the truth. The normalcy for my family’s body type is not of a slender build. Knowing this, some family members need to lose that extra 10-15 pounds for health reasons. I think they may not work at their weight lost goals as rigid because being larger is more accepted rather than being smaller. This is the fine line between (for the women) being “thick” or “fat”. In my family, if you don’t have a lil’ meat on your bones – (hips, butt) you are considered skinny. While we don’t crossover into La La land, it is difficult to convey the message of obtaining a healthier size for your body type because the curves are so appreciated.

    My husband truly had reservations when I started losing weight. Nevertheless, I had to do it for me. I felt better being smaller (my original size) and besides the hips and thighs were not going anywhere. I’m done and he’s ok now.

  • Beth

    Great posture makes everyone look taller :)

  • Treece

    While I appreciate this gentleman’s words about his love for a thicker woman, I must say that weight loss should not be about what anyone else thinks about you. Weight loss is a personal journey you take in order to get healthy. Point blank, period. There is no reason a woman should be trying to loose weight to appease a man, or the media’s ideals of beauty (Black or White media). So for the man that wrote this article, I understand where your’e coming from. But, let’s not make this about women not loosing weight because “men like women with meat on them”. Instead, we need to enter into a conversation where women are respected no matter what their size. There is an attractive body type for everyone. Some men like large women (I mean over 200 lbs.). Some prefer petite women, less than 120. Some like them somewhere in between. To each his own.

    I am paraphrasing this quote but, here goes: you might be the sweetest juiciest peach on the tree, but there is always somebody out there that don’t like peaches. I mention it to say that just because you think you are (or will be) pretty hot stuff at a certain size, doesn’t mean that you will be attractive to everyone. Weight loss should only be about improving your health (or in rare cases, a job requirement). If you are doing it b/c you think your are unattractive or for a man, then you have other issues that need to be addressed.

  • Yb

    You know it is gonna be “fat black women vs thick sistas vs skinny black woman and black men putting there two cents.” I don’t know but it seems that many black women of all sizes, even fat, try to mask their disdain and hate of fat black women under the guise of “caring for their health”. Righhhttttttt.

  • Reese

    I’m 27. I just have to accept it and carry my ID at all times. Lol

  • Tim

    Why is it weak….. because you disagree? Those were average kids from the hood. The point is it wasn’t usual to find small young black women. They were considered normal size. Today you’d have to go through 100′s of black girls to get a room full that size.

  • Est. 1986

    I stopped reading when I got to the “Females will do whatever they can…” line.

  • Tim

    Black men and women have more tolerance and are more accepting of overweight women than any other race in this country.

    Tell the truth. You want fat love, glorification and fat to be normalized.

  • Ask_ME

    I was born and raised in LA. My husband’s family is from Atlanta. We live in between LA, Atlanta and D.C. I have a few comments about this article:

    In some places like LA and Atlanta weight perception is determined by culture. In LA if you’re fat/thick/overweight/whatever you want to call it, you’re going to catch hell trying to get a decent date. Fat culture is NOT promoted or glamorized here. Men, regardless of race, are not checking for fat women in LA.

    In Atlanta, the opposite is true. A chick can walk around overweight and still think of herself as a “dime.” This is because the MEN of that city have embraced overweight women as the norm.

    And it’s not just Atlanta, it’s the south in general. The body image of the women I’ve seen in the south is completely different from women in LA.

    Women in general should get healthy for themselves…for their self-esteem and personal well-being.

  • Keepitreal

    “Females were doing whatever……”

    Female what? Question to the male, do you call your mother female too or is that reserved for just BW you don’t know?

  • Tim

    **correction**
    wasn’t UNUSUAL to find small young black women.

  • Yb

    @Tim

    The school system has failed you. I shouldn’t have to spell out what I said and explain things to you just because your reading comprehension skills are sub par.

    Spare me your generalizations and made up statistics. I don’t know where you are from where being 5’8 and 143 pounds is fat. Wanting black men and women to have a genuine conversation on weight in the black community and figure out the issues and solutions instead of bitching and leaving mundane comments isn’t wanting fat love or admiration, but I’m not going to expect your mind to have enough sense to process that.

  • mm

    Wasn’t as much fast food, processed food and junk food eating back then. If most of us go through pics of relatives from prior to the 1980s those people were generally not as big. We have a sedentary tv watching processed quick food eating culture now. I have never seen my grandmother eat a tv dinner. She cooks everything. She is 85 years old and works out on an exercise bike 3 times a week. It’s a whole different mindset with the older generations. On the whole statistics show that Americans were not as obese as they are now 30 years ago.So basically, I agree with you. You make a valid point.

  • Amber

    Are we really damning a brother for trying to be supportive? 90% of the comments at the beginning of the comments section have a tone of disagreeing with the article while repeating exactly what the article says!! I thinks the gripe is that a man wrote the article. If a woman wrote it (which I have seen several articles like this on this site) there would be nothing but songs of praise for a woman standing up for other women. Yes he said “females”. Don’t act like you don’t refer to some women that way at some point. Sure there are some generalizations in this article, but did he say anything that was really offensive? From what I read, the basic point was for women to lose weight because you want to, for the sake of your OWN health, and not because there is a social stigma associated with a certain body type. So basically, lose weight or don’t, but do it for YOU.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Under 5 feet as well…I feel so disconnected from the weight issue but can’t stand when people automatically call me “skinny” by default because I’m small. My body type is not skinny nor is it exactly “thick” …most accurate would be “petite”..like cabugs said, my primary concern is with ideal height…but that ship has sailed long ago lol

  • Tim

    @YB

    You need more people, hun. :-)

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    Hard to say how I feel about this article right now…I’ll come back later..lol

  • Chelle5483

    “I’ve never seen a 200 pound woman who wouldn’t look better if she lost 30 or 40+ pounds.”

    Totally agree, if the woman is under 5′ 9″, 200 might look “ok” and they are beautiful women indeed, but some at this weight would be a knockout if they worked on it. Yes, I am one of them, totally working on it… lol.

  • Chillyroad

    LA is beautiful. Cali is a hidden jewel.

  • http://mybigfatqlife.wordpress.com qlittlestar13

    Keepitreal, I get what you are saying as I waged war on that word some years back. I used to say female what? I still say only a human female can be a woman. I still don’t use it unless I am in Anatomy class. I have just given up because it has become the norm but no man I have ever gone out with or my current guy would refer to a woman as female.

  • http://twitter.com/rastaqueen92 Shug Avery (@rastaqueen92)

    me and my band of girlfriends at work have saying that goes, “this my belly. love it or leave it alone.” aint nobody got time for anything else.

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    The argument is actually not weak…our moms were in discos dancing their asses off all the time, cars were not as prevalent so they walked all of the time…also the hormones and additives weren’t in the foods like they are now…they add hormones to chickens and beef to fatten them….then we eat them and become fattened…also many women eat out a lot (I am 1 of 2 of my friends that cook daily) which can also attribute to weight gain..

  • Sasha

    This wasn’t written from the POV of being supportive, rather what is “pleasing to men”, specifically to this one man however he failed to mention that. This piece isn’t any more or less unifying or divisive when it comes to the weight (loss) discussion however it a subjective opinion reached by putting down one ideal in order to uplight another and that’s my issue. Along with the generalizations but you already touched upon that so it looks like we’re in agreeance there. After spending the article speaking for a whole gender (specifically Black men) in regard to what they like in a woman when it comes to body shape I don’t understand how your takeaway would be that he wants women, or females in his case, to do what they want to do in terms of weight loss.

  • EST. 1986

    “Don’t act like you don’t refer to some women that way at some point.”

    Some of us don’t, actually.

  • Chillyroad

    We do a lot for external benefits. Nothing wrong with that. We can lose weight for ourselves but attention and positive reinforcement feels good.

  • Yb

    @Ms. Information

    Your arguement is sound, Tim’s isn’t. He used a tv show as an indicator for black health in the past. You gave legitimate reasons (lack of transport, hormones in food, more dining out) as to why people are bigger now then in the past. I can use shows like Love & Hip Hop and Basketball wives as an example and state that the majority black women are thin and thick, not fat but that wouldn’t be true and using tv as a reflect a reality never makes sense.

  • EST. 1986

    Go Ravens!

  • http://gravatar.com/missinformation7 Ms. Information

    @ YB, I feel you….I think I am just more sympathetic than Tim. I have overweight friends and family members who don’t want to be that way and I just don’t think that some men understand what we go through on a daily basis as women….our culture has experienced so many changes from the 70′s I just think that we have to look at everything in order to see what needs to be changed….

