Boyce Watkins Blog Sharing the mind of one of America's leading black scholars

7Mar/11

The Curvy Vs. Fat Debate: A Man’s Point of View

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Ashley Patrice Williams at AOL Black Voices recently wrote an article on the difference between being curvy and fat.  I am not going to get into the business of telling beautiful black women how to carry their weight (there’s already too much scrutiny in media making women self-conscious about their bodies), but most of us can agree that no one carries a few extra pounds the way a black woman can.

Two things come to mind in the curvy vs. fat debate.  First, there’s a difference between looking good and being healthy.  So, as wonderful as “sistuhs” might look with a little bit of extra “junk in the trunk,” we must always be cognizant of the wide variety of illnesses that plague our community that result from eating so much salt, fat, sugar and all the other things that keep killing us.  Big Momma’s Sweet Tea and fried chicken might taste better than candy, but Big Momma and her husband also died from cardiac arrest and diabetes.

Secondly (this is the man in me talking here), I find that in many cases, women and men see the curvy vs. fat measuring stick in different ways.  What many women might consider to be curvy is what some men might consider to be fat (you can reference the debate in the movie “Barbershop” over a “woman with a big ass,” and a “big ass woman”).  There is something keen about a man’s instinctual understanding of the importance of physical ratios that allows him to pick up on precisely the right hip-to-waist ratio that makes a woman appealing.  For example, there’s a big difference between how men might perceive Jill Scott (above) vs. how they might look at Toccarra Jones from America’s Next Top Model (below).  While both women are undeniably beautiful, their physical attributes might lead them to attract different kinds of men (this is without regard to their personalities, for we all know men are quite visual, at least initially).

With that being said, there is no woman as beautiful as the black woman, hands down.  In all shapes and sizes, black women always give you something to appreciate.  It is also important to remember that inner beauty is what matters the most, so we must all work on maintaining the shape of our soul.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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