A Fatty By Any Means Necessary

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I was sitting here this morning puttering around the house listening to NPR’s specialcalled “The Hidden World of Girls” produced by “The Kitchen Sisters”. It was a fabulous collection of stories about the experiences, struggles and “inner worlds” of young women from around the world. The last story introduced a growing trend amongst women in Jamaica. Some Jamaican women have resulted to taking “chicken pills” to alter their hips, thighs and buttocks to make them more full. These “chicken pills” are growth pills that are used to make chickens mature more quickly than nature’s timeline. An explanation of as to why this phenomena emerged is explained by a Jamaican man interviewed for NPR’s story,
“Most males, they love to see women with big bottoms. The whole idea of Coca-Cola bottle shape” Carol says. ” ‘I don’t want a meager woman,’ that’s how the men would speak. … They’re figuring if you look meager, you look poor, in the sense that you’re not being taken care of.”
“If you have no meat on your bones, the society can’t see your wealth, your progress, your being,”
The risks associated with the consumption of these chicken pills is great due to the cancer causing cumulative toxic agent arsenic which is present in the pills. The story went on to describe that the pills are among other body altering substances that are used widely and illegally in the Caribbean. Skin bleaching is also a widely used product.
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The very end of the story ended with this statement from another interviewee, this time a woman, 
At the end of the day,”says Stanley-Niaah, “women do these beauty practices not to diminish themselves, but to somehow assert themselves.”
Many thoughts ran through my head after listening to the program. I am no feminist but immediately I wanted to blame men for our distorted attempts to please and be accepted, then of course my thoughts turned to the white man for twisting the sense out of the black race then I just had to face reality. We as women, specifically Western women have got too much freakin’ time on our hands. We have it far too easy. The fact that we are willing to risk our lives for a fat ass in comparison to our fellow women folk in Egypt  and Yemen who at this very moment are risking their lives as human shields against army tanks so that they may have a say in the direction and leadership of their country speaks volumes. The fact that we are willing to risk our lives and our children’s lives by obsessing over hair texture and applying toxins dutifully every six weeks and shelling out thousands of dollars because of it in comparison to Liberian womenwho risked their lives and successfully ended a civil war through unity and persistence due to their dedication to the important things in their life such as peace and the safety of their future generations speaks volumes about our values as Western women. We exalt, strive and find a false sense of “assertion”in our sexuality when we are so much more than tits, ass, thighs, good hair, bad hair, natural hair, permed hair, divas, eye candy, single or married. I say that wholeheartedly but I struggle when I try to imagine what more we can be? What ideals, movements, principals are we willing to look past ourselves and die for? Don’t we want our baby girls to beam with pride that their mothers lived, breathed and stood high due to more than Louboutin heels and fat asses? Sweet baby Jesus, I know I do…
Left to right Yemen journalist Tawkkul Karman, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee. All are nobel peace prize winners.
Let’s inspire one another! Comment and share what you strive to stand for as a woman. I will start it off.

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13 thoughts on “A Fatty By Any Means Necessary

  1. well said shanti. As a mother to both a yound boy and girl I am extremely conscious of the images and sensibilities they are exsposed to. I’ve had to take a hard look at myself more than a few times. Ugh, it pains my heart to hear stories such as these about any woman but even more so for my black sisters. I just use it rather as fuel to spread positivity and affirmation of our power and wonder as women and as black women. Through action and speaking on behalf of positivity and love evolution is inevitable :) -chadae

  2. i really enjoyed this article but the statement “I am no feminist” really bothered me. If feminism means “women should be treated with the same rights, dignity and equality as men” then why wouldn’t EVERY woman be a feminist? your posting this article proves that you think like one so i’m just surprised that you’d write that

  3. “I am no feminist but immediately I wanted to blame men for our distorted attempts to please and be accepted…” I was referring to the hyperbolized stereotype of a feminist woman which is one who is angry and blaming everything on men. I am sorry if that was taken offensively. Although I don’t proclaim myself to be a feminist, my views on male female equality are the same (although I have some differences in my beliefs here and there). I am grateful to the movement for all its done for women. I didn’t mean to separate myself because of any aversion to it. I just don’t label myself a feminist in the same way I don’t label myself a democrat.

  4. First of all, this is a great article. I don’t think anyone could’ve said it better. This topic is so relevant and constant in today’s society that the thought of how women (particularly Black women) feel the need to conform baffles me daily. I wish that we would all wake up and see that we already have what it takes and that it should be enough. And if someone were to tell us it’s not enough, then we would demand that it be enough. Otherwise, we are only limiting ourselves in all other aspects in life. I strive to be an example to my son of how he should treat women, with respect.

  5. I strive to be an example of spiritual power. I think women (especially descendants of africa) are so powerful. I mean the original amazons were black women. Whether we are wielding our power openly, or doing that delicate dance of power our elders do with our men– ruling the household with “please” and “thank you”

  6. loved this article… I strive daily to be a woman of purpose and fortitude, to uphold the values american women fought for us to obtain (education, the right to vote, advancement in the workplace) *cues Jill Scott’s Womanifesto*

  7. This is not a growing trend in Jamaica. That’s a gross misconception and generalization. It is done in certain circles of the Jamaican society and that is where it stays. World over women are always trying to achieve some perceived standard of beauty by doing the weirdest things. This article makes it seems as if this is the norm throughout the Jamaican population when it is not, as their are many who have never even heard of this practice. I should know, I am Jamaican living in Jamaica.

    • Women in America are getting butt injections (as nikki minaj pictured above) I don’t know anybody that has them personally but it is a growing trend. People are doing it. It is not huge but it happens. I think the same can be said of the women in Jamaica who take the chicken pills. I never said all women do this. A followed trend doesn’t mean everyone and their mother are doing it. Facebook and twitter are a “trend” but not everyone has a facebook or twitter page. Sorry if you took it that way. I was in no way extending the word trend to all the women of Jamaica. Thanks for pointing it out that it is not the norm…

  8. I can’t believe this whole chicken pill thing. Wow…it’s true…our clothes are geared towards the eyes of a man even Victoria’s Secret (which supposedly the secret is that it’s really a guy). If you don’t a big butt and your boobs are busting through the seams, you’re not considered beautiful to some. God doesn’t see beauty as all of us looking the same. If you got it, good for you and if you don’t got the wide hips, big busting boobs and butt, then good for you too. We are all beautiful! I will stand for true beauty which is how we are originally made! A part of our beauty comes from the heart as well. Cheers to diversity of hair textures, color of skin and body shapes! :D

  9. I see clearly what you’re getting at but if we’re going to target a topic like this wouldn’t it be necessary to talk about those who goes through surgery for big boobs, butts, smaller waists, fuller lips, a younger face… I’m Jamaican I’ve heard about the chicken pill, but those things were from years ago. People rarely use those things anymore.
    Whether we want to agree or not we all alter ourselves, the very makeup that some ladies put on is an alteration. Contouring one’s nose, contacts( one is born with brown eyes and you wearing blue contacts). I don’t want to seem against the article for I’m not, but regardless of anything if we’re going to talk about it lets talk about everything. That’s the very thing Bob Marley was trying to teach us when he said “emancipate yourself from mental slavery”

    • this is no attack or microscope on just jamaican women and chicken pills. it was new news to me so i decided to share because it was a example of how ALL of us fall victim to illusion.

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