August 30th, 2011
Fashion News
The Fashion Bomb News Breakdown: US Surgeon General Blames Black Women’s Hairdos For Obesity Rate, Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 Show Pushed Back, and Go Behind-The-Scenes of The Missoni for Target Collection
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

• The Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin says one of the reasons for the high obesity rate among black women has to do with our high-maintenance coifs. “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.”

Not gonna lie, in high school I was definitely guilty of sitting out some outdoor P.E. periods or team practices because it was drizzling and I wasn’t about to let that blow out I got from the Dominican lady get jacked up! Do you think Dr. Benjamin has a point? Or is her reasoning totally bogus? (Jezebel)

• Because they absolutely must be lavished with more unnecessary attention, Annie Leibovitz is throwing The Kardashians a much needed party. The affair will take place at the photographer’s Greenwich Village photo studio September 6th. You are all not invited. (Elle)

Hurricane Irene might not have been as devastating as we were led to believe, but it certainly managed to slow down Marc Jacobs‘s staff: “We lost the weekend with the hurricane,” Marc Jacobs CEO Robert Duffy told WWD. “That lost time is impossible to make up without pushing the show back. Our entire sample room – most of the people live outside the city and they couldn’t get in here this weekend, nor would we have wanted them to.” While the designer usually shows on the Monday night of Fashion Week at 8pm, to make up for lost time he’s pushed the show back to Tuesday, September 15 at 8:30 PM. Hurricane Irene: bringing true meaning to “When I come through ya town, everything shut down.” (Fashionista)

New Zealand Fashion Week is well under way, and to celebrate its arrival, M.A.C. Cosmetics covered models in body paint for the week’s opening ceremony. Thank goodness they used actual body paint, and not thousands of M.A.C. Paint Pots! (Racked)

• Because some folks are visual learners, watch Margherita Missoni talk about the Missoni tradition” and how they attempted to incorporate it into their collaboration with Target– just for us plebes. (Styleite)


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28 Responses to “The Fashion Bomb News Breakdown: US Surgeon General Blames Black Women’s Hairdos For Obesity Rate, Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 Show Pushed Back, and Go Behind-The-Scenes of The Missoni for Target Collection”

  1. India says:

    Ummmmmm I honestly dont know what to think about that. Hair probably is an excuse but not the main reason.

  2. jasmine says:

    that sounds so stupid just another way to pin an epidemic on blacks. hair dos really?

  3. Englishvers says:

    Good heavens, what an unintelligent comment regarding exercise and African Americans being corpulent. Or is that the case amongst American Blacks?

  4. Jihan says:

    @jasmine, I don’t think she’s trying to pin the entire epidemic on blacks, but the obesity weight is particularly high within our community (80% of black women are overweight or obese… but then again the rate would be slightly lower if that silly BMI took into account that black women tend to naturally be larger than certain other groups,) and she’s merely offering a reason that might contribute to it.

  5. AfricanQueen says:

    I’m guilty of using this excuse quite frequently. Speaking for myself, I do see truth in her statement! I mean after spending a good amount to get my hair done, I wouldn’t want to mess it up. #Justbeinghonest

  6. CecI says:

    I’m rail thin i mean model thin and im very healthy i eat but my metabolism is fast i’m west indian and i just feel larger are women are praised and more accepted in the black community in general, the so called “blackmen” magazines praise one kind of women and as i love m ybody i would kill for a beyonce hourglass or rihanna’s legs, but these women i still consider thin to what the black mentality at least where i’m from of whats attractive size of a black women

  7. missb says:

    I think that many black women use their hair as an excuse. I have had this discussion with friends several times. I also think that because it is socially acceptable to be labeled “thick” many black women get comfortable not exercising. Our community glorifies women who are thick and put down women who may be naturally small. It seems like women are starting to be more concerned with having a big butt than being fit and healthy.

  8. CecI says:

    @missb thats what i totally was trying to get across

  9. Kim says:

    As a nutritionist and a black woman, I believe that the correlation of high obesity and black women does not come down to our hairstyles but more to diet, economic and social factors. The excuse for not wanting to get your hair style wet could easily be resolved with weekly appointments to the hair salon and knowledge of hair products. However, many black women may not have the time or money to do this. Also, if you are a single black female parent going to the gym (2-3 times per week) plus, getting your hair done is a costly expense. There are so many ways to work out and not mess up your hair for example, yoga, walking, dancing and low impact aerobics for 30 minutes a day. I am so surprised at how silly this article is. I have noticed in my field that these factors are the biggest cause of obesity: diet, eating late at night and our body image (our obsession with thickness) coupled finding a exercise routine that fits into our lifestyle. All of these factors need to be considered not just our hair…Come on!

  10. Anon says:

    Kim you do not have to spend money to workout. Economic factors shouldn’t apply. Your house is a free gym. Go for walks with the kids, that’s free also. You can exercise at home but people are just lazy and full of excuses. If you want to be healthy and lose weight it possible you just have to set your mind to it. This is all mental. I’m African American and have been small my entire life up until I turned 25. My metabolism isn’t the same so now I have to make better choices. I didn’t realize the amount of weight I gained because I was in denial. I am no where near obese or overweight but I have but on quite a few pounds. Now at 27 I exercise at home with my DVDs and I eliminated junk food as. Big prt of my diet. I didn’t get rid of it totally but I now eat healthier and stay from fast food as much ad possible. The obesity issue will change when black women or any person for that matter are ready to educate themselves on healthier lifestyles and are ready to change. Hopefully it is sooner than later.

  11. dyshaun says:

    In the SG’s defense she was speaking at a hair conf so…I think her comments were appropriate and valid in the context used.

