Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Our Best Side Forward is Behind Us

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My friend Joan looked at me crazy when I told her that I had a big butt.

“Where?” she asked.  She looked like she was trying to find it.  She often finds it funny and brings it up occasionally like a parent laughing at a child who thinks they are insightful about the meaning of peanut butter. 

“You think you have a butt.  That’s just cute.”

In comparison to her I don’t.  Joan is a big girl, up top and on the bottom.  She’s about 250+  but she makes no qualms about.  She told me black men like a woman with some meat on their bones.

Perhaps she’s right.  The biggest (no pun intended) black mag model going right now is Buffie the Body.  I had never heard of her before until I kept seeing thread after thread on Black voices about what a “phat” ass she had.  I googled her to see what the fuss was about and, indeed, she has a lot of junk in her trunk.

In the Ass wars there seems to be a lot of contenders.  There’s Ki-toy Johnson made famous in the OutKast video “I Like the Way She Moves”.  Deelishus, from the Flava of Luv was so named for her ample behind.  And now white girls are showing they aren’t the only ones with much back as Ice T’s wife, swimsuit model CoCo shows off her behind for the male mags. 

But unlike a lot of other African Americans (male and female) who think having all that backside is just being healthy Debra Dickerson thinks that Buffie the Body could be the poster child for weight issues in the black community.

 Buffie’s butt-growing supplements and rejection of exercise are a choice, a preference. When significant numbers of black women tell researchers they don’t work out because the sweat will ruin their expensive hairdos, it’s time to take stock of black culture. Not everything about us should be either encouraged or celebrated.

But many would disagree.  Baby Got Back received so much airplay even white people still go around chanting “little in the middle but she got much back” and I can still see the women with the gangter behinds gyrating on the screen.  Around the same time the song came out Phyllis Yvonne Stickney’s most popular comedy routine was about the power of the booty and the 2 Live Crew dominated the early 90s with butt shaking big booty videos.  To take it back even further I remember as a kid watching “Uptown Saturday Night” with Sidney Poitier and his character telling his wife the main reason he got with her is because she had a big behind.

Although it would look veritably flat by today’s monster butt standards.

Booty love is one of the things we have that no other group of women have and we are very possessive of it.  While the media raved about the bountiful bottom that Jennifer Lopez supposedly possessed we sucked our teeth and said, “That little thing?”  Big behinds is our domain and refuse to let another group of women take it away from us.  There are some women who come by big behinds and big legs naturally and walk around with slender waists.  I have seen some women whose lower halfs are so big and upper torsos so small the two halfs of their body looked mismatched.

And then there are the large women.  The women who can’t seem to tell that their stomachs are possibly just as large as their backsides.  They keep looking behind them, watching their behinds getting bigger with the idea that this is what black males want.

Some black men do want it.  They idealize the round bottom.   Its in the songs they sing, all over the videos and the black male magazines.   The epitome of black female feminity in the new millennium is a redbone-chestnut female with an ass that looks like it was hit with a full dose of steroids.   Don’t exercise if you could lose that rump.  Lipo for what?  In The Coup song “Tiffany Hall” Boots sings about a friend who dies from lipsuction to lose what God has given her.

But I was just like you – always busy, in a rush
Told yo’ mama I was writin this, she said it was blessin
I’m just chantin your name out loud and confessin
That maybe I was part of your demise
You want and got liposuction on your ass and thighs
Came straight home as you bled that evenin
Bloodclots from the operation stopped you from breathin
 

Although we doubt that black males still want us or are still attracted to us we hold on to the one thing that is symbolic of sexiness in the black community.  It’s a vestige of our African ancestry.  A few years ago I remember reading an article in a magazine about a young girl who was sent to the fattening hut.   Per tradition they put loose metal rings around her legs, arms and neck and kept her there, feeding her until she was so fat that the rings became invisible under the folds.  Once given over to her husband its his responsibility to keep his wife pleasingly plump.  If the metal rings begin to appear it shows that he isn’t a good provider.

Jasmyne Cannick spoke of about how she felt like the small one in the bunch when she visited Africa as she discussed weight and black women on Tell Me More show today.  She took slight exception to Dickerson’s assertion about whether or not large toukas actually make you overweight, although what it takes for some of us to develop them surely helps  to make us more than what is naturally considered healthy.

I don’t have a love-hate relationship with my posterior.  Back in high school, while shopping with white female friends for jeans I knew what I had and made peace with it.  While on cheerleading the black girls petitioned to have the pleated skirts fitted to our measurements because the previous year we spent breaks trying to re-adjust the front so the back wouldn’t seem so hiked up. As young black women we didn’t make excuses for what God gave us but revelled in it and teased the black girls who lacked what the rest of us had been blessed with.  It got under your skin to be told you had the butt of a white girl and for the white girls who liked black boys it was high praise to be told they had a black girl booty.

I am now at an age that the only person I care who likes it is me.  A few weeks ago I was trying on a pair of jeans and felt they were too tight and I don’t like to be any bigger than a size 10.  I put on a pair of track shoes and decided to take up running again.

“We are all cutting back on the junk food,” I told my husband, the junk food junkie as I headed towards the door.

“You’re trying to lose your butt?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“And your stomach?” he asked.

“That’s the plan,” I said.

“What about your legs?”

“They’ll just slim down and tone up more.  But they will never be thin.” I have muscular calves that I can never get rid of.  I looked at him with a raised brow as he was taking inventory.  As I turned to leave he slapped me on the behind. I turned around about to kill him.

“I just wanted to show you that I liked it,” he said as I chased him around the house slapping him on his behind several times.

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Written by rentec

11 June, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Posted in black women, fitness

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