White-Owned Publication Promotes Plus-sized Black Female Yoga Instructor

jessamyn_stanley_fat yoga

Since its inception 130 years ago, Cosmopolitan Magazine has branded itself as a media publication which celebrates the elegant beauty of women. It has always been a publication which prides itself on featuring the best and brightest women that the mainstream dominant society has to offer, which is why the following story should be considered offensive to Melanoid people.

Recently, Cosmopolitan ran a story about a Black female yoga instructor named Jessamyn Stanley, who has billed herself as a “yoga enthusiast and fat femme”. The Durham, NC-based “fat yoga” instructor champions “body acceptance”, and says her social media influence is merely happenstance. When it comes to her influence, she had the following to say to Cosmopolitan in a story published on the media outlet’s site this past summer:

“People need to be able to see that there’s someone out there who’s also in the struggle, because I think there’s something with yoga where it turns into this aspirational thing…You see someone who lives a yogic life and it’s like ‘Oh, be like me, my life is so perfect, I’m awesome, my face is glowing, you can do whatever it is that I’m doing because I’m so cool…I’m like, ‘Actually, I’m just over here next to you eating cheese fries watching that person and also living a yogic life.’ We are on the same level. We are all in this together”

In the article, Stanley also goes on to say that the majority of people who have reached out to her tell her that the yoga photos she’s posted to her Instagram page have inspired them to embrace their bodies, no matter their shape or size.

This is no indictment on Stanley, but rather an observation to show how the dominant society frequently exploits plus-sized/bigger Black women along side smaller, shapelier–and more widely sought after–women of other ethnicities to proclaim this to be the “standard of beauty”…as if all Black women are plus-sized, and thoroughly enjoy being that way. Unbeknownst (or not) to Black women like Jessamyn Stanley who use their size as a symbol of empowerment, these white owned media outlets only use their images to further push their insidious agendas by promoting their own women while ridiculing the Black women that they claim to be “paying tribute to” in the process.

Below is an interview with Jessamyn Stanley via Cosmopolitan’s YouTube channel. In the video, she speaks on “body positivity”, and demonstrates the various yoga positions that she teaches her students/social media followers.

20 thoughts on “White-Owned Publication Promotes Plus-sized Black Female Yoga Instructor

  1. meme says:

    Yall are so right. You never see fat white women being celebrated or featured on the cover or inside any of those white beauty magazines. And If they are, its usually to show their before and after photo after they lost 50lbs. You have your token fat white celebrities. And even still. I notice those women arent featured on too many magazines til they lose at least 20lbs. And once they gain the weight back their featured magazine appearances starts to decline again lol

    1. Ann says:

      I don’t believe that just because a black woman does not look like Halle Berry or Beyonce she needs to hide or not partake of the things she loves. So what if white America is laughing, our community should embrace her efforts to encourage others that don’t look like models to participate in activities to better themselves. There is world of all sizes and there is nothing wrong with this practising or teaching yoga.

      1. Truth101 says:

        Wtf are you talking about? Why should we promote unhealthy eating habits? She’s talking about “I’m on the side over here eating cheese fries but were the same” ????? That’s lazy talk. I’m not circling the wagon around dusty behaviour even if you are black. She’s soo wrapped up in her “strong black woman” bullshit that she doesn’t even realise that the only reason she’s on there is because she’s over weight and not interested in doing a damn thing about it like soo many other black women you see that talk that “I’m thick n curvy” shit. Halle berry shape should be the norm. There is absolutely nothing special about her shape, she has no big booty or huge chest she’s just slim and in shape but we want to act like that shape is for white women or unrealistic for the majority of us to obtain. Laziness

        1. JLS says:

          The larger issue is this..”what example are we setting for our young black girls when it comes to health and fitness? what messages are our children taking away from this?. This is what occurs when we neglect to set our own “codes of conduct” and collectively refuse to hold ourselves accountable to each other. This is one of the fundamentals traditions that was ripped away from us when our ancestors were kidnapped and held in captivity for over 400 years. We have yet to unlearn the ways of the colonizer. We can re-capture and re-invent what served us well on the continent. Remember what we do now..can and does affect our future..as least seven (7) generation into the future..150 years.

