• Wed, Jan 29 - 10:00 am ET

IHTM: I Would Never Be So Dumb To Think The Black Woman In My Yoga Class Needed Saving

yoga2I guess I might as well say it. I’m a white woman that does yoga. And if you read the recent xoJane piece about a white woman that encountered a “heavyset” black woman in her yoga class, you might think that all aspiring white yogis are the next Mother Teresa. Or something.

The gist of the supposedly touching story is this: The token white girl goes to yoga class, which she considers to be her special, special place.

Already, you’ve lost me. I like yoga a lot, but I don’t feel like I own it like an Olympic gold medalist or anything. I also consider my cozy bed my special, special place and probably wouldn’t give other people the side-eye for attending my special, special yoga class—but back to the story.

Token white girl goes to yoga, and it’s all kinds of crowded. She sees what she describes as a “young, fairly heavy black woman” that takes the space right behind her. According to Judgy McJudgerton Von White, “It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio—she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes, looking wide-eyed and nervous.”

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Maybe this was true, but maybe the woman just wanted to start her yoga class in peace without someone staring at her with a slack jaw and bug eyes. Just a thought. But apparently this Caucasian yoga lover can read minds because she went on to describe every single thing the black woman was supposedly thinking with each yoga pose.

According to the white yoga girl, the black woman felt PANIC! DESPAIR! RESENTMENT! CONTEMPT! I don’t know about you, but this is reading a lot into a person’s facial expressions. I spend every day with my husband, and I’ve never read despair on his face, even when he can’t open that sticky packaging on the cheese after several tries. (FRUSTRATION!)

Surprise, surprise, this random Caucasian yoga girl began to feel all kinds of self-conscious in front of the black lady. She felt that the woman was noticing her and stereotyping her, as she imagined. She also went on to empathize/whine about putting herself in the heavyset black woman’s shoes. She ultimately went home and broke down crying because yoga was her safe place, and she, in her words, self-importantly believed herself to be the deserving target of racially charged anger.

WHAT THE WHAT? I drew nothing like that out of the story. I’ve read it several times, and I still have no idea what was going on. I’ve gone to yoga class, and I’ve rarely ever looked deep into the souls of the other people around me. If someone’s staring at me, I just assume it’s because of my stylish yoga camel toe, and I shake it off.

The backlash that ensued surrounding the story is hilarious, and thank God for that. Here are some of the best tweets: 

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Let’s end with this. The world is not all about you, and I don’t see race being an issue in this scenario whatsoever. Also, don’t stare at people for more than a few seconds—it freaks them out.

UPDATE: XoJane was onto our stealthy yoga journalism and wrote a rebuttal piece from writer Pia. Now they get even more traffic for writing a super-obvious rebuttal and IHTM: This Shit Is Annoying.

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

    I’m just gonna repost my favorite comment on the article (the comments are mysteriously missing now)

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hahhaha White Wimmenz Tears FTW!

    • Guest

      Oh no they are disappearing. My favorite was something along the lines of a follow up IHTM: I was trying to do my yoga and this skinny white girl kept staring at me. So much offensive all over…

    • CMJ

      Are they deleting?

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      A couple hours ago it was back to zero but it’s over 1000 now so I can’t be sure!

    • CMJ

      IHTM: My racist article broke disqus.

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      IHTM: Before I Knew The Dark Side of XOJane I Browsed It And Considered Writing an IHTM or Something But Now I Never Will

    • CMJ

      ME TOO. I started writing one and thought…wait, no one cares.

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      They caused a shitstorm on their sister site that I write for (Catster) with this gem: http://www.xojane.com/issues/the-horrible-things-we-do-to-pets

      And now this. I dub this XOJANEGATE 2014. I am too tired for a better title, snap to it Mommyish crew!

    • pixie

      I just gave myself a headache from headdesking too hard at that.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Sue xoJane!

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      I saw that comment too! I cracked up with that one.

