“The pursuit of thinness at its core is anti-blackness”


Hi Brooke-

With all that’s going on in the world right now concerning racism, I stumbled on a Anti-Racism Educator’s account and started going through her posts in attempt to further confront my biases. However, there is a recurring message on her page that I simply cannot shake or understand. That message is essentially:

“Pursuing thinness is yet another way white supremacy works to maintain itself by aiming to distinguish white folks from Black folks to further justify the racial hierarchy that exist.” “The intentional pursuit to be thin by any means necessary is an attempt to distinguish oneself from this fatness, which is equated to Blackness. Ultimately the pursuit of thinness at its core is anti-blackness.”

I can’t stop thinking about this. I’ve never consciously linked fatness and Blackness. My “pursuit of thinness” has always been about my health. I look at my obese parents and grandparents who can barely move and have diabetes, and I have been on a “pursuit” to avoid a similar future. I’ve lost 45 pounds before even joining Scholars, and intend to lose another 15lbs. I am no longer in the overweight category, so I consider myself already “thin” even though I have more to lose. I don’t want this further “pursuit of thinness” to ever be because I’m somehow, internally and unconsciously, “anti-black” and I’m just using “health” as an excuse.

I truly can’t stop thinking about it! I’m trying to understand what she means and move forward with my goals. I don’t want to keep questioning myself about the reason why I want to lose more weight, but I don’t want to ever be “anti-black” either!