LySaundra Janeé

Music. Justice. Resilience.



For Skinny Colored Girls Who've Considered Eating an Entire Chocolate Cake When Educating People About Cultural Expectations of Body Image Wasn't Enuf...

You're probably wondering why the mellow dramatic title, stolen from Ntozake Shange? Well...


...because people assume that because I'm thin that I've never been picked on for my weight.

...because people make it their priority to ask me what my diet is like.

...because even if I'm not hungry, I'll over eat around my family members so they don't think that I'm starving myself.

...because I was picked on and called anorexic and bulimic all throughout middle and high school.

...because I was called a smart ass while attempting to give my peers the correct definition of anorexia and bulimia.

...because some people don't understand the cultural differences of body image - that not having a curvier figure (primarily a big butt) as a Black woman was/is not praised and not acceptable.

...because some people think it's their duty and right to make comments about how skinny I am.

...because some of my family members never cease to be amazed when they haven't seen me in a while and - surprise!! - I'm still skinny.

...because I'm constantly asked what size I wear and people assume it's a zero or below.

...because someone who still doesn't understand the assumptions of what it means to look like a Black woman in America (physically) is going to read this post and roll their eyes.

...because a white guy once told me that he was shocked that I wasn't shaped like other Black women - sorry, not sorry that I cannot assist you in being the Sarah Baartman in your life.

...because some Black men have told me that I'd be cuter if I were thicker.

...because I tried to pretend that I had moved on from having body image issues once I was attending a predominately white collegiate institution.

...because I still do squats religiously, praying a booty will appear.

...because I've taken clothes back to the store if they don't give the illusion that I have a curvier figure.

...because I can quote Psalm 139:14 in my sleep, but haven't internalized it completely in regards to my body image.

...because my day instantly gets better if someone says I'm looking a little thicker....and people receive the death stare if their comment is contrary.

...because I got the Depo shot in college after my roommate told me she started gaining (unwanted) weight when she switched to the shot.

...because I stopped getting the Depo shot after barely gaining a pound within the first year.

...because everyone has given me some sort of remedy to gain weight.

...because none of those remedies are a match for my ridiculously high metabolism.

...because I've been trying to fit into this Beyoncé-sized mold of what it means to look like a Black woman in America.

...because most of us do not realize the impact our words, microaggressions, and unwarranted opinions can have on another human being. 


Until next time....

In Christ,