  • Danni

    This is possibly the most bigoted and racist example of mansplaining I’ve read all week. Does the author truly believe that his epiphany during a trip to LA endowed him with with wisom and insight into this issue that has somehow evaded all black women? Do black women (or women in general) really need someone to explain the role Hollywood plays in negative body image? I have no patience for men who believe themselves to be more enlightened and qualified than women who have dealt with these issues their entire lives.

  • http://twitter.com/JumpJunkieJoe Geechee Goddess (@JumpJunkieJoe)

    This article is so offensive. First off not all Black people are thick. Black Women in my family and in my best friend’s family due to our small frames and shortness in height tend to weigh between 100-130lbs until we have children. I’m not going to eat myself to a unhealthy weight because “men like women with meat”. That is a horrible thing to push onto females. You should love your body, YES. But you should not strive to maintain unhealthy habits to please other people or stereotypes of what your people are suppose to look like. Logic like this is the exact reason why there are so many Black Women getting these back door butt surgeries and then loosing limbs. If you want to be big, do you. But I really don’t appreciate anyone who tells me that I have self esteem problems or that I want to be like a white girl just because I want to lose weight.

  • B

    For some women, so called wisdom isn’t acceptable unless the speaker has a pole attachment

  • AM

    @ YB,

    You kill me. How are you going to say Miss Info’s argument is sound, whilst Tim’s is not. They are saying the EXACT same thing, although I do have to agree Miss Info’s gave more reasoning. This is just an observation. I actually found your comment funny before you jump down my throught. Peace in the Clutch comment section.

    Ay YO! @Miss Info
    Hey mama! What it do!

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    I’m not trying to be rude but that belly is suffocating your internal organs in fat.

  • Beth

    Agreed. I never, ever refer to human women as “females,” and don’t think it’s asking too much for a written article to make a point to not equate women with animals from the jump.

  • http://twitter.com/rastaqueen92 Shug Avery (@rastaqueen92)

    is that so? but do you know how big or small my belly is?

  • http://chennadoll.tumblr.com pinklipstick227

    I don’t know a single person who refers to a flat stomach as a belly. The problem isn’t the size of your belly. The problem is that it exists.

  • http://chennadoll.tumblr.com pinklipstick227

    True. I wish people could literally see the internal damage that obesity causes. I’m not advocating for people to be vain. I’m advocating for people to take care of their health.

  • http://mybigfatqlife.wordpress.com qlittlestar13

    You are being rude. What about that young tennis star who was told she was too fat to compete even though she is kicking every body’s butt? We are not talking a beer belly. The thing is here most of us has had a Big mama or that big relative in the family, that was strong and had endless energy, so we have seen big and healthy. Just a decade Black teenage girls thought they had the perfect bodies, I wonder what they would think now. My full figured white girlfriends always hated themselves because of the things their families would say and I see the same thing happening to black women. I have had people lecture me for MY health, like as a older woman I would not know. I always ask them what is their bp and in most cases it is higher than my 110/70. I am not advocating full on eatwhatwewantandbesedentary. I am just saying health comes in all sizes. We are already reduced to being “females”, it will be interesting to see how much further we can divide ourselves.

  • GlowBelle

    Um…thanks for the reassurance?

    Look I see what you were trying to do with the whole ‘I’m a nice guy, I like women just the way they are’ routine, but no. You’re not a woman, so you don’t get to say ANYTHING about how a woman takes care of HER body. Period. Guess you didn’t you learn that while up in LA, did you? It is so wonderful for you for you to proclaim that you like women who are thicker, but what you want for that? A cookie? A gold star? What? Did you think the women on Clutch needed your approval? Denouncing the skinny people to rise up the thicker people doesn’t get us anywhere, it continues to divide us. And certainly pushing the agenda to tell women that men like meat on their bones shackles women into an ideal that isn’t their own and perpetuates once again everything that the media from magazines to movies try to fit women in some collective box. Some women are naturally thin, some are naturally thicker, we all have different metabolisms and shapes, no matter what race and genetics play a role in, and YES, women have a right to love and take care of their bodies, but they should do it on their own terms and for their own personal reasons, not just because some man told them what they thought was best for them.

