No longer is booty something that only the Latino and black girls embrace, now everyone is doing hundreds of squats every day so that other girls can say “oh my God, look at her butt!”


No longer is booty something that only the Latino and black girls embrace, now everyone is doing hundreds of squats every day so that other girls can say “oh my God, look at her butt!”

Nicki Minaj has one that has been rapped about, Jennifer Lopez has one that has Twitter accounts dedicated to it, and Kim Kardashian has one that’s is possibly capable of breaking the internet. What do these three women have in common aside from being famous and gorgeous? Booty- the word and part of a women’s anatomy that like Helen of Troy, launched a thousand ships, only in this case it’s the curve that launched millions of tweets. Booty is in, but this time it has gone global. No longer is booty something that only the Latino and black girls embrace, now everyone is doing hundreds of squats every day so that other girls can say “oh my God, look at her butt!” Don’t believe me? Google Jen Selter, a self-proclaimed butt-selfie model who has lunged and squatted her way to the perfect behind and social media fame. The love of booty goes way beyond how we fill out those jeans or look in tight dresses; it is actually backed by science. A curvier body suggests a better capability to carry a healthy pregnancy, and this is what drives the opposite sex’s fascination with our butts and hourglass figures. It doesn’t sound sexy when they put it that way, does it?

I have always found the world too fickle, hopping from one obsession to the next, looking for something fresh and new to sell, and nothing proves this more than the booty. Back in the early 19th century, a woman called Saartjie Baartman, travelled around Europe in what was called a freak show circus because she happened to have a big behind. Not so long ago magazines were telling us exercises to do or clothes to wear to keep our butts cute and small or cover them up altogether. When did the tide turn and, more importantly what does it all mean for girls and how they feel about their own bodies? Saartjie Baartman was ogled and pointed at by many people because she probably looked like a freak of nature to them. Nicki Minaj is ogled and pointed at too. Are the reasons behind the stares and gasps different or does it feel like she has some level of power because she chooses to put out such images of herself? Instead of calculating how many lunges we need to do, we should be asking these kinds of questions.

Big butts have crossed the racial and cultural line but having booty is still something black women are associated with, and even pride themselves on. That being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that not all black women have big butts or even want them for that matter. I have heard people describe slim black girls as having “white” body structures. Should there be a specific mould that dictates how different races look? Does having what I like to call a cute butt make me less authentic as a woman of colour? No, in my opinion it makes me a challenge to the stereotype and I’m happy with that. My only issue is that there are probably black girls like me who have cute butts, but feel as though they don’t measure up to whatever this “new” standard of sexiness is. It might not be my own reality, but it probably is for someone out there, staring sadly at their reflection in the mirror, considering butt implants. Can we say this booty celebration has made them better or just more insecure? I would say the latter because I remember what I was like at 16, looking at the attention the girls with big butts got from guys. I remember wanting that attention to the point that I forgot about everything about me that is already beautiful. Today this pressure has multiplied hundred-fold with platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, laying it on thick, constantly reminding us of the so-called power of the behind.

Big butts have crossed the racial and cultural line but having booty is still something black women are associated with, and even pride themselves on.

What does it say about the world when some of the people that are celebrated for their curves have gone under the knife to get them? It means we’re not really celebrating true beauty, but rather praising the augmented, airbrushed and edited version of it. True beauty is all about being happy in the skins we were born in. Sure, we can apply make-up, put on weaves and go to the gym, but we shouldn’t need the surgeon’s knife to perfect us or even change us in such an invasive way, should we?

At the core of the booty obsession is a need to subvert the world’s other obsession; being skinny, so we can say big butts in the media are a form of empowerment. There is however, another side to this form of empowerment and it’s called objectification. To a greater extent we remain front row viewers to our own objectification when we celebrate something without fully considering the implications it has on all women, not just the ones that Anaconda and other booty anthems apply to.

For black girls like me, the booty obsession isn’t new; we have seen it play out in front of our eyes and behind our backs, on the street, on the school bus and anywhere you will find ogling and whistling men (which is everywhere). So old is this fascination that it feels like everyone else is showing up to the party too late, and we’re the yawning people in corner of the club about to fall asleep.