    • CMJ

      My favorite was – IHTM: BLACK PEOPLE!

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      There was another one that was like IHTM: I’m white, and I laughed out loud on the bus.

    • Kay_Sue

      I…uh…I…I may have tried to upvote some of those before I remembered it was a screenshot…

  • CMJ

    That IHTM made my head explode. Then I thought….OMG, this is like every IHTM joke/mock rolled into one REAL POST.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I bet they try to pawn it off as that in jane’s phone IT WAS A JOKE RELAX

    • CMJ

      Things I couldn’t get people to write about this week: not being racist!

  • Tinyfaeri

    Are you sure it wasn’t The Onion? It really sounds like it was The Onion. Maybe they have a mole!

    • CMJ

      I started reading and I thought….this can’t be real. This can’t be real…..that’s the thing about xoJane. You read shit and think….this can’t be real. And it totally is. And then you want to chuck your computer out the window.

  • Jessica

    Does Amanda Palmer do yoga?

  • Tea

    As a yoga-fatty, you make all sorts of weird faces trying to hold a few more seconds and breathe calmly while you’re pretty sure your ass is going to fall off or you might fart as that zen little pile of smug in front of you takes deep, cleansing breaths and has all the condescending cheer of a kindergarten teacher with sock puppets.

    That article also made me horse-laugh and scare the cats.

    • CMJ

      I’m always concerned about my abnormally long butt crack showing.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I know someone with a long crack too, and my baby has one!! Why so long, like a luge?

    • Katymonster

      This is why I do yoga at home! Between trying to balance, trying to breathe, and any normal bodily functions that might happen when one does yoga, I can’t imagine what faces I would be making in a room filled with other people.

    • Tea

      I do it at home now, too. I can see what I’m doing easier, and I don’t have to worry about the fact I am surrounded by skinny girls and a token Mr. Universe in training, and I look like Comic Book Guy.

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      Gas is the reason why I don’t go as often as I want to. Its tough planning my meals around yoga class.

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      If it helps any, I have totally been on the smelling end of a silent fart, and I’ve farted semi-audibly in at least one class. If anyone cared, they kept their judging silent.

      Also, I’m the one snoring on my mat during “meditation” time, so I have no doubt that brings on the haters. Don’t care, I wake up refreshed! :D

    • Kay_Sue

      This piece would have been pretty amazing if someone actually had ripped one. Now THAT is something I’d want to read about, with a good touch of humor. :-P

    • Tea

      IHTM: My lactose intolerance ruined yoga class forever.

    • Kay_Sue

      Perfect.

    • MamaLlama

      My ‘angry yoga face’ is typically the result of my deep concentration trying to get my breath right! I am always ‘breathing in’ when I am supposed to ‘be breathing out’ and my slow, easy breaths are usually more work as I try not pant like a hurt puppy. Falling is my second fear..

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    Am I the only one that does not know what IHTM means?

    • Tea

      It Happened to Me!

      There’s no exclamation there, but I always assume there is one, and a melodramatic traumatized voice, too.

    • Bethany Ramos
    • TwentiSomething Mom

      I should have known! Thanks!

    • Kay_Sue

      I will now forever read it in a melodramatic traumatized voice. You have enriched my life. *bows solemnly* :-P

    • Jessica

      It Happened to Me – I didn’t know at first either! :-)

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      I sat here for 5 minutes trying to figure it out. Slow day at the office. Thanks!

  • Katymonster

    YES THANK YOU I was over there yesterday and the comments were a glorious shitstorm. Also keep in mind that as the day wore on, the author’s name was changed, then her photo was changed on her bio and then removed completely, and her bio went from a full paragraph to one sentence. A bunch of people noticed and brought it up in the comments.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      hahaha does she have a twitter

    • Katymonster

      I’m not sure! The name went from Jen Polacheck to Jen Caron, the editor Rebecca says they changed all the info because she felt attacked. I would guess by now her twitter is either under a different name or made private.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      she felt attacked.. how about the lady in her yoga class? for being called fat and angry?

