Why Do We Care If Will & Jada Split?

Will and Jada Smith(BlackDoctor.org) — Celebrities shouldn’t affect our personal faith in love…right?

When In Touch Weekly recently reported that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith had allegedly separated, the collective moans could be heard all across Black America, from the shores of Chicago’s South Side to the hills of Washington DC (Howard U. is on a hill. Work with me here, people).

To be fair, In Touch Weekly has erroneously reported on the never-happened marriage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the false pregnancies and adoptions of Jennifer Anniston and many other celebrity rumors that have been proven false. It is and always shall be a tabloid. However, just the idea of a Will and Jada break up forces us to look at the reasons behind our attachment to the couple. People who have never, ever, ever meet the golden pair seemed as shocked and saddened at the news as they would be about the split of some folks from their real, actual lives.

How Many Other Famous Black Couples Do We Really See?

The media rarely places Black couples in the spotlight. Will has remarked remarked himself that he is often paired with non-Black women in films because Hollywood seems to believe that audiences will disregard a film starring him with a Black leading lady as a “Black movie” (which is funny, because he had a Black woman in Independence Day and Enemy Of The State, but whatever).

We don’t have many television shows these days about successful Black relationships and most of our films are too wrought with shuck-n-jive or romantic tragedies to provide balanced examples of today’s Black relationships.

Thus, we have this small handful of famous lovebirds that we love to highlight. The hierarchy of Important Black Couples goes something like this: Barack and Michele, Ozzie and Ruby, Cliff and Claire, Will and Jada, Jay-Z and Beyonce. Note that one of the top five are indeed a fictional couple from a TV show but we love as if they were real.

Many of us have shining examples of Black love in our communities and even our homes, but these folks belong to all of us. I don’t know your pastor and his lovely first lady, you don’t know my homegirl Raven’s parents who’ve been holding each other down since way back, but we all know Will and Jada of the multiple Essence covers, adorable children and seemingly solid bond.

We Just Can’t Resist That Bond…

The bond. Beyond simply being together for thirteen years and being famous, how absolutely in love did these two seem when they were spotted in public? Sure, they are actors, but if this entire romance was simply exaggerated for branding purposes…then both of them deserve Oscars. Who doesn’t feel inspired when they look at two people who appear to genuinely adore, desire, support and love one another?

Few of us have attained the sort of professional success that the Smith family has, but we can certainly aspire to that level of connection.

Celebrity or Not, Love Does Exist

If the Pinkett-Smith relationship inspired you before, don’t take a rumored break-up as evidence that Black love isn’t real or that no couple can make it. Let their problems be their personal business and try to remember the good times – both yours and theirs.

PS: We’ll always have Cliff and Claire.

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Obese-Proof Your Home

A man's feet on a scale

(BlackDoctor.org) — Helping children slim down has become a serious public health challenge, but it’s the habits and practices at home that often determine whether a child becomes obese.

Excess weight, once considered cuddly ‘baby fat,’ can start your child on the path to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, cardiovascular conditions and other diseases.

Now, Australian researchers have more information on how parents can help ”obese proof” the home. They evaluated what they call the ”obesogenic” potential of households. They did this by examining the relationship between variable factors such as fast food meals and availability of soft drinks with children’s eating habits, TV viewing, and physical activity.

A combination of these habits can make a profound difference. The triple whammy is to get fast food takeout, then go home and eat it in front of the television late in the evening, when it’s hard to get any physical activity after the family meal.

Researchers agree that paying attention to both parts of the scale – reducing risky habits and increasing protective ones – are critical to lowering a child’s odds of gaining weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.1 percent of American kids ages 12-19 are obese.

The Study

The researchers, from the University of Sydney, polled 1,685 children from grades 6, 8, and 10 and their parents. They generated two scales to look at the relationship between the children’s eating, activity, and screen time. One scale was on the control of obesity, those factors that reduce risk. The other was a risk scale, factors that increase the risk of obesity.

Higher scores on the control scale were linked with the youths eating healthier foods and less junk food, getting more exercise, and watching TV less.

Among the practices or behaviors that reduced obesity risk for kids:

  •     Parents who could control their child’s intake of soft drinks
  •     Parents who could inspire their child to be physically active
  •     Having rules about television viewing
  •     Frequent breakfast eating
  •     Offering their child water to drink with meals

The practices or behaviors that increased the obesity risk in children included:

  •     Soft drinks being available at home
  •     Having a television in the child’s room
  •     Fast food for family meals
  •     Eating dinner in the front of the television
  •     Taking frequent short car trips of less than 1 mile