April 11, 1983, 10:00 a.m. I, Jacqueline McKnight, was born to the proud parents of Earleen McKnight and Hermon Carradine. “She is a pretty chocolate baby,” my mother kept saying. Once the rest of the family saw me they said the same thing. I was their pretty girl. Everywhere I went people would stop my mother and say how beautiful I was. But one day I did not feel so pretty any more. Although I was a woman and had breast, hips, butt and the whole nine yards, Doritos, M&M’s and McDonald’s had become my best friends.
Now my whole family was making fun of me.
“You don’t want your butt to get big like mine,” my mother said. “So you better be careful on what you eat.”
One summer all I did was eat, watch TV, and sleep. Guess what happened? I gained weight out of this world. I was no longer the pretty girl; I was the fat girl. My family and her friend Grace were teasing me, saying things like your butt has gotten big. Just before the summer ended, my mother put me in swimming classes.
I found was myself enjoying swimming and soon noticed I had begun to lose weight. All my family and friends noticed too. Now I was the pretty girl again on the block. But it was not easy keeping the weight off. I struggled to keep my weight down. I realized being skinny was pretty too.
That’s when I developed an eating disorder. When my mother would cook dinner I would eat and then make myself vomit. Now you’re probably wondering how or where I learned. I remember watching a true story on the Lifetime channel. It was a story about a young girl who had an eating disorder called bulimia.
Bulimia is a eating disorder it’s almost like anorexia but the only different is the person eat a large amount of food then make themselves vomit or take a laxative immediately after eating. Might think a black suburb girl with an eating disorder. That’s impossible.
Eating disorders now becoming common in the black community, according to Yahoo Web site. Up to 4.2 percent of American women at some point in their lives suffer from bulimia, according to the National Institute of Metal Health.
In research Dr. Striegel-Moore found that of the women who ever had an eating disorder 16 or 28 percent of white women and 1 or 5 percent of the black women reported having eating disorder as well.