The escalation of body positivity in our community is admirable and very necessary. With society's standard of Eurocentric beauty that is consistently being pushed on black women , its refreshing to see that the unique nature of black bodies are finally being embraced. Now even though this is an incredible feat , there is a danger that lies within the entire movement of body acceptance.
Black women are more than often using the "body positivity" trend as an excuse to mask the severity of their health issues. The ambiguity of self love and acceptance tends to leave out the mandates regarding self care . Our attitudes have evolved but the statistics that reflect many underlying diseases that plague our community remain the same. According to the National Institute of Health, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and are all semi-preventable diseases that have remained exceedingly high amongst African American men and women. From the beginning of our enslavement in the Americas, our people have naturalized toward food choices that serves primarily to sustain a labor force rather than nourish a people. Food items included salt pork, herrings , indian corn . The culture that was cultivated from enslavement to emancipation has served as a template for the modern African American diet. It is our tradition that embraces and promotes an unhealthy relationship with starchy foods, dairy and meat. Currently , some of our people fail to acknowledge vegetables as a part of a balanced meal and discern the nutritional value of the food ingested on a daily basis. Exercise and yearly consults with a physician have lost its importance and are executed on rare occasion .
Our health has to be taken much more seriously. First step should be taking full responsibility for what we are feeding our bodies. We constantly find traditions to challenge and change , our diet as a people should be revised as well. We exist in a world where knowledge is as accessible as oxygen and more food options are being offered. Our evolution is inevitable. Personal research and conscious efforts can aid in the way we are taught about food from the generations before us. Loving our bodies means that we need to examine and evaluate whether what we choose to ingest will have a negative or a positive effect. Loving our bodies means establishing that food is primarily medicine and nourishment. Qualities such as will power , honesty , support and patience are the tools that will help to establish a better relationship with your body.
Yes, as a black woman we should be taught to grasp the reality of our body structure and features, but we should also implement a health regimen for our individual selves. Longevity and quality of life should be held to higher consideration. To love and to care about yourself is to maintain balance and establish discipline . Now that society has us in the spotlight let's take care of ourselves the right way so we don't remain just another trend and mark the birth of a stronger and healthier generation to come. .
- Noni B.