    • Katymonster

      That was my thought too. I mean, I get what the author was *trying* to say, but her entire realization came from making up what another woman was thinking, and thinking someone was judging her and feeling isolated and angry without ever actually talking to the other woman. The whole thing was just gross.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      she wrote some damn black woman yoga fanfiction

    • Katymonster

      Haaaahaha, lord, exactly.

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      SO MUCH WHITE GUILT. What a crushing burden for her to carry, all that white guilt.

    • Katymonster

      It snowed today. The pale snow is a painful reminder of my white guilt. I had better stay home from work, unless I encounter black people who will surely be feeling terrible surrounded by all this white snow. Hang on, I think I’m gonna cry…

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      Please write that as an actual article and submit it to XO Jane

    • Katymonster

      Oh nooooo, don’t tempt me!

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      For every paragraph you finish, I will send you a picture of my cats.

    • Katymonster

      OH NO

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      The power of cat compels you!!!

    • Bethany Ramos

      LOL x 1000!!

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      It’s even better because the cat pictured above is named…LUCIPURR.

    • Katymonster

      That’s amazing. I am weak.

    • Alexandra

      Awwww cutie kitty!!!!!!!
      LOVE!!!

    • Kay_Sue

      For no fucking reason. It’s mind-blowing. “This person is different from me, and so I am going to dive into their supposed thought process until I, myself, feel like a victim.”

    • CMJ

      Oh man! I love the “attacked” shit. It’s my favorite response of shitty writers with shitty articles.

    • Katymonster

      I knoooooow, it’s the best. I’m a regular reader and commenter at xojane, and it’s nice that when the shit hits the fan, the readers are usually the biggest, loudest critics.

    • Kay_Sue

      I feel attacked by this comment. Dammit, CMJ.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter
    • CMJ

      God, I had taken ALM out of my gif rotation. What an oversight. She’s the perfect gif.

    • Kay_Sue

      My GIF collection has grown exponentially since I started participating in this site, lol. Chalk up another one!

    • CMJ
    • pixie

      Pro-tip, if you put something on the internet, it is no longer your private thoughts, and therefore you should probably have some pretty thick skin if you’re going to be publishing a blog. ;)
      (Not that nasty comments don’t hurt even thick-skinned people, but she did go home crying over a completely imagined situation).

    • Katymonster

      Yep. I’m a defender of the idea of constructive criticism and being nice on the internet when possible, but not when the content is offensive and harmful. Then it’s a free-for-all.

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      One comment I saw earlier had found her Facebook.

  • thefluter

    I think the most offensive part is where she thought about telling the woman how hard it was for her, then decided not to bother and just went home and cried. Why have this crazy fantasy of how angry the newcomer is, when you could have just approached her after class, said “hey, are you new? how did you like the class?” PROBLEM SOLVED, no “racially charged anger” to make you feel bad about yourself.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      There were SO many reasons she sensed hostility from this yoga lady.

      Maybe her DVD was overdue?

      Maybe she ran out of eggs?

      Maybe she was fighting with her partner?

      Maybe that white writers body smelled bad?

    • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

      Maybe she is tired of white ladies in yoga pants staring at her, also. I work at a gym, not as the “angry fat black lady” but as the “slightly twitchy and obviously mad gothic cat lady” and man, those yoga pants ladies and their STARING. Bitches.

  • Kay_Sue

    “I like yoga a lot, but I don’t feel like I own it like an Olympic gold medalist or anything. I also consider my cozy bed my special, special place and probably wouldn’t give other people the side-eye for attending my special, special yoga class—but back to the story.”

    My bed is about the *only* special, special place where I would give someone new the side-eye. Only five people, besides myself, have authorization to be there. One I’m screwing, and the other four share DNA with me or him or both, lol.

