I saw my beautiful sister’s picture on Facebook yesterday. She’d attended some event, somewhere. She was HUGE. 5′ 4″ and pushing 2 and a quarter, maybe more, her features bloated, her smile distorted, the tears of a clown – streaming through the digital capture – when no one’s around.
What has to occur – in the heart, in the soul, in the spirit – in order to go from a size 6 to a size 26? And be comfortable with it, pretend that its cute, sexy, pretend that you are owning your girth and somehow, that is a virtue???
My other sister, a carbon copy, feigns acceptance of her fate…or is it resignation?
During the ’60’s and 70’s, both of these intelligent women wore the hell out of their Super ‘Fros, proudly, fiercely as did many beautiful sisters. I sat looking at previews of the film, “Good Hair” starring Chris Rock, saw the scene where Hollywood starlets admitted their use of weaves, bugged my eyes out at the aluminum can disintegrating in a vat of the product black women put on their hair — and into their brains and body!!
What kind of beating does one have to take, psychically, in order to become complicit in their poisoning, their burning and scarring, their embalming…
I wanted to pick up the phone and I may yet still and scream at my sister, ask her if she does not see the squandering of her youth, her beauty, her health. Our family grew up playing tennis, so getting and staying in shape comes naturally. Becoming a human pinata is the most unnatural of behaviors.
Why and why do we lie about it? Why do we kill and degrade ourselves and make friends with that degradation, that lie? Don’t even mention what KIND of food we eat to get the way that we are, food processed, genetically engineered, Stepford food, robotic, food made for human doings, not beings.
Take back your hair, your dignity, your self respect. Look in the mirror and see the rolls of fat as a crime, and yourself as an accessory to that crime and vow to do community service on your own damaged self.
Kick your chicken bone, relaxer, hot comb, chittlin’, Colt 45 – drug habit that you shake, sweat and sniffle over. We need rehabs for both gorging ourselves on bad food and the self-mutilation that we engage in every time a sister – or a brotha – gets a perm.
PERM? Like the Department of “Defense”, a perm aint nothing but another delicious delusion that tells us, that black is white and night is day. Problem is, the perm also tells us that IT & WE are beautiful while we’re wearing that garbage when it is the antithesis of beauty.
Beauty is what you had before they laid the conk on you in the barber’s chair…
And its what God gave you.
Maybe if Black men didn’t worship long hair there would be an awakening.
Maybe if the generation before, didn’t push food on children there would be let fat people now. Fats cells never go away and it take little food to maintain it once they are created. It is the calories not the content. It can also be hormones, which are hard to avoid if one is poor.
Making Black women not feel good enough always seems to be the righteous Black man’s solution.
So, Hathor, the strong black woman yields to the whim of the weak black man and burns her hair at his behest? I thinketh not.
If a sister does bend to the whims of some jive ass black man who demands burnt hair, then what they says about both of them is quite unflattering.
If people took responsibility for the condition they find themselves in, things might change. That, rather than blame society or outsource their condition to everybody BUT themselves.
The bottom line: jumping through somebody elses’ hoops to get a man or a woman is the height of personal bankruptcy and you get what you deserve. I’d rather stand for something – like self respect for example.
Feeling good about oneself begins with having values, respecting your body temple, being the kind of adult who knows they do what they do cuz they want to…and if their choice doesn’t work out they own up to it, step back from it and grow up. Feeling good about yourself means having the ability to say no when it ain’t good for ya.
Most people are for sale, unfortunately, for a warm body and a bag of chips. Sad.
Do you may possibly think that your words may be part of the problem rather then an offering a solution?
While in part I do not disagree with the serious need to readjust eating patterns and our thinking on hair, rather then coming across as support & empowering, your essay is tinged with more of the same ole/same ole .
For the record I have natural hair & believe it or not, women do indeed come in different sizes and shapes even among our sisters and who gets to decide what is good for them without pretense?
Please understand I am not condemning you as you do indeed have valid points, but good grief, black women are beaten up on so many fronts that some of the masqueraded judgement is indeed judgement costumed as “help”.
Believe you me even well meaning, women who are lagniappe have heard it all from every sort. It does not help.
Shame(ing) does not bring about change
Wondering, I don’t believe that my words are a part of the problem at all. I think that they are part of the solution.
You say that some women come in different sizes; well, my sisters came in different sizes and now they are almost double that early adult size. In addition, by any health measure, they are in danger of a number of health problems directly related to weight.
