Vern’s Venting: Fatty, Fatty Two-By-Four


By Lavern Merriweather

It’s no surprise or secret that white folks in the media just love to praise themselves for the shit that they hate in us Negroes. During the Superbowl, a certain commercial aired that caused a big stir [no pun intended] featuring an attractive, size 14 white woman clad in a revealing black bikini. Some viewers weren’t exactly thrilled that the company which aired the ad hired a less than petite woman.

However, many on the morning talk shows and gabfests were falling head over heels that finally a woman with curves, as they call it, gets her very own chance to be ogled in a sexist way. Now, heavy chicks can now be reduced to body parts and objectified for the enjoyment of men just like their skinny counterparts. Hooray!

Sarcasm aside, I really am thankful that at last, women can actually strut their stuff bereft of their size. Although I believe that despite this so-called trend, there is always something sinisterly racist at the core of their jubilation.

There is even a program on the cable WE network starring a Miss Whitney Thore who was, at one time, a very svelte cheerleader in high school. Unfortunately for Miss Thore, once she got to college, she said that’s when she gained a lot of weight. Currently tipping the scales at over 250 pounds, Whitney says that she is doing this show to encourage other young women to believe that they are good people regardless of size. This is where I call bullshit since black women being any girth over 120 pounds makes them the target of either ridicule or hateful comments.

When mega talk show host Oprah Winfrey lost over 100 pounds and did a TV Guide cover emulating one done by white actress Ann Margaret she got extremely negative attention. Another case of black folks being insulted if we do and even more insulted if we don’t. For the longest of times Hollowedoutsoul, aka Hollywood, has used overweight, short, unattractive and exceedingly dark skinned African-American women in their movies to further emphasize just how grotesque and hideous we are. Not to be outdone by the stupidity of white male executives, some top black men in Hollywood have even gotten into the fray.

Eddie Murphy in that stupendously bad load of crap “Norbit” played a crude, loud, obnoxious and, of course, fat black woman. Martin Lawrence, for some reason, has deluded himself into thinking that we are the least bit entertained by his worthless “Big Momma’s House” films. Let’s not forget uber producer Tyler Perry and his ridiculous caricature Madea which has spawned over a dozen flicks. Apparently. white folks view a flaw in us as something that is perfectly acceptable when it comes to them.

Latest pop singing sensation Meghan Trainor, who is sweet, perky and blond, sings in her hit song “All About that Bass” the joys of young girls not fighting the battle of the bulge. Meghan feels that a little expand of the waistline is just fine and warbles that you can truly be happy if you’re a female who is over a size 12. That’s funny because little black girls and even grown black women have been getting the exact opposite message. There is no Melissa McCarthy equivalent for black women being touted as the greatest thing since slice bread.

Another thing, and I say this with all due respect, since when did being a fat white woman automatically equal talented? Many white male movie critics have been slobbering over McCarthy as if she were the Meryl Streep of comedy. And some rather ignorant black women on the blogs have been praising her for being some kind of pioneer.

Okay, hold up. Wait a damn minute! First off, she is just overweight, which while that might not take overnight to change, it is a marginalization that can be altered. Melissa is not a damn hero just because she has packed on multiple pounds, nor is she an exceptional actress. I agree that she is somewhat funny, but that’s only because she plays off of her size, something you won’t ever see with a black woman because our heftiness makes us the butt of the joke in damn near every scenario. The larger the girth, the more of a fool she is required to make of herself. She can’t ever be positive about her abundance of weight like Meghan, Melissa, Whitney or British actress Rebel Wilson. Rebel has even been called a ‘sex symbol’ by some critics, try being a black woman that big and see how far you get.

The pressure to denounce any and everything about yourself when you are a black woman is especially crushing in this day and age. At this point, even portraying your most ardent stereotype won’t help. Not when a white woman can come along and do the very same thing while getting raves where you got scorn.

