Not To Beat A Dead Horse, But Since These Propaganda Messages About Weight Keep Coming Up

We have to combat the lies, exaggeration and misrepresentation. I hope if you’ve been reading this forum for a significant length of time, you’re also paying attention to trends and the agenda of others in trying to shape them. Let me also be direct in reminding the black women readership that it serves the interest of not only the black community but in media outlets like the Washington Post (a frequent violator) to reinforce an inferiority meme that targets you specifically.

You can basically count on various media to promote some type of message about our hair, weight, marriage prospects amongst other topics to distort perception in creating lack. Or a false dichotomy to dull your sense of urgency in correctly judging a situation. There’s a report from WaPo and the Kaiser Family Foundation that would have everyone believing black women are Santa Claus. You know – fat and jolly. Oh wait, isn’t that Aunt Jemima…er Mammy? The sassy black girlfriend? The asexual Magic Negress full of sage advice for de sad white folk?

This is just a new way of springing the ‘Strong Black Woman’ trap!

Yeah, it’s that and all of the above. Look, I’m not trying to rag on or nag black women. Anorexia and bulimia impact us as well, but not as much as overweight/obesity. We are the caretakers, so who’s going to take care of us? Hiding underlying pain (from denigration and abandonment) with food, sex, co-dependency, drugs, shopping, alcohol, religious dogma, etc. misdirects our greatest gifts. 

I lost a lot of weight in 2010-11, but am still working toward my final goal. It took me 15 years to gain weight (a few per year that steadily multiplied), so it’s gonna take time to get rid of it because I’m not on a diet. I am dismantling ingrained habits that do not add value to my life. Appearance adds social currency which creates a wider range of opportunities, but health cannot be emphasized enough. This latest campaign of lies swaps short-term gain (feeling good and instant gratification) for long-term losses (unforeseen but preventable sickness or death).

Part of your critical thinking development and growth requires media literacy and being able to spot the devaluation attempts. It also means listening to our instincts and not letting FEAR [False, Evidence, Appearing Real] and [Failure Expected And Received] become reality. The timing of these messages follows a rather predictable schedule as well. Paying attention to subtle attacks that intermingle one correct observation amongst numerous lies is key.

We had a great conversation last April how Suicidal Thinking About Weight Will Literally Knock Black Women Out which is worth revisiting. My summary then and now is:

Appealing to DBRs and removing black women from being contenders on the global stage is the motivation behind encouraging their obesity.

I want to keep our focus looking ahead. The black community is a dead zone when it comes to the care and nourishment of black women and children. So much of what passes as “just the way it’s always been done” is in fact normalized dysfunctional thinking being passed along generationally. When you compare it to the practices of the highest percentage of groups who are thriving and in positions of power and see a sharp contrast amongst behavior that’s an indication something is off.

Online activism in the past five years has blown the lid off the various internal and external factors and are being applied offline as consciousness is being (often reluctantly) raised. There’s been a steady push initiated to thwart acknowledging these factors and implementing change. The message proposed here is for future generations to thrive, black women will have to reclaim ethnic pride, femininity, expand their personal and professional circles and leave dysfunctional people, places and practices behind. 

These false memes put out by the media are not only predictable but they are to be expected. I can more or less guarantee you’ll find a previous conversation here at AOFB where we’ve discussed some variation breaking down one of these lies because they’re repeated every 3-6 months. Or we’ve exposed those who support these lies. Pep talks and hugs non-withstanding, people stop being mediocre when they’re made uncomfortable with settling. For those new to these conversations this is a wonderful opportunity to begin training. Otherwise, let this be a refresher course as some of you choose to fortify your boundaries, moving ahead in building your Outlier lifestyle.

This isn’t about self-esteem or self-image alone. This isn’t just about dating either, but let’s be clear. Women need to operate from a position of strength to evaluate men for alliances and marriage. This is how poisonous messaging gets dispersed within the core debate. By misconstruing it. We already know black women have a unique set of circumstances to deal with, but there are solutions and opportunities to “problems” that can be navigated. Promoting the Mammy/Mule lie is not one of them!