Should I wait until they die before I risk shaming them with the truth?
It is shaming, you say, for someone to mention what the two eyes can see. Well, when I was drinking heavily and alcoholically, some people said that I was a “drunk”, an “alcoholic”, a “problem drinker.” They said I should stop.
I didn’t because I was too blind to see – until reality slapped me upside the head. But I remembered their attempted interventions and perhaps, those words, coupled with my screwed up life, conspired to help me see what was what.
Should they have waited until I murdered someone with a vehicle in order to avoid “shaming” me by telling me what I refused to see?
If telling a morbidly obese person that they need to kick the habit is shaming, or trying to help someone see how demeaning it is to burn what God gave them – their hair/their flesh – then I am guilty.
Some people may not like to hear what I’ve said; others, and they may be few, may need to hear it this way, with feeling.
Folks who want to change will hear the truth, even when their is only a kernel of it, because their heart’s are thirsty for it. Others can be fed a message that is nothing but the truth, and get sidetracked by a word, a phrase, a comma – because they didn’t want to hear it in the first place.
Do you really know if is the excessive calories that are keeping the weight on? Obesity isn’t quite like alcoholism. It would perhaps been better if your solution had a scientific basis, instead of saying to avoid the chicken wing. Your title of your post says it all. Very spiritual folk are fat and so are non spiritual ones. Is it that it isn’t your brand of spirituality that is the problem?
I don’t think any of the same old excuses are valid here. His opening essay spoke directly to his two sisters, who were not fat kids, were active & fit, but then as adults kept eating as they kept sitting, thus blowing up. As for fat cells, once created, never leaving, I’m not sure where that concept arose, but there are countless examples of previously obese people who lost their fat, and it never returned.
This really isn’t rocket science, and the numbers of those who truly do have some hormonal causation, are few, and if that is in fact the situation, then obviously it’s going to be more difficult a challenge. But there are more invasive procedures, surgeries, that are quite successful at slimming down overly obese individuals, and as a side effect, actually helps to prevent some other condition (which I can’t recall at the moment)….
Bottom line, we have far too many Americans eating too much junk food, that doesn’t provide proper nutrition, & does provide far too many empty, fat-creating calories. This, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, equals less quality of life, and a shorter one as well….
To keep silent, when it is your loved one, or good friend, is not being a true loved one or good friend…..
Hathor: I think what keeps excess weight on people is in their mind, their heart. It is protection against pain, against hurt.
The words I say may hurt; but there is a deeper hurt that they expose.
I tend to think that a truly spiritual person would be HWP. They would, because of their spiritual maturity, understand the connection between their emotions/spirit and their behavior. I would think that they would understand the need for moderation in all things – and if they did allow themselves a little excess, know how to readjust/create balance.
Being a “believer” and being “spiritual” are two different, by the way. There are many who claim to believe in God or a Higher Power, who act like devils. Behavior is the truest indicator of spirituality, not statements of faith.
Concerning the ‘Good Hair’ topic of Chris Rock’s film , I have been told that it is not really addressing the issue but just kind of giving an overview but we shall have to see.
I am back home for a wedding and my natural hair has been a source of lots of love from some and side-eye from others but you know what????
Natural afro hair is beautiful because it is how it GROWS out of our scalp. If sisters want to be relaxed, that’s fine — but when it is pathologised, that is when it becomes problematic.
We still have a long way to go as BW+BM but if he doesn’t support you as an afro’d girl, he was probably a waste of time anyway!
 – Was surprised to see Chris Rock’s partner was a sister.
A temporary change of image or persona is okay, anything that is intended to cause permanent change from the natural divine order is deceptive. This deception is further revealed in the main ingredient that is used to relax the hair, “Lye”. Words reveal a lot, there are no coincedences. All lies will rob, kill and destroy. The word “relaxer” means to reduce the force of; that means to humiliate and disempower. That is why the most powerful man mentioned in the scripture, Samson was disempowered only when his hair was removed. The hair is positioned as the highest order in relation to the human body. To defile your head with chemical poison and exalt a phony version of another man’s image above yourself raises the question what was the piont of coming out of slavery? Why are we still holding the slave master hostage over our heads. Understanding and applying the truth is the only thing that will set us free. Our divinely assigned image looks best on us. Who are we fooling with the “lie”. At the end we make a fool of our own selves. If we are straightening our hair because the men like that how come they seem to be running away from us. Rise up and wear your own crown.