I’m not advocating letting yourself go when it comes to weight, because I don’t think that is a very healthy lifestyle. Still, to have so many tell you that what makes you undesirable makes another woman of a lighter shade beautiful is like a knife in the heart. On top of that, the white women that I mentioned speak as if they are on some fucking empowerment tour. All it really is is yet another example of white folks who imagine that their shit don’t smell and that having white skin makes it better simply by default.

Stop preaching to me about white women having curves when you call it just plain old fat on us and treat us like we are the worst kind of lepers that you have to lock away, because our sweats fit more comfortably than our jeans. You don’t get to create the rules of looks when you keep changing them to suit your fake and racist argument.

It’s like what that columnist that I once read wrote “White people think that a black woman’s features look good just not on a black woman”. Those words put it better than I ever could have. I myself am not the thinnest woman seeing how I’m 5’6 and 176 pounds. So, I know all too well the hell we experience as black women. That’s why I felt that it was so important to speak on something that some might consider trivial. Self-esteem, like it or not, is a valid emotion that all woman have a right to protect, especially from hypocrites with an agenda. If my ass is too wide for that ride, then so is yours and no amount of white person spin you put on it will change that.


6 thoughts on “Vern’s Venting: Fatty, Fatty Two-By-Four

  1. Everytime I hear about stories like this, I’m like “hmmph”

    It’s not I don’t think it’s a great thing for fuller figured women like Megan Trainor to inspire other women to love their bodies. It’s just that the world only want to respect themselves when a White woman tells people to do it.

    I’m a voluptous/full figured/ healthy..or what ever you call it woman. If you ask me who were my inspirations to love myself, I promise you that Megan was not mine. For one, I’m far older than her and secondly and far most..I grew up with women..especially full figured Black women. I’m also a 70’s kid and as a kid I read Jet/Ebony magazines and I remembered when I looked at some of those “Beauty of the week”sections or look at their models, I would see full figured women in them..this was the late 70’s and early 80’s. I thought that they were gorgeous because they didn’t looked well and real. Besides the women in my family( some who are full figured like me), Jet/Ebony were my initial inspirations.

    Black women have always been proud of their bodies whether they are skinny or big ..they were proud of them yet we’re the disgusting ones for being honest with them. This is why Black woman should never feel bad about themselves..not like you said should negligent about yourself,but self love comes from the head and the heart. Look at Gabourney Sibide, she is big,but I admire her spirit because she’s not caring what Hollywood or the rest of the world thinks about her. The same self love the world is crediting Megan for, is the same one society should credit Black women for.

  2. Very good post, Vern. However, I have to slightly disagree about the part of overweight Black women being ridiculed while their White counterparts are praised (although I agree for the most part.)

    Years ago on Tyra Banks’ show, she had Carnie Wilson of Wilson Phillips fame on her show talking about her weight loss through stomach stapling and how she lost the weight and then regained it back. Carnie talked about being in the Hollywood game and how she could be big and successful while using celebrity examples Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson (before her weight loss), and others. Tyra then pointed out that although each of these women was successful, they were also Black and that Hollywood was more accepting of a Black woman being overweight than a White woman.

    Also, I remember as a kid seeing that TV Guide cover with a slender Oprah on the cover. It was actually Oprah’s head superimposed on Ann Margaret’s body.

  3. I see where yah’ comin’ from Mickey about how Black women (to a certain degree) are accepted with more curves than their white counterparts-but, by and large (no pun intended) I must say that even those who made it through the glass ceiling of Hollyweird still are not seen entirely as sexy, desirable etc, but instead as a mammy, sidekick bestie, magical negro and so forth-so it still stands that True respect/Humanity is not truly rewarded to those few women who happen to squeak by in that arena, whilst as ‘Vern said earlier folks who are only moderately funny such as Melissa McCarthy are still more quickly praised for their “boldness” and sexy “originality” due to their white complexion. All in all, you both have raised some very valid and thought-provoking points that cannot be simply wrapped uP in blanket statements, but have to peeled apart layer-by-layer in the poignant manner in which you both observed and articulated-what a great discussion and post!! 🙂

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