In a patriarchal society dominated by superficial beauty and sex, the feminine form has always been the canvas upon which men painted their whimsical desires. Thin, thick, big breasts, small breasts, slim ankles and wide hips, whatever is fodder for male wet dreams, becomes the standard for female beauty. Then the dream changes, and many women are left scrambling to change themselves to stay “in style.”
This has never been more apparent than now, “The Age of The Fat Ass.”
Sure, a curvaceous figure has been “in” since the Rubenesque period, but now it has become dangerous. Take a look at the story of Apryl Brown, which is but one example of the devastation caused by a disturbing trend. Jones was forced to get both her arms and legs amputated because of butt injections she received at a “pumping party.” Placing the blame on insecurity about her figure, she became a motivational speaker to inspire women to encourage one another:
“We don’t validate each other,” she says. “We really don’t know how our friends feel about us, unless we have very expressive friends.”
But we know how men feel about us. We know to many of them, we are nothing but sex objects and many women mis-identify that objectification as empowerment, particularly in the context of Hip-Hop. In an astonishingly sexist article, Vibe.com decided to examine the evolution of ass in Hip-Hop. Yes, booty has, and continues to be an integral part of the culture, but this was no scholarly dissertation or respectful appreciation of the female backside.
From Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé, to Buffy the Body and Rihanna, there is a slide show without a shred of pretense at anything other male gratification. It was merely “during this year, this male rapper decided that this ass is what women should aspire to,” slapped in a “Sexy” Issue as a bold testament to the control men have over what is considered sexy, subsequently, brainwashing women into exaggerating the body part du jour that they believe makes them beautiful.
Truth moment: Though most women will say they take pride in their big butt, imagine for one moment that it wasn’t desirable to men?
What if tiny butts were in vogue, the smaller the better? There would be no pumping parties, or silicone injections, women would be doing whatever they could to conform to the standard of desirability of the day. When I see an obviously unnatural behind, I don’t think, “Wow, she is a sexy woman.” Instead, it makes me sad because there goes one more sister who places love of male attention over love of self.
As cliche as it may sound to many, confidence is sexier than a curvy backside any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The certain je ne sais quoi that emanates from a woman who doesn’t care if you can sit a cup on it or if it’s big enough to “back it up and dump it” like trash; she’d rather you appreciate the unique sexiness that only she possesses. The woman who’d rather be alone than be plastic will get more respect every time than the one who has compromised the fact that she is naturally priceless, all so she can be reduced to a “dime.”
Women are so much more than a big butt and a smile. And the moment we realize it, and call out the male-driven images that manipulate standards of beauty in our society, the “Age of the Fat Ass” will end.
And it couldn’t come soon enough.