The Black Elephant

I literally started this blog because as a dark-skinned black woman in America, I sometimes feel rejected and overlooked. I started following other blogs where beautiful (or not so beautiful) darker women were sharing their stories, blasting colorists and calling out prejudice in society, especially within our own community, but what I found shocked me. A lot of these free thinking, “down with colorism” darker-skinned women of color were sizists. These same women who called out influencers and entertainers for prejudice and discrimination were themselves bashing darker women of color who happen to be bigger. “Big and black” or Fat, black and ugly” are phrases I heard often as I followed these women. Some of them even would go on to say that society actually accepted us (darker-skinned, bigger women) more because they were comfortable with the black, fat and ugly trope. I repeatedly had to hear that black was beautiful, but only if it wasn’t plus size. They constantly use the word fat and unattractive interchangeably, and to my chagrin, I realized the way they felt about plus size females was the exact same way a lot of society also viewed them.

And I know some people reading this will say “why are you asking darker skinned women.” I’m not. I’m just calling out the black elephant in the room. 

It truly breaks my heart because it just goes back to that old way of thinking that everyone has to feel superior to someone else. It seems that if one group of people get some shine, then others who are not included somehow feels slighted. When darker smaller women see bigger darker women being celebrated, for some reason, they feel someone telling us that we are beautiful is a slap in their face. Say what now? But these are the same women who call out lighter complexion females of all races looking down on black women OR saying defiantly stupid things like “Lupita Nyong’o isn’t all that”. Ironic isn’t it that they can’t see they are doing the very same thing and can’t even see how hypocritical they are being. And yes I know other races or lighter black people who are still hooked on color like its the 1960s do it, BUT…it hurts more when it comes from someone who can share our make-up.

Now to be fair, it’s not all dark-skinned smaller women, some of my close friends who are smaller and darker-skinned LOOOOVE seeing beautiful plus sized women of all shades. Some of them actually are the ones who got me on to the plus sized/body positivity movement. But there are also those turn their nose up at us as if we are less than. I like to say that they act like they are against colorists, but I have a sneaky suspicion that if they were born with a lighter complexion, all of their social media handles would begin with @REDBONE (fill in the blanks—shout out to my lighter-skinned boos). I feel they want society to see them as beautiful, but they are scared that if society accepts other forms of beauty, then the competition pool would give these other (bigger) women a seat at their table and a chance to compete.

Sound familiar?

The truth of the matter is “dark-skinned” and “fat” live in the same marginalized community and a house divided against itself will never stand. You cannot honestly expect people to suddenly see your dark skin as something beautiful, but continue to turn your nose up at bigger women. If darker, petite women want to be accepted, then they are going to have to join the body positivity movement and embrace ALL women!

Beautiful is beautiful, no matter the size, shade, or race. If we continue to turn our nose up at each other, nobody wins. So you go to the gym every day…GREAT! It doesn’t give you the right to turn your nose up at anyone. And if you’re just blessed with a higher metabolism, I am literally side eyeing you right now! Do you know how hard it is to find, start and maintain an exercise and nutrition plan that is right for you? Even if I go to the gym right now and turn my plate over for the next few months, I’m going to still be fat for a while. How dare anyone think they are better than me because of my size! 

Racism we fight against.

Classism we toil against.

Colorism we fight against.

Sexism we stand against.

SIZISM…where do you stand? Comment below. 

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