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’