Revenge of the 80's Queen
Line Backers in Dresses
There was a Breast Cancer Awareness event at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center outside of Washington D.C., in 2012 . This huge event had so many ladies of the African-American persuasion wearing various shades of pink, wobbling from the parking garage to the Gaylord Venue, but majority of them not only sporting the color theme but over half of the women were obese wearing tight fitted dresses. As the women were making their way inside the Gaylord, I noticed these young Asian adults both male and female laughing at the women, at first I was afraid that these kids would get attacked because their laughter could have been taken as offensive, since so many of these obese women while scantly clad in tight fitted dresses with muffin top shapes, resembling Football Line Backers in a dresses, which was not complimentary at all, but comical and sad, plus things could of gotten real ugly .
Weight Political Correctness
The Making of a Queen
Here you have a group of Non-Hispanic black women attending an event that is about Breast Cancer, these women with their tight fitting exposing every unflattering curve of their body and not seeing that obesity is just as deadly as Cancer. The timing couldn't be anymore auspicious, that is this particular breast cancer event took place a year after the Center of Disease Control 2012 stats that listed Non-Hispanic African American women was the group with the highest obsess rates of 57.6%,. What surprised me most while spectating the event, was that these women were oblivious to how bad they looked in these tight fitted dresses, and they seemed that they didn't care. As pointed out in the December 10th 2012 Huffington Post article , "Black Women Battle Obesity With Dialogue, Action"," obesity for African-American women is not a problem and tends to be more acceptable. The Huffington Post article listed diet, slang and music that were the main driving force of African-American women obesity acceptance. Obesity is an acceptance of lifestyle for African-American women compared to their White counterparts. The dominate driving force for acceptance has been music for sure, some images were settle while some was more bold, with the proof coming from Rhythm and Blues and Hip-Hop. Chart topper such as the 1977 release of "Brick House by the Commodores, 1988, "Da Butt" by EU, Queens of Rap, Salt-N-Pepper 1994 "Shoop", Black Dave, 1999, "Go Big Girl", the 2008 Hip-Hop title "Wobble Baby" by V.I.C., glorifying the physic of these once outcast women. No where was there a magazine, a music video, television or the silver screen that glorified the display of obese women, these women were out of sight and out of mind at least dating back to the days of super model Twiggy.
Hail to Queen
It has been a gradual evolution of accepting larger beyond the Commodores "winning stats," of 36,24,36 no video of such display obese women beyond the curvaceous stats of 36,24,36 of women since before the arrival of Music Television aka MTV,. From the late 1970's fast forward eleven years later to 1988 video, and if you look really carefully at the "Da Butt" by EU a video sound track for "School Daze" that was directed by Spike Lee, it was very settle. The last sequence of the butt challenge, there was the last 2 females featured with the biggest butts with thicker frames, but the females before them showing off their buts were more athletic shaped and thinner. Another video embracing obese girls or women was the 1994 "Shoop" video by Salt-N-Pepper, where Salt featured her obese niece in the video. The 1999 "Go Big Girl" performed by Black Dave for the movie soundtrack "Big Mamma's House" this video didn't hold out but, had almost a complete cast of obese women throughout the video. The skinny girls were told to exit stage left while the big girls welcomed and catered to by the members of the group. Leap to 2008 to V.I.C. video "Wobble, Wobble", scaled back the cast of big girl video vixen to one featured in a pink 1920's flapper dress.
Hey Big Girl !
Gon Big Girl
Long Live the Queen
Once the black music industry embraced obese women for the bottom line and along with the internet, social media, and advancement of cell phones, which provided a self-promoting gateway for the obese black woman to emerge as Ms. Large-and-in-charge, they became a force to be reckoned with, while having a take it or leave it attitude. As pointed out earlier the black female out of all groups has the highest rate of obesity, which in some cases would make sense to cater to the demographic. The world of Magazines began to take notice taking it's que from the silver screen, when obese black actress Gabourey Sidibe who represent the 4 out of 5 obese Non-Hispanic African-American in the US. Ms. not only won an Oscar but won the Front page of 2010 Elle Magazine 25th cover anniversary which was some controversy questioning if Ms. Sidibe complexion lightened but the editor denied the accusation. Beside whether or not the actresses skin was lightened or not that front cover page of this actress put black obese women in the for front of discussion whether they liked or not. As this group prominence grew a growing concern of this groups health hit the radar of the CDC, the federal agency as pointed out earlier with it stats from 2012 stating that African-American women has the highest obese rates compared to their white, Asian and Hispanic races.
Tommy Sotomayor Take on Obese Black female Entertainer
Even Austrian born actor Boris Kodjoe came out with hashtage #FatExcuse which the actor got negative feed back challenging all black men " like them thick, from the artlcle "Are Black Men Helping to Keep Black Women Fat" pubished by CHARISMA HEALTH, http://www.charismamag.com/. The recurring phrase in the black or African-American community has been around for sometime, possibly dating back to the 1970's, that black men "like them thick." Mr. Kodjoe isn't the only dissenting opinion, but also Tyrese Gibson in 2013 with www.allhiphop.com, was criticized by his remarks responding to the question," what kind of responsibility do you feel as an entertainer, you have to inspire people to live a healthier lifestyles?", calling fat people, "Fat Nasty." YouTube social issue commentator Tommy Sotomayor has been on the fore front of challenging the Black American women and the issue of weight has been one topic and has endured countless verbal attacks about his straight forward commentaries that has been discussed and shared on YouTube. Mr. Sotomayor on numorous occassions had to repost his videos because of flagging issues because trolls acting as subscribers would flag a video that they didnt like.
As the health fitness industry enters it's next rebirth with the help of technology of encouraging more independent health research and motivating individuals making a b-line to the produce section instead of aisles of process food. Will African-American women remain content with their image, while basking in the delight of being happy and thick but at the expense of having a long trail of life threatening diseases while dismissing society preference for thinness or athletic. I have been living in the mid Atlantic part of the United States, Virginia, and also New Orleans, where the concentration of African-American women would be higher than compared to my hometown San Diego. I have been keeping a watchful eye to who I see running and walking trails, and most of the time white women are most dominate group running and walking, only time will tell if African-American women attitude toward weight will change. Maybe the new fitness revolution will have a big influence that carries over to the African-American community, primarily the women since the males obese rate is in the high thirties according to 2012 CDC stat, or maybe the queen will be content with her revenge.
© 2016 Sinetria Hudson