There’s often the popular expectation of black men to be muscular and though muscular black men do exist, keep in mind that in America it’s actually not uncommon for black men to be overweight and some of them are actually obese. Conversely speaking, in some Nairobi slums (and possibly true for other African countries) it’s just as common for black men to be skinny/undernourished. I admit being guilty of giving into stereotypes.
But at the same time, I’m trying to undo it by drawing more fat black men (and there’s the odd skinny black man too). Comes to think of it, it does make me better understand why white gay depictions of black men are so troubling. In that they’re almost uniformly fit, seldom actually overweight or even really skinny. That makes sense why whenever some white people photograph blacks at all, it’s almost always stereotypical.
There’s also the annoying stereotype of black men getting muscular easily but if Earl Maynard’s early life’s any indication (especially when it comes to him being previously sickly and likely malnourished throughout his youth), black men do work out just as hard as their white counterparts do. If they don’t exercise, they’d eventually get fat and I actually watched clips of this black man who used to do sports but ended up fat and tried his hardest to lose weight.
In other words, he’s a human aware of his own faults and learning from them. Again there has to be a reason for more diversified takes on black men. I’ve seen photographs of nude black men crying, hooded young lads smiling and giggling and also those of fat black men. These serve to counteract stereotypical depictions of blacks (even nude ones). These also help to humanise them even more when you think about it.