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The Morbidity of BMI

Chidi Afulezi
Chidi Afulezi
3 min read
The Morbidity of BMI

And The Useless Reason Why Your Pants Don't Fit

My Doctor: "Chidi, according to the BMI, you are morbidly obese."
Me (with my black DMX mask on):
My Doctor: <looks at the charts again, then gives me a once over>: "Hmm."
Me (with my black DMX mask):
My Doctor: "I've seen morbidly obese. You don’t look morbidly obese." <puts her glasses back on, looks at the charts. Takes them off. Looks at me>.
Me (with my black DMX mask on):
My Doctor:
Me (with my black DMX mask on): <blinks very slowly>
My Doctor: <flips the chart over her shoulder> “Alright, so…how about Charles and Diana in The Crown, eh?”

I am an African man. An Igbo dude. You can tell an Igbo man by the high tilt of his…behind, a belly (no matter whether skinny, muscular, or big bone-ded…there is always a some kind of “bell-eee”), and then of course, the requisite gargantuan thick ass thighs. Ok, gargantuan is dramatic...but it's just such a cool word.


That’s why this BMI thing is such nonsense. Pretty much half of all American football players are morbidly obese by the BMI standards thingamajigs, and they are the some of the fittest humans on the planet.

I hear about all these thick and fit women on Insta, boasting of their thick ass thighs, and I remind myself not to cause them grief and embarrassment by wearing runners shorts out there on the trail to show them what pure pounded- yam-and-okra soup-fed thick ass thighs really look like. Well, actually these days, we’re doing oat fufu because you know…my doctor and her good carbs and all that heart healthy yama-yama. In fact, for the sanctity and safety of my joint venture with The Chief, I have self-banned wearing short shorts in public like these millennial and Gen Z bobos out there pounding the pavement. No need to invite wahala when wahala is not needed.

But I do like road biking, and bikers wear tight tights when we bring out the ten geared rockets. After gearing up, I swear I look like T'Chala right before he jumped those Boko Haram guys. Okay, just the lower part. So for the sake of no trouble, I have to send warnings and thick thigh alerts ahead of time so people don’t get it all twisted. The wonderful thing is when dudes start biking, that’s when we do the long stare at the women in our lives and say, “wait, wait, wait…so this is why you guys wear tights? Ah-ah! This is what we have been missing? Why does it feel so freaking good? Look at my legs!” And then we start wearing fancy tights whenever we can. So, now I have a stash of Nike Pro and Under Armor tights that I wear when walking but of course under shorts that reach the knees, not the mid-thigh runners short shorts o. As I said, I don’t want to have people run into trees just because they were staring at the jail breaking Chidi thunder-tastic thighs.

Yes, there are serious cons to rocking these thighs. I tried on a pair of jeans at Zara, I struggled mightily into an XXL, and folks thought I was about to go biking. Slim fit, skinny fit, the designers have gone mad with their clothes for men. You don’t think dudes have big bootys? You don’t see all those thunder thighed men on their bikes, in the streets, at yoga, at the beach? Banana Republic, Express Men and their ilk are in cahoots with the BMI overlords because the pants/trousers out there on the shelves are clearly designed for population reduction aka sterilization. That’s why kids these days can barely get their pants over the finish line, they just let jeans sag below the butt, and knot the belt around their thighs. This is why I don’t buy pants online, it is an exercise in clothing futility—true story, I once had to return a pair of pants four times as I went from XL to 3XL and each time I still felt like a newborn baby being swaddled into stasis by his mama.

Anyways. My doctor eventually said to me in exasperation, “Just lose some pounds, Chidi. Please. Just so I can mark you down to overweight. That way no one will give me wahala. But don't mind this useless BMI. ”

Ok fine, Doc.