How does a woman grow up to decide that her life’s mission is to make the world a better place by lifting booty’s and shifting souls?!
This is how… *and please catch the undertones of pure humor and fun ridiculousness that run throughout this piece…
I’ve always had an obsession with people’s butts. At ages way too young to be noticing this kind of stuff, I remember really paying attention to all the different unique qualities that made each and every person’s booty different from the next. I remember in the 3rd grade, being so obsessed with the student teacher’s butt, (he was a college athlete… and his booty was very much sport specific!,) that I positioned myself everyday in the seat closest to where he’d be writing on the whiteboard so that I could spend that hour… well, “pursuing my passions.”
A couple years later I’d find myself taking advantage of the access that the kids had to the basketball court after the local semi-pro league games. I would be one of the first kids down there on that court post-game so that I could get closer to the 6’3” plus players, and their booty’s that sat at my exact eye level.
Let’s just say I’ve been researching this subject from a very young age.
Fast forward a few years, and I started becoming very aware of my own ASSets that I never seemed to get away from. (Damn thing follows me everywhere!) I used to joke that my booty had a mind of her own. And she did. Always winking at the cute guys we passed. I never knew what kind of attention she was grabbing back there, but I knew she was creating a wake in our path.
Now this was in the thick of the early 90’s hip hop scene, so luckily I had plenty of songs about booty’s to relate to. (Yes, as an adolescent you listen to music that you can relate to, and this was the music that was speaking on something that I had personal experience with.) I also had icons like Selena to look up to, with an “up and comer” named Jennifer Lopez to pick up after she passed. (Nope, the likes of Nicki Minaj, Kim K, and even Beyoncé weren’t even blips on the screen yet.)
But this was all on TV. Unfortunately, growing up in a semi-small town in Nebraska, I didn’t have any real-world examples of what beautiful, confident women, with strong asses and thick thighs looked like. (And no social media at the time!) And even more upsetting was that those women weren’t appreciated in my community. The kids I went to high school with everyday still sought after the small waisted, tiny hipped girls that had more on the front side to work with than they did their backside. So I did my best to be cool with the “playful” jokes that surrounded my ass through school. I accepted the other kids telling me that I “looked like” Jennifer Lopez. (Wtf?!!? No I didn’t! I’m white.) It was just the comparable sizes of our asses that prompted these comparisons. But whatever… I went with it. Even dressing up at post prom with my very white friend Todd, as Puff and J.Lo.
I watched the grown women in my life do their best in their aerobic classes to literally work their booty off. Granted women and weights wasn’t a thing back then yet… I blame the times more than I do the people honestly. I mean, what were they to do when the only women they saw “working out” were the likes of Jane Fonda and those chicks from “Buns of Steel”?! (Although, I do have to give big props to Ms. Studnicka, my gym teacher through high school who let us choose between playing dodgeball or doing the Abs and Buns of Steel videos twice a week.) Even though the chicks on those videos had the flat and narrows, (the descriptive shapes of their asses,) I knew the work I was doing was building the foundation for the cakes that I would have today!
*Side note: Fast forward 15 years and I’d find myself working alongside the woman who’s cakes were THE “buns of steel” on the cover of those VHS tapes! No kidding! Can we say “Meant to be?!”
Once I started venturing out into the world beyond my hometown, mostly in pursuit of the Miami baseball team during the College World Series at 16 yrs old, (I could drive finally…Freedom!), I became alarmingly aware that my backside was grabbing attention that I’d not gotten in the hallways of my own high school. (Not that I was even aware of the lack of attention, but it was quite the shocker when guys started noticing me… or “her” I should say.) But that’s when I first understood exactly what I was sitting on..(literally.) My cousin, being of the same genetic pool, also had her own cakes to reckon with. And when all four of us would go out, shit would get crazy. That’s when we coined the phrase of this phenomenon we were seeing. It was called the “10 ft Turn Back.” You pass a guy, wait until you walk past about 10ft, look back, and it’s almost a guarantee they’re turning to look back at the same time to see what you’re working with. This was the catalyst for countless nights of girlish giggles between her and I through the years. We sometimes still do it to this day when we get together, just for old time’s sake.
Now, I understand that in other communities and cultures a great, big, beautiful ass is nothing to gawk at or do all this talking about. It’s normal, accepted and completely appreciated. But again, this was new to me. It took me a long time to get to a place where I was comfortable discerning between those that liked me for me, or mainly just liked my ass for my ass. This was when I started to understand the importance of matching a great personality with the great booty I had bouncing behind me. Trust me, it takes a humble and gracious woman to smile and mouth “I’m sorry,” to the person who gets into a fender bender while staring a little too hard at the cakes. (Yup, this happened in college. And yes, I couldn’t help but give myself a pat on the ass after that one.) But the truth is, a head as big as your ass isn’t all that attractive.
While I worked on the evolution of my young self, I found ways to laugh off and make light of the, what could be seen as vulgar, cat calls and advances made by the men I crossed paths with. I understood it. (Remember that 3rd grader strategically finding her face inches away from grown men’s asses…??!) Yeah, so I knew it was just a “thing.” I learned to separate a man just outwardly expressing his excitement over the booty versus any malicious intent to womanize me. How could I blame a person for just appreciating what God created?! (But trust, if a dude found himself drunk, or just beyond rude, this chick didn’t stand for it. Self-worth doesn’t let that shit go without words.)
I know what some of you might be thinking right now. That I am awfully conceited and self-involved by talking about my own ass this way. And that I must not have any self worth if I can speak this way about men appreciating my ass. But what you’ve got to understand is that I too view my own ass as a beautiful creation that I had nothing to do with, and I’m only happy to be sharing it with the world. Lol! Seriously though, I am thankful for what I was given and I see it as something that I was blessed with. (For real, not like these young “THOT’s” out here talking about #blessed next to pictures of their naked asses on Instagram.)
I appreciate that I was given something that people appreciate, (and yes, women appreciate these cakes too!) But more importantly, I’m thankful that I was blessed with a mind and soul that are open and enlightened enough to know that a great ass doesn’t make a great person. And that idolizing anything; an ass, a car, a house, a purse, a pair of shoes, or even another person, isn’t healthy for the spirit.
And I believe this is the real gift I was meant to give the world. The gift of self-love, self-worth, self-confidence, and the ability to elevate the mind, the spirit, the soul, and character, to a place where we can appreciate all those “material” things, but know that our happiness does not depend on them. My wish is to give the gift of never ending, bottomless happiness. And the ability to always see the beauty within ourselves, something that is so much more valuable than our perceived outward “beauty.”
I am so thankful for this “booty craze” that is sweeping pop culture right now. (It’s about damn time!) But I am equally concerned for what message this is sending to women. (Yes, young and “mature” alike.) It’s pulling that pendulum to the other side of the spectrum, where the booty is being idolized, and women are taking drastic measures to achieve asses like certain celebrities who’ve unnaturally altered the size of their previously natural, and in my opinion unique and beautiful, back sides. Women are now idolizing the booty and it’s wreaking havoc on their bodies and psyches.
My mission, what I feel is actually my responsibility, is to help women across the world love and appreciate themselves from the inside out. So that then when they want to show off what they’re working with, they’re flaunting what God actually gave them, and it’s coming from a place of real confidence and pure bliss.
Nasty character equals nasty booty. Beautiful character equals beautiful booty.
No ifs, ands, or “butts” about it!
Let’s set out to make the world a little sweeter, one booty at a time.