Where do Overweight Black Women Find Their Confidence?
Mica Paris, a UK soul singer and TV host, explains where her self esteem comes from
When an American survey were recently released the findings weren't shocking to the black community: Most overweight black women are happy with their bodies. In fact if you want to get specific, 66% of black women find themselves to be the cat's meow even though they have a few extra pounds. White women must not have been looking in the same mirror because only 44% consider themselves having high self-esteem. Which makes us wonder what is it about our cultural upbringing that instills such confidence in one group of women and not the other.
Mica Paris is a British soul singer with Jamaican roots. She's been in the spotlight for years and as a result dealt with the pressure to meet someone else's standard of beauty and body size. Now, the 42-year-old mother of two explains how her upbringing has helped her find happiness with her body.
[ALSO READ: 66% of Black Women Overweight and Happy]
The singer and TV host explains:
As a teenager, I was so naturally skinny that my friends called me Boney M. Then, when my career as a soul singer burgeoned, so did I.
I had my first daughter, Monet, when I was 22, and put on a bit more weight. When I walked into my record company soon afterwards to discuss an album, they said: ‘Mica, you have to lose weight. You look like two people living in one body.’
Of course, that stung. From that point on, I entered a cycle of yo-yo dieting. I’d slim down for an album release, then pile on a few pounds, then lose them again ready for the next round of publicity.
My battles with weight have been many and well-documented, but, finally, I have managed to strike a balance in my attitude towards it. And it would seem I am not alone — among black women at least.
A recent study has shown that black women are inherently happier in their own skin than white women — even if they weigh more. Two-thirds of overweight black women said they had high self-esteem, compared to only 41 per cent of thin or average-sized white women.
Why is this? According to the research commissioned by the Washington Post — the most comprehensive study of its kind in decades — white women focus too much on what nature has given them, while black women have a ‘deeper’ appreciation of beauty.
And I think I know why this might be. Caribbean men love curvaceous women. I apologise for reinforcing a stereotype, but it’s a fact.
You won’t find any man in Jamaica — where my family come from — casting appreciative glances at a skinny female. In my culture, women have hour-glass figures, generous bosoms and wide hips.
Rest Mica's full article HERE.