Why We Want To Be White Women


A first-person account of race and yoga is making the social media rounds. In it a self-described thin white woman notices a black woman in yoga class and has an existential crisis about envy, big bodies, and race. It’s one of the oddest autoethnographic attempts I’ve read in some time. The title is sensationalist but having been around the bend, I know that writers rarely choose the title. So, I’ll leave that alone. The content of the essay, over which the writer has total control, has enough to consider without dithering over the title. It all starts when a black woman walks into a yoga class:

A few weeks ago, as I settled into an exceptionally crowded midday class, a young, fairly heavy black woman put her mat down directly behind mine. It appeared she had never set foot in a yoga studio—she was glancing around anxiously, adjusting her clothes…

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