[Joel Murphy is out daydreaming about talking pugs, so today we bring you a special guest post about the upside and downside of having a big backside.]
Booty. Junk in the trunk. Badonkadonk. Call it what you will, I’ve got it … a lot of it.
I’m a curvy girl. At 5’10, my measurements are 36/29/44, making me dangerously pear-shaped, and the owner of a rather large butt (that does, in fact, have its own zip code, thank you very much). I’m in the midst of a weight loss journey, and sadly, I don’t think I know a woman between the ages of 18-34 who hasn’t struggled with her weight at some point in her life. I’ve maintained a 67 lb. weight loss over the last three years, and have gone from a size 20 to a size 10. I’m the fittest that I’ve ever been, and I’ve seen positive changes in my body, with one exception – it is apparent at this point that my ass is always going to be disproportionately larger than the rest of my body, no matter how much weight I lose. The question is, am I supposed to embrace having a comically large ass, a la Nicki Minaj, or should I pull a Diane Keaton and just wear a black curtain everywhere I go, in an effort to camouflage and hide my booty from the world?
In his 1992 hit, “Baby’s Got Back” rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot proclaimed his love for women with big butts, challenging the modern norms for beauty, which had significantly shifted from the voluptuous, Rubenesque images that were revered in the 1500s, to this malnourished, waif-ish Twiggy and Kate Moss bullshit that emerged during this century. Man, was I born in the wrong era.
Having lost a considerable amount of weight, I was THRILLED to fit into a size 14, as this size is considered the national “average,” and fashionable clothing in this size would be readily available in stores. Fashion is as much about self-expression as it is about highlighting and accentuating one’s “assets” (sorry, I had to), so after what felt like an eternity of shopping in plus-size stores and wearing dreadfully boring, unflattering, uninspiring clothes until this point in my young adult life, I was friggin’ thrilled about the possibilities and potential wardrobe malfunctions that lay ahead of me. I was pumped up and ready to do some serious shopping (I didn’t know then that I would go on to become to shopping what Michael Phelps is to swimming). Although that day, my high came to an abrupt halt once I got to the shopping mall.
I soon discovered that the nation’s trendiest retailers – you know the ones I’m talking about – the ones with the larger-than-life photos of delicious looking half-naked men beckoning for you to come in and help them undo that pesky fifth button on the fly of their jeans; the stores that reek of their signature fragrance – the masculine, musky smell of douchebags in the summertime (a scent that I had strongly associated with unrequited love and rejection during my awkward, zaftig ginger teenaged years) – these stores make clothes in size 14, but do NOT make that size available for purchase in-store. I learned this after eagerly searching through the racks of clothing like a raccoon rummaging through garbage, only to come up empty-handed, and have a stunning, petite blonde sales associate break the news to me that my size is not available in the store – not today, not ever. “I bet she doesn’t have to put skirts and dresses on over her head in order to get them over her hips and ass,” I thought.
The bitter sting of disappointment had set in. I was now an average size, and yet unable to find that size in the stores that sold the fashions that were the most appealing to me. How unfair.
By making a size 14 available only online, it sends a very clear message to me, the curvaceous consumer, that these companies think my big butt doesn’t fit their ‘image,’ and that they don’t want me to be seen shopping in their store, as if to say “You should stay at home, sitting on the comfort of that big padded ass of yours, and just order our clothing online. If you were to be seen shopping in our store, it could potentially damage our uber cool, ‘picture-perfect people only’ reputation.”
Fuck that. I don’t want their stupid fluorescent purple jeggings anyway.
Defeated, I walked through the mall and took the nearest exit to the parking lot. This particular side of the mall was under construction, and as I walked through the parking lot toward my car, I was met by whistles and several cat calls from the men working on the construction crew. One shouted “Mmm Hmm! Shake that ass, girl!” Normally I wouldn’t acknowledge such an outburst, but today, at this exact moment, I couldn’t help but flash them a big smile. My next stop was Target. I parked my car and began walking toward the entrance, when a woman stopped me and said, “I don’t want this to sound odd, but you have a beautiful shape. What an hourglass figure!” This left me completely speechless. Men and women alike didn’t seem to find anything wrong with my abundance of booty – why in the hell did I?
From that moment forward, I decided that I would not waste another moment feeling badly about myself and my big rump, because somewhere, right now, I could walk onto a construction site or the set of a rap video and me and my booty would be welcomed with open arms (and maybe even a bottle of Cristal). This caboose that’s been following me around for all of these years obviously isn’t going anywhere, so it’s about time that I embrace it and celebrate it.