Most of you probably saw this photo of the current case of Mo’Nique’s F.A.T Chance making its way around the gossip blogosphere in July.

From the second I saw that photo pop up on sites like Perez Hilton and TMZ, I steeled myself for horrible comments. If you’re at all sensitive about weight issues, those comments will hit you like a slap to the face. I won’t give them the honor of quoting any of them, but I read some horrible generalizations about size and black women, a variety of incredibly cruel fat jokes, and many remarks about how the program is “promoting obesity.” I beg to differ. Anyone who has watched Mo’Nique’s F.A.T Chance knows that the point of the show is to uplift the self-esteem of women who aren’t typically celebrated as beautiful in society. It has nothing to do with exploting the participants or celebrating an unhealthy lifestyle. And if you don’t believe me, I asked somebody.

The bella directly below Mo’Nique in the pink body paint is 23 year old Arena Turner, a former sixth-grade since teacher who taught at a middle school in North Miami and hails from the outskirts of Liberty City. I was lucky enough to interview her for my job, because she was hosting a local screening event for the show’s first episode. And just like Mo’Nique did when I met her, Arena immediately struck me as a really cool chick.

A little backstory — I went to the Miami casting call for F.A.T Chance last year, and met Mo’Nique. She’s truly a presence — at the end as tired as she was, she hugged me and made me feel special and beautiful and important. It was a magical moment.

This season, Mo took the contestants to Paris, and Arena said it was the experience of a lifetime. The contestants bonded and toured the city of lights, and had some magical first experiences — Arena drank her first glass of champagne ever! As part of the competition, the ladies got body painted for an artistic photo shoot. Arena admits that she was initally concerned about appearing nude. “I’m a school teacher so I was worried about the message I was sending. I don’t want [my students] to think it’s OK to pull off your clothes for money. But at the same time I wanted them to get the message that hey, you need to love yourself. Love yourself enough to come out of your shell and say look at me, I am beautiful. I’m beautiful with all of my clothes on, or with nothing on at all. That’s what the competition is all about,” she explained. “The whole competition is about stepping outside of your comfort zone, and being comfortable with you. Just loving yourself enough to say OK, listen. I’m a big girl and I can let it all hang out because I’m beautiful. I’m a work of art!”

I asked Arena what she had to say to the haters, and she got very real with me. “I feel like, if everyone loves themselves enough on the inside, then everything on the outside becomes beautiful. And just because people are messed up on the inside and don’t love themselves, they go ahead and pull and pick and point fingers. I mean, come on!”

I asked her how the comments made her feel, and she let me know that they didn’t slow her down at all. “My skin is thick. When I read the comments, it didn’t pierce my skin at all. I was like, wow, people actually thought enough to leave 500, 600 comments on this! Wow! They’re really looking at this, and they see it’s ok to be yourself, it’s ok to be beautiful. Then I read some comments where people are saying we’re promoting obesity. We never said go eat two hamburgers and be fat! We never said that! What we said is, love who you are, love what you are, and be proud of yourself. Nobody ever said go and be the size of Arena, or go ‘head and eat yourself to Mo’Nique’s size. We never said be obese. Me myself, I work out every morning. Mo’Nique encouraged us to work out at the hotel, she exercises.”

The photo was intentionally out-there. Intentionally in your face. And it makes me wonder — what do people want, anyway? You hear regular complaints that the fashion industry promotes eating disorders, models are too skinny, we’re banning models who are under a certain weight. Okay. Then the designers say, let’s go the opposite way and make a powerful statement. When Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano used plus size model Velvet in their runway shows in Paris, people were spewing pure hateraid, talking about this is just gross, nobody wants to see that, blah blah blah. It’s like, you can’t please people. Arena agreed with me on that point.

“There are people who have committed suicide because of what society thinks about them. But you know, it doesn’t matter what society thinks about you if you truly love yourself,” Arena retorted. And in the end, she brushed it all off. “People are gonna talk, they’re gonna talk. Small-minded people talk about people.” There’s no disputing that.

Whether you saw the photo as empowering and magnificent or horrific and disgusting, you have to admit that it took a hell of a lot of guts to pose for a picture like that, and I’m not talking about their weight. Speaking as a woman who doesn’t currently own a pair of shorts and has used every kind of excuse to not wear a swimsuit in front of strangers, I have to applaud the courage of these women to take it all off.

Please don’t get it twisted — Mo’Nique isn’t by any means a guru or spokesperson for me as a black woman. I can’t always ride with her opinions. For example, her recent quote about the n word made me roll my eyes so hard they almost fell out of my head. But I remember the words Mo’Nique said to the crowd at the end of the F.A.T Chance audition and as someone who knows where she’s coming from, Iwas sincerely touched: “I honestly wish that I could bottle up what I’m feeling right now to give to y’all for the days that aren’t too bright — for the days that your thighs rub too hard together. Because I am y’all. I know how you feel,” she said to the room of full figured women. Many tears were shed that day, but it was a magnificent experience.

On a personal note, I myself am a big girl and I’ve been fighting my weight for years. In my experience, I think people who are thin or who have never had a weight problem, sometimes don’t know what to say to overweight people. Tough love is an often-used tactic and for me, it’s never worked. Making fun of me or mocking me, will push me away and make me hate you and disregard whatever message you were trying to send. What has helped is a slow and realistic building-up of my self esteem. My workout goals were always ineffective because I held goals that weren’t encouraging that positive self-image. I’ve finally realized that I don’t need to lose weight so I can be seen as beautiful. Because I’m beautiful now. I need to exercise regularly so I can be fit and healthy and live a long and happy life. And I’m doing that. Just hearing the words – you’re beautiful, you look great — means a lot when you’re not used to hearing (or believing) it.

When I’m having a low self-esteem day, I check out Thick Misses, a blog that celebrates black celebrities with curves. I find lots of fashion inspiration that I can use NOW, not as thinspiration. For example, I ache for this stunning black and white floral dress from Mo’Nique’s Ebony photo spread. And while we’re on the topic of plus size women and fashion, a word to the clothing designers around the world. Lots of females have a passion for fashion, but I’d venture to say women who are plus-size are extra obsessed with finding the perfect outfit. Full-figured fashion has come a long way, but we’ve got a lot further to go. For many designers, plus size clothes are still a relatively untapped market.

I’ve been realizing that a lot recently, because I have a family wedding to attend in Lake Tahoe next week. This ain’t just a wedding, it’s also going to be a big ol’ family reunion for my husband, and we’ll be seeing relatives who were haven’t seen since our wedding five years ago. Needless to say, we’re excited for our little trip, and I want to find the perfect dress. I’m a vibrant kinda gal, so I’m visualizing a bright, flowy, flattering, classy Grecian type of style. These days I’m obsessed with bright yellow, but fuschia or golden orange might also be interesting. I’m not averse to patterns, but they’d need to be flattering. And I’ve been looking and looking for the perfect dress that’s beautiful AND affordable, and I can’t find ANYTHING for less than $250.00. I waited too long to shop online, so tomorrow I’m gonna have to hit Loehmann’s, Ross, Macy’s, JC Penny, wherever I can — on a quest to find this mystical dress. Any advice you bellas might have is very much appreciated.

To end this on a happy Friday musical note, here’s Mo’Nique, proving that plus size can be sexy and desirable in Anthony Hamilton’s Sista Big Bones. Whatever size you are, you need to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and believe in your beauty.

Happy Friday and nothing but love, y’all!

