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Jeny Zest


Ok, I'm A Fat Black Woman

And these are my everyday misadventures


Jan 20, 2023, 12:49 PM

Photo by

Jeny Zest

Being a fat black woman is an extreme sport. Seriously. My weight sits on more than just my waistline. It flows over into all other areas of my life.

First of all, it’s not my fault the Lord dished out an extra helping continental sized bosom, the thickest of thunder thighs, a boep as soft as a jam doughnut, grabbable-love-handles and some junk in the back for extra sauce. 

I need you to know that I have been a big girl my whole life! I was never skinny. I did not let myself go or eat myself into obesity as anyone on social media with a bad sense of humour and zero filters would have you believe. No, I don't live off fried chicken or dunked wings! Believe it or not, I do this crazy thing called fruit, it's totally life-changing for fat people, you eat one and drop two sizes down the next day, it's absolute MAGIC!

But seriously, like every other Black Woman who has to navigate her blackness, her body, her hair; Fat Black Women need to do the same. To many people's surprise, we too are Black Women; most who can hear and see how you speak of us.  We, the Fat Black Woman Association have feelings. We struggle with confidence and have to build up a resistance to your stares of awe and disgust as we attempt the audacious act of wearing our bodies with confidence.

Thanks to all these gifts from the motherland, I like many other Fat Black Women, take up a little more space anytime I do as much as leave the house in any mode of transportation. So before I do, I have a little subconscious checklist to make normal people feel less intimidated by my fatness. Yeah, that's a thing! While they wonder why we're angry (hungry), pssssh! 

Do I Look Fat in This?

First of all, a Fat Black Woman knows she is generously endowed. Because we often attract so much attention in the form of and catcalling. We often have to be cautious about the types of clothes we wear

"Honestly, what I would do to be skinny or normal for a day."
My choice of clothing is heavily influenced by the mode of transport I will be taking to my destination. If I am taking a Taxi into town I think, can I safely bend over to pick up some change without mooning anyone? Is my neckline long enough to not flash the passengers as I manoeuvre into the tiny minibus? 

What If There's No Room For Me?

For me, carpooling is an awkward experience. When I am with family, the front seat usually reserved for the eldest person as is written in the book of unwritten book of Isintu. Unfortunately for me, I must break these rules as this is the best and most scientifically sensible place for me. Thank the underground gang that my family understands the physics of the situation, my mom gets that for everyone to fit I have to occupy the single front passenger seat or the back seat experience is dire. 

Now anytime I need to board a private lift or i-Taxi I play this little game of trying to plonk myself at the back until this frustrated Spare in the front is like just take my seat woman! In my head I throw an air-punch of triumph, I live to fat another day until it's time to get back home and we repeat the process.

There will be the talk of how I should buy my own car, pay for two seats or more and the classic jab of how I should exercise more and lay-off food.
*insert facepalm here*

As a Fat Black Woman, I need to mentally prepare myself such before embarking on any journey beyond my doorstep.

Where Are My Earphones? 

Buds, headsets, ear strings anything that drowns the sounds of potential insults are welcome. Yeah, Samthing Soweto keeps me sane as his treble tears as my little eardrums. It beats the ambient sound of downtown anyway. Also, it ensures I don't lose my composure by dignifying the a-holes in the streets with a response to their jeering. Yes, my earphones are never to be forgotten or left behind otherwise I will in no uncertain terms die on the inside on a bad fat joke at a time and I truly wouldn't want to give any of those buggers the satisfaction. 

The next time when you see a Fat Black Woman going about her day, smile at her and buy her a doughnut. Just Kidding, but be kind. It takes a lot of bravery to step out in a world that simply screams you're an oddity and aren't welcome here. On a more serious note, buy me a doughnut.

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