    Men will be with any woman they will choose to go with — skinny, fat, black, white, purple, whatever.The comedian Sinbad had a joke once where he said a man will go out with a woman even if she is homeless. If he likes a woman, he will be with her. So any man who gets upset over a woman for losing weight is a troll superficial boy to begin with. Did you forget that the word ‘LOVE’ is also involved in a relationship, not just looks and how thick or thin a woman is? YES, you should find a man who is into you the way you are, but I know for sure that I’ll avoid you because you’re over-thinking (and over-stepping) the whole thing, and laying on falsities, and trying to play the nice guy routine when in fact you just showed how sexist and insensitive you really are with this pandering “article”.

  • keepitreal

    This is true. Belly fat is the worst type of fat to have and can be an indicator of heart disease later in life. Even as a naturally thin person (5’7, 130) I have to work at keeping it under control by eating smaller meals and incorporating a healthy snack (low fat greek yogurt & bananas/Sunflower seeds..) or 2 every single day to keep me satiated.

  • Kay

    I think women, and men too, should be a healthy version of themselves. I’ve seen women who are “skinny fat,” that can fit into a pair of jeans but have high cholesterol and high blood pressure because they emphasize size and not fitness. I’ve seen extremely obese women lose valuable time from their lives from diseases that could be controlled by diet and exercise. Bottom line is, you have to go with what’s healthy for YOU. If you feel fit and healthy and you are eating a diet high in antioxidants, vegetables, fruits, etc., and feel great, then that’s what you shoot for. Being skinny in itself shouldn’t be a goal, though we shouldn’t sit back and not exercise and eat well either.

  • Peaches

    I love your comment.

  • http://chennadoll.tumblr.com pinklipstick227

    @qlittlestar

    Since when is honesty rude? I am just stating a fact. The presence of belly fat indicates that one’s internal organs are being suffocated in fat cells. You are obliged to do whatever you want with your body. I just want people to know that leading a healthy lifestyle is an option.

    “We are already reduced to being “females”, it will be interesting to see how much further we can divide ourselves.”

    There is nothing feminist about being unhealthy and obese. I am not saying that people should be rail thin, but we (women and men) should at least aim to reduce our belly fat as much as possible.

  • gmarie

    He sounds very dramatic. As I always say ladies, some are gonna like it and others will hate it. Be the size you’d like to be for YOU. As long as you are healthy have at it.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Been to LA several times and I didn’t see much of what I would call beautiful. I saw a lot of fake and skinny, but not so much beautiful. Maybe I was hanging out in the wrong parts.

  • Tim

    I agree, I’m pulling for you. If you get bored or tired of the normal workout routine try different things such as yoga, palates or even mountain climbing. Good Luck and Best wishes

  • http://twitter.com/rastaqueen92 Shug Avery (@rastaqueen92)

    @pinklipstick although i do believe you didn’t intend to be rude your comment came off as such. you threw in something about feminism which was stated nowhere in the initial comment and like i said you don’t know how big or small my belly is…i don’t care what vernacular people (YOU KNOW) with flat stomachs use.

  • Amber

    Now that I’m re-reading the article for a 3rd time I think I may have arrived at my “takeaway” from this article by subconsciously inserting and/or deleting things in the article to make it make sense in my brain. So you have some really valid points as to the tone of the article. I still stand by my statement that this article obviously wasn’t meant to be harmful, but may be slightly misguided.

    So you can retract your claws anonymous Internet people lol

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    I stop reading after…”females were doing….” THIS! I thought I was the only one that stop reading that line killed not only the article but his argument. FYI to the author…um if you are going to write on a women’s site learn to address us. And thank god I don’t let man dictate how my body should look…

  • thinkpink

    I think all of these comments are sick. So a woman should lower her body weight not for health reasons but for the purpose of being visually appeasing to society? Objectification at its finest.

  • thinkpink

    As someone who is 75 lbs down and counting I hope you have developed other reasons for losing weight than being “a knockout”. I can guarantee if that’s your or anyone else’s sole purpose for weight loss they will not be successful in the long term. DR. OZ’S book “You the owners Manual” is a great way to appreciate and learn what our bodies do for us daily and how to treat it well. It was vital in me viewing my body as a amazing machine that allows me to fully participate in life vs. a structure built for societies visual and physical pleasure.

  • lola

    Woah @Pinklipstick she said she had a belly she didn’t say n e thing about suffocating internal organs. The only options aren’t super ripped flat stomach or super huge obese belly, there are inbetweens.

    I am a healthy weight my bmi is 21-22 I eat right and work out plenty. I have some chub on my belly (who doesn’t) but because the rest of my body is so petite I look like I have a really big belly and it really sticks out.

    when medical professionals say belly fat is unhealthy they are talking about if your waist size is greater than half your height (when you suck in) which gives quite a lot of scope.

