Empowerment Featured

Dear Slim Black Girls…

By: Lateefah Jean-Baptiste

Sadly we live in a society where the beauty industry continues to thrive off female’s insecurities and yearning to conform to the ideal perception of an attractive woman. With this comes waist trainer companies, diet pills, and protein shake conglomerations making millions off the insecurities of young women.

When looking back at fashion ads over the years it could be argued that being slim has always been deemed as the ideal physique for women. But I wholly disagree with this statement. As a young black woman, I don’t believe that slim black girl are always perceived as attractive. Black women have always been associated with hyper-sexualised images of curvy women with big bums and huge breast.

Being slim was never something that really bothered me when I was younger. I knew that I was slim and extremely tall for my age, but I never really saw it as something that later on in life would make me feel insecure or unattractive, it was just the way God made me. That was until one deadly day in the sixth grade, when I went to a school dance and I overheard a boy call me skinny and flat-chested.

Now I wasn’t blind, I knew that I was taking longer to develop than most of my friends, but it never bothered me up until that point. That was the first time I had ever cried over something someone had said about my body and I to hate being slim. I would eat ridiculous amounts of food to the point where I would feel sick, because I wanted to put on weight so bad. I would try every trick in the book to help me get bigger breast, but they never worked!

Although this happened a long time ago, I have noticed that there are many slim black girls who have begun to hate their slim physiques and have started idolizing curvier women. Looking to women such as Kim Kardashian, Lira Galore and Miracle Watts as #BodyGoals.

Now before I continue I just want to say that I am in no way, shape or form trying to demean any of these women or their physique. Instead what I am trying to do is explain why many slim black girls may feel the need to have bodies that replicate that of a curvier woman in order to be deemed as attractive.

The attraction to black curvy women is nothing new to our culture. The black curvy female physique has been hyper-sexualized for decades, with Curvy women deemed as exotic and alluring by the mainstream media and ideal and attractive by the hip hop industry. I believe it is this attraction to the curvy black women that has led many slim back girls to go to extreme measures to achieve ‘natural’ curves.

So there are probably many black slim girls reading this who have probably been bullied at school for being skinny, or are feeling unattractive because all the boys on their timeline keep positing pics of curvy women with the love struck emoji.

But If you take anything from this article, understand that a lot of the images in adverts or marketing campaigns put out in society are deliberately made to make you feel like you can always look, feel or do better.

So if you are looking at an image of a woman and comparing yourself to her, you have fallen right into their hands. Learn to stop comparing yourself and start loving yourself.

Dear Slim Black Girl,

Please don’t feel the need to conform to society’s ideal of what your body should look like. A women’s physique is not the single component that makes her attractive, and if a man is only attracted to your body then that’s not the kind of man you want around you. Now I am not saying go around insulting thick/ curvy women, instead learn to embrace all women in all different shapes, sizes and colors.

But more importantly learn to love your physique. Yes Lira and Miracle do have banging bodies, but guess what…..so do you. So stop comparing yourself to these #bodygoals images you see on Twitter. And to all those people who teased you about your body type, like the boy who teased me, they won’t matter in the future. Just remember:

‘Nobody allows you to feel insecure without your consent’

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7 Comments on "Dear Slim Black Girls…"

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Delvina darell
5 years 14 days ago

Love this article it’s so true,for years I was called lanky lala,yes I tried to put on weight and I got my wish. I am a black woman with a fuller figure and proud and would never change it cause guess what I am happy,you know why I embrace my curves.

4 years 11 months ago

Thank you for this post.

Nic TheDragonSlayer
4 years 11 months ago

I’ve always been slim and while I was bullied for it I never wanted a curvy body. I loved that I could buy boy jeans and they fit perfectly. I never envied curvy or big womwn. I LOVE being slim. I always have & what others think, even if the majority, will never make me hate my slimness.

4 years 10 months ago

I can relate to your post. Being an Asian woman, we have the opposite, where Asian women have the stereotype of being small and petite. I now live in Australia where I’m still a size Small, but when I go back to Singapore, the clothes that fit me can sometimes go up to size Large. My family have made comments that I’m fat. Sometimes it hurts, but sometimes I just think that there’s nothing wrong with my size at all. I’ve had 4 children and I’m still pretty slim. I hate exercise so this is me and I accept myself… Read more »

4 years 8 months ago

I love this article. Being a tall slim girl I was bullied. I was told that I was too skinny and that I don’t eat enough by my family. My mom used to put olive oil in my smoothies lol. I’m 24 now and I just forced myself to love my body and I’m still skinny with curves. People love to make fun of what’s different I wish I would’ve known what I know now and embraced my body.


Amani Moore
3 years 7 months ago

I’m only 13, but nowadays all the other girls are getting curves, seems like it’s happening to everyone but me! I’ve been really insecure and I’m trying to love my body but it’s hard. I’m short, flat, and skinny, and my mom says that will change in due time, and I hope she’s right. She’s got curves, so maybe I will too. But if I don’t, I hope I can learn to love my body like y’all have.

3 years 7 months ago

Great article I can totally relate growing up being very tall and slim. I was bullied and hated it. Great job