Why They Believe Being Fat Means Being Healthy, Wealthy, And Beautiful

scale with a measuring tape on top
Via Pixnio
L. Graciella Maiolatesi
April 5, 2022

Historically, in Nigeria and some other communities, women preparing for marriage would go to “fattening rooms.” For months, they would eat to get fat, showing they were healthy, wealthy, beautiful, and ready for marriage! 

Through a Western lens, this seems concerning – in America, many believe being fat is destructive to one’s health. But recent research shows this isn’t always true.

Recent studies show being fat doesn’t always mean being unhealthy, and weight loss itself can actually be extremely harmful. According to Scientific American, “prejudices about fatness have trumped actual evidence in our view of weight and health.”

A study by the European Heart Journal discovered that physical activity is a much better predictor of health than weight. But there’s another danger involving fatness – and it impacts EVERYONE.

Fatphobia – fear of fatness or becoming fat – is ingrained within our culture. Body shaming, which is historically anti-Black, creates a culture that teaches us to police each others’ bodies. 

This is dehumanizing – and leads to EVERYONE’s healthcare being reduced to what we “look like.”

Everyone deserves to live freely, including fat Black people who want to live without shame or judgment. Whether fit, fat, skinny, thick, or however else we want to be, we can actively decide not to body shame ourselves or others, and instead love our bodies despite white society telling us to hate them!

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