Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Is Bigger Better?

Is bigger better? Before you start getting up in arms, I am not talking about the male sex organ. I can answer that question for myself. What am talking about is the booty, particularly the size of the female booty. I have been sitting on this question (literally and figuratively) for awhile now, ever since booty injections and implants and Brazilian butt lifts have become the new boob job. The days of people being obsessed with the Dolly Partons, Pam Griers, and Pamela Andersons of the world are over. Well it is not really over. People still love big boobs. But there is a female body part that has become the object of people's sexual gaze.




Today, people, both men and women, rich and poor, people of color and whites, are overly obsessed with big booties (myself included). It seems that you need to have a booty donkey elephant booty to be considered sexy, desirable, or dateable by mainstream society. There are young women who have Instagram pages with post after post of back shots showing off their booties. Look at Kim Kardashian. She would not be a media spectacle without her large (fat injected, possibly Brazilian butt lifted) booty, which Kanye loves squeezing, showcasing, and talking about to any and every one. It is not her infamous sex tape with Ray-J or the reality show(s) with her family (that E! refuses to take off the air for a second). It is her shape, specifically her small waist and gigantic booty.  She has made a name and social media empire from pictures of her booty (clothed, oiled up, sandy, and bare). On her family show, she spent an episode creating booty selfies for her husband Kanye West (which she eventually put together and published as part of a 1000-page book of selfies of herself called "Selfish").

Sadly, big and round booties have been seen for a lifetime on many women of African descent (from the "Venus Hottentot" Sarah Baartman to Jennifer Lopez to Serena Williams), but has not brought them the same amount of adoration, fame, and wealth solely from this body part. You may argue that J.Lo got a lot attention for her booty. And yes she did. Who doesn't remember hearing rumors that she ensure her famous booty for a million dollars? But, unlike Kim K, it was not J. Lo's booty that put her on the map. She danced and acted her way into the public eye and then people noticed her shape, particularly her big booty. In the curious case of Sarah Baartman, who was put on display in Europe because of her voluptuous shape, she gained much fame but did not gain any wealth or adoration from (white) people's obsession with her booty.




As a woman with a not so big booty, I will admit that the age of the big booty has impacted my self-image. Every time I walk by a mirror I push out my butt a little and check how it looks in my jeans/skirts/dresses, and then wish that it would grow 2 sizes (along with my boobs because I refuse to not be proportionate) so I can pop off an Instagram modeling career be desired by men, envied by women, and rapped about by rappers (don't act like you wouldn't geek out if you were immortalized in song---see this and this and that for examples of good love for the "big booty"songs).


This brings me back to my original question. When it comes to the female booty, is bigger better? Is there such a thing as a "too big" booty? Does it matter if it is real or fake? Does it matter to whom a big booty is attached? Why does a big booty seemingly get more"positive" reactions when a white women has one than when a women of African descent has one? What impact has society's obsession with disproportionately large booties had on the self-image of women, especially young girls, in America?

Speak on it!