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reader says:
August 3, 2007, 10:19 am
There's no need for anyone to take a defensive stance about being fat. I think those "rude" comments on TMZ and wherever else are, as some would say, are "rich", coming from the typing fingertips of people who live in a society where fat, large, and plussized people are the NORM!(just try buying clothes that are between size 18-24 in any mall across America! and you know the answer is always "SORRY SOLD OUT"). They are cowards who would happily disrespect plus sized women in an anonymous internet forum and then stand up and kiss their fat wife, girlfriend, sister, or mom "goodbye" and "have a nice day" and "i love you" as they head out the door to work or the store. It's all B.S. Total posturing. Anyway, Monique is a provocative entertainer, she always has been, so for her to generate buzz and controversy...well, that's just her Doing Her!
Simone says:
August 3, 2007, 10:24 am
oh, i think it's a wonderful, wonderful photograph. everyone should get to be idealized and made into a work of art! it's a different conversation from trying to figure out the real body and the real consequences for long-term health, which is a necessary one as well. but it doesn't take anything away from what the women were able to bring to this photograph. so much womanly flesh and presence and color with the painting and everything. for this moment, they were amaaaazing amaaaazing. bella bella!!
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 10:40 am
Although I don't and will NEVER sink to the lowest of lows as sooo many have done when refering to obese women, I will say this, I have a problem with celebrating morbid obesity and Monique should be ashamed of herself for doing so. On soooo many levels it is unhealthy--we all know this, I don't have to list the host of health issues obesity creates. There seems to be a subtle blacklash against health and fitness these days and it is disguised as a I'm confident/I'm normal/I'm curvy/I'm a real woman and I don't know why. Have we become so lazy that instead of doing things to fix our severe health issues, we have to try to convince others that they don't really exist? I'm sorry, you can't have your cake and eat it too.
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 10:44 am
I dont mean to argue with anybody...but skinny does NOT automatically = healthy, in the same way that being FAT does not automatically = unhealthy. but, because most americans are singularly simplistic in their thinking, it is probably pointless to point that out.
Kands says:
August 3, 2007, 10:46 am
To "Methinks" I think the point is- Women who don't feel they are beautiful, valuable and worthy will not make the changes that are necessary to become healthier. You have to truly believe in these things in order to feel good enough to put in the HARD work of changing an unhealthy lifestlye. I think Mo'nique pageants are aimed to improve the self esteem of fuller figured ladies, so that they can be liften up enough to feel good and DO BETTER for themselves. But it has to start with feeling- hey, I am beautiful and I can do this. And so often in society, fuller figured ladies DO NOT get that support!
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 10:48 am
Bella: I'm not trying to get a rise out of you but I will say this, why don't you just stick to a diet and exercise plan instead of falling into that misery enjoys company bandwagon? You are much to smart to go there. You know that there is NOTHING to celebrate about obesity. I'll say this, I remember someone asked Oprah about her biggest regret, you know what she said? She said that her biggest regret was living her 30s and 40s being overweight. I've was overweight up until I started college. I had tried to get the weight off all throughout high school with NO success. It wasn't until I seperated myself from those "celebrate your bigness" and "I hate those skinny bitches" friends and company that I had found that umph to loose the weight. To the overweight, obese is the drug--like crack, like cocaine. You have to remove yourself from the environment. Shows like this don't help the struggle.
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 10:51 am
I never said skinny=healthy. I totally agree with that point. But this level of fatness is clearly unhealthy. I'm not saying get down to a stick size but between a size 0 and 18 there is a range of healthy sizes that one should inpspire to. I see your point Kands but more times than not, I hear monique's mission taken as accept me for what I am--which is counterproductive.
afrobronxchick says:
August 3, 2007, 10:52 am
hey afrobella, thanks for the once again beautifully descriptive portrait of the struggle that not only is directed at curvacious women but of all women in their own uniquity and physical appearance in life. I've struggled and still imensly harbor negative condensations to my body image because I am a typical model's size and have pretty much been ostricized most of my life for being the way I am and having no part in my overall physical appearance. I am 5'7 and weigh 120 pounds and I can't help being this weight through many strenous and depressingly scrupulated attempts to change. At times I feel like people imensley overlook not curvacious women's positive self image, but humanity and women's overall acceptance of who they are and the path they were ment to follow in life. As a 16 year old I'm trying to live my life to the fullest but at times it bothers me how much people can magnify and scrupulate issues to one group when they really involve allllll of us as a humanity and whole.
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 10:53 am
I meant aspire to
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 10:53 am
OK...I never thought I'd come to Bella's defense, but me thinks "me thinks" done gone too far! First of all, Bella would have do decide that she hates herself and that all her problems in this world are based on her body size...that would be imbalanced...kinda like, um...OPRAH!!! Everyone know's Oprah's bloddy crazy, and you can't go by what her regrets and hangups are. If MeThinks hated herself being fat than that's her issue. Not everyone thinks that way.
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 10:57 am
...don't make me bring up Nzi Germany, lol. Like there's some ideal body size, total B.S. ...if we're suppose to have all these bloody (and i spelled that correctly this time) freedoms in this country, i guess "unfettered freedom to be happy with oneself, regardless of body size" outta be added to the declaration of independence, the constitution, or the emancipation proclaimation or something.
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 10:57 am
But bella has said time and time again that she WANTS to loose the weight and it is apparent that it does bother her. I decided to loose the weight because I wanted better for myself and because I did not want to loose my life to obesity like my oldest sister did. My oldest sister was morbidly obese and she died from an infected fatty deposit. I chose life.
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 10:59 am
please don't take my comments out of context. I'm not trying to start a riot at all. I've been obese, I've managed to loose the weight. I'm speaking from experience only.
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 11:03 am
Ok...i back off. People become ill and sometimes die because of lots of things, skinny and fat. It's just not that simple, is all i'm saying. And the masses of people who are responding to Monique's show are doing so based on the question of "it is aesthetically pleasing and acceptable to look at a fat woman and is it okey to find a fat woman attractive?". JAMA are not the one's "ewing" and "yucking" over this!
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 11:06 am
I agree reader. Please believe that I am not trying to start a fight. I do understand your comments. The oprah comment was a litty wacky on my part.
Auragirl says:
August 3, 2007, 11:07 am
Hey Bella, I actually did not see this picture make its rounds on the blogs, but I actually watched Monique's FAT Chance last week on Oxygen. I won't lie, in a way I could understand how people were saying that the show promoted obesity, but after reading this post, I understand how it is not. What Arena said makes sense (She was my favorite...I wanted her to win!) They never told anyone to go out and eat to get big. They are trying to be comfortable in their own skin and love themselves for who they are. It's all about being the best YOU you can be! I have to give them credit though...I'm not plus sized, but it is hard enough to wear a swimsuit, let alone pose nude. Props to them! Just wanted to say keep it up with your can do it! Just remember it's all about changing how you live. I'm trying to lose some weight too, so I'm right there with you there! Quick question: What exactly do you do? You always mention interviewing people for your job. It seems like you have a really cool job! Much love!
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 11:11 am
When I was young, i used to see what i thought was a ridiculous bumper sticker and t-shirt slogan that said something like "God doesn't make junk"...i'm older now and I think it would behove some of our young sistahs to believe that. Being healthy is important, and easily attained with proper diet (just eating balanced meals) and exercising (walking, playing tennis, etc, instead of sitting and sucking up TV-- from whence the screwed up self image comes) but it has nothing to do with body size.
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 11:18 am
reader: I agree with you. The size I was back then was unhealthy.
byrdparker says:
August 3, 2007, 11:21 am
methinks Says: August 3rd, 2007 at 10:48 am what on earth would make u think , that YOU can tell someone you don't know that she should lose weight .. You shouldn't do this .. You don't know bella personally do you ? This is a blog , what we see of bella is what she wants us to see. You really need to remember that . I am really shocked at your attitude , and i think you should apologize .
Tysha says:
August 3, 2007, 11:29 am
Hi Bella, I don't know if it will be enough time to order anything but I went on the mission to help a sista out. There's a site called that have formal gowns ranging in price $132.00-$250.00 I know with working in a bridal boutique it's always good to be able to try on. However maybe you can nail the sizes by their size chart and taking your measurements. Also had some selections as well. Whatever you choose have a great time!
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 11:33 am
Whoa Byrdparker! I've read every single one of bella's posts and she has said time and time again that she wanted to loose weight. I hate it when people take my comments out of context. I was making a correlation between when I wanted to loose weight and failed because I was sucked into the "misery camp". My post was directed at her "when I have my low self esteem days, I visit..." I wanted to tell her that if she wants to loose weight she should stay away from those outlets because they encourage complacency. Before you make comments make sure you put them in their proper context. Thanks.
Nikita says:
August 3, 2007, 11:40 am
I loved Monique's Fat chance. I go to the gym, I work out, I watch what I eat and I am a big girl. I lovey me. Trust. Really, I am amazed at some of what I have read on other sites about this show. You HAVE to love yourself where you are in order to move forward. You HAVE to. Loving yourself means telling yourself the truth, making an effort to take better care or yourself and yes, not giving a DARN if nobody else likes you. To ME that is what this show was about, reminding women, wherever they are physically mentally etc to love themselves anyway!! Too many people when they began to become a BBW stay in the house, stay covered up etc. and that lonliness, that being bored causes them to eat. Monique impressed upon the ladies to live your life. That means moving out of your comfort zone and taking care of yourself. So yes, some of the ladies needed to move, I mean REALLY needed to move their bodies. However, as a person who is really into taking care of herself NOW more than I ever did before, I know that LOVING ME where I am is what started my revolution. I hope she inspired some other ladies to start where they are right now as well.
Kands says:
August 3, 2007, 11:43 am
Thank you Nikita!!
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 11:43 am
I agree Nikita. I think that this is the point that reader was making as well.
Tysha says:
August 3, 2007, 11:55 am
Also check local small bridal boutique/shops in your area, many times they will have dresses/gowns marked down on the clearance rack they would like to sell quickly. Be careful to check them well for any snags or missing hooks, if there are you can politely ask for more off.
che says:
August 3, 2007, 11:58 am
