Illnesses like depression, heart disease, and cancer affect black women at a rate that is disproportionate to other demographics. In many ways, it feels like we aren't safe in our own skin. Until we begin to take health and wellness seriously, these illnesses will remain the inevitable grim reapers to thousands of women of color each year.
After a health scare earlier this year, Cynthia Bailey learned that celebrities aren't immune to this truth. There's a magical fountain of youth that actresses like Gabrielle Union, Halle Berry, and Cynthia Bailey all seem to have access to. Cynthia says that despite her access to this miraculous resource, she still has to be mindful of her own physical wellness.
She told Madame Noire:
"I know 51 may look however it looks on me, but I'm still 51 inside. I need to lay this thing down and take my vitamins. I gotta get my blood pressure checked. Don't get it messed up."
In April, the RHOA star revealed that she had taken a trip to the doctor's office that resulted in some unexpected news. To her surprise, she learned that what she thought had been an insect bite, was actually a tumor. She said:
"About four months ago I realized I had a tumor in my back. Thank God it was benign but it was like, 'Okay, what is this? Am I that busy that I don't even notice something growing out of my back? That was a huge wake-up call for me."
The tumor was found deep in her muscle tissue and had to be immediately removed. Although benign, it was certainly no walk in the park. The reality star has been candid in the past about her struggles with other health issues, including her fibroid removal surgery, which also required extended recovery time and had a significantly negative effect on her personal life.
To live your best life, you have to be your best self, and that means getting real about your physical health. Cynthia Bailey understands after her wellness battles in the past, that you can't exactly slay the day from your hospital bed.
"I just want to make sure that I'm good because as ambitious as I am and excited as I am about all the things I have going on, I'm not going to be able to get up and go to work if I'm laid up in a hospital bed so taking care of myself is important."
It's one thing to say you're adamant about your physical fitness, but it means something entirely different when you work to execute your wellness goals. A huge part of setting and achieving goals when it comes to your physical health, is having the motivation to execute. Cynthia says her inspiration came from her high-profile, supermodel gang of friends.
"I looked up to Beverly Johnson, she was a friend of mine. I looked up to Iman, they both embraced me. I particularly gravitated toward Beverly because people always said we look alike so she was the first person where I was like, 'She kinda looks like me a little bit, so if she can do it I can probably do it,' and she's just been a wonderful mentor."
We can't all have sister-friends like Beverly Johnson and Iman, but we can all take a look at these ladies and see how important it is to take care of your body. It's really the only place you have to live.
Cynthia Bailey reminds us that although black women are seemingly ageless, we have to be conscious of the reality that we are predisposed to illnesses that have the potential to wipe us out. If we don't take our health more seriously, the results could be fatal. We have to make an effort to save ourselves, because if we don't, no one will.