Y’all. I’m mad at Charles Barkley. Maybe I ought not to be. I know he claims his recent comments were in jest, but as a native of San Antonio, and a lover of many San Antonio women, I took offense. And ok. I might be reading way into this. But his comments about “churros” and “big women” in the same sentence indicate that he is talking not only about women, and San Antonio women, but also indirectly referencing Hispanic women. It could be that I am being too sensitive, but being that San Antonio is 61% Hispanic, a lot of those “big women” probably are too. First off, to single out the ladies of San Antonio is a big mistake and makes you seem like a misogynist right there. Talking about how they “can’t wear Victoria’s Secret.” as if that is the ultimate goal for women is just plain dumb. Statistics show that obesity rates in Texas regarding gender are uneven, with MEN at a higher percentage than women. Actually, this is pretty consistent state by state with men averaging higher obesity rates. So, why you picking on the women, Chuck? Also, San Antonio is a military town. Insulting female soldiers and the mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters of the soldiers who fight for our nation is not a good look. Thank a soldier. Be nice to his mama. San Antonio has some strong military families held together by some tough women, so why not lift them up instead of tear them down, Mr. Barkley? About that Hispanic thing, I remember growing up, people would say “Mexican food is really bad for you” and I believed it. Before I had any education about the field of health and wellness, I thought that the cuisine of my mother land was what made people gain weight. But now that I am a Certified Health Coach, and educated about the dietary trends of the 20th and 21st centuries, I know this is completely and totally wrong. Mexican food is not unhealthy. American junkfood is unhealthy, and we all know it. Pre-packaged, high preservative, nutrient depleted, stripped, bare, colorless, fast, and cheap food is what is most responsible for the weight gain in United States of the last century. As many of us are aware, this is an issue regarding class more than race, as unhealthy foods are cheaper foods, and cheaper foods are bought those in the lower income bracket. In the last decades of the 20th century, saturated fat was considered the demon of food, and this led to many thinking that traditional Mexican cuisine was bad for you. Now, there is more of an emphasis on sugar as the demon, and doctors and nutritionists are starting to back peddle on the whole “saturated fat is the worst thing you can eat” idea. So, I’m calling BS right there. Mexican food is great. I stay away from packaged foods and make my grandmother’s beans. They are totes healthy. Obesity in the United States, Texas, and San Antonio is not singularly a women’s issue, a Mexican American issue, or something that is unique to San Antonio. It’s a national epidemic, one that is so important, Michelle Obama has made it the number one priority of her terms as First Lady.
So, ok. In closing:
Statistically, Women aren’t fatter than men.
Mexican Food is not “bad for you”. Beans are awesome. Meat is a choice. Saturated fat is not the devil. Put down the rice cake, already.
Obesity is a national epidemic that effects lower income families more because of a lack of access to whole, nutritious foods. Might I suggest Mr. Barkley make a donation to a company that provides nutritious meals to lower income families of San Antonio, if he is so quick to note their “bigness”?
San Antonio has, in previous years, developed a national reputation of not being one of the “fittest cities”. But the San Antonio I grew up in and the San Antonio of today are very different. As a Wellness Professional, I can tell you there are more gyms, parks, vegetarian restaurants, organic foods, yoga studios and farmer’s markets than there ever were in the 20th century. San Antonio is following the rest of the nation in getting serious about getting in shape. Some of the nations’s top companies with the highest ranked employee health incentive programs are based in San Antonio. Rackspace, USAA, and HEB are just a few among the awesome companies working to motivate their employees to lead healthier lives. HEB is also doing so for the San Antonio community at large. Mayor Julian Castro is doing a great deal to make sure San Antonio considers health a priority. Also, San Antonio has the greatest fan base of the entire NBA. You can’t tell me that the Spurs are not inspiring people to work out. Seeing those guys out there working so hard makes a native San Antonian want to get right up and cheer, run, workout. So why squash that motivation with name calling, Barkface?
One more thing. Chicanas are strong. Very strong. I was raised by several. I am one. You don’t mess with women. You don’t mess with Texas women. You especially don’t mess with San Antonio women, and messing with Chicanas is straight up impossible porque tenemos bolas de acero.