    You know what kills me about this? Just–stop staring. Stop thinking about it. Stop stereotyping. Stop making it a big deal. Just…stop. Why does this have to be anything but normal? Quit seeing a “fairy heavy set black woman” and start seeing a *person*. It would solve so many problems if we quit trying to put each other into boxes (I fully realize that this is nearly impossible, but it’s a nice goal to work towards, don’t you think?).

    Also Bethany, if you have not seen despair on your husband’s face, you are simply not trying hard enough. #MaritalBliss

  • pixie

    I did yoga for the first time in like forever on sunday. I’m still very, very sore from it (doesn’t help that I’ve also caught an awful cold). I’m pretty sure that heavy black lady could have easily out-yogaed my skinny white ass. Actually, I’m pretty sure a heavy black lady DID out-yoga my skinny white ass. Apparently my body didn’t get the memo that because I’m a skinny white girl, I’m supposed to be super good at yoga and feel judged by anyone who’s not a skinny white girl while doing yoga.
    The teacher (the most gorgeous black lady I have ever seen, she was thin, but very, very black and drop dead gorgeous) even came over to me to ask if I was ok when I was resting my hip for a few seconds. I was fine, but my whiteness does not give me supernatural yoga powers as it does this lady.

    • Tea

      My old yoga teacher was a tiny, fat, 65 year old lady from Pakistan who defied physics with her ability to be the human pretzel.

  • Maria Guido

    That yoga article is… what did I just read???

  • Awa Adams

    I love how she automatically assumes the other woman is all full of racial anger and contempt. Maybe she was thinking about dinner. Or grabbing some frozen yogurt after class. Or “Damn, this is boring.” Maybe she had a song stuck in her head, or errands to run, or about a zillion other things. But no. It’s all about HER, the special yoga snowflake, and OF COURSE the other woman felt angry and jealous of her perfect yoga body. That entire post should go up on whitewhine.com

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      WORD LOL

    • Jallun-Keatres

      I <3333 whitewhine!!

  • CMJ

    I’m waiting for Amy Glass’ rebuttal piece.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Pia, who I adore, wrote one, I will make Bethany update

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    Ok, I am not reading the article because I just don’t fucking want to, but seriously what the hell? I don’t think I’ve EVER been in a yoga class that wasn’t quite diverse in terms of ethnicity or body type, with the exception of that one time I went to a yoga class in a snowstorm and I was the only attendee. The class I’m taking now is fucking awesome, and I shit you not, I am the only attendee who is, let’s say, the stereotypical yoga type (skinny, white, youngish). Where is she taking yoga classes, the kkk-school-of-inner-peace???

    And who pays that much attention to other people during a yoga class anyway? I glance around sometimes to make sure I’m following the instructions correctly but otherwise, I’m completely focused on myself. I’m self-absorbed in general so this isn’t hard for me, but I thought that was kind of the point????

    • Jallun-Keatres

      Due to the wording layout, I definitely read snowstorm as s**tstorm. I got confused. lol’s ensued.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      For the record, I soooo wouldn’t go to yoga in the middle of a shitstorm.

  • Paul White

    dafuq? I couldn’t finish the article, I facepalmed too hard and broke my glasses.

    • Kay_Sue

      You should try to charge xoJane for that. I would support a claim that they are liable for any face-palming related property damage that occurred as a result of reading this.

  • G.E. Phillips

    The only part I “got” about this article was–Ok, so you see a person–ANY KIND OF PERSON–in your exercise class—ANY KIND OF EXERCISE CLASS–who maybe looks a little lost (based on the fact that they seem to be giving up on trying to do the things.) And you may think to yourself, as the XOJane author did, “Should I ask if she’s ok?” And then you either A) ASK IF SHE’S OK or B) Don’t, and then proceed to mind your own fucking business. But none, none, none of these relatively normal, helpful, genuine things actually occurred. Instead, she wrote this inane, navel-gazing, not even remotely helpful to anyone on the planet story about it. Seriously, the fuck.