hmmm i have this friend.. shes overweight and i can fall in the same category. so i think i can voice my opinion on this one. she eats whatever and doesnt work-out..okay i am sometimes guilty of this as well. but im making the effort to watch portions, take walks on evenings and cut the junk food. the weight isnt flying off, but i feel alot healthier and maybe ill just start dropping lbs. my friend however keeps meeting guys who adore her weight, nothing wrong with finding someone who loves u for u...but its gets crazy when she refuses to eat better or work out becuz her man wants her stay "round". over the years shes gotten bigger and to the point where she looks older for her age and breaths heavily climbing stairs or just walking a block. she tells me im too small, i have no bum and my man must be missing out. lol point to my story is...this isnt just my friend. ive met many women who voice the same view. if big is sexy in our culture dont u think we're encouraging women to become unhealthy..and i agree skinny does not automatically equal healthly, but if ure in ur 20s and already having issues climbing stairs whats gonna make u think ure gonna better at 60 if ure told u should stay "round and sexy" my thing for losing this weight is live beyond my 60s and to have a healthy kid. its not image, i just want to live without complications
laidbackchick says:
August 3, 2007, 12:08 pm
Now I will digress a bit. I think the picture is artistically beautiful. I am a thick chick rockin size 14 at 5'9 and while I think people should learn to be happy in the skin they are in, they also need to be healthy. Whether you are slim or thick you know where that happy medium is and you should aspire to good health. I find it hard to believe that healthy hearts lie beneath loads of fat. Now my problem with Monique is that she makes ignorant statements and yet we continue to support her. We pull Imus and the rest to the forefront when this sister alleges that we need to embrace the "N" word and turn it into something beautiful. She says that she will continue using it in her acts because it is a term of endearment amongst us. I am appalled. She is the same person that was supposed to be correcting and leading women through that idiot show Charm School. There is a "fat chance " that I will be supporting anything she does until she understands the hurt, harm, and the legion of disrespect that is attached to that word. Like I said. I digress
methinks says:
August 3, 2007, 12:27 pm
laidbackchick: you did not digress, you are very correcty in your last comment.
Nerd Girl says:
August 3, 2007, 12:30 pm
Can't stand Monique. She claims to be all about promoting self esteem, but turns around and calls skinny women "evil." I feel that if you are comfortable with yourself, then you don't have to demean or attack others. Period. And I won't even start on Charm School which I found to be devoid of any charm at all. Just like Rosie O'Donnell makes everything into a gay issue, Monique makes everything into a fat issue. We're all beautiful in our own way -whether society as a whole recognizes that or not. Can't wait to see what you come up with for the wedding - I know it'll be fierce - post pics!
Reader219 says:
August 3, 2007, 12:34 pm
I'll keep it simple. I haven't seen the show but I will make an effort to now. The picture is beautiful. The disgusted commenters are just projecting their own self hate. Big ups to these ladies - NO pun intended. I think more people need to have thicker skin and ignore the b.s. People flap their lips just to make noise - such is the world we live in - nobody needs to go killing themselves or even being miserable about it.
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 12:46 pm come people didn't make this BIG STINK about the naked painted people picture when Tyra Banks did the same setup with per post-teenage cast in, what was it, the second season of ANTM? Talk about Sizism!
StAr says:
August 3, 2007, 1:05 pm
Hi Bella, thanks for the BEAUTIFUL post today:)I'm a full figured sista and it took me some time to realize that I was just as sexy as the next sista..... I'm heavy, but I'm healthy and that's what counts. My hat goes off to the Mo'Nique, she is super FLY!!!! Have a wonderful weekend Bella and I hope you find a smashing dress for the wedding. Happy Weekend, everyone................
Ladybug says:
August 3, 2007, 1:28 pm
Hi Bella. Thank you for the site once again. I appreciate it. I have lots to say but I will keep it short. I am in the process of losing weight. I have completely changed my eating habits and I work out regurlarly with a trainer. I have been very successful at my weightloss journey however I also had to re-adjust my thinking completely because what I have learned is until you love yourself enough right where you are, you will never be able to change your weight permanently because you will always feel like you are not quite good enough right where you are! I had the same kind of experience by wearing a strapless bridal gown as the maid of honor in my sisters wedding. There were days when I contemplated not standing up in my sisters wedding for the sheer horrer of being a size 18 while the rest of the bridal party is a size 8-10. I thank God that I owned my size and I embraced who I am now and lived in the moment rather than giving in to the pressure of feeling not good enough. It was as if the heavens opened up for me. I realized at that love yourself where you are for who you are right now! That is the only way that I have been able to understand that I am a beautiful magnificint person right where I am and because I love me, I am able to go to the gym because I love me enough to make sure that I do everything that I can to be a healthy heart smart person. I am so tired of people acting as if being over weight is the most horrible thing in the world! My pastor once told me....we all have issues....some you can see...some you cant. We need to learn to love people into healing....stop being so judgemental and understand that being thin does not by anymeans equate to being healthy! I am continuing my journey and I have lost another 22 pounds....I have 15 more to go before I am at my goal weight. I applaud anyone who has learned to love themselves in spite of what society has deemed to be perfect! Bella's have a most peaceful weekend!
Melinda says:
August 3, 2007, 1:43 pm
Bella... I have to admit that I'm pretty split on the subject of Black women and our weight; in fact its just downright polarizing. On one note,I love Monique. The woman is hilarious. But I have my days when I simply believe that she exploits her fan base; cause if Monique were to ever lose her excess weight then she will no longer be able to use her plus size as a badge of honor to connect with overweight women. Every time Monique connects and relates to obese/severly overweight it puts dollars in her pocket. Let's face it: Black women are stressed, overworked, tired, angry, bitter, and severly underappreciated as a whole and we are eating ourselves to death because we are under unbelievable amounts of stress. We are single parents, students, financially strapped, unsupported and often rejected by our men. As Zora Neale Hurston brilliantly stated: Black women are the mules of the world! For the most part we feel a deep sense of unworthiness. Because we are expected to play superwoman at all times we are taking our stress, anger and depression and turning it inwards. And the drug of choice is our food. That's what I see. I agree...women who are overweight/plus-sized cannot be lumped into one unhealthy, unlovable, unworthy heap. Yes! You can be thick and healthy! But the average overweight chica...ate herself there...and she has to find a way to connect with what is really not right. It takes true soul searching. Something that I believe Monique should elaborate more on. Unfortunately, many overweight black women puff themselves up with false sense of self-esteem and otherwise lie to themselves by calling themselves, thick, curvy, having baby fat and other titles of ridamdiculousness. I live in Harlem and there are way too many morbidly obese sisters walking around looking like a hot sloppy mees; hell they can't even take a deep breath...killing themselves in the name of being thick. And on the real...sister's need to stop being on the defense when someone blogs about sisters needing to eat right, eat less, and exercise!...start by telling yourselves the truth and stop looking to MONIQUE to be your hero. No you don't and shouldn't have to subscribe to the Western hemisphere's standard of beauty; we've always had thick thighs, arms and butt. But if you're waist is outta need to work that ish out. Period. You don't get to love yourself by telling yourself that work it prove it in your actions.
Davina says:
August 3, 2007, 1:53 pm
I like Mo' as a comedian but I have a problem with her encouraging big women to maintain their obesity. Big can be beautiful but being big brings with it a whole lotta potential health problems. I think the only exercise any of them got was when they were practicing their walk for the runway.
ladydandridge says:
August 3, 2007, 1:55 pm
I think the idea that Monique is trying to get about self esteem is necessary. There are no proponents of being healthy and full figured at the same time except her. Now, I DO think the message can become confused with promoting obesity if you are carefully listening. If we are going to be healthy we have to start somewhere, and since all of us are starting from different places, it has to start with acceptance. You have to accept who you are and the choices you have made before you can realize the direction you need to go. I agree with Kands and Ladybug, in that if you aren't feeling supported or haven't come to terms with the decisions you made to get you where you are, then you can't move forward. And forward can be a number of things, it can be changing eating habits and exercising in order to lose weight or simply just to be healthy. I think the picture is beautiful.
angieforya says:
August 3, 2007, 2:02 pm
Dito Melinda...well said!!! well said!!!
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 2:08 pm
Melinda...what's with the WE WE WE??? Mules of the world? If you feel that way, that's you! I wear Mules but I ain't no mule? I tell ya! African American women need Jesus, because I can tell you that there's a great big planet out there with people living whatever life GOD, the creator, gives them in all shapes and sizes. How come noone ever really aspires to BE A GOOD PERSON, or BECOME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT, or GET A BETTER PERSONALITY! what's with all this, I gotta loose weight to be healthy and happy. It's just pathetic, absolutely pathetic. And, stop fantasizing that black women's problems are any different that white women's, asian women's, latinas...etc, because they are not. Well, i'm outta here because i dont want to spend my Friday pissed off!
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 2:15 pm
OH yeah, about zora neal H...well, she felt that "black women" were the "mules of the world" because she was falsey accused of child molestation, so naturally that impacted her outlook on life! by all acccounts, she was a skinny frail woman who fell on hard times and died sad and lonely.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 3, 2007, 2:23 pm
Melinda!!! Amen sister!!! Love it when people speak truthfully! Thank you for being a voice of intelligence, What I find very difficult to understand is this: How and why do a lot of women let themeselves get so big?! I mean, don't you feel at some point that your behind and waist are becoming one? I'm not even trying to be funny here. Like you said: most overweight chicas ate themselves there. I understand that we should all feel good about ourselves no matter how we look, but don't get it twisted people.
Nikita says:
August 3, 2007, 2:40 pm
Yes, there are a multitude of reasons that black women are weighty, some of it has to do with our lives - very stressful lives we lead. For the first time, Monique, whether you like her not, is suggesting in an open platform to ALL women - BBW's especially that you must love yourself first and live your life fully to make any positive changes in your life. If you are living your life fully you are not in the house eating cake, you are out and involved with folks and moving and hopefully looking at yourself and your life in a different light. By the by, in the other pageants they showed the ladies working out at the gym etc., this time, unfortunately they did not. On NBC (this morning on Channel 11 in the ATL) how she stated that they did workout, and that she does not promote an unhealthy life style but feels it is important that the women love and take care of themselves where they are first.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 3, 2007, 2:49 pm
Black women are not the only people on the planet who live "stressful lives". Stress is no excuse and should not even be an excuse as to why someone cannot stop using their forks, spoons and knives as forklifts.
reader says:
August 3, 2007, 2:50 pm
well, the black woman haters have come out swinging, so i guess i'm truly outta here! tisk tisk tisk. One last thing...when y'all finish hating on black women for being FAT, and everyone looses the weight at your behest..what will be your excuse for hating on black women then (and by definition, hating on yourselves)? peace!
Nikita says:
August 3, 2007, 2:50 pm
To Melinda: I do not know how to explain how I got to my weight. I wish I could tell you when I fell out of love with myself and did not care about me. I wish I could give you a formula so I would feel better and your curiosty could be satisfied. I know that I am not anyone's mule, and I know you meant no harm with the question... you are just curious about the answer. For me, it was a combo of stress and incredible responsibility for a situation that was not mine at a very young age and sexual molestation so I guess you could say the weight was my brand of self protection... and very low self esteem. I did not care about me or what I needed or wanted for my life. Now, this may not be what all people do under these circumstances, some people drink, some people smoke, some become abusive in some shape or form, some become nymphos and some people deny their pain. I fell into a pit of despair and ate. Food tastes great and really nobody tries to keep you from eating, not really. Folks are complex and there is more to their story than the one you think. I saw a show about a woman who ate herself to 380 lbs. in grief upon her mother's death. She had no other family and she was alone, so, she ate. No, it is not a real solution, but it gave her comfort. Now she wants to stop eating compulsively. I applaud her. Something in her STILL loves herself. I hope she keeps fighting and I hope she gets well.