  12. Anon says:

    Also, I can see how black women’s hair can be an excuse. I’ve used it plenty of times. It is NOT the reason to blame, but as someone stated earlier it is quite expensive. So one option is to forgo the gym membership monthly fees, workout with friends at home and in the park- depending on weather, and use that money for your hair. Or you can just do the research. There are ways to protect your hairstyle while at the gym. Try bandanas, leave-in conditioners, dry shampoo-yes this works for blacks too. The information is out there we just have to educate ourselves.

  13. It would be so much easier if an exercise regimen was implemented when I was younger. I notice my teenage niece spends a good amount of time watching TV and texting. I have decided to go for a walk with her at least 3-4 times a week just so she can become accustomed to it. Instead of making it a “healthy” event I try to implement social bonding and family time. I am considering eliminating pork and beef out of my menu ,especially with the rate of heart disease and diabetes. Stating hair is the reason for the obese rate amongst African American women is an insult. Also, @ Ceci when I am not sure of your age but when I was in my teens I was really thin but now I am a size 9/10 and it seems like the weight came out of no where. I totally love myself but I do want to take out more time to hit the gym and become overall healthy.


  14. Lala has some skinny little legs.
    Lol :)

  15. Crystal says:

    i don’t think it’s right to correlate obesity and hair. most of it is our diet. but i do know plenty of black women that don’t exercise or do any physical activity for that matter, because of their hair. i have a friend that was over weight and she cut her hair completely off a few years ago so she could exercise. it may not be that big of a deal to women that can maintain their hair. even for us that go to the salon weekly, if you don’t know what to do to your own hair or have the time to do it…you’re at work for the rest of the week looking like who done it!

  16. esme says:

    i think that hair can be an impediment to exercise for SOME black women but there could be other myriad reasons why black women are overweight: living in food deserts where access to natural, unprocessed healthy food is limited; an appreciation for larger bodies in the black community; and the fact that bmi chart doesn’t take into account that muscles weigh more then fat and can make someone appear to be overweight when they aren’t. i definitely agree with some of the folks on here who’ve said that if hair is an issue that prevents someone from exercising there are some great low impact exercises out there and that if money and time are issues, you can exercise around your house whenever you find the time. exercise can be cumulative, it doesn’t have to be a straight 45 minutes to an hour.

    the kardashians are annoying. the end.

    lol @ just for us plebes. jihan, you are too hilarious.

  17. [...] is the original post: The Fashion Bomb News Breakdown: US Surgeon General Blames … • Posted by admin • Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 10:06 am • (0) Comment [...]

  18. Dinka Don says:

    He knows our secret!!!!!!!!!! Lol! He makes a good point. How many 350 lb. chicks are like Mmmmm, just got my hair did, can’t do it today! Uhhh, you don’t do it ever! But our “obesity” labels are still ridiculous! You look at a 180 lb. black girl next to a 180 lb. white girl, the black girl will have a curvy body and the white girl just looks like an egg! I’m generalizing, but ya’ll know what I’m talkin’ about!

  19. Savage says:

    I hate to agree but it is true. Even if I wasn’t natural I would still workout but that’s bc I’m a former athelete. I try to go 2 the gym w my homegirl atleast 3 times a week, but if she just got her hair done, she’s not going, if she has somewhere to go later, she’s not going. Getting into shape is not easy so people use any excuse to get out of it. It’s just that black women have found an excuse that they believed for so long is valid. The “I spent all this money on my hair so its gotta last” mentality has been accepted. But that’s why going natural is also referred to as “getting free”

  20. Cherina Hamilton says:

    If this is the case a hair guide should be showcased. How to wear your hair so it won’t sweat out.

  21. Lisa says:

    Dinka Dob, the Surgeon General, Regina M. Benjamin, is a woman. Before the rest of you fly off the handle, she is a black woman, and her comments were made at a hair conference.

    But hey, sensationalist headlines generate page views. And it’s more acceptable around these parts to express disgust at/contempt for overweight black women to teach about health than it is for a freaking Surgeon General to address one if many issues that contribute to obesity in the black community

  22. Blu says:

    The headline is misleading, inaccurate and should be changed. She didn’t ‘blame’ anything on hair, she stated it as an excuse SOME women use, not a main factor. Like some noted before she was speaking at a hair conference so that’s why the topic was hair and obesity. If she was at an economic and finance conference I’m sure she would’ve tailored her comments to the ‘it costs to much’ excuses people use.

  23. Claire says:

    @Cherina We wrote a post a while ago called How to Take Care of Your Hair for Workouts and Swimming

  24. TicaPica says:

    i could never consider a beauty regime that limits my lifestyle in terms of health, exercise, being spontaneous etc this goes for manicures, makeup, hair, other treatments etc. i had at one stage really bad skin which was being exacerbated by my sweat inducing workouts. so yeah, i never ever considered not working out. i don’t understand though how people can be 100% sedentary. even if you don’t run or go to the gym etc, there are so many physical activities that can be done (yes, even household chores or DIY or gardening) that are better than doing nothing.

  25. yusufswifee says:

    I’m fine with this. It is a factor for some. At the end of day if you are making choices to not workout so that your hair can look good to the point of being obese – you have bigger issues.

    Everyone has raised some good points…someone also mentioned the whole motherhood aspect and how it plays a part…I think that is important. I always worked out, but now with motherhood I have a baldie…for me I just needed to go that route…once I get a handle on my many responsibilities I’ll grow it back out a bit.

    I also think that exchanging advice for how to work out with our hair is helpful, but at the end of the day you have to be a little fearless and know your hair enough to experiment with the different stages your hair goes through say from fresh from the shop to time to go to the shop again and fit fresh from the gym into that….there is no easy fix.

  26. wow this truly make me sad because i know it’s totally true.

  27. Mark Blanco says:

    M.A.C. makeup is all my lady uses.

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