Stop Wasting Your Time Telling Me I'm An Unattractive Black Woman1/08/2012
In 2012, it is time to pull the boxing gloves on for the full and final round of the thick versus...
In 2012, it is time to pull the boxing gloves on for the full and final round of the thick versus fat fight debate. Since joining the Twitter community in early 2011, I have been witnessing women of all shapes, sizes, and frames, battling it out about what each term means and how it should be applied based on a woman's proportions.
According to most tweople that I've witnessed battling back and forth about it, Nicki Minaj is considered thick and shapely while Mo'Nique and Gabourey Sidibe live on the other end of the spectrum -- fat and unattractive. Though these debates have been entertaining to read and comment on, for the life of me, I can't figure out who established themselves as the judge of thickness compared to fatness or WHY it matters!
As a full figured woman who happens to be amazingly gorgeous (if I do say so myself), I am offended at the thought that the measure of my beauty is based upon my the length of my waist and the relation between my waist size and hip span. In the "Barbie" era where physical appearance is more cherished than intelligence, I have grown tired of women being judged based on what they have to offer physically rather than what matters in the long haul -- fortitude, intellect, dedication, and love.
I'm often referred to as thick and if I were paid $5 for every time I've heard the overused line, "You're not that fat girl. You're solid," I would be a millionaire thrice over by now. Granted, I am very -- for lack of a better word -- solid. I am proportioned well and thanks to the power of my beloved girdles (which I encourage all plus-sized divas to invest in), when I am gliding down the street, my rolls aren't busting all over the place. This can also be attributed to the fact that I buy clothes that actually fit well and accentuate my greatest physical assets. However, I digress.
Being referred to as thick and/or fat doesn't bother me because I embrace who I am. When I look in the morning every morning and tell myself, "Evette, you are beautiful. You are worthy of all great things. I love you," I see a gorgeous woman not defined by her weight or society's expectations of how I "should" look. I realize all that I have to offer the world and I invest in those qualities rather than the superficial characteristics that our society seems to cherish. When men -- even boyfriends -- drool in front of the television while Melyssa Ford and other video models bounce their breasts in music videos, I am not bothered by it because I've never been shunned or devoid of love because my stomach is almost as large as my behind.
What bothers me most about the comparison between "thick" and "fat" is where this ideal stems from and how it is beginning to define women and their value as it did the Hottentot Venus, an African woman who was put on display because her large bottom and long labia were appealing to European men. Women have more to offer the world than their curves and it's about time we embraced that instead of arguing over Twitter about the differences between Mo'Nique and Nicki Minaj.
Besides, there is fine line between being thick and fat. In fact, thick and fat can co-exist together. Now, don’t twist this concept. I realize that Melyssa Ford’s “ideal” proportions can never be compared to my 40-40 something-40 something measurements. I might be a tad bit outrageous, but I am far from pyschotic (thanks Mama Jones!) All I’m saying is that it is possible for a woman to be over the ideal weight and still be considered “thick.”
I’m well into the 180/200-pound range and I’m still hearing the “You are not fat. You’re just solid” speech, so who determines the difference between thick and fat again? The moral of this blog post is, never allow your value to be determined by society’s labels. Whether you are thick, fat, obese, or whatever other title has been placed on you to define your weight, don’t let those labels define YOU!
Evette Dionne is a senior attending Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her writings focus on issues relevant to full figured women, such as the economics of plus-sized fashion and self-esteem. She is the editor-in-chief of BELLE, Bennett's student magazine and a contributor for BettyConfidential.com, HBCU Buzz, Full Figured News and Urban Cusp. Check out her blog (www.lifefashioncurves.blogspot.com) and follow her on Twitter (@LuvEvetteDionne)