Niki says:
August 3, 2007, 2:53 pm
It never ceases to amaze me that a regular product post or one of Bella's "Lost Ones" of "Afrobella of the Week" posts never seem to have that many comments but posts about hair & weight get the most vocal reactions. I guess that goes to show that among black women, these are still very touchy issues. I became "plus-sized" in the last 8 years and I have finally gotten serious about making sure that I'm healthy and maybe losing a few dress sizes in the process. However, I make sure to love myself as I am and not berate or belittle myself or allow others to berate, belittle, or mistreat me if I don't fit their mold (that's in any aspect of my life). I'm a tall bella and I carry it well. I exercise for anywhere from half-hour to an hour 4-5 days a week.I have lost 20 lbs so far. I watch my portions and am trying to be more concious about what I eat. But if I decide that I want to go back for a second slice of pound cake, I don't need people making snide remarks or hectoring me about what I need to do. I am not an advocate of being unhealthy and I agree that if we all lost a bit of weight, ate better and incorporated more exercise into our daily lives, Americans would be healthier as a whole. But in the meantime, plus-size women shouldn't be expected to hide out in caves until they lose weight. We are daughters, wives, mothers, friends, sisters, bosses, co-workers, lovers, etc.--human beings like everyone else.
Xcentricpryncess says:
August 3, 2007, 3:23 pm
Song At Midnight Brothers, this big woman carries much sweetness in the folds of her flesh. Her hair is white with wonderful. She is rounder than the moon and far more faithful. Brothers, who will hold her, who will find her beautiful if you do not? Written by Lucille Clifton
afrobella says:
August 3, 2007, 3:41 pm
WOW!! I've been hard at work all day and just checked in to the posts here. I need to scroll up and read it all, but I have some work to finish first!
byrdparker says:
August 3, 2007, 5:27 pm
methinks Says: August 3rd, 2007 at 11:33 am methinks that you can give it but you cannot take it . so what bella saids she wants to lose weight , it still does not justify your comment . I understand from your post you used to be team chunk , and now you are not , and that is a great thing ... But your enthusiasm should be moderated when it comes to others is all I am saying . It is obvious by her post what bella is saying .. beautiful one , don't you live in korea ?>?? if i am wrong forgive me , but i digress koreans please little waifs of people , and the women most with a twisted sense of self , the same as hong kong and china . All places i know intimately . i have been fat and i have been thin, and i was still the same person on the inside and out . Perhaps some people want to die of food, just like some people want to die of liquor or from smoking ... What is the real reason you want fat black women to become skinny , to live for a long time ... to live for what to fight for the race to become spartan amazonian warriors .. The last time i checked i never saw an ad? what is the purpose to say i am thin i am more healthy than you ??? Sounds like a highschool chant .
muslimahlocs says:
August 3, 2007, 7:48 pm
thanks for the inspiring text that accompanied your post. i am not a fan of nude photos/art regardless of the models size, look, etc. but i enjoyed reading your commentary.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 3, 2007, 8:06 pm
Byrdparker, I know that this is a serious issue for you and others in this forum. I do not want obese and overweight black women to be "skinny". I would like them to be a weight that will carry them healthily through the years. I would like to see less black women, heck, less women period die due to diabetes, heart failure and all other ailments that are caused by overeating. I would like to see more of us in a gym, teach others about nutrition, see more healthy restaurants in predominately black neighborhoods. I JUST WANT TO SEE HEALTHY BLACK WOMEN living there lives beautifully and with more self-esteem. Whatever happened to you in your personal lives, etc., you need to find help so that you can let it go. Stop killing yourselves thinking that ice cream, biscuits, or whatever is going to make it "go away" or feel good. It's not, and the minute you really start caring for yourself and STOP HURTING YOURSELF for past or present events, the quicker you'll lose that weight and start being your fabulous healthy self. I'm certainly not saying that skinny equals healthy, but I don't need a doctor to tell me that being overweight is not healthy either. You know this is not about being skinny, so stop the ranting and raving and get on with what you know you have to do so that you can be here for yourself and your loved ones. Peace P.S. yes, I do live in Korea and I love it. Korean women are very healthy and quite hearty eaters if you must know. Do not be fooled by their slim waists. You may be looking at too many fashion magazines. There are very slim to very shapely women here. Regardless of their shape or weight, they eat very well as their diets are well balanced as they eat to live and not LIVE TO EAT.
MzNikki says:
August 3, 2007, 10:22 pm
All I can do is SMMFH @ the hate I'm seeing. Is my size really that big of a problem for you ladies? If so, why? What is it about BBWs that is so repugnant? I'm a big gurl who walks pretty much everywhere she goes (I have small babies who like to go for walks everyday), eats less than my skinny husband (yup, I got me a skin-ty man) and best friend, and who still hasn't been able to get the weight off because of hormonal issues. What about me? Oh and before you go there, I am fully aware that not every big girl got there because of hormones or thyroid issues, but how do you know that's not how she got there? For those of you who are dissin' heavier sisters, why? I know plenty of formerly skinny BW who got heavier after children, after major surgeries, because of the effects of medications, etc. So if you have not walked a mile in our shoes, who the h*ll are you to tell me they fit? Why so much hate? I'm just not getting it.
Shasta MacNasty says:
August 3, 2007, 10:29 pm
You know what I can't stand about discussions like this? "Concern trolls." I find it more than tiresome when someone comes along and misses the entire point of a post like this to state the obvious. "Being obese can be unhealthy." No shit. That's not the point of this post. You know what else is unhealthy? Having a negative self-image and thinking that being thin is going to solve all your problems. Even worse? Attaching your sense of self worth and character to your body size. Clearly some people believe that by some of the comments left here. The last thing a fat person needs is fake "concern" about their health. They get plenty of that already from everybody and their dead grandmothers so thanks, but no thanks. As the saying goes, "do you." After reading this post, it pretty much just solidified one of my firm beliefs: In order to be happy and truly at peace with yourself, you have to decide what is important to YOU, then live your life accordingly. Live life on your own terms. When you look inside yourself and answer the tough questions honestly, I believe you live a mentally and physically healthier life. For some it might be losing weight. For some it might be gaining weight. For others still, learning when to shut the hell up sometimes. It really depends on the individual. Bottom line is, it's none of my business to tell someone what they need to do with their life and their bodies. I'll just focus on figuring out what's important to me and living life on my own terms. Wish more people did the same.
Shay says:
August 3, 2007, 10:38 pm
WHOA! I mean this posts has really gotten heated. I just want to say 1, that I think most importantly if you have not seen the show, Fat Chance (or Charm School, for that matter) how can you say from looking at 1 picture what she is promoting? Taking the picture out of the context of the show is the same as taking words out of context, it can be misleading. Second, I mean the people that say Monique should not be promoting self love at any size, are you saying that obese people, even those who are unhealthy, should not love themselves? To take it a step farther there are many unhealthy people, and none of them experience the same backlash that large women do. I am a big girl, I am about 5'3 and 200 pounds. I work out, I try to eat right and yes I would like to lose weight, but I deserve the right to lose weight at my own pace, and not have to deal with the stares and gigles or the disdain that eminates from people like many of the posters on this website. When I go to the gym, I see the looks and it takes a lot of self love to get past that. I have seen the show and I think that Mo'nique tries to use her celebrity to change the mindframes of many, although I dont agree with all of her comments, there are many celebrities that make money and do not try to do anything uplifting and there is nothing wrong with doing something you love and making money with it, why not? I get the self love cause it is the confidence I have in myself that makes me get up and go to the gym and ignore the stares and giggles at water aerobics, or the smile when I order a salad and diet drink....and whats funny is most of the time its the women that are the culprit, as evident by this post.
ami jane says:
August 3, 2007, 11:47 pm
No the pictre doesn't look good. After reading a few post, I feel there is no point to even try to get any info across to overweight women. Because a lot of them just like to make excuse, after excuse, after excuse. I notice on too many occasions, that they want to think our society is evil for presuring them to be thin. Knowing good and darn well they aren't happy with the way they look or feel. Boo!!! Woman Up!
byrdparker says:
August 4, 2007, 12:13 am
TheBeautifulOne Says are you for real , i have lived in asia over 1o years , i have an office in china ... I know about asia . ranting and raving i quote your below "Stress is no excuse and should not even be an excuse as to why someone cannot stop using their forks, spoons and knives as forklifts. " my point ,is not fighting whether to be fat , it is saying let the fat girls be fat should they choose , some of you sound like Richard Pratt , reveling in the modern paradigms of healthy lifestyles... But paradigms are just that useless man made folly to fill up the time .... If these ladies want to be thin and what u consider healthy , then they will do it .. But some in the commenters inclusive of the poster are telling you they try , but they don't want to be brow beaten or looked down on , and your comment was mean spirited. Have fun in Korea , don't lose yourself and don't believe the hype ...
AndSoThen says:
August 4, 2007, 12:50 am
I can't get past the few epsiodes of Charm School to watch FAT chance or Monique in anything. She angers me. With that said. Self esteem is key for living in this world as women of any color. As a black woman, I feel incredible stress for a multiude of reasons. My daddy raised me to believe that I am big and beautiful and that nobody wants a bone but a dog and he buries it. He assured my thin as a rail big sister also that she was a heartbreaker. We walked out of our house with that pinned to our hearts. I never questioned it until my first year in college where everyone 2nd girl was cheerleader thin. I wanted to be part of the crowd but I enjoyed my curves, they reminded me of my mom. I loved my shape, I embraced that @ 5'9 200lbs and a size 14-16. I got caught up about my 3rd year, went to WW and got down to an 8 and felt good like Oprah did when she dragged that wagon of fat around. But quickly I felt almost unsafe in the world, like I would float away, not enough connecting me to earth. I never wanted to be *tiny*, I struggled to maintain my dress size all thru my 20's. I don't recall any more joy about my size, just the struggle to stay there. I am back to my 16 now, my heart and lungs are strong, my cholesterol is low, my curves are not as killer, I am not in my 20's but I feel connected to myself, like I am back to me. I walk, weight train and ego controls my eating. i wish every future big girl had had my daddy whispering to them at night ....helping them stay connected to their core. I am maybe without cause others may say... happy to have my womanly being. I like the bounce of my breasts and wideness of my hips. I feel good and I feel beautiful. I was raised to believe this is what a woman looks like and that is where I get my true self esteem.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 4, 2007, 1:41 am
