The Influence Of Black Women In America

Decent Essays

The United States is said to be suffering from an obesity epidemic, and studies show African American women suffer from higher rates of being overweight or obese than Caucasian women. African American women are pressured by their culture to be self-accepting of their bodies that God gave them, and in their culture beauty is not only measured by weight, but by other personal features. Many Black women believe that the ‘thin ideal’ is for White women because they describe being heavier as sexy and having curves. With Black women being self-accepting of their bodies, many perceive themselves weighing less than they do in reality compared to White women who typically visualize themselves heavier than they are. It is also shown that for African …show more content…

A study found that there was no relationship found between BMI and attractiveness, whereas for White women there was a negative relationship between the two. African Americans who identify with a different culture reportedly have higher body dissatisfaction than African Americans who identify with the values in their culture (Chithambo, 2012). African Americans have different beauty ideals than European aesthetic; women with extra weight are viewed as sexy, thick, stacked, and curvy. The idea of being thin is considered for White women (C.S.James, 2012; Awad, 2014; Taylor, 2013). Research showed that Black men have a preference for heavier women compared to White men, and Black womens’ ideal body weight is heavier than White womens’ prefered weight. However, African American women do not assess beauty primarily by weight, but by overall appearance, such as: how one carries themselves, hairstyles, makeup, and clothes. These characteristics are given more concern than traditional body image issues (Chithambo, 2012; Awad, 2014). With this high tolerant attitude towards weight, it puts African Americans at higher risks for obesity (Baturka, 2000). Black women attributed being heavy to family history, weight from pregnancy, stress, aging, and food available at work and home. Women describe that the pressure to be self-accepting of their bodies conflicts with their dissatisfaction

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