Please Don’t Ask Me To Wear “All White”


It’s almost 1am on a Saturday night and I’m on this “all white” boat ride (I hate when people tell me what color to wear to an event – especially white! I wore multi-colored pants and a white tee, but anyway…) and I can’t help but notice that at least 75% of us black women on the boat are obese and unshapely. And they’re wearing revealing clothing – high splits up the sides of their skirts, poom poom shorts, etc. I turned to my friend and said “I’m way too hard on myself.”

I’m not skinny by any means — but, we need to do better as far as investing in our health.

In my talk with celebrity trainer Mark Jenkins, he noted that black women are more likely to invest in superficial things like nails and expensive hairstyles than in health and wellness. He’s absolutely right. I see nothing wrong with staying well-groomed and spending money on hair, accessories, etc. But invest in taking care of your body and spirit too.

White clothing can be very unflattering, especially if you have a muffin top or excess body fat. But I don’t think any color could camouflage what I’m seeing. (And I’ll be honest – I told my friend who invited me that I look blobbish in all white.)

I think about fitness all the time. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one sitting here thinking about body fat, obesity, and how black women need to step up our game on the fitness front. (So, I’m obsessed or nah?) Especially at the rate we’re dying from preventable illnesses like heart disease. I think the tide is changing in favor of that, but not fast enough.

And why am I sitting down on a boat ride (a party on the water for those who haven’t experienced it)? Because the crowd is still scarce and the boat is leaving the dock two hours late. I think I’ll have fun though. Dancing is great cardio!


Why do you think some of us are more inclined to spend on superficial things, and not health and wellness? Have you or someone you know been affected by obesity-related illness? What was the outcome? Why do you think it is that some people seem comfortable being morbidly obese?

Categories: Inspiration

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8 replies

  1. I like theme parties. Puts everyone in a good mood to start.

    As far as obesity, that’s a big problem in this country overall. Everyone is set up to fail with the cost of food and the food industry in general. Companies make billions of dollars selling you bad food and selling you food you think is good but really isn’t. In other countries that’s not a big problem. They eat only the food that they grow. I think we need to focus on that more here.


    • Hey Reema! Obesity is a big problem overall, but I’ve read that black people are affected disproportionately. And that’s related to socio-economic conditions (we’re more likely to live in urban “food deserts” and earn less) and a bunch of other issues. I also think that we are more likely to invest in fixing ourselves up superficially versus investing in something as simple as walking or running shoes. There’s no reason that 75-80% of black women at a party should be morbidly obese. Training is hard, so I get why some people don’t like it, but investing in health is a must.

      Yes, lots of people like theme parties, but all white is just — ugh!


      • Yes and no with the superficial stuff. If you don’t have money for food, you won’t really have money to buy much else. That’s usually number 1. If you only have enough money to buy all the cheap food it’s not going to be good. Like I said before, black people should be learning how to grow our own food. That’s the only way we are going to get out of this issue. 75-80% is definitely reaching. I don’t think it’s that high.


        • I’m not referring only to people living below or at povert level. I’m also thinking of women buying designer bags and ill-fitting designer clothes (whether their budget accommodates those purchases comfortably or not). Outside of growing our own food, we can still take greater control over our health — even with small steps like walking or buying a gym membership – especially when they’re as cheap as $10 a month.


  2. I think people are largly uneducated about what is and isn’t healthy. Too many people think being small equals health and being big equals illness, but there are so many other factors at play. Then, people get to the point where they don’t care anymore. People tell me all the time, “you have to die from something” as if eating healthy and working out (which I have been unfortunately lacking lately) would ad such discomfort as to decrease their quality of life.

    That said, I don’t think anyone just magically becomes morbidly obese even if they don’t care about their health. People in that sever state get there through emotional stress and discomfort. It could be something they’re not dealing with well, like the death of a loved one, or something chemically affecting their emotions, like depression.


    • Good point. A lot of are uneducated or misinformed when it comes to health and wellness, but there’s so much accessible information out now.

      As far as being morbidly obese, for some the cycle starts in early childhood and continues, and for some there are physical or mental conditions that come into play. I gained a lot of weight when a relative was ill – plus a lot of other stresses. But with more and more obesity-related symptoms, I took action. I went up to a size 14 – average size for American women but extra weight made me sick.

      It takes work to change people’s mindset. But I guess until then, black women will still have heart disease as the leading cause of death (due to obesity and stress).


  3. I think most people let obesity creep up on them. some don’t care about eating healthy until it’s too late and sad to say i do realise a lot are black women. I’m with you on telling me what to wear but sometimes i don’t mind


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