The Black Womens' Body: If Only Your Butt Was Bigger
Nola Darling, that painting of Shamekka with the natural hair and flat ass spoke to me. Her reaction resonated with me even more.
Shamekka constantly felt like she wasn't enough, so she wanted more. She wanted more butt than she had so she went and got sketchy hotel room shots. Shots that almost killed her. We may laugh but it's a serious issue.
We live in a toxic beauty culture.
Lil Booties matter, but they still get ridiculed and what I will say is after a while of deflecting jokes, pokes and un-requested "compliments" you start to reflect...does the size of the back and what you lack really affect the overall package ?
Author of the "How Booty Worship is Killing Black Women" on TheRoot.com worded it perfectly when they stated
"There always exists some impossible benchmark to which we must aesthetically aspire in order to qualify our beauty. If it’s not the shade of our skin, it’s the gold standard of hair length and texture. "
Do you know the feeling of inevitable embarrassment having to walk pass a guy or group of guys and have you're "microscopic ass" commented on, or being told that the only thing you're missing is an ass ?
As a Black Woman it is a known stereotype that our bodies are supposed to be curvaceous, our features are bigger and wider and we are supposed to be full of rhythm. Although these are stereotypes they are willingly accepted by the Black community because it is seen as a compliment.
What do you do when you don't fit into the cookie cutter image of what a black woman is supposed to look like ? Does that make you less of a Black woman ? Does it make you less sexy ?
No matter how self-loving and independent we are, we ALL want to be attractive to someone.
When your little booty is the subject of the conversation any sign of insecurity is met with mocking questioning of our level of strong independent black womanhood and how much we love ourselves. I can love myself and still be hurt by comments, jokes and memes of the body I've grown into and have little to no control over.
It takes a long time to love yourself and we know that things that take a while to be built can be destroyed in an instant.
Or how about when a man or your man (or woman) or the men you grew up with knocks your crown with unsolicited insensitive statements of "I like your long hair/straight hair/natural hair better"
It doesn't matter the reason behind you cutting your hair, even a trim is unacceptable because as a black woman we don't attain length so we need to hold on to whatever we get.
Our bodies, our hair and our style is not for your scrutiny. No part of it is up for discussion.
The way my hips don't curve, the way my thighs don't save lives, nor the way my chest doesn't fill out my dress as everyone BELIEVES a black woman's body should.
Let's talk about everyday on the street our bodies are over-sexualized by our own men. The ones who now label us a "Nubian Queens" because on TV it's cool now.
I read a retweet that said "Kinda scary how influential being pretty and dressing well affects how you're treated, your access to capital, to industries, how that can mold your entire life"
All my life I had to fight. The internal demons of yourself that comes with the growing pains of transitioning into adulthood, and the real demons, the people who always have something to say and never go away.
Society says "It's now okay to embrace your blackness, but it has to be in a certain way and you can't go back and forth between styles because that shows instability and insecurity issues."
As a black woman I am naturally versatile, I change my style to go with the look I'm going for, for how I feel like dressing. I love my natural hair. What some men fail to realize is that maintain certain textures of natural hair is more of a lengthy task for some than it is for others, and we don't always have the time or energy.
A WIG or WEAVE is a time saver and a hair protector. Just as natural hair doesn't bring me closer to my roots, installing a Brazilian or Malaysian wig doesn't bring me any farther away either. If you're going to criticize know what you're talking about and understand the definition of protective styling thank you. ✨
Bottom line. The Black Woman's body is beautiful and does not come in one size fits all, keep your unsolicited comments to yourself.