Byrdparker, Why so defensive? I did not mean to hit a very sensitive nerve with you or anyone else in this forum. You've missed my point and that's ok, it's understandable given the circumstances. I thank you for wishing me well in Korea and trust, I'm living well and am very happy. I wish you happiness as well. As far as "losing myself", I could never do this because I come from a loving, healthy and supportive family. What is this "hype" that you don't want me to believe? I feel the real "hype" is this: it's ok ladies if you are obese as long as you love yourselves! Don't worry about your health issues, just keep yourselves in the latest fashions for "curvy women" and all will be well in the world"! If this is the "hype" that you speak of, then no, I don't believe the hype. I'm not buying it, so stop selling it. Ami jane and Melinda, do you have websites or blogs? If you do, I'd like to check them out sometime.
Bebroma says:
August 4, 2007, 11:02 am
The thing is, you can never reach someone by saying..."I just don't understand..." That makes a person shut down. If you're truly trying to help someone, I don't think you say things like "how did you let yourself get so big?" and "didn't you notice??" That kind of stuff either makes a person angry and defensive or hurt, and the end result is that they stop listening to whatever else you have to say. Some people are so secure in themselves that they don't understand how hurtful words can be, apparently, and say things without weighing their effect. I liked what one poster said about we all have issues, some we can see, and some we can't. Yes, obesity is unhealthy, one cannot deny that. But the way to encourage health is trying to understand someone else's struggle, really listening, not saying things that only stop communication. Hopefully some of the things people say here, or more to the point, I guess, the way they say them, is just due to the anonymity afforded by the blog environment and not the way they communicate verbally with friends and acquaintances. Incidentally, I have had Black men tell me I'm "too skinny baby" in the past, other people telling me I'm too thin...that to say that I'm not a "big girl" but I do understand how important it is to care about yourself inside before you can really care about how you look outside. When you have low self esteem, as I have struggled with for years, then it's hard to think you're important enough to really care about how you feel and look. I think that is the point some were trying to make, that you have to feel you do matter and are important enough to take care of yourself before you can really make a concerted effort to try. To those women who have never had to really struggle with that, then more power to you, because thin or big, it is very hard to overcome, and apparently it can be very hard for those who haven't had that whole self-esteem struggle to understand.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 4, 2007, 11:46 am
Bebroma, thank you. I understand your point and appreciate the way you stated it. Perhaps I am one of those "secure people" that you speak of. Thank you for giving me another perspective.
bella says:
August 4, 2007, 11:58 am
Alright. A day has passed and I've finally had the opportunity to read through all of these comments. And I don't like some of what I see. Ladies, this is supposed to be a positive site. While I certainly do point out the flaws I see in the media, or how we are represented in the world, the aim of the site is to be positive. And I think somewhere along the line this discussion got WAY too personal and accusatory and condemnatory. There's no need for us to tear each other down while making a valid point. There's no need for an online discussion to get you so heated it affects your afternoon. Like I said, I can't always ride with Mo'Nique. She's a comedienne whose act can be risque, raw, and polarizingly opinionated. I agree with Nerd Girl -- in order to build up your own self-esteem, you don't need to say "Skinny women are evil." BUT I think the intention of F.A.T Chance is to foster and nourish that self-esteem. From that self-esteem will come the desire to care for yourself. Like Niki said -- "plus-size women shouldn’t be expected to hide out in caves until they lose weight. We are daughters, wives, mothers, friends, sisters, bosses, co-workers, lovers, etc.–human beings like everyone else." This is the ONE beauty program on television that doesn't focus exclusively on slender, fit women. This is the ONE platform where women of size are told that they too are beautiful people, rather than being made to compete in a weight loss race. Is it wrong for the program to be on the air? Is it encouraging obesity? I don't think so. And I'll tell you this -- the casting call was a remarkable experience for me as an observer. I've never seen so many women who were for all intents and purposes competing against each other, encouraging each other and applauding each other. These women wept with tears of joy for each other. Because they've never had that opportunity to feel beautiful. I think stirring up those feelings can be the catalyst for positive change. Like Nikita was saying, loving yourself is where the revolution can begin. To go ALL the way back to the top and answer Methinks's question -- "why don’t you just stick to a diet and exercise plan instead of falling into that misery enjoys company bandwagon? You are much to smart to go there. You know that there is NOTHING to celebrate about obesity." In the very interview I had with Arena, she said NOBODY was celebrating obesity. The entire point of the show and of this post was to say just because you are big doesn't mean you are ugly. We are all beautiful beings. It wasn't until I felt beautiful in the core of myself, that I was able to even TRY sticking to a diet and exercise program. Before that, I did a lot of quick-fix desperate weight loss stuff that got me nowhere but depressed. I am trying my best to resist the kind of temptations I used to over-indulge in. I've done my posts on diet, on creating a healthy weekly menu and cooking healthy recipes. I did my post on having a killer workout mix, I've shared my weight loss struggles and commitment for my future. I agree, I'm too smart to treat my body like crap. But the weight won't fall off overnight. I still have my days where I put on an outfit, look at myself in the mirror, and feel down on myself. And just because I'm not a size 6 now doesn't mean I shouldn't have options for beautiful clothes. I co-sign with Bebroma -- the way people say things can really cut you if you're struggling to deal with body image issues. Regardless of your intention, if you haven't walked a mile in big-girl shoes, it can be hard to know exactly what to say to motivate someone who is trying to lose weight. Low self-esteem is the main issue I've had to struggle with, and it's a problem that women of all sizes and ethnicities also share.
Shanna says:
August 4, 2007, 12:02 pm
I won't argue whether the photograph is tasteful or not, because if they were the so-called "ideal" size then there would still be controversy. My question is, is the show a beauty pageant or an excercise in self-esteem building? If it's an excercise in self-esteem building I don't think it should really be a "competition" per se, and should be more about lifting up each woman. I have seen the show, and I think it's funny and fills a void in the media marketplace where people of different sizes AND colors are often marginalized. But I also feel that it falls short. If this is supposed to be a beauty pageant or competition in the same vein as America's Next Top Model then it's a bust, because I know plenty of vivacious full-figured sisters of all races who are far more beutiful AND fly all on their own than these girls. I think the plus-sized models deserve a chance to shine, AND I think it would do more to change the views of the larger disapproving society who don't see larger women as attractive. As it stands now the show is really just "preaching to the choir".
Bebroma says:
August 4, 2007, 12:04 pm
Wow, TheBeautifulOne, thank you for the compliment. I can tell that you are a very secure woman, and I love that. I wish that more of us were. Sometimes those of us who are insecure mistake confidence and being comfortable and happy in the skin you're in as being "stuck up" or "thinkin' you're all that." I think your last comment helps dispel that. I love this blog, it's so cool to talk to someone living in Korea!
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 4, 2007, 12:27 pm
Thank you Bebroma! You really made me contemplate some things and I appreciate that. Your words were full of compassion. Rock on! Hey you know where I live (just got home from another great night with new friends) but where are you? I'm a native of Virginia but have lived in several states as well as abroad. Ok, it's 1 30AM Sunday here. Bedtime! Have a great day!
Jane says:
August 4, 2007, 10:42 pm
I love Oprah, but her biggest regret was being overweight in her 30s and 40s? That is so shallow. I'm just entering my 30s, my biggest regret in my 20s was that I couldn't help more people. I hope that in my 30s than I'm the best person inside, not that I can look a certain way. Jane
Eni's Girl says:
August 4, 2007, 10:54 pm
I think the problem with our society is that we automatically equate "large-size" (which is really over a size 8 -- in my opinion) with "unhealthy". As a child, the women who loved me (mother, grandmother, aunts) were mostly larger sized. I saw it but I didn't see it -- if that makes sense. They were fabulous women who loved themselves. Regardles of size, ethnicity, etc., you have to feel good about the real you. That is where the journey truly begins. I, like others, am trying to get to this place of healthy self acceptance. Until I get there, the rest of it is just a window dressing that is subject to change.
Jane says:
August 5, 2007, 1:53 am
I think that we have to be honest big is unhealthy, not all of the time, but most of the time. It's not ok to be overweight. It's great if you feel fine about yourself, it's great if you know that you are ok, but being in denial about your health is not good. Diabetes is caused by being overweight and inactivity and so is high blood pressure. Too many African-American people die in horrible ways because we think that it's ok to be overweight. It is not. 90% of the time overweight people are unhealthy, being anorexic isn't ok either, but doesn't seem to be a real issue in the African-American community, at least not for the majority of African-American women. Being defensive and pretending like being big won't kill you is just going to help you die faster. It's going to help you not see your kids grow up. It's going to help you to be 40 years old and taking insulin shots. As a black woman I don't trust doctors, as you know the medical establishment is very racist, don't get yourself in a position where you are beholden to the pharmacies and the hmos in order to have just a base level quality of life. Healthy eating and exercise will keep you out of the hospital and save you lots of pain and suffering. I would view it the same as keeping your credit good. As a person of African descent it's hard enough finding an apartment, with bad credit, well you know how it is, so view keeping your weight healthy as credit for you body. BUT that being said TMZ is a racist horrible website and they use any thing they can to demean and say horrible things about black women. I advise you all to stop checking in on it and that Perez Hilton too. These gossip sites are open season on black people, don't provide them with traffic by linking these hateful sites run by vapid jerks with no lives and bad grammar. Jane
Xcentricpryncess says:
August 5, 2007, 8:27 am
Jane, I work in the healthcare industry and you have some misconceptions. Diabetes is NOT caused by being overweight, many of my patients are rail thin and have diabetes. Obesity can further aggravate the disease but it does not cause it. My grandmother developed it and she is a petite woman. I agree with you though in that we ALL, whatever size we are must eat healthy and exercise.
black beauty says:
August 5, 2007, 10:32 am
"It never ceases to amaze me that a regular product post or one of Bella’s “Lost Ones” of “Afrobella of the Week” posts never seem to have that many comments but posts about hair & weight get the most vocal reactions" Nikki you are not lying. I loved the last two Afrobellas of the week that Bella chose and was shocked to find that the comments were so scanty. I will say that the fact that the comment section lit up means that many sisters know there is a difference between being thick, overwieght and obbese. thick=Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Sophia Loren, Rachael Welch overweight=America(from ugly Betty) obesse- Queen Latifah and Rossie O'donald(sp) I don't want anyone to feel bad but I think many sisters neeed a wake up call when it comes to weight and health. At the same time, Melinda, I think you made many good points. I think my only problem with this type of disscussion is the fact that some want to make people who are overwiehgt and obbesse the children of satan. Yes we know that being overweight and obesse is unhealthy and MAY lead to health problems but that does not give one the right to look down on people with weight problems.
black beauty says:
August 5, 2007, 10:45 am
"I am not an advocate of being unhealthy and I agree that if we all lost a bit of weight, ate better and incorporated more exercise into our daily lives, Americans would be healthier as a whole. But in the meantime, plus-size women shouldn’t be expected to hide out in caves until they lose weight'-I agree Shasta I feel the real “hype” is this: it’s ok ladies if you are obese as long as you love yourselves! Don’t worry about your health issues, just keep yourselves in the latest fashions for “curvy women” and all will be well in the world”! -Were did you read that at.
