When I walk into a gym on any given day of the week I usually don’t see girls that look like me. This consistent lack of black girls in the gym has been obvious to me since I started lifting. Why don’t black guys have the same dilemma? They seem to flood the gym like a never-ending army of ants.
Sometimes I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of the weight room. These are the times I just want to stop and scream…
Males are naturally pushed to accept the athletic role within our families. The majority of these men have been working out since at least high school or college. I assume initially for a sport but we can’t deny the external pressure to look good. Mockery is avoided and points gained from the satisfaction of increased physical attention. What else is new?
So, it’s not a black thing. It’s a black girl thing. I am perplexed. CDC data between the years 2011-2014 showed that 80% of black women in the United States were overweight or obese. In addition, the leading cause of death in the United States for black people is cardiovascular related. With this kind of information available, why is our health put on the back burner?
The media creates a certain image for black girls that is widely accepted and subconsciously internalized. This message suggests those fit and strong are simply not part of the agenda. Psychologically when a message isn’t representative of you it is overlooked.
I will not become a part of this agenda. I am a black girl, and I workout.
I consistently see healthy messages for my sisters of other races and often pretend that I am the intended target. I can’t help but feel extremely thankful for the recent messages I have been exposed to during #Rio2016. Thank you Simone Biles, Simone Manual, Michelle Carter and Brianna Rollins who all took home Olympic gold medals and creating inspiration.
Yes, they are all black girls that workout too.
Every girls has their own personal reason why they can’t workout on a regular basis. Education is the only way to break the racial barriers currently present in the fitness industry. My desire to be strong, healthy and fit leaves me to focus on what I can change rather than what I cannot. It forces me to work to become the change I want to see instead of just talking about it. I desire to become an image of one of the many fit, healthy black girl in a country that fails to represent us well.
I am a black girl, and I will always continue to workout. I will take our lack of representation and make a statement.
On occasion I do see someone that looks like me in the gym. I get excited. She is never my age but much older. I imagine a conversation with her. She is my role model. She is the ultimate #bosswoman. I will have this conversation one day.
Let’s discuss! If you are a black girl, why do you/do not work out? I’d love to hear your thoughts.