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For Free: Keke Palmer Had A Word To Say About EBT & Making Healthy Food Accessible

No matter how triggering, we have to talk about it.

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Keke, do you love me, are you crazzzyyy? Our girl Keke Palmer decided to drop an unpopular truth bomb via her Twitter and add context after the fact, setting the internet ablaze with speculators upset with her delivery of an important message: Why is eating unhealthy so damn cheap and easy while the expenses of eating clean will have you considering a water fast just because?! Keke expressed her experience in a series of now-viral tweets:

"Healthy food is more expensive for a reason. It's fresh, good for you and gives you energy. Bad foods are bad for a reason. They last long they taste good because of tons of sodium and they aren't expensive because they're honestly not food. Mostly likely they are food-LIKE products"

When met with backlash, the self-proclaimed millennial diva refused to make apologies for her stance. But, can you blame her?

Now before I take you on this ride, let me address the obvious: yes if you have an EBT card, it is clear that you do not have an influx of money to spend on groceries in general, let alone fresh fruits and veggies while other long-lasting items are a priority. That's just basic survival. However, it comes a time when we have to question the way EBT is handled instead of questioning someone speaking out on it. Especially in our community where we have a predisposition to certain ailments (diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure being a few of them). OK?

Choo-choo, here we go.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to die of diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure that runs in my family if it is something I can do to control that. Diabetes and high blood pressure are diseases that do not necessarily have anything to do with weight, as it can be inherited genetically to any race or gender. There are plenty of people who appear to be in shape, but eat terribly and trigger morbid diseases. However, in our community, we are disproportionately afflicted with these health issues as a result of the systematic disenfranchisement of resources including, but not limited to affordable healthy food and nutritionists.

Whenever I visit lower socioeconomic areas, I see a Wendy's within a five-mile radius of each other, and when I'm tired and hungry that 4 for $4 screams my name while I have to coordinate my Dollar Tree visits to make sure I don't miss out on the selection of frozen vegetables. I know I'm not the only one that has that dilemma of making a decision to eat healthy and feeling the financial constraints of that choice. Keke lives a life of luxury but her receipts for eating clean still have her reeling. If that's the case, what does that mean for us regular folk with a regular-ass budget?

Meanwhile, fast food restaurants accept EBT/FoodStamps/SNAP, making the decision to eat unhealthily a much easier thing to do in the moment. Processed food is always on sale, whereas fresh and organic fruits, veggies, and meats are sky-high in comparison and sometimes impractical in reality when you're concerned about making your purchases stretch. Presently, we are still knee-deep in a whole pandemic that puts people who suffer from hypertension and or diabetes at an increased risk for death, so nutrition is absolutely a priority moving forward.

Life is our birthright and we have to continue to advocate for more affordable healthy options when it comes to food in our supermarkets. Everybody should have the ability to choose whether they desire to eat clean without blowing their budget.

Keke was right about that!

Featured image by Parisa Michelle / Shutterstock.com

Queen Latifah is saying no to unhealthy and dangerous lifestyles especially when it comes to her career. Since the beginning, the rapper/actress has always been a body-positive role model thanks to the range of characters she has played over the years that shows that size doesn’t matter. In an interview with PEOPLE, The Equalizer star opened up about taking on roles that don't compromise her health.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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