edesse says:
August 5, 2007, 12:29 pm
Hmmmm..princess...I wonder what type of diabetes these thin women have--could it be Type I? I volunteer part time at Joslins here in Boston. The majority newly diagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes are indeed due to obesity. Sure, there are other factors but obesity is a major one. I'm all for empowerment but I'm also all for responsibility. I'm also alarmed about how many black women associate self esteem with image and feel this need to be accepted. I'm not saying just black women suffer from this but I am specifically speaking to black women--the same ones who graduated from medical school and obtained phds and started wonderful businesses at at time when we were not even considered human. If it takes Monique (who I think is the biggest exploiter of obese women) to build your self esteem high enough to take better care of your body, then we have a serious problem at hand. I'm sure that our ancestors are just rolling over in their graves.
edesse says:
August 5, 2007, 12:37 pm
Hmmmm. seems as if my comment was lost. princess: I volunteer part time at Joslin's Diabetes Center here in boston. Indeed, Obesity and Type 2 diabestes are highly correlated. I'm all for empowerment but i'm also all for responsibility. I'm also quite shocked by how many black women associate self esteem with IMAGE. I'm not saying that only black women do this but i am specifically speaking to black women--the same ones who went to medical school, earned phds, started successful businesses at a time period when we were not even considered human. If it takes Monique to make you feel better about yourself and motivates you to take better care of you body then shame on you. I bet you our ancestors are just rolling over in their graves.
Niki says:
August 5, 2007, 3:09 pm
Thanks Bella for quoting my comments--I feel special! :o) I think the best we can do is encourage each other and not beat each other up. How about the skinnier sistas encouraging their bigger friends to go for a walk with them one day? How about holding back on the lectures but increasing the compliments when a plus-sized woman loses weight for no other reason that she truly wants to lose it? Despite what some folks may feel about Mo'Nique or "Fat Chance", I agree with Bella--where else can you turn on the TV and see larger women being celebrated and not played for laughs or on some weight-loss show? I would like to see something along the lines of an "Top Model" search show for plus-sized women. I dare anyone to look at any of the women that model for Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, etc. and tell me that they aren't gorgeous.
Niki says:
August 5, 2007, 3:11 pm
Oh, and about Bella's fashion request. Go to, or Cute clothes and you can probably get a good deal on summer dresses now.
bella says:
August 5, 2007, 5:37 pm
Black Beauty, I think the second comment you quoted was intended as sarcasm by that poster.
Jane says:
August 5, 2007, 6:53 pm
The reason I think the "you're ok" thing doesn't work in regrads to black women is because black women have a high self esteem. They don't have issues with thir physical appearance that other women do. For these reasons I am not going to act like it's ok. I know that it's stressful out there, but going to work is stressful to, but we all do it, writing checks are stressful aren't our bodies worth at least as much as our car or house or new dress? Also being fat does attribute to diabetes, every once in awhile there is an exception, but fat people get diabetes and people with diabetes get their legs chopped off and lose their sight and lose their teeth. I've seen it. I had two fat aunts that lost their legs and died in horrible ways. I had a fat uncle lose all of his teeth and his sight. I remember as a kid all they did was eat, they ate candy and fried foods and they even used fat to cook their vegetables in. I've seen people get part of their leg cut off and a little more and a little more and a little more all because the couldn't put down the food. That's reality. You think being big is ok if you have a positive outlook, you should think again. Little kids are getting higher rates of diabetes because they eat bad food and don't exercise. Study after study has shown weight and diabetes is strongly connected. I'm sorry that I'm going on about this, but this, "Being overweight doesn't cause diabetes and I'm just big," silliness is insane. Being overweight does cause diabetes, because of the type of food you eat to get there. I personally think that black people shouldn't eat processed food at all it's obvious to me that something in our bodies make it so we can not process certain foods. Look at the labels on food, look how much salt is in even post raisin bran, cheese and things that seem safe on first glance. A heavy vegetable and fruit based diet is what all people of African descent should be eating. 100% whole wheat breads and brown rice and lentils and spinach, no more fried foods, no more salt in foods, no more traditional foods cooked the traditional ways, no more instant anything, no more even pasta sauce in a jar, preservatives are bad. All you have to do is crack open a medical journal and you will see that being overweight, big boned, fat whatever you want to call it is not ok, not even kind of. When you're 45 you will see that it is not ok. If you're overweight and you exercise then look at your diet. Do not ever go to fastfood eateries. Learn to cook healthy foods. If you do eat out at a sit down eatery only eat half or order an appetizer as your meal. Do whatever you can to not be an unhealthy weight, no one is just a big girl. There are very few people who are just fat and didn't eat themselves that way. Being fat will kill you and it will do it slow and leave you miserable. Drugs are bad, sex without protection is bad, eating yourself to death and putting some lipstick on and saying you're fine is bad. Jane
tori says:
August 5, 2007, 10:15 pm
"I have a problem with celebrating morbid obesity" I'm in total agreement - with all the horrible medical issues that come with being morbidly obese (does mo'nique make the ladies go through high blood pressure and diabetes screens?) its a shame that this "obese is beautiful" image continues to be glorified by black american women. food and inactivity are killing us, but it's "beautiful?" no skinny doesn't = healthy, and i'm not asking for all to be skinny, but to be HEALTHY. i get tired of having patients we can't even move after having a stroke b/c they are 200-300 pounds and half their body is no longer functioning.
Colorful Mind says:
August 5, 2007, 10:18 pm
As a child I watched my mother battle with society’s image of the perfect woman. It was hard for me to hear all the vicious names and comments; she always held her head high. I never thought that I could be THAT strong. Therefore, I pushed myself to stay out of society’s sight by staying thin. That lasted for about ten years or so; I have recently gained some weight. Now I feel society’s eyes upon me, I find myself able to walk tall just as my mom and grandmother do everyday. It makes me sick when I hear young women dying to be thin just because they fear society’s hate and disrespect. There are healthy ways to stay fit, but not everyone can be thin. It not necessary to be thin just healthy. I think F.A.T women are beautiful and strong. I celebrate their beauty and diversity in our society.
The Beautiful One says:
August 6, 2007, 1:06 am
Tori, I think that finally someone (you) have hit the nail on the head. This is the real issue. I applaud you and your comment. That would be something if Monique required and monitored high blood pressure and diabetes screening on the show. That would not only make it intelligent television but responsible t.v. as well., but this is not what her show is about, unfortunately.
amazed says:
August 6, 2007, 9:37 am
So I'm wondering whether any of you are physicians, or nutritionists, etc., and also whether anyone here is Queen Latifah's personal physician. How would someone who is not Queen L's physician know whether or not she is "morbidly obese?" "Morbid obesity" is a medical term and I'm wondering how a random citizen can call it by seeing someone's picture. There's nothing inherently healthy about being skinny. Having low body fat because you live off of phyto nutrients and exercise 3+ hours/day is one thing. Skinny coz you live off intermittent quantities of junk food does not = healthy by any stretch of the imagination. I'm amazed at how long this discussion has gone on. Afrobella posted a few weeks ago about a young woman who went missing in Miami and the silence on this blog pretty much said "who gives a f---!" On the other hand with regard the subject of Monique and Latifah's weight - which is nobody's biz - the conversation can go on all week.
ceecee says:
August 6, 2007, 10:28 am
you can be skinny and unhealthy too! As long as you take steps towards eating right, working out and staying within your BMI then you're okay. The photograph is pretty!! Love the colors and the ladies sure are brave. There is no way in hell I'll pose nude in private much less a publicity shot. @Nikki and blackbeauty, I'm guilty of not commenting on bella's Lost One's posts too! I'm mostly in r.o.m And ladies, y'all really need to quit mudslinging, you'll make Bella think ten times (not just twice) about posting on controversial topics :(
Nikita says:
August 6, 2007, 11:19 am
Somehow or another, this has become something it was not meant to become. The truth is, yes some BBW's really need to get to moving. OK. Now the next thing is how do you ENCOURAGE her to do that. Well, you are not going to get her to do that by beating up on them for it. Perhaps if you lifeted her up and encouraged her to take X-cellent care for her and supported her, that would help. I see this happening more and more at the gym, I am surprised I could not see it happen in here. I explained my own process on this site to how I got where I am. When I say stress I am not talking about every day, I am talking about being a martyr, sacrificing yourself, being abused, not thinking you are worth it - along with every day kind of stress makes a lot of folks use food to cover up the pain, the hurt the dissapointment. I hope that more compassion and a willingness to not only read but for those who have an issue to hear BBW's as we inform you that yes, obesity is an issue, but this is not laziness thisIS not caring enough, not putting ourselves first, not loving ourselves enough and you can scream and holler to do better until you turn purple, compassion and support is what is needed. Love is the beginning of the take care of you revolution. I have never been bulimic, or anorexic, I have never been burglarized or my car jacked, I have never had a miscarriage and I have the compassion within me to say, I do not understand your pain but I want you to feel better and love and take care of you, whatever your situaiton. What I do not get is why I and other BBW'S are not getting the same compassion and understanding back. Try supporting. If you cannot do that it is fine, but move back a bit and see if this revolutionary "Love YOURSELF" thing that Monique is trying works first. If not, then step in to offer solutions. Solutions ladies to help and lift up up. Circumstances does a good job of tearing us down without any additional help.
Jennifer says:
August 6, 2007, 11:55 am
If Mo'Nique was so happy about her size, she wouldn't tell such miserable lies about her weight and Photoshop her pictures to hell and back. She may encourage people to "knock the shit" out of skinny women - jokes or no jokes - but if you try to touch THIS skinny Minnie, I swear I'm going to break your arm. Mo'Nique is a joke. There are lots of beautiful, large women who can represent to the fullest, but she ain't one of them.
carla says:
August 6, 2007, 2:16 pm
When I first saw this image, on whatever blog, I made sure I was one of the first to post that I thought the picture was fabulous. These women are gorgeous, and coming from a long line of larget-to-big women, these are the body types I know (with one overweight granny living to be 98 and one to 97 who never saw a doctor in her life). But I struggle mightily and daily with my own weight, and am currently struggling to get down to a size 10/12 from my current 12/14, and it's HARD. But when I got on the train this morning I was greeted by the sight of a truly morbidly obese woman seated in front of me--she must have weighed about 450 - 500 pounds--and I felt immediately uncomfortable for her. One rarely sees people this big in San Francisco, where I live. As open and accepting as I think I am about every body type I just projected all this pain onto her extraordinary body, I think because, even at my largest and even though I'm black, I couldn't imagine what it must feel like--aching joints and strained heart aside--to walk through this world with such open contempt hurled at you for the way you look.
Styleosophy says:
August 6, 2007, 2:21 pm
