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Since Sunday’s VMAs, everyone has been talking about the incredible, athletic physique of Teyana Taylor, who danced her way into everyone’s fitness goals in Kanye West’s video for “Fade.”

But all feedback isn’t positive, and people have seemingly gone off the deep end when it comes to tearing down women in order to uplift another. And now, the negative comments are beginning to overshadow the celebration of a beautiful Black woman.

From declarations of women being ready to starve themselves to fitness professionals exploiting women’s insecurities, things seem to have taken that disturbing left-turn which always seems to come up when pertaining to women’s bodies.

Let’s be clear about a few things first — Teyana looked nothing short of incredible in that video. Her beauty as a strong, healthy Black woman is something to celebrate (she’s also a mother with talent and personality, but that’s a conversation for another day). Like you, I too was impressed with how amazing she looked, but was hardly shocked to see her incredible physique, as I’ve seen it time and again on her social media. Black folks have known who she was — and how fly she is — for years.

Now — it’s great that we are praising a more natural aesthetic of a strong, muscular woman, especially after the Love & Hip-Hopera popularized one kind of body type (read: small waist, big booty). It’s long overdue, as Black beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

But just because you found out about the 25-year-old this past Sunday does not mean we need to put down women with different body types in the process of idolizing hers. I’ve seen so many memes in the last few days talking about how “fat girls” or “fake girls” are “out of style.” As if women are nothing but trends; disposable when you up and change your mind. How little you think of us as people.

One particular fitness professional, Lana Ector, who created Black Girls Workout, Too, shared the image above and received criticism from her fans. She dubbed the body to the left “Thot” body, saying if women wanted to get fit they should follow her. It was disappointing, to say the least, to see a Black woman whose entire brand is built on uplifting us into healthier lifestyles pitting one body shape against the other.

Fitness, for Black women especially, looks different on every body. Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Michelle Carter, and Allyson Felix are the very definition of peak athleticism. And look at the variety in their body shapes and sizes.

On the question of surgically enhanced figures, I’ll say this: It’s not my business whether a woman decides to lose or gain weight, get implants or liposuction, or do whatever she decides to do to her own body. And not to be Captain Obvious here, but it’s none of yours either. Let someone just be happy in their own damn skin without projecting insecurities onto them.

Whether it’s someone athletic like Teyana, someone curvy like Amber Rose, someone plus size like Amber Riley, someone slim like Cassie — or any and every damn shape in between. Let women CHOOSE the body type THEY aspire to. If she should reach her goal, celebrate her. If not, celebrate her nonetheless. We are more than our bodies.

And, on that point, gentleman, it’s important to take note: we have brains, in addition to our breasts and vaginas. We can do this thing called thinking with them. And (gasp!), our worth is not determined by you thinking we are hot. It’s magic, I know.

And, as for you petty, trifling women — I hate to be the one to let you know that your Hater is showing, but I’ll take up that cause for my sisters.

Women need to uplift each other — Lord knows there is so much against us already.

Do better.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Instagram


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Why Can’t We Celebrate Teyana Taylor’s Body Without Shaming Other Women?  was originally published on