  2. MagnumBoom says:

    Fat white women get clowned in the media…Fat black women get celebrated in the media…Anything the media does is done purposefully. Its no coincidence that Gabby Sidibe was named one of the most beautiful women, almost as a joke (all due respect to the sister but even she would admit that there are far more beautiful and accomplished Black women that deserve that sort of recognition)

    The media looks to belittle us, subtly and this is just another example of the kind of unabashed disdain for who we are and the inherent beauty that we exude.

  3. confidencemagnet says:

    Let me say this: If you look at black publications, we have always taken top notch White women and put them alongside top notch Black women. If you look at movies, you have top notch White women playing in roles with top notch Black women. Examples:

    Getting Played: Leading female cast: Vivica A. Fox, Stacey Dash (say what you want about Stacey Dash but she’s still an attractive woman), and Carmen Electra

    Think Like A Man: Gabrielle Union’s best friend, Arielle Kebbel (that White chick from Soul Plane who was Tom Arnold’s Daughter). So you have fine ass Gabrielle Union and and an attractive White girl.

    Six from Blossom, Jenna Von Oy, posed for King Magazine and played on the TV sitcom, The Parkers. I don’t know if you noticed but she has a phat ass and I think she didn’t get a lot of roles because of it during the 90’s.

    When Black people feature White women, Black men want to see attractive White Women. When White people feature Black women, they have a “One attractive Black Chick at a time” rule. Tyra Banks said that when she was modeling, Naomi Campbell was the “It Black girl” and Tyra Banks got turned down at one point. They have a “If she’s gonna be Black, make her biracial” rule. And their personal favorite, “If she’s gonna be Black, make her the most unattractive Black woman you can find for this feature” rule. This woman, if she loses weight and grows her hair out and looks more attractive, they will lose her number.

  4. TMR says:

    Cosmo says your phat…Well I ain’t down with that!

    1. Jay says:

      Was thinking the same thing.

  5. Iroraj says:

    She is very flexible and strong though. Most skinny women can’t do those poses. I will give her that.

  6. Nik says:

    This fat black bitch needs to lose weight

    1. JayBay says:


    2. dc1969 says:

      Fuck off, cracker troll! In my opinion,big,shapely,voluptous women are the best representation of real women. When i say real,i mean Melanoid.

    3. dc1969 says:

      Asshole you are,nik!

  7. dj says:

    I…I really…I really don’t know what to say behind this…

  8. RaisinFace says:

    What a foul, nasty, fat looking sow that is. I can almost smell her stank just by seeing a photo of her. Imagine
    all the disease bacteria on that mat from her drippings! Almost as repulsive as that Whoopy Goldburg whore.
    I wonder if she makes porno films with hound dogs and ponies.

    1. .... says:

      you know youre the only dog saliva infested piece of shit that does animal porn. fucking idiot lmao.

  9. KJ says:

    Practically EVERY day at work, I observe this on a micro level: White people have to constantly, and I do mean CONSTANTLY reassure themselves of their (supposed) superiority by constantly holding up examples of neagtive stereotypes of black people as it relates to everythng. They are so fucking insecure when it comes to us; they say alot of things explicity for my benefit and because of my presence, and Im only one of two black people in a dept of about 75 people. Theres hardly any black people around, but they CONSTANTLY talk about black people (and of course making excuses for everything whites do). White supremecy is 24/7/365 forreal forreal. If youre a black person that sees through their bullshit and dont have self hate, they definitely turn up to remind you of your place in society. And this is in addition to the everyday nonverbal comunication we get from tv/radio/print/internet media such as this article. If I ever bother to pick up one of these rags at the drugstore (cosmo, allure, mademoiselle, etc) youre guaranteed to see ads or article with some fat black woman next to normal sized white. They have to constantly reassure themselves…….constantly. Another popular nonverbal message is the image of the black mother and son, thats nother one you see evvvverywhere.

  10. KJ says:

    I want to add that I am so sick and tired of their obsession with us. We dont think about them….at all. Except when theyre fuckin with us, to get our attention.

    1. .... says:

      and this!

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