    • CMJ

      We should make one of those witty flow charts!

  • Jules

    LOLx1000 @ the last tweet

    As for the article… the author must have a very easy life if she ruminated over this particular event (nonevent?) enough to write an article about it.

  • Carinn Jade

    What happens when GIRLS goes to yoga.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    When you see someone struggling dura yoga and you’re just a student, you mind your own business and get back to your yoga and forget about it. It’s the instructor’s job to check in and the student’s prerogative to ask for help. An internal dialogue, as foolish as this one was, doesn’t hurt anyone unless you make it public– which she totally did. Mostly, she hurt herself because airing ridiculous thoughts like this is embarrassing.

    If she wanted to be a writer, she really shot herself in the foot with this one because now her (real) name is attached forever to this silly nonsense.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      No, because she keeps changing her name

    • break_time

      “When you see someone struggling dura yoga and you’re just a student, you
      mind your own business and get back to your yoga and forget about it.”

      Well put. I have a Nonverbal Learning Disorder, so I am clumsy as all hell. I do not exercise in public. When I did accompany a friend to yoga, I felt incredibly self-conscious and out of place. I can’t imagine how I would’ve reacted if someone in the class had approached me (or wrote a stupid click-bait piece about their internal struggle watching the fat chick try not to fall over).

  • Byron

    I think she used to be the type who’d show off to make others feel inferior in the past so now she feels guilty because of having done that. I guess the fat womans blackness amplified this as well.

    I think in those things, you should go full force. I’d rather appreciate an article making fun of the clumsy fat lady who took up your space rather than this pitiful thing we got here. I’d find it more genuine and entertaining.

    Also, I have to object to the top image, Asian girls in yoga pants are awesome too!

  • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

    So she had an Angry Black Woman dream sequence and felt compelled to share it with the world, basically?! I can understand her breaking down in tears AFTER she realized what a racist weirdazoid she was being, but not before.

    • MegzWray

      I wonder if she was confused and simply watching a Tyler Perry movie?

  • MegzWray

    I planned on doing my Sales Territory plan today for my presentation next week to the VP. And now I’m hitting refresh on all your comments. Fuck you very much Mommyish readers for being too awesome.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      This is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about the M-ish community

    • Bethany Ramos

      THE BEST! ^^^^

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      #allrespecttoMegzwray #alldisrespecttoJimmyKimmel

    • Bethany Ramos

      HAHAHAH #howdareyou

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      #bolthole

    • MegzWray

      Ummmm…Can you guys have your inside-Joke, love-fest somewhere else? This is MY post, my safe-place post! My post where I can be skinny and white and stretchy and snarky. Mine!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      IHTM: Mommyish People Loved Me Too Much

  • MaebykittyRN

    My reaction to the xojane article:

  • Ptownsteveschick

    Yeah, because it is us fatties that decide to try and get healthy and you know, get some fat off, that are super judgy in the gym and ruin it for everyone. The amount of different kinds of hatred for other people evident in her little heavyset black woman fan fiction is insane.

  • JustaGuest

    I gotta say, my first guess if I really thought that person felt uncomfortable would have been weight-related. I’m a fat chick who has tried yoga and I have a horrible time with a lot of poses because they seem to exist for people who have no belly. (I would kill for stretches/exercise instructions illustrated by other fat people instead of really skinny people. It’d be AWESOME to see my body type and how everything was supposed to work illustrated by someone who actually looks like me. Then I would be able to tell whether the pose was adapted, whether it’s a flexibility issue and might change over time, whether it’s just because I have too damn much in the way of boobs, etc.)

    Ahem.