  • Chika

    Clutch, I love you so much but you must do better than this mess. *sigh*

  • ChillyRoad

    @RAvi

    You have to take a car and drive along PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). It will take your breathe away. Our parks are wonderful too. My dad was a nature guy so I was exposed to many beautiful parts of California. There is no better place than the Bay area.

  • thinkpink

    Everyone knows that leading a healthy lifestyle is an option. seriously. New knowledge wasn’t being dropped. You invited yourself to give advice to someone who didn’t ask for it. Do you read the same facts off to smokers on the street? You should have stopped at “you are obliged to do whatever you want with your body” and stopped.

  • mEE

    this article is so…::sigh::

    I feel like the writer was coming from a good place but my annoyance level is super high right now. probably mostly for the fact that he framed the entire conversation around what men like. how is that a mentally or physically healthy way to live your life? smh

    and funny enough when I went to Georgia for the first time I had the opposite reaction to the one you had when you went to LA. I couldn’t believe how overweight most of the people were and how that was just the norm. the only time in my life I have ever been called skinny is when I was in Georgia.

  • Tara

    And some of us dont give a damn about black men’s opinion…

  • EST. 1986

    It doesn’t work like that. But you would know that if you knew anything about women’s bodies.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    I have to reserve judgment on the bay area. I’ve only been once back in the 90′s and I didn’t have much of a chance to explore. I might be back there again in April, so maybe I’ll see what the fuss is about.

  • Luci

    Eyeroll.gif

  • ImJustSaying

    I had such high hopes for this letter but they deflated with every new sentence.The Intention was good but the execution was a failure.

  • ruggie

    It would be nice to see/hear black men embrace black women’s unique beauty other than just thickness.

  • p

    @hi-hate-u(childish like u- I know)
    I hate stupid , on purpose, people.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    That wasn’t the logic of the article at all. He never said that skinny women should lose weight in order meet his ideal. He is arguing something not to dissimilar to what you said here:

    “But you should not strive to maintain unhealthy habits to please other people or stereotypes of what your people are suppose to look like.”

    The argument is that you shouldn’t be starving yourself to be skinny because skinny is more attractive and being thick is disgusting. He never suggested skinny people should gain weight or become thicker. He is arguing that thick women shouldn’t lose weight in order to fit some euro-centric ideal, as opposed to health reasons.

    “Understand that there is nothing wrong with endeavoring to lose weight. But lose weight because it is healthily expedient, not because of some societal stigma. “

  • http://chennadoll.tumblr.com pinklipstick227

    @Lola

    I’m not stating these facts for aesthetic reasons. Excess weight and obesity are prominent health issues within the black community. I’m tired of people perpetuating this false idea that you can be “fat and healthy.”

    Perhaps you are a skinny person with a gut but the exception does not swallow the rule.

    @Shug Avery

    I am very content with the vernacular that people around me use. This vernacular allows us to communicate with ease and collect ivy league degrees this May.

    My comment about feminism wasn’t directed at you. I clearly alluded to qlittlestar13.

    @thinkpink

    Never said I was dropping new knowledge. I am passing on information that I know. Clutch is an open forum as far as I am concerned, and I will use this website to promote healthy lifestyles. The only people who have a problem with my comment are those who lead unhealthy lifestyles and refuse to change. I have yet to hear a solid argument against eating healthy and exercising regularly.

    Here are the facts (Taken from the CDC):

    “African Americans have the largest age-adjusted death rates due to heart disease and stroke.”

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf

    “African Americans and individuals with low incomes are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke than their White and high-income peers.”

    “Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.

    Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.”

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it.htm

    So no, I am not going to sit here and let someone profess that having a gut is okay.

    Also, I do lecture my friends who smoke. Smoking causes cancer as well as other harmful diseases. So yes, I do discuss the harmful effects of smoking with people I care about.

  • Tiff

    I’m out of breath after 1 flight and I weigh less than 130. lol. a mess. #gymdate

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    i’m 5’8 and wish i were 5’2. when i wear high heels i feel like a man because every other woman around me is wayy shorter (while in high heels,also). i just feel less feminine.

    i always thought it was cuter to be short and not able to reach things. instead i’m kind of a male replacement.”hey you’re tall. can you get that for me?”

    : (

  • Modern Lady

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…?

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