Monday, May 6, 2013

Let me stress this about being fat...

When asked by Mary Handzus: The stress from stigma from society, especially the one that a person was born into, can be crushing.   The medical community has learned a lot  about the effect of stress on health.  I wish that they'd wise up and see its role in the health problems of fat people in a society that worships thinness.    One thing that  comes up in conversations about this is that someone will say, "Oh, I know a number of people who are overweight* and  seem quite happy - outgoing, upbeat, usually smiling.   You're probably just too sensitive."     I'll usually reply that we don't really know what's going on inside with  those other people inside - they might really feel hurt. What do you say in response to this?

I said: A SERIES on being a fat African American woman that I was ASKED to do for RADIANCE back in the day was rejected because the editor said she saw a lot of happy fat Black women on their way into (not her) church on Sundays.  I told her they were probably happy because they were going to see the only man who loved them fat.  I wouldn't be able to say that comeback today with all the sin-fat connections made in so many religious communities these days.  Black churches, populated with a majority of Black women,  many fat, are a focus for dieting campaigns these days.  Administrators at my HBCU shamed me for objecting to a lose-weight prayer walk where we were supposed to walk and pray to get thin.  I was all in for the walk...but with all the things that require prayer in this world, we should focus such energy on ending our fatness?

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