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US amongst the total population. That rate is much higher amongst blacks though. Just think about the large number of black celebrities in their 40’s or early 50’s who’ve suddenly died in the past two years.

From the CDC Report:

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90%–95% of diabetes cases and is usually associated with older age, obesity and physical inactivity, family history of type 2 diabetes, or a personal history of gestational diabetes. Diabetes rates vary by race and ethnicity, with American Indian, Alaska Native, African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander adults about twice as likely as white adults to have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthy food choices, physical activity, and weight loss. It can be controlled with these same activities, but insulin or oral medication also may be necessary.

It is a grave disservice to attempt to lull black women into complacency in order to keep them circling dysfunction. It’s intentional propaganda to thwart progress and remove a group from competition. The entire collective of black women must not be held hostage because certain segments don’t want things to change. Now’s the time to ask yourself who wants that and why do they continue promoting lies?

Don’t forget if outsiders effectively damage how black women view themselves as individuals internally, they can more easily control the use of your resources and keep you trapped just like a good cult does. Break free from the indoctrination! Remember and be encouraged your future is bright and you control your destiny. Be excellent and don’t expect less than you deserve. The quality of your life is ultimately in your hands.

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3/5/12 Update:  As with any disruptive interpersonal movement I will remind you that true change comes from a forward-thinking, positive mindset coupled with determination to replace non-beneficial habits. That doesn’t negate calling a spade a spade. Regardless of opinions and intentions of others, this is YOUR life.

If you are an employee you expect certain benefits from an employer, right? Well, they also have certain expectations of you. Arguing about meeting standards that make you the most appealing candidate for something that helps you (for something you want) is just dumb. Not when there are other willing candidates.

If you set up a business that ignores its customer base should you be mad if your revenue is so low it doesn’t meet your basic needs or would you insist they buy your product or services anyway? Do you think bounced checks, late payments, missing inventory, goods that spoil early or bad management are acceptable?

If like attracts like are you willing to accept ‘Level C’ if you want ‘Level A’? Heterosexual women spend a lot of time making decisions about or relating to men from a woman-focused perspective, that doesn’t always take into account certain realities.

This is about employing strategies that work in your best interest for the long-term. If you’re going to roll the dice play to win. I’m linking to adjacent conversations for additional feedback.

http://wwnh.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/1525-thin-thinner-thinnest/

http://wwnh.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/1555-thin-thinner-thinnest-part-ii/

http://interracialloveandspicebysara.blogspot.com/2012/03/when-sex-inpersonates-love-and.html

http://dateawhiteguy.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-does-it-mean-to-have-high-self.html

10 comments to Not To Beat A Dead Horse, But Since These Propaganda Messages About Weight Keep Coming Up

  • Faith

    I wanted to add here, there's some blogger rumblings as black women will ultimately decide what they value. A pioneering advocacy blogger who isn't BWE is in my opinion conflating the serious issue of overweight/obese BW with criticism of a blogger who's already been identified as a fake BWE/BW Advocate. That situation overlaps the conversation and ignores the core factors why the percentages of BW in peril is disproportionate to the population. Whatever issues non-black women share, the playing field for BW is different. That cannot be ignored. I will say it repeatedly that I think more BW are manifesting internal stress externally from being denigrated, belittled and indoctrinated into carrying the black community. Any conversations about preparing for relationships with white and other non-black men is also addressing the realities of looking outside the narrow focus within the African-American dead zone, but is not all-inclusive. If BW weren't interested in mating and having kids and trained to focus on random BM regardless of quality there wouldn't be a 73% OOW & Never-Married rate. That can't be ignored. One blogger who repeatedly tries to hijack serious analysis of things that would empower women and fails to implement does not carry the same gravitas as a pioneering BWIR blogger who has done much to empower women by providing measurable tools for change. This is where advocacy alone FAILS BW ultimately if it means remaining in the same environments that fuel the issues that require the advocacy in the first place!! Circling the same dysfunctional people, places and practices won't bring about the personal transformation we've been encouraging. This isn't about WW or BM. Or solely about 'catching' a man. YOU ARE THE PRIZE! If BW really believed that they wouldn't settle. There wouldn't be a need to point out the abnormal behavior that passes for "blackness". And…don't trophies have to be polished and displayed properly to be best admired? Nothing is an absolute. Any BW who wants to live her BEST life has to reevaluate every aspect. Ultimately, bloggers can only offer their own perspectives. YOU have to LIVE it. Make the choices that add value to your life, even if it takes you far outside your comfort zones. Or…don't…but make it a conscious decision and don't rage against those BW who decide differently.