    Anyway, I know that it is often kind of daunting to be the only heavy woman in an exercise class, so there can be awkwardness there. (“Am I fitting in? Am I doing it right? Is the fact that I’m awkward because I’m new or because I’m heavy and it doesn’t work right?”) Of course, if she’d been in an exercise class with me, we could have bonded over our awkwardness. Or both been wrapped up in our awkwardness and not talked to each other. You know, whatever. Either way, I wouldn’t have had to go home and write a bizarre angry racially-based rant or whatever-the-hell-this-was. Sheesh.

    I’m not sure why, when people see a person with X,Y,Z characteristics doing something they always assume “Oh, it must be X!” It could be Y. Or Z. Or the intersection. Or you could be hallucinating the whole thing and maybe you should spend less time staring at other people. Aaaargh.

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      I had a yoga class that was taught by a not-skinny lady one time, and it was quite refreshing to see/experience. That time was a prenatal class, so it was obviously a different audience, but still a nice contrast.

      I’ve also done a Zumba class with a lady who was on the larger size, and I was thrilled — it was just really nice to have an instructor who wasn’t a size zero and who was still more than capable of doing all the moves (and I think leading the class after, too, if memory serves — and that one was geared towards lifting weights to music).

      (Full confession: the Zumba instructor was black. Don’t know if she was the #blackwomanintheyogaclass, though, since I’m up in Canada.)

  • raeronola

    So this phrase is totally overused, but I really feel like it’s accurate here:

    I
    Can’t
    Even
    With
    This.

    that is all.

  • Lian

    IHTM: I became aware of my privilege and made it all about me.

  • Jessica

    The original author posted a comment in Pia’s rebuttal:

    Dear Pia and xoJane readers,

    The piece was deeply tactless, problematic, and self-centered, and I am to blame for that. I am sorry.

    I would like to share, however, that I am friendly with Rebecca Carroll, the managing editor of xoJane, which is how the piece came about in the first place. I talked with her about my experience in a yoga class a few days after it happened, not because she is a black woman but because she is a race writer and has engaged me several times in conversations about racial revelations in her own life. She encouraged me to write the story for xoJane, despite my anxieties about how problematic of a standpoint it is and how people might react. She reassured me that the fact that I was having these thoughts at all, problematic as they may be, was a good thing and something worth sharing. I trusted her to be sensitive to the xoJane readership and the ways in which the piece might be perceived. I thought, as she said, that it might be productive. Obviously that was inexcusably ignorant of me.

    After repeated requests on her behalf for the story, I sent her what I believed was a fairly rough draft of the piece, reassured by her that it would be edited into something more coherent. It was published almost completely untouched. I’m horrified that what I had intended to be an acknowledgment of my own privilege and complicity in a system that I perceive to be skewed has turned into this. My hope is that Rebecca will give a more detailed explanation of what she had anticipated that soliciting the piece would generate. I can make no excuses for what I’ve written and feel deeply apologetic and embarrassed for all the negativity that I’ve generated.

    Sincerely,
    Jen

    • Jessica

      IHTM: I Spent Too Much Time Reading This and All of The Related Stories Because My Kid Has The Flu and I Am Avoiding Laundry

    • Courtney Lynn

      Currently avoiding dishes. Oh, fuck it. And laundry.

    • Bethany Ramos

      WHOAAAA #passthebuck

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      #blametheeditor

    • CMJ

      Curious.

  • brebay

    Token? I think a white girl in a yoga class is the opposite of this.

    • Bethany Ramos

      #iwaswrong

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      #blessed

    • Bethany Ramos

      #hdy

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      #icecreamheadwoman

  • Akbennett

    Ohmygod these comments. The best people on the internet are on mommyish.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      stay with us! stick around, we have all sorts of umm… IDK we have FUN stuff

  • Ana

    I feel like a writer from The Onion is trolling us…

  • Kay_Sue

    Not even sure if anyone will even see this or be interested, but I ran across a link to the author (jen’s) response to Pia’s response on XOJane, so I thought I’d share.

