That said, as a person who also struggles with weight and diet, I feel for Oprah. (All that rich just won’t buy her thin!) This also reminded me of one of my internal conflicts in regards to weight and the black woman. Obesity is a huge problem in the black community. One of the most common stereotypes of black women are that we are loud, unladylike, rude and horribly fat. Even though most people judge me by my intellect and charm, with me not being a size zero there is always a voice in the back of my head telling me not to lose weight because of my health or because I’ll feel better, but because I don’t want to be the stereotype.
Once again, everything about blackness is woefully political. Even my fat cells. Very, very annoying. I try to remind myself that I’m already refuting a stereotype by existing. I don’t need to be a size two to drive the point home. But the psychology of being black in America and dealing with negative images often means you spend a lot of time fighting the ignorance clogging up your own head.
That, and the public has issues with fat people to begin with, so it’s pretty easy to develop a complex and about ten or twelve eating disorders.