Re: Nancy Lebovitz’s Comment

August 6, 2008 maydarling

I was writing a comment in response to Nancy Lebovitz who commented at Shapely Prose about Julia’s post about her experiences as a fat, black woman. It got really long, so I decided to put it here.

Re: Nancy Lebovitz

“Doing better on fat acceptance than most white communities is admittedly surpassing a *very* low standard, but I really think major black communities have managed it.”

Really? Huh. I got shamed each and every day for being a fat black girl. And 95% came from my black peers in elementary & high school and the other 5% of it came from my well-meaning concern-trolling family.

Because I was and am fat, I had to “be neat and pressed” at all times because I have to overcome the triple-whammy: not just black and a woman, but a fat black woman.

Even now when I hear my white friends talk about how it must be sooooo easy to be me because black/latino (whoever) men/women are more accepting of size, I really, REALLY want to call bullshit on that. (excuse the language)

Untrue. Utterly untrue.

I’ve been catcalled by black people in the street for being fat. I’ve been concern-trolled by co-workers and so-called “friends” and then when I *dare* to get angry at someone’s inhuman and insensitive treatment of me, all of a sudden I’ve transformed from just being a fat black woman (who should be grateful for any crumb of attention that comes my way) to being an angry, fat black bitch. And I really don’t want to get started on how the “angry black woman” stereotype is conflated with “fat black woman.” Because as we all know, all fat women are angry because they’re fat. So, fat black women must be doubly angry.

Does that sound like a community that is “more accepting of fatness”? It’s not ok to be fat in the black community anymore than it’s ok to be fat in the white community. Let’s just put that particular stereotype to rest right now.

I also take exception to your saying that Queen Latifah is from a “not the most respectable” black sub-culture. Pray tell, which sub-culture is that? According to Queen Latifah’s biography, she grew up solidly middle-class in East Orange, NJ, the daughter of a schoolteacher and a police officer. Yes, she made her mark in the hip-hop music genre (and that particular subset has its unsavory elements, but that can be said of every genre, Jerry Lee Lewis, anyone?), but she has since become genre defying as both a musical artist and actress.

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Entry Filed under: ignorant fuckery

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DiosaNegra1967&hellip  | 

    “I’ve been catcalled by black people in the street for being fat. I’ve been concern-trolled by co-workers and so-called “friends” and then when I *dare* to get angry at someone’s inhuman and insensitive treatment of me, all of a sudden I’ve transformed from just being a fat black woman (who should be grateful for any crumb of attention that comes my way) to being an angry, fat black bitch. And I really don’t want to get started on how the “angry black woman” stereotype is conflated with “fat black woman.” Because as we all know, all fat women are angry because they’re fat. So, fat black women must be doubly angry.”

    yes! yes! a thousand times, yes!

    you have brilliantly articulated what i have felt so many times over the course of the last 30+ years of my life!

  • 2. dreamy&hellip  | 

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. What was wrong with Nancy’s comment could fill a book.

  • 3. Heqit&hellip  | 

    Maydarling (hey, my grandma was a May, too!), you and this post are both awesome. THANK YOU. Nancy’s comment pretty much left me speechless with frustration (did she miss the WHOLE point?), and I’m so glad you were able to contradict it so specifically.

  • 4. clovis point&hellip  | 

    What you said!

    I was extra frustrated by Lebovitz’s remark because I’ve seen her in various communities over the years, and she’s generally one of the more enjoyable contributors – but this time it’s like she just missed what was being said and went with “but I happen to know your experience is wrong”.

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