Ladies and gentlemen, I divert from your regularly scheduled health programming to bring you this very important PSA. Consider it my community service for today. Read on. Please.

I recently returned from a wonderful visit to Miami and, unbeknownst to me, it was the same week of spring break in collegiate black America. I went to an HBCU and am probably the biggest advocate for attending one (especially if you are going for your first degree), but South Beach in Miami looked like Freaknik 1996 all over again. If you have no clue what Freaknik is, please google it. I can’t, I won’t – not on this here blog, at least.

*clears throat*

There had to be hundreds of young, beautiful and sexually uninhibited people in Miami this week. If you were looking for an excuse to wear a g-string bikini in public and have no one look at you with strange curiosity – Miami was where it was at. Hands down. The guys chilling on the beach next to me were from Tennessee (Vanderbilt, TSU, etc.) and I promise that if I had a nickel for every beautiful female that walked by that they affectionately named “hoe” – I’d be able to afford a pair of Louboutin pumps and an all-inclusive trip to the caribbean (specifically, that expensive island that Beyonce/Jay-Z visit that costs like 10 grand a night). I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was repeatedly mistaken for a senior in undergrad (blushing), but I did witness a few disturbing instances that I had to share.

I never realized how vain and judgmental people were as clearly as I did on South Beach. I travelled there with two very generous and friendly women who just so happened to be plus-sized. I walked behind them as we travelled to and fro and was utterly disgusted by the rude comments these women received as we walked by or, even worse, as we laid peacefully on the beach. I won’t repeat the comments here, but I will say that I was offended for them and embarrassed by the callousness of my ‘peers’.

Did Miami motivate me to look better, work out harder, and appreciate physical beauty? Yes. But, it also reminded me that our society is as vain as the day is long. ¬†We love and accept what looks good – what is pleasing to the eye; what is sexy and what is the culturally accepted standard of beauty. Anything else is judged and easily discarded. If you want to go live where obesity is shunned, South Beach, Miami rules. But, unfortunately, most of America doesn’t look like South Beach. In addition to combatting obesity, our health leaders should also be teaching messages of tolerance and inclusion. My friends were offended and I do believe (although they did not share it) very hurt by those comments – and I was offended as well. Let’s get a grip. ¬†Physical beauty fades, but it is what lies underneath that lasts. And – before you say it – they are conscious of their weight and are working to live healthier lifestyles. It seems like our country may have a far worse epidemic to attack – egocentrism and conceit. Get over yourselves, please. If making someone else look or feel bad inspires you, then you have a serious problem, to put it bluntly.

That’s my soapbox rant for now. We’ve got to do better.

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