    http://www.xojane.com/issues/it-happened-to-me-i-read-an-essay-about-a-white-womans-yoga-class-black-woman-crisis-and-i-cannot#comment-1222218106

    Rebecca also defended her editorial decision to assign the article: http://www.xojane.com/issues/i-assigned-that-yoga-class-piece-and-heres-why

    And I can’t remember if anyone posted already, but Pia Glenn ran an amazing response piece, and I loved it, personally, so here: http://www.xojane.com/issues/it-happened-to-me-i-read-an-essay-about-a-white-womans-yoga-class-black-woman-crisis-and-i-cannot

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL see, I like Rebecca, but #Idontcareaboutpageviews

      WTF hahahaha I can;t even

    • Kay_Sue

      If you aren’t in the comment section of that one, you should be. It’s pretty great. I am so glad it is naptime and I have time to veg out with some popcorn. ;)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      man I can’t be there, I used to write there too many #badfeelings

    • Kay_Sue

      Sad! Some of them are pretty hilarious. I will just have to enjoy it twice as much on your behalf.

    • coffeeandshoes

      Rebecca’s response is so riddled with grammatical errors and typos that I’m having a hard time believing she is actually an editor in any way. Wow. I could hardly understand half of the content because the writing is so rough. It seems that the pattern of running things unedited is continuing throughout this whole saga.

  • christine

    xoJane must be having issues with search engine pick up and pulled a Miley. Unbelievable that was published. Unbelievable.

  • Melissa

    So, like you, I had to read the article a couple times because it made no sense whatsoever the first time, and all I can gather is that the author cried when she went home because of her sudden discovery that yoga studios are places where some people (like the author) judge other people based on appearance, making those other people feel self-conscious, and it made her so depressed that she just had to write a rambling, condescending piece of “writing” about her Very Important Experience in which she fantasizes that it’s actually the other woman who was judging her. Could have saved herself some time and just posted IHTM: I was an asshole today and then I cried about it.

    • Bethany Ramos

      LOVE. I still can’t figure out what is up with this girl!

  • AugustW

    We do yoga in the dark at my gym. I love it.

  • koolchicken

    I tried to read this I really did. But I just couldn’t stop laughing. I’ll try again later, promise.

  • Psych Student

    When the author mentioned that yoga doesn’t cater to the body of the black woman I thought – I’m a white girl who can’t do yoga. I don’t have the strength or flexibility. I’m can’t be positive, but I’m not sure there’s an inherent difference between the bodies of white women and the bodies of black women. But I haven’t yet carved up one of each to make sure.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      there you go again, carving up peoples all in the name of yoga :(

  • http://www.flicktedwoman.blogspot.com/ ecophenom

    I think the writer experienced something that felt very important to her at the time. Maybe it was the first time she’d ever tried to put herself into the “minority’s” shoes. Or maybe it was the first time she realized what “privilege” means. Whatever it was, I think it was a good experience. It just wasn’t articulated in the most self-aware way. It seems to me it was an experience she should have given herself more time to reflect on and digest before presenting to the public. It’s also possible that because it was an assignment, she felt pressure to turn something mundane–a fat lady with a solemn face–into a soul-searching and self-important dissertation into race, lookism, and cultural appropriation.

    I’m a woman who sticks out like a sore thumb in my yoga classes, not only because I’m usually the only non-white person but because I’m dyspraxic and suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome. Sometimes I do feel embarrassed and like I don’t belong. But when I have the negative feelings, they are always turned inward, at myself. I don’t feel disdain for the other people in the class because I know they have their own struggles to deal with. I just try to keep my focus on my mat, as all yoga practitioners are instructed to do.

    If Jen was guilty of anything, it’s that she broke this basic rule.

  • Pauline Mendes

    Couldn’t it just have been that she was new and unsure of the poses? And so she sat behind you to see what you were doing> So she can maybe pick up a move or two from you? Being that you are the Master and Founder of Yoga?