Beauty News: African American Women’s Hair is the Cause for Obesity?

29 Aug

African American Women are Obese Due to Hair Concerns?

A recent announcement made by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin regarding black women’s obesity rates in the US and their hair has made major news across the country. The conversation came about during the Surgeon General’s trip to the Bronner Brothers Hair Show in Atlanta. She was discussing the state of African American women’s health in the US and how the obesity rates have skyrocketed over the years due to lack of exercise, poor nutrition and other factors.

One of the biggest factors as to why African American women tend to shy away from working out is their hair. According to Surgeon General Benjamin, many African American women concerned about ruining their hair by sweating it out.

“Often times you get women saying, ‘I can’t exercise today because I don’t want to sweat my hair back or get my hair wet.’ When you’re starting to exercise, you look for reasons not to, and sometimes the hair is one of those reasons.” 

We are not sure how to feel about this. We think that she has a point in that many African American women are closely tied to their hair and how it looks and the idea of sweating one’s hair out is not something many women regardless of race are in favor of. However, I think the issues of obesity go much further than hair. It’s also about lack of resources, lack of quality food, lack of information regarding health and nutrition to cite a few sources.

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has opened up a can of worms that may or may not cause her some issues in the future but the dirty little secret about black women and their hair is out now and there’s no turning back.







2 Responses to “Beauty News: African American Women’s Hair is the Cause for Obesity?”

  1. Sharene August 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    To begin, I really enjoyed your criticism of the topic. It is true that ultimately, there is no turning back with the hair pathology being exposed but that’s the issue with our people. Eternally putting our dirty laundry out to dry and insisting on taking them dingy drawers and what-not and feverishly waving the funk around to pollute the environment. Yes, it can be seen that the Surgeon General did Black women a disservice but I think in general Black women do a pretty good job of that without her assistance (ie: Basketball Wives). At this point, everybody knows Black women wear weaves and hate their naturally textured hair so why wouldn’t the Surgeon General be sensationale and correlate hair obsesseion and the pandemic of obesity in the Black community with one another?

    • blackmarketmag August 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

      Thank you! Yes, we do have a bad habit of airing our dirty laundry and then turning around and getting upset about it. Although I don’t agree with the idea of placing blame on African American women’s obesity on hair, there is some truth to the fact that many black women are less opt to work out because they dont want to get their hair sweaty and mess up their recently done do. I think the conversation that needs to be had is about self-esteem, nutrition, education about health and healthcare and exposure to different types of exercise and alternative options.

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