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Lifestyle magazine EBONY has sparked a variety of conversations across social media in recent times, unafraid to push the envelope when it comes to touching on necessary topics. The latest issue takes on the beauty and fashion industry, with four  lovely plus-sized starlets gracing the magazine’s cover and turning heads to boot.

The March 2016 cover story, written by Tomika Anderson, features singer Chrisette Michele, Orange Is The New Black actress Danielle Brooks, singer Jazmine Sullivan, and blogger and designer Gabi Fresh.

In the piece, Anderson examines the touchy subject of body image and beauty standards. While the ladies are indeed setting it out and doing it just as well as their slimmer counterparts, Anderson notes the impact weight has on health within the Black community despite women typically being happier with their bodies if they’re heavier.


What would be evoked in you, readers, if I said said the women photographed here—Grammy winner Chrisette Michele, 33; R&B chart topper Jazmine Sullivan, 28; Orange Is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks, 26; and plus-size blogger and swimwear designer Gabi Fresh, 26)—and I were sitting around a steakhouse table selecting from family-style options including filet mignon, roasted chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, creamy spinach, salad and, eff it, cheesecake? Would you frown in disgust? Shake your head? Cheer us on? Think nothing of it?

Those of us who identify as chunky, curvy, plus-size, big, ample, full-figured, BBW, big-boned, thick, voluptuous, heavy-set or fat are fully aware of the obsession-rejection, push-pull, love-hate relationship society has with our physiques. What others may think about what we do or don’t eat doesn’t matter; the greater judgments, regardless of whether they are favorable, come from within.

Although African-American women have the dubious honor of weighing in as the most obese of any group in the country (recent national data finds that 80 percent of Black women are considered overweight or obese), it’s worth noting that nearly 70 percent of Black men are overweight or obese as well, compared with 71 percent of White men and 63 percent of White women.

Read the rest of EBONY‘s “The Body Brigade” piece by following this link.

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[NOTE: We did not coin the phrases in the title of this post.] See more photos from the spread on the following pages.

Photo: EBONY

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