Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Debate/Discussion: Black women do not exercise because of their hair
Last month I was browsing the web for health and fitness news. I stumbled upon two articles, quoting two different reports, which stated that the majority of black women don't exercise because of their hair.
Meaning, that they choose not to engage in physical activity to avoid "messing up" their hair. The first article quoted that about 30% of black women use this as an excuse. While the second article stated that this is extremely detrimental to black women because 77% are overweight and 49% are obese.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not sure whether these websites are reputable or the organizations that conducted this research.
However, that's not really my concern in bringing up this topic for discussion.
I want to know if people out there really believe this. I, personally, have heard fellow black women say they "can't" or have to "postpone" exercise because they recently "got their hair done." As a black woman myself, I frequently schedule my exercise around my hair.
In fact, I'm sure a lot of women do that regardless of race.
As many may know I am dedicated to health and fitness. I subscribe to many newsletters and magazines giving tips and tricks on how to stay fit. Often there are beauty tips for women on how to take care of their hair before and/or after a workout. Why? Well, because looking good is just as important as feeling good. I think we can all agree to that! However, I never find these tips for MY type of hair. Never for a black woman's hair type.
This is an issue.
Just like we need help on how to perform exercises correctly to avoid injury, so too do we need tips on how to maintain our lifestyles with exercise. Hair is important. There are numerous studies that explain the importance hair has on self image and others' perception of ourselves. So these newsletters and things are providing a useful tool for its readers. I just think there is a large group of women left out.
I don't engage in exercise to make a political statement.
I go because I believe it is essential to my health and I love it! Then again, when I go to the gym, run, or look at these exercise resources, I can't help noticing how women who look like me are not represented. Or at least not as much as I would prefer.
Everyone is different. Everyone has to find what works for them, their body, their hair, and their lifestyle. I just think that everyone needs motivation.
Maybe if black women were more represented in fitness magazines and articles about fitness, they (we) might be less "afraid" or "nervous" to exercise.
Bottom line: hair cannot be an excuse not to exercise.
Heck, NO excuse is a good excuse not to exercise!
(Ok, maybe if you have some sort of health issue...)
What do others think? What do you do to take care of your hair while exercising? How do you overcome excuses in general?