Is the era of fix-a-flat booties over? Well for K Michelle it is. It was revealed last week during an interview with B. Scott that she plans on getting a butt reduction. She says she wants a butt reduction because her derrière is stopping her from breaking into mainstream movies. In short, less butt=more roles. However, why is there a desire to have a giant butt and also a certain look for movie roles?
Ten years from now, the trend of a giant butt will be over. Countless women will run back to their surgeons and try to get their beautiful, natural shapes back. Some will be able to while others will not and will be stuck with a figure that they don’t want anymore. Until that time and ever after, women are caught in a cycle that tries to make them chase after a certain look.
As a Black woman, there is an immense amount of pressure and politics pushing down on us. Voices from all different forms of media are trying to tell us how to act or when it’s acceptable to look a certain way. Having a big butt is only in when Iggy or J.Lo has one, but when a woman or color has one, it has to be a caricature. Why do Black women get no in-between?
Normal women aren’t Kim Kardashian, K Michelle, or Nicki Minaj. We don’t have access to a handful of doctors who main job is making sure that you look good for the camera. Also, we aren’t living under the camera’s constant eye. We need to stop looking at these celebrities for unrealistic body goals. Instead, we have to embrace who we are. Once celebrities realize that they aren’t being praised for looking like Betty Boop, then they’ll stop trying to force a certain body image on us because at the end of the day, we are the ones who celebrities make money off of. Without us, they would still be that girl down the street trying to sell her mixtape.
As a child, I was reminded that the world was against me. I couldn’t trust anyone but my close family and friends. I had to be strong and keep going. Weakness wasn’t an option. I was a strong black woman. Wonder Woman had nothing on me. When real life started happening, being strong was hard. I wanted to cry, and scream, but I hadn’t been trained in the ancient art of letting my weakness show.
I’ve quickly learned that there’s a price for never letting your guard down. I was exhausted, angry, and