Black America, Body Beautiful: How the African American Images is Changing Fashion, Fitness and Other Industries -- New Book, Website and Blog

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Black America, Body Beautiful: How the African American Image is Changing Fashion, Fitness and Other Industries is a new book, along with its accompanying website and blog, about a people's struggle in finding their particular preference for body image and recognizing their body images, body types and standard of beauty are greatly influencing today's fashion, advertising, fitness, television and movie and political industries.

Black America, Body Beautiful: How the African American Image is Changing Fashion, Fitness and Other Industries is a new book, along with its accompanying website and blog, about a people's struggle in finding their particular preference for body image and recognizing their body images, body types and standard of beauty are greatly influencing today's fashion, advertising, fitness, television and movie and political industries.

Despite all the medial and media attention focused on the rate of overweight and obesity in the African American population, African American images and body types are greatly influencing changes in the fashion, fitness, advertising, television and movie and political industries. This is because "overweight," like beauty, can be in the eye of the beholder. Most research studies investigating attitudes about body image and body type among African Americans have shown they are more satisfied with their bodies than are their white counterparts. Most black women, for example, are of course concerned with how they look but do not judge themselves in terms of their weight and do not believe they are valued mostly on the basis of their bodies. Black teen girls most often say being thick and curvaceous with large hips and ample thighs is seen as the most desirable body shape. Thus, there appears to be a wider range of acceptable body shapes and weights, and a more flexible standard of attractiveness, among black Americans as compared to whites. And that fact is not being lost on leaders of industries that might profit from understanding this wider range of beauty, as well as playing to it.

Voluptuous supermodel Tyra Banks is just one African American who's broken the mold in that industry. The effects have been seen right down to department and local clothes stores, where lines of larger and plus size fashions are expanding, becoming more colorful and more ornate. In the fitness industry, health gurus Madonna Grimes and Billy Blanks have been revolutionizing how people get fit and how fitness needs to be redeveloped for the African American population.

Advertising has taken a similar turn, not the least of which has been Dove and Nike's major promotional campaigns in 2005 with plus-sized actresses. In movies and on television shows, the African American "beautiful body" image has also followed suit.

Even in the political arena, the effect of Presidential Nominee Senator Barack Obama has caused many to reassess the African American image. Medical Anthropologist Dr. Eric Bailey introduces and explains the self-acceptance and body image satisfaction of African Americans, and traces how that has spurred changes industry.

In conjunction with the new book, a new website and blog provides visitors an opportunity to share their opinions, views, thoughts, and suggestions about the issues related to African American body images, body types, and standard of beauty. The website (http://www.blackamericabodybeautiful.com) primarily serves to promote more accurate representations of physical and visual images associated with all peoples of African and African American descent as well as to become a global resource center for culturally competent African American focused products in the areas of clothing, sportswear, household and entertainment industries.

In addition, the blog (http://blackamericabodybeautiful.blogspot.com) provides visitors with an opportunity to share their opinions and suggestions about all issues related to body images, body types and standard of beauty along with some of my personal insight and behind the scences events related to my field research, promotions, and activist activities in order to continue our cultural revolution in changing America's and the world's view of the African American image.

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