Wednesday, January 04, 2006

hongry heffa

hello, dear reader. meet DaHayle. she is named so, because that's what i exclaimed when i saw her hongry, anorexic ass (if you can call it an ass) in front of the vicki's at the mall while i was christmas shopping. i was in between my little cousin's gift and my best friend's, thinking about how it was going to have to be my last night walking around a mall - you know, minding my own business... and then i saw this half naked hongry heffa posed all up in the window, and i felt assaulted and insulted. this picture doesn't do her exaggeratedly olive oyl-ish figure justice. let it suffice to say that if i'd tried, i'm sure i could have wrapped both hands around the fullest part of either thigh, with plenty of overlap. i could have made a circle with one hand around her ankle and not have touched her leg at all.

besides the rare extremely-small-frame genetics recipient, or somebody who thinks that what goes down must come up, who in da hayle looks like this? most women look more like that lady with the blue bag in the background. now before anyone who actually knows me starts to try something cute, trying to invalidate me on this issue, no, i'm not a thick girl, either - but that's beside the point, anyway. i know one thing, i sho as hayle don't look like that. nobody looks like that. and that is exactly my point. if nobody looks like that, then why would this hongry heffa be propped up in the window, like that's what we would look like if we came in and purchased those ridiculously priced drawls? first of all, we wouldn't look like that. secondly, noone should want to look like that. i've seen skinny heffas on runways, in catalogs, on tv, and a bunch of other places, but this mess right here is absolutely ridiculous.

i know a 10-year-old girl, who is smart and cute, and who inspires me because she shows so much promise. the last time we hung out, she expressed dissatisfaction with her weight to me. "i weigh ___ pounds," she complained, in a fishing-for-agreement voice that was so obviously expecting the deep throated unh-unh-uhn or the slow, ain't-that-a-shame head shake that we brown girls learn from generations of mamas before us. she got no such reception from me. i think she's beautiful, and i told her so. she's tall for her ten years - about 5'5" - she gets it from her where-is-he-anyway daddy. she has a solid frame, not under- or overweight, and is sure to be a tall woman with a nice shape when she grows up. she already wears a size ___ and weighs about as much as a grown woman. so i suppose that her development is quite different from her mother's and grandmother's, who apparently both developed later and at a slower rate than this young lady. as a result, she often hears astonished and sometimes disparaging comments about how tall she is, how much she weighs, her jeans size, her shoe size...

once, i heard her mother and grandmother tag team her eating habits, calling her "fat," like it was no big deal. i couldn't believe my ears, and it was all i could do to refrain from undermining their authority in front of the child by blasting them with a few choice words. instead, i asserted firmly, yet not in an argumentative way, that she's not fat - that she's beautiful and developing just fine. they continued to chide until it became obvious from the edge in my voice that i didn't think it was a laughing matter.

of course it comes as no surprise, then, that mom later noticed that her 10-year-old is becoming a pickier eater... because she doesn't want to be fat.

i thought of this girl when i saw DaHayle in the window. said a silent prayer that somehow she will love herself enough to know bullisht when she sees it - and hears it - so that she doesn't wind up actually looking like DaHayle one day, sick in the hospital somewhere, with her caloric intake being watched so that her organs don't fail. some of us believe that we don't have such problems, cause we're so strong that we don't have mental issues that would allow us to succumb to eating disorders. and besides, they say, our culture values women with real shapes and sizes. maybe it did when we first got off the boat, but as other imported americans know all too well, assimilation can be a hongry heffa, much like DaHayle, who is named so because that's what i exclaim when i think of how we place our women in danger by failing to affirm the value of their very real beauty, instead of some bullisht window dressing fantasy.