Writing is just one of her passions. Verona Mitchell is founder & CEO of CulTives & Associates, a boutique consultancy focused culture, diversity, inclusion and global leadership. She is currently the producer & host of “myCultural Conversations” online BlogTalk Radio Series and “myCultural Conversations” Blog. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just recently, an old conversation came up about first lady, Michelle Obama’s rear end. I was listening to a local radio station and the announcer stated he had the privilege of meeting the first lady at a public rally and when he hugged her his hand accidentally rested on her buttocks (her booty). The announcer quickly noted he was in fear that the secret service would be all over him, yet the incident happened so rapidly and that it was a mistake, and in the end he was glad not to garner their attention in the matter. However, as the announcer recalled the event, he could not mask the excitement in his voice from touching a Black woman’s rear end. His elation took on that of a mischievous kid getting the most forbidden of the forbidden deed done. This man was totally working overtime analyzing that booty.
The fascination with the anatomy of the Black women is nothing new. Historically it has been both praised and devalued in western society. From the Sara Baartmen, Hottentot Venus, to Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, no Black woman is off limits to the continued scrutiny of her body but especially of her booty. Black women have been labeled “healthy”, “fine” and “thick”, by those who understand the culture and by those who appreciate women with a little “meat on their bones.” Then, there are the naysayers; those who wait in the wing to compare Black women to their European/Anglo sisters and secretly lust after and for the Black women’s body. Of course, society has deemed any and everything “Euro” or “Western” in context as superior regardless of how sickly it actually may be or appear. So, Black women stand rather perplexed at the hypocrisy of it all. I mean, do you like the booty or not? Whose ass’ are plastic surgeons trying to fill and pump up? Hmmm, I doubt it to be that of too many Black women. You know you like the booty but society’s influence of sexism and racism will not let you openly appreciate or praise the Black women’s body structure.
The sticky subject of Black women’s womanly curves and bodacious assets has taken a negative turn in the mainstream media circle confirming and aligning with western and Euro-centric standards of beauty. Black women are said to be overweight, unhealthy and just having too much “junk in the trunk”. My question is always, “in comparison to whom”? If historically the type of work was manual labor and Black women worked jobs that fostered more muscle and fat mass on their bodies, it would only be nature to see full voluptuous bodies to augment what it would take to do a particular job. The body adapts and conforms. Who gives a damn about the large booty; so long she is healthy, looks and feels her best. These are the qualities one should look for and not try to compare ethnic groups that obviously have varying body types, constructions and physical histories. These types and body constructions are all-good and should be praised for what qualities they bring. So, in praise of the BOOTY – If your “baby’s got back” or if your “baby is flat”, that body and booty should be appreciated and not compared; and most definitely not placed in a Race context.
- The Michelle Obama Factor: the Media, Myths, and Black Women (clutchmagonline.com)
- For the Love of Our Black Sisters (truthseeker411.com)
- Black Women Fight Weight and Win (theroot.com)
- Black Women: Here’s That Reminder That Hollywood Hates You (dirtywhorelebrity.com)