I can't hate on Monique (or Oprah). They've both found a medium, audience and platform on which they have both encouraged, and expanded the knowledge of their listeners. I'm like Bella, I don't always agree with all their views...but I feel their impact more positively than negatively. So what if Oprah regrets being a little more than ample in her 20's and 30's, we all have something that we wish could have changed, something we have regretted, but hopefully we have grown enough as women to give wisdom to another woman. Being ample is not the problem. Nor is being thin. It's having enough self-esteem at any weight to say to ourselves, 'I will be at my healthiest, mind-body-soul healthiest.' Monique, ample, busty, sexy, curvy, walks (yes she walks) to good health most days. Oprah does it differently, she has a personal trainer. But both eat healthy most days. Ladies, just to live a healthy life. Don't make excuses, make reasons.
BH215 says:
August 6, 2007, 4:35 pm
Okay Jane. Thanks for your input. The assault on Black Culture Continues I have to say I find it interesting how easily people tend to point the figure traditional SOuthern cuisine. I don't think the food in itself is bad. My God can you imagine what would have happened to us if we didn't have it. Gluttony is one issue. Lack of activity is another. Lack of access to fresh foods is yet another. I have to ask those who talk about relatives who would sit along all day and ate. Did they have jobs? Did they receive food stamps? Did they live in urban areas? I was raised in the Deep, deep SOuth and yes we ate fried meats but we didn't eat it everyday. We couldn't eat it daily. It was too expensive. You might have a serving of meat 2 or 3 times a week at best and then it would only be one piece. Your diet most consisted of legumes (from your garden), rice, eggs (from your chickens), freshly baked cornbread or biscuits, water, grits, and seasonal fruits. Things like salt pork were used to SEASON foods. You ate meals and went outside and played..hard or did chores (like cut grass or rake, etc). So the diet isn't the issue as much as the quality of the food, the amount consumed, and the lack of activity. I love the way people say we should all eat fresh food without providing any avenues for providing fresh foods. If you don't have your own garden patch or you don't access to a farmer's market, where are you supposed to buy fresh fruits and vegetables? Whole Paycheck, sorry, I mean Whole Foods. Finally, big boned isn't obese. "thick" isn't obese. Big-boned and thick refers to a body that more muscular than the average chick. I've never seen anything jiggle on a truly thick chick.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 6, 2007, 6:28 pm
BH215 are you serious? Do you not have a grocery store in which to buy fresh vegetables, let alone food? I know that you do. If you have the energy to type your response you must be receiving food from somewhere? No one in here needs to "provide any avenues for providing fresh foods" because we all shop in grocery stores where we find fresh fruits and vegetables. Not having a farmer's market or an organic food store is no excuse for anyone to not eat right, or not eat healthily which includes fruits and vegetables. Some Black people will use any excuse to not treat their bodies like the temple it is, but will spend loads of money on dressing up that temple to the nines. It amazes me when I see overweight people eat crap : cheap processed food, fast foods, thinking that they are saving money and then turn around and buy the latest fashion out here. Why not spend some of your "whole check" on real food that will give you energy, won't cause you and your loved ones hypertenstion and high blood pressure. How do you like that suggestion? Come on people, get it together.
Black Honey says:
August 6, 2007, 8:42 pm
Diva, you assume all communities have green grocers. Grocery stores are not in all communities and if there are there, the food is hardly fresh. Yes, since I've moved to Philadelphia, I gone to grocery stores (of course, in the 'hood) where flies circle fruits and vegetables and every other piece is spoiled. Shout out to Cousins Supermarket. Check out the link before you write anything else: Second point, if a low income family receives WIC there are only so many food items they can receive. If they receive food stamps for the month, yes they shop at Trader Joes but if you compare the quantity of food you can buy if stick to processed and canned foods to what you can get if buy higher quality food, there's no comparison. That being said, how do you what percentage of a households budget goes to clothing and what goes to food. Is it really for you to say how much a family should spend on clothing. Yes some folk dress to the nines but it does mean they spend the rent on an outfit? No. Is it any of your business? No.
The Beautiful One says:
August 7, 2007, 12:00 am
Black Honey So what are you suggesting? Do you have anything useful to suggest since you believe that Black people cannot afford fresh fruit and vegetables? I said "some Black people" that means a certain amount of Black people and not ALL Black people. See the difference?
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 7, 2007, 2:23 am
Big sisters better watch out! I just read this very interesting article about interracial (this term always makes me laugh as there is only one race: Human) marriage: t's a frustration director Tim Alexander tackles in "Diary of a Tired Black Man," a frank film covering everything from black women's demeanors to their weight. Frustrated by black women, the main character dates a white one. I'm sure that the overweight women in this forum might (MIGHT) be interested in what Black men are saying about you. Hopefully it's not damning, but I get a feeling that it might be. I just read it on I'm so glad that I live in Asia. I'm too blessed to be stressed with this mess. Peace
AndSoThen says:
August 7, 2007, 2:42 am
Wow are coming off really Ugly, I too am glad you live in Asia. You have really wonderful information and thoughts, coated in holier than thou-ness. Your limited from on high view of other's circimstances makes all you say sound trifling and mean. As for the link you just posted, perhaps if you lived here, you would know the history behind "Diary.." You seem to take so much joy in the fact that it might hurt feelings. :(
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 7, 2007, 4:09 am
Not at all. the link was posted as information, not something to demean or hurt someone's feelings. You've missed my point! I could never be "trifling and mean" as you say. It's too bad that you think I have a "view from on high". Perhaps you need to check where and how you're "standing".
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 7, 2007, 4:21 am
By the way, "AndSoThen", It's shows a lot of ugliness on YOUR part to be calling people names such as Ugly, Trifling and Mean. Can we stop the mudslinging, name calling and cursing in this forum? I like this blog because people in here seem to be intelligent enough to not use such language. Perhaps you need to either check your language or find another blog to sling your dirt. We can disagree with each other respectfully, non?
Nikita says:
August 7, 2007, 9:42 am
No offense to all, but discussion not accusations. If you do not have all of the facts about how things work in the US, if you are fooled into believing that we (Americans) are sitting down singing kumbaya and treating each other fairly and HONESTLY giving folks equal access to healthcare, food sources etc. on an equitable basis, if you believe that all women are treated equally here, if you believe that no man goes to jail with prior biases, if you beleive that all minorities DO have equal rights here..... then thank you. We have as a nation done our job with how we present ourselves to the world. If you want to deal with the reality of how things are at the top, in the middle or at the bottom and how we are a country full of people still defining ourselves, you are welcome to discuss. Making accusations without listening to the others points - esp. when they may honestly be valid, never built any understanding between folks or built any bridges either. There are more reasons for what is going on in the black community that what we are willing to share right now, like there is more going on in other minority communities. If you want to be respected, give it. You many not understand, and this ok, but accept it, and respect it. If you are coming to throw down a challenge of another's views, be sure it is based on fact. When I come to disagree, be assured, I will be sure that it is honest and as much as possible it is factual. I have nothing against discord, but arguing with someone who will not listen and at the least try to understand is like battling with the wind: a complete waste of time.
BlackHoney says:
August 7, 2007, 10:03 am
My point is fight for more farmer's markets and large supermarkets in the poorer neighborhoods. Fight to include real physical education as a part of elementary, middle and high school curriculum. Give kids something to do other than play video games. Present quick, easy, affordable and nutritious recipes. Offer recipes that can be frozen and reheated quickly when Mom is too tired or doesn't have time to cook (that way you don't have make a quick stop at McDonald's, BK or KFC). Wait.let me stop, my suggestions actually involve NOT blaming someone or pointing fingers. They will never work.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 7, 2007, 10:36 am
Hello BlackHoney, I don't know how old you are, but I'm in my thirties. You raised an interesting point about physEd in schools. When I went to school we had Physical Education. When did we as a nation stop making it mandatory to take Gym? Maybe I was living out of the country. Now that you mention it, when I was teaching in an inner city school, there was NO physed. Another thing, do you have any children? If so, what do you give them besides video games (if they have them) to do? We used to come home from school, change into our "play" clothes and run around until our mother said that it was time to come in or we would simply relax with books or play board games or study. As far as food, Mom had dinner on the table as my dad worked as a crane operator all day at the shipyard, so McDonald's was not an option. He was a hard working man and needed real food to give him energy so that he could put real food on the table. If we did have Mickey D's it was a treat and not considered a real meal. I honestly do not remember my dad eating fast food ever. I personally stopped eating it when I was around 18 or so. It just left me hungry for real food. Don't get me wrong, I love my cookies!
Nikita says:
August 7, 2007, 10:45 am
Better stores would work. Now if we as a community (urban, black, white, latino, asian etc.) will get up and work to get that accomplished I do not know. Kids do not get outside, but first we need to work on getting the parks together and the areas safe. When that is accomplished then we won't have our kids inside. I have no qualms with improving things, but let's at the same time address the fact that there are reasons for some of the changes that have occured too. Yes, we can change things and get our kids and ourselves healthy, heck we walked for miles during the Civil Rights, we caught the bus and trains, we grew some of our own food, folks came through selling fresh veggies, so no, we are not new to this. Perhaps a blog could be started with these kind of real suggestions with recipes, ways to get rest and take care, ways to get in real exercise, and Yeah some support - for where people are, not where they could ideally be. For some folks change is hard to envision, that is why they stay where they are instead of going where they need to be, stuck in potential mode. Perhaps working with the Black Women Health Initiative or other orginazations would help get more of our attention and get us to take better care of ourselves. Nothing works alone, everything is interdependent on each other. We gotta address the other issues to and come up with real solutions - what stores would probably be willing to give poor communities a try and stick it out? What can we do to stop the crime in the parks so that our kids and their parents would feel comfy going to the park to spend a day? These are real issues/ stressors that cannot be ignored too.
SunSeeker says:
August 7, 2007, 11:05 am
Hi Bella, Thank you for posting this topic. For although this is clearly a very painful and controversial topic the conversation needs to be had. I have read with great interest and some dismay all of the postings. I am fortunate to never have struggled with the issue of obesity, but in my early teens I did fall victim to the belief that I was fat because I didn't look like the people on tv and in magazines. Now mind you, I am 5'7" and I with the exception of my two pregnancies I have never weighed over 150 lbs. and those were what I considered my heavy times. Usually there was something going on such as stress or as a result of my just having given birth. The one good thing that I did do was to begin a regular exercise program when I was around 17 and through the years I have more or less kept it up in some form or other and that has served me well. Even when I go for a while without exercising regularly I find it is fairly easy to get back into the flow although it is a little more challenging as I get older. (I am in my thirties). But with all this said, back then I was VERY ignorant about food. I believed the “fat free” hype on labels and all the other misinformation out there. It has taken me years, a lot of research and study, and talking to people more knowledgeable that myself to learn what food can do for and to our bodies. It seems that during this discussion a lot of assumptions are made, such as the fact that people know just how damaging some of the stuff they consume as food can be. I think that instead of assuming that people know what good food is maybe it would be helpful to post some links where information can be found on what to eat and why. I know a lot of us on here already know this, but a lot of us don't. As I said earlier, what I know now is knowledge that has been acquired over the years. Keep in mind that I am educated, well traveled and well-read, but this information isn't something that I "just know". I learned this stuff because I wanted to and had access to information or people who could provide it. I have made the decision to spend a bit more on food to get something that is better for me and my loved ones. But I realize that I am blessed to have this option. I am by no means wealthy so I do have to sacrifice other things sometimes because of the grocery bill :( but it is a choice that I can make. I appreciate everyone's opinion and input but I think that we would all be better served by sharing the positive, usual information that you have without being hurtful. .
