A study reports black women like their bodies and white women are unhappy with theirs

A study reports black women like their bodies and white women are unhappy with theirs

What’s fit and what’s fat depends on who you talk to!

A recent study by researchers at the University of Arizona at Tucson found Black women, who tend to be thick,” or well endowed with ample hips and thighs, were happier with their bodies than White women who often starve themselves to be bone thin.

In their study Body Image and Weight Concerns among African American and White Adolescent Females: Differences that Make a Difference, researchers used data collected from various sources, which resulted in a multi-ethnic study of adolescent females.

The paper also explored the cultural factors which have an impact on the perception of weight, body image and beauty.

“Results of recent nationwide surveys have revealed that White and Hispanic girls perceived themselves to be overweight even when their weight or height fell within `normal’ parameters as established by the National Center for Health Statistics,” the researchers said.

However, “African-American adolescent females were found to be less likely to perceive themselves as overweight.”

In addition, a recent segment of an ABC News report titled “Common Sense with John Stossel” highlighted the latest research showing Black female adolescents are happier with their bodies than their White counterparts.

The recent University of Arizona study found that while ninety percent of White teen-age girls were unhappy with their bodies, Black girls weren’t. Seventy percent of them liked the way they looked.

Jane Meyer, a White 28-year-old attorney who appeared on the show, said she sometimes skips dinner the night before a date in an effort to trim down before going out.

When Stossel asked Black student Jeanette McDonald what she thought about that, Ms. McDonald responded by saying she thought that concept was “silly.”

Revealing how she felt about her weight, “I like my size,” she stated. “Nobody’s complaining. You know, my boyfriend likes it, whatever, I like it. As long as I dress nice and look good, I really don’t care.”

But Christine Alt, a full-figured model, maintained that American culture seems to relate in every way that thin is in.

“When I was in high school and I was bigger than everybody, none of the guys looked at me. They looked at the very thin girls, the short girls, the petite girls,” Ms. Alt said.

But, Lisa Scott, also a full-figured model countered, “…in my culture, I found that as a teen-ager, you wanted to be–have bosom and a big butt and you wanted the attention from the guys and the guys don’t mind. African-American guys don’t mind a little meat on the bones. They love it.”

Another White interviewee, Liza Allen, who is an athlete and a competitive figure skater, told Stossel she’s still not happy with her well-toned, muscular body because she’d prefer to have a more willowy frame.

“Like sometimes when I look at myself this way, I can see this and I can see that it goes up straight. But as soon as I see my profile, I say, `Wow, my — is big and then I say `Wow, I have big thighs’…I don’t like it.”

However, Ayanna Dorns, who is Black, told Stossel she and other young ladies like her have a greater comfort level with their bodies because of the Black images on television. “We just see people like Oprah and Kim Fields from “Living Single” and people who are just naturally bigger … and plus we get that positive energy from Black males.”

According to the authors of the latest research, White girls more than likely saw dieting and being thin as the “ideal” method “to achieving a more perfect life,” which would include winning friends and getting attention from young boys.

Young Black girls, on the other hand, put more emphasis on “a list of personality traits rather than physical attributes” when describing what their ideal image is. As far as they were concerned, a girl could have it “going on” if she had such attributes as “long nails, pretty eyes, big lips, nice thighs, a big butt” and weight was not a determining factor.

COPYRIGHT 1995 Johnson Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning