What’s An *Ass* Going For These Days?
Now, I as much as the next person can appreciate a beautiful body. Male or female, everyone enjoys the pure aesthetics of a pretty face, a great head of hair and a fine body. Studies have shown that women actually enjoy looking at beautiful women more than we enjoy looking at handsome men. And I would agree. I even enjoy looking at myself, so I fully understand men’s fascination with our body parts: our bodies are one of God’s greatest works.
Now we aren’t all perfect and there are things that we would all like to tweak. Believe me, I ain’t turning down anybody offering me a (legal) tummy tuck or lipo under my chin – but I digress. And I’m not judging botox-party-goers, face-lifters, or boob-jobbers, that is not what this rant is about. Self improvement is great if it makes you feel better about yourself, but altering yourself for the fascination of others is not only unhealthy, but it is willingly objectifying yourself. And that is pure insanity!
For every woman who backs her ass into a camera to show off her prized possession, I would ask that you read the story of Sarah Baartman, a South African slave women who was put on exhibit because of the size of her butt and genitalia. She was considered a freak and her body was exploited as a source of entertainment. Much like the “smallest man in the world” at the State Fair and the bodies of Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and countless, faceless big asses with their own Facebook Pages.
I am amazed by the stories of women disfiguring their bodies and losing their limbs and their lives for an ample behind. Don’t get me wrong, ain’t nothing wrong with coping the Brazilian Butt Lift exercise tape (I have it and let me tell you, it’s nothing to play with) or getting your squats in on a daily, but what is the value in an over-sized butt other than receiving the salacious stares of men who want to see you naked but really don’t want to know much else about you.
Now I know all my brothers are thinking that I’m hatin on sexy sisters because my butt tends to take on the European characteristics in my family, but that’s just not true. As I said before, I marvel at the beauty of all my sisters and I am THE cheerleader for women in all our glory. What I am not comfortable with is the fact that my sisters see their bodies as nothing more than a commodity. Kim Kardashian is famous – and rich – for HAVING SEX ON TAPE AND HAVING A BIG ASS! And there are women everywhere who are now obsessed with getting the butt of their dreams – or the dreams of men who want to have their way with it.
The sexual exploitation of women of color has a long history in this country and rather than discuss the whole raping of slave women thing, I would rather ponder when it became a great thing to trade our bodies as some sort of social currency.
Maybe I’m getting older and reflective, but it just makes me sad to see beautiful girls giving their best “come hither” looks over their shoulders with their asses being the subject of the photo. We are so much more than the size of our hips and thighs and when we allow ourselves to be reduced to the value of our body parts, our worth drops significantly.
Before I break out in my best India.Aire “I Am Not My Hair” rendition, I’m going to suggest that we remember what we are presenting to the world about ourselves. What is the message that you want remembered about you when you leave the room? Nothing wrong with turning heads with a banging body, but when you walk out of the room in that sexy, rump-shaking way that we do, don’t make the most interested thing about you be your exit.