It didn't take long for detractors to come out regarding President Obama's choice for Surgeon General. Dr. Regina Benjamin is a rural Alabama family physician who was able to rebuild her nonprofit medical clinic in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But her qualifications aren't being put to the test. Instead, she's being judged by her size. Online message boards have been all abuzz with the idea that Dr. Benjamin is overweight and therefore unable to serve as America's surgeon general, according to an Op-Ed piece on MSNBC.com.
Some posts have said, "The President should have known better and picked a doctor who could kick start the debate on fat not perpetuate it" and "Rather than select a fat Black woman Obama should have chose a Black woman with a body mass index of 25 or less."
Should Dr. Benjamin's weight be scrutinized just because she will become the next surgeon general? Some believe she would make a great example of the average American who struggles with weight loss by losing some weight of her own. Others feel it's her credentials that should speak the loudest like being the first person younger than 40 to be appointed to the board of the American Medical Association.
As we all continue to strive towards our most healthy self, I find the article above (from Essence magazine's website) very interesting.
(Sidenote: I didn't to emphasize that. Blogger is actin' strange and font size won't change....lol)
As you know, obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States especially among women of color. BUT, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about this. I see both sides of the coin. We've all committed to being role models for the women in our community and with that in mind I would like to see a role model as Surgeon General who is committed to the things I consider important as an American/human being/future mother/woman/GirlTrek role model. On the other hand, who's to say that Dr. Benjamin isn't as healthy as a horse (even though she's carrying a few extra pounds)? And, as stated above, are her credentials enough or does her perceived health dictate how well she can do the job?