SunSeeker says:
August 7, 2007, 11:11 am
Nikita, I totally agree. A blog like that would be a great idea!
Auragirl says:
August 7, 2007, 11:17 am
Jane: What is wrong with "being overweight in my 30s and 40s" being Oprah's biggest regret? That is not shallow at all. We all know being extremely overweight causes many health problems, including heart attacks (which can be fatal). Oprah became enlightened and turned her life around. That is smart NOT shallow! Go ahead Oprah!
BlackHoney says:
August 7, 2007, 11:40 am
Beautiful One, I am in my 30's also and we had to take PE. Now I don't have kids, only nieces and cousins and they live in AL and GA, so they have plenty of opportunities to play outside. Nikita brings up a good point, in places like Philly (esp in the past 2 years), a lot of kids can't play outside because they seems to be some sort of drug war going on. One of the safe haven of kids would be school programs (like gym or sports). Finally B, most people don't have the luxury of having two parents in the home where mom can stay at home and provide hearty meals while the other parent works to bring home the bacon. More than not, mom is doing it all. I don't think anyone wants to give their families fast food on the regular, but when you are doing the job of two parents alone, something has to give.
BlackHoney says:
August 7, 2007, 11:58 am
Just an aside, I wish state officials included a Crock pot, recipe books and nutrition guides with food assistance programs.
Nikita says:
August 7, 2007, 12:13 pm
I agree BlackHoney with the crock pot cooking thing. I wish the gov't would get off the backs of community growers and would let them go to urban/ poor neighborhoods and sale their wares there too. I wish we would get more serious about taking our communities back and making them safe. I wish there were more midnight basketball teams with cheerleading squads too. I wish there were skate parks where the kids could go and skate without fear. I also wish that more parks were built with the children activites in the middle so that mom could keep her eyes on her little ones in a safe environment while she also took care of herself by taking a walk and chit chatting with other ladies thereby having a support group. I keep thinking about that blog that would offer recipes, ways to get in rest, time to exercise etc. for single and married women. Maybe we could get some other groups that have major pull to help as well. I think that is really a great idea. Perhaps too much for one woman, but for a group of really intelligent women ... like ourselves, maybe we ought to be about it instead of just talking about it. Obviously, despite our disagreements, we are concerned about it.
SunSeeker says:
August 7, 2007, 1:33 pm
Nikita I would be glad to contribute in whatever way I can because I know it will be useful to me too.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 7, 2007, 6:15 pm
Black Honey, For a while in my life I had two parents in the household, but my parents eventually seperated while I was 12 or so. My mother worked several odd jobs here and there to make ends meet, but she fed us well. She never scrimped on food as she wanted her children to grow up tall and strong. She accomplished this on her own and we as children learned to prepare certain things on our own so that when we arrived home from school we weren't sitting home starving or eating junk (Mom didn't waste money on junk food) She did it all, she kept her children healthy, we did very well in school, etc. If she did it, I know others have and others can do it. Heck, with all the resources and availability for information in this day and age, there's no excuse for most black kids to be overweight, having diabetes so early in life, etc. If parents just took time to go to the library and read up on recipes (the library is free) or ask someone in their neighborhood, pastor, nurses, the American Heart Association, I'm sure that they could provide free information, or inform of some programs. My brother now has a precious little girl but before she was even a thought, he read about food, nutrition as he was finding that his mid-section was spreading a bit rapidly (Ha!) We all get older and some of us get a little lazy from time to time, but my point is he started educating himself about food, etc. He gives me advice on certain foods, I love it! It's like having a nutritionist at my beck and call. He is now passing his knowledge down to his little princess by providing healthy choices for her. She doesn't reach for candy bars she asks for peaches and apple slices. Like Sly Stone sang: "You can make it IF you TRY. We can do it people.
AndSoThen says:
August 8, 2007, 1:38 am
ok Beautifulone..toss it out but cannot handle it? I said you sound trifling and mean, there is a difference. Nevertheless, I see you are one who speaks and does not listen, writes and does not read. Discussion is wasted, carry on.
Donna says:
August 8, 2007, 1:01 pm
Wow am I late to the party or what! I was a heavy child and heavy teenager growing up and let's just say I heard the line "You have such a pretty face" too many times to count. I was never happy on the inside because being overweight truly held me back in life. I didn't partake in a number of different events because I said I was "shy." The truth was I was overweight and very self conscious. I had many friends, I was a straight A student but I wasn't happy with me. I decided to lose weight because although I had this curvaceous body, I would get winded climbing a flight off stairs or walking a few blocks. I didn't do sports because I was slow and clumsy and I didn't want to be embarrassed. I made the choice to lose weight because I felt I was not representing the true me. So I did my research and took off about 100 lbs. during my junior year in college. I did it without drugs and planned my meals so that they were well balanced and tasty. I made exercise a priority and did it everyday. I went swimming in the early mornings, took aerobics classes, walked everywhere, I did what I had to in order to stay active. After taking the weight off my self esteem shot through the roof. I started to enjoy life a whole lot more. I could sit comfortably in an airplane sit for the first time..I was no longer "SHY" Now people say all the time "Are you a model?", or "you should model" How life has changed for me. If you are plus sized and are 100% happy with your size then my hats off to you. However, I know the truth because I played the happy role around my friends and family too. Taking weight off is by no means easy and takes a lot of dedication. I understand the struggle and I praise those that participate in some form of exercise. I'm not saying to conform yourself to society's standard of what is considered normal, if I followed this standard I would look and be anorexic. Just take time to read what your putting into your body and make little changes so that we can wipe out High Blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases that are killing us as a people. Life is beautiful and we should enjoy it at a healty waistline for many years to come!
d says:
August 8, 2007, 2:49 pm
i have to say i agree with methinks.
TheBeautifulOne says:
August 8, 2007, 5:52 pm
Donna, you rock! I'm so happy for you and your new outlook on life. I wonder what kind of discussion it would have been in here had you made your comment earlier in this forum. Hats off to you and your self-discipline and determination! Keep rockin'!
simone says:
August 8, 2007, 11:10 pm
a little link to tenderness for the bellas ... this discussion demonstrates that it IS hard out there. black folk can make pain into all kinds of fabulosity. but we have to look after ourselves. it was really, really, really interesting reading all these posts and i've recommitted myself to prettiness and doing my work and enjoying life and trying to just be cool with people (when they ain't too fool-fool). bring it otis:
Mrs518 says:
August 11, 2007, 2:02 pm
Donna, thats for the inspriation, I am struggling to lose 100 and more, and I simply have no motivation. We sound so similar as well, I often I hear that I am pretty for a big girl or I would look hotter if I were thin. Reading your comment just give me a boost of motivation. Thanks.
Donna says:
August 11, 2007, 6:37 pm
Hi, Mrs518..I'm glad you found inspiration in what I said. Taking weight off is hard, but you can do it! You have to believe that you can do it and stay focused. I used to write my feelings down whenever I felt fustrated or wanted to quit all together. If you need motivation I would be glad to share my tips with you...I have plenty. I've studied the best calorie burning exercises and I know how to prepare meals that are easy and tasty. Hey try picturing what you would look like after you lose the weight. YOU CAN DO IT!
missbig says:
August 15, 2007, 12:00 am
I agree with what reader says "skinny does NOT automatically = healthy, in the same way that being FAT does not automatically = unhealthy". Weight loss is possible once you combine the exercise and dieting. Neither is dispensable. Donna, you may want to share your studies and meals with other plus size people. If so, you can join in In my opinion, no matt whether we are fat or not. We need to love ourselves first. The old saying:" Respect yourself, or no one else will respect you."
Mrs518 says:
August 15, 2007, 9:47 am
Donna, I hope you read this... I would love to hear your tips, could you e-mail me at, so we can talk 1 on 1. Thanks alot.
C says:
August 18, 2007, 12:53 pm
This is why I never ever read comments on gossip/celebrity blogs. It is inevitable that there will be some asshat who thinks it's funny to share their ignorant commentary. Feelings are feelings and fat people have 'em too. Beautiful post!
GC says:
August 20, 2007, 8:33 pm
I'm glad I finally stumbled onto your site. This is an excellent post. Your articles are very thoughtfully written. Looking forward to reading more soon.
Gloria says:
November 25, 2007, 1:56 pm
I saved the picture on my computer. I will use it for inspiration to exercise and eat right. I am at a loss for words. We need to love ourselves and we can do that by living a healthy lifestyle. I am doing so self examination about my priorities. I am well paid and overworked. I see my white male colleauges take time to go to the gym either before during or after work. I need to make the time for myself as well. Sisters let us start loving ourselves through healthy lifestyles.
Arena Turner says:
February 6, 2008, 11:43 pm
Thanks for the interview
Plus Teen USA says:
February 10, 2008, 12:42 pm
Although full and fabulous women and girls are just as beautiful as their thinner counterparts, the fact remains that true beauty comes from within and our focus needs to be more on inward beauty and finding the love from within so it can penetrate our bodies outwardly for a lifetime. When our bodies are penetrated outwardly with the love from inside of us, we begin to take care of ourselves and pay special attention to things like what we put in our mouths, how we allow others to treat us and the time we spend living out our purpose as opposed to wasting it on frivolous people, events and ideas. Plus Teen USA Pageant and Conference focuses on promoting beauty and self love from the inside that permeates the outside. If you or someone you know would like to be a contestant in Plus Teen USA 2008, visit our website at
matt says:
March 7, 2008, 11:26 pm
I LOVE PLUS SIZW WOMEN! i hate skinny bitchs
piampri says:
November 15, 2008, 6:54 am
I recently discovered this blog. I've had a similiar idea to your rewriting the ten commandments for some time now.
K.R. says:
February 4, 2009, 7:46 pm
First, this is an exceptionally beautifuly photograph; far beyond the likes of ANTM potential. I cannot agree more with the positive posters. The misunderstanding that many [negative] viewers of this photo have, is that their eyes have been tainted by the public image of what society 'believes' women should look like. Horrificly, it has nothing to do with the physical appearance of these women, but building the shield of self -confidence and -esteem. Sadly, the propelling disease of unfavorable weight problems has plagued much of the American society forcing thousands of women into severe cases of depression, low self-esteem and confidence and even suicide. Instead of joining the bandwagon [negative commenters] of badgering the bravado of these beautiful women, we should stand together to encourage them as well as Mo'Nique in their journey to ultimate confidence.
hcg drops weight loss says:
April 1, 2011, 11:18 pm
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