I have a small derrière. This is quite an outlandish way to begin a post but I’m in the business of outlandish statements, so it really should not come as a surprise. If you know me in real life, then you know I’m also besotted with my “booty”, always strategically calculating how much chicken to devour that would likely increase my size and constantly thinking about how many squats a day would radically alter my physique. I became aware of my small asset as a child. Growing up, people would tease me and although the teasing was never malicious or degrading, the description “small bum” left its mark. So at the tender age of 13 I knew I had a “small bum” and I knew it wasn’t a badge of honour. However, this is not a story into my childhood but a love letter to all my booty (and boobs)deficient sisters out there. You are absolutely gorgeous and your “small bum” is your glory.
A month ago I complained to my sister (who is curvier than I) about the sudden bashing of skinny women and the elevation of the more voluptuous woman across print and digital media and society at large. She disagreed with me (as I knew she would) and I naturally dropped the subject because I didn’t want to be seen as bias but that was until I was confronted with the statement “real women have curves.” The statement grinds my loins because it is ridiculously unintelligent. I thought the presence of my vagina, not the size of my assets made me a real woman. Or maybe I was wrong? If we determine a real woman by the fullness of her breasts, then women who undergo mastectomies are classed as what? Fake women? Men? Animals? These women are no less real than the women with the biggest “racks” but we perpetually endorse the statement without truly thinking about its repercussions.
The dehumanisation of skinny women (amongst other things that I have briefly alluded to) is wrong. Why fault me because my ass isn’t big enough ? Surely, shaming women for not having enough meat on their bones goes against the idea of female empowerment that society likes to boast of. In fact I don’t believe society is fully committed to empowering women at all, not when campaigns like “real women are curvy” or “bones are for dogs, meat is for men” exist. Many would argue that such campaigns improve the self –worth of women with fuller figures but at whose expense? If the objective is for all women to see their shape as something of value then our approach shouldn’t be the elevation of one body type over another but the celebration of every woman. “I’m every woman” be our banner. Any female empowerment movement that uses these tactics has not fully grasped how different females. Furthermore, if female empowerment is only concerned with women finding value in their body types, then society has failed. Making women believe that their bodies, the roundness of their bums, the fullness of their breasts or the width of their hips, determine their value, or “realness” by way of silly slogans is bad education and only helps to create two camps of woman, the curvy and not so curvy. These camps are at war and you know the battle lines have been drawn when underneath a picture of a slim woman is a comment that reads, “Someone give her a burger”.
I could blame men for creating this divide, especially as it appears that they gravitate towards women with bigger booties (insert video vixen name here) but I won’t because women are the perpetrators in this instance. The (deluded) “real women are curvy” rhetoric is often screamed by women, combine that with Nicki Minaj’s statement, “F***the skinny bitches, f**** the skinny bitches in the club” and we begin to observe the trend amongst women to demean other women in order to boost their own self esteem. So now I am not only objectified by men but objectified by women also. Objectification towards women by women might sound strange but it happens. It involves reducing a person to their body parts and women’s incessant attacks on other women is an example of this. Nicki Minaj’s insults towards skinnier women, the call to skinnier women to “eat a burger” is objectification at its finest. Then there’s the interesting fact that men and women’s magazines “market” women in the same way. They eroticize women and although men’s magazines have mastered this, women magazine’s have caught up. Whilst editor of Esquire magazine, Alex Bilmes admitted that women in men’s magazines were objectified he added, “we provide pictures of girls in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars. It is ornamental. Women’s magazines do the same thing.” (source http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/mar/19/esquire-editor-show-women-like-cars ) . We criticize men for salivating over our body parts and then we demean the women who are not so well endowed in the breast, thigh and bum area. Social comparison is another reason as to why females objectify each other and here lies the problem. My 13 year old self wanted to shake what her mama gave her (or not gave her) because she wanted to be like so many other women shaking what their mamas gave them. Her dream of having a video vixen body was real but I doubt that she wanted to die just so her hip to ass ratio would increase. The sad truth is, there are women literally dying to attain a big booty. Last month, 24 year old Joy Williams from London died in Thailand after undergoing buttock augmentation surgery. Recently, I watched a YouTube clip of a lady by the name April who lost her arms, feet and bum cheeks because she just wanted a bigger ass. I wonder how many women would yearn for a bigger booty if society wasn’t so obsessed with bigger booties.
Whether you are lacking in the booty department or your ass has the fullness of a tomato, you are a real woman because your vagina says so and you are beautiful because you say so.
So in the words of Mystikal, “shake that ass, watch your step, show me what you’re working with.”
Love Cris x
P.S don’t die (lose your limbs, hands, feet and bum cheeks)trying to be something that you are not. Live (and love) with everything you are.
p.s.s So I don’t have a huge butt but I have a huge mind (lol).