  • MsMellody

    That change must begin with a mindset for accepting our power, using our own individual power to eat right ( for energy usage ) and excercise, water and reading uplifting messages. Just plain and simple. And when you are handling your beauty power the men who are worth your time will in turn REWARD you.

    That may sound antiquated..but it is what it is. And no -- I am not talking about us woman working for that reward..I am saying EMPOWER yourself for YOU….and the universe cannot overlook your hardwork. By the work that we do the universe will reward you with your highest desires.

    One helpful link that I found, is a black woman that posts her reviews of varied workouts. Her name is Saundra and here is her link;

  • MsMellody

    In my midwestern city the idea of driving to this particular zip code was nerve inducing due to paying for parking etc. Nevertheless we drove and miraculously found a spot. I am saying all this because in that process we had to do a little loop around the neighborhood. And oh my god..my mind was running a mile a minute with ideas and reflections. ALL due to my years now of reading and being informed due to blogs like this.
    This particular bookstore literally is in the shadows of the John Hancock bldg..the woman in this little enclave were all out walking about..doing there thing. Throwing the hair, walking around in their workout clothing, showing the men of the area that they are worth the investment for their beauty upkeep! And all I could think about were posts from here at Faith's blog and other blogs..I mean I almost didnt spot the parking place as we got close to the Barnes and Noble. Anyway..this incident really was yet another in a long line of realizations that have become absolute MORTAR in my mind..that we as women have a lot of power to change our lives.

  • MsMellody

    Hi Faith, Great comments here today.

    And to "Laughing Eyes"..your comment and it's included suggestions/info was invaluable!! Absolutely wonderful. I say this again and again..I am so blessed and honored to know women like you Faith!! You provide a safe place for women like ourselves to come and exchange information. And to walk away with even more suggestions to fortify us in each our INDIVIDUAL journey.

    My comment follows closely in Laughing Eyes comment; "follow the money trail..follow the money trail".
    I was thinking about this heavily the other day. My husband took me to pick up a book I had hunted down. Unfortunately as we all know the local brick and mortar bookstores are becoming fewer and fewer each day. As such, I had hunted down this particular book and I had to drive and pick it up.

  • LaughingEyes

    cui bono? this question alone has been the full ransom for my freedom. bw, follow the money trail: the food, health and beauty industry…

    Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant's Behind the Mask of the Strong Black Woman has proved invaluable in my long walk to freedom. otherwise i wouldnt recommend it.

    if i may, i also want to borrow from Hippokrates and share this gem: let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be food. investing in your health will create wealth untold not just physically but also spiritually.

    and for those that are interested, please watch Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 days. more often than not, the answer is very simple. just the other day, i was watching Fat, Sick and nearly dead and its message is one worth passing along.

    last but not least, Queen Afua has written 2 books that i also think are worth looking at;
    1. heal thyself
    2.sacred woman

    there are alot of people that are interested in your success but as we all find out sooner or later, we are the teacher and the healer we have been waiting for. as my counsellor/therapist says, the only place you can begin is right where you are. i add to that and say, if you begin now and inch your way towards your freedom, one day, not very distant, you will look and find that the chains have been loosened.

  • "Pep talks and hugs non-withstanding, people stop being mediocre when they’re made uncomfortable with settling." yesssss