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While she has faced criticism taking her “Let’s Move” campaign across the country, the First Lady’s fitness initiative has continued gaining steam and media attention.  And while the initiative is Michelle’s attempt to help fight childhood obesity, “Let’s Move” has also prompted a conversation among black women about what fitness means to us.

The conversation on black women’s bodies is often a contentious one.  We all have very definitions of what a health body is and what it looks like.  Within the community of black women, there are very different opinions of how the role of how fitness play into our lives.

For many of us, being a healthy woman means having some meat on your bones.  For others it means looking lean.  However, looks are often not the best indicator of our health- our habits and discipline are.

According to Womenshealth.gov, African-Americans have the most, and many times the largest, differences in health risks when compared to other minority groups.  In fact, 4 out of 5 African-American overweight or obese. There is a growing movement focused on black women’s health and fitness, including Black Girls Run, a group featured last year here on Clutch.

As more and more black women are becoming health-conscious consumers, there remains a conflict between our aim for a better lifestyle and what black women view as desirable.

Black women are often raised to believe beautiful mean having curves or “something to hold on to,” do our ideals help or hurt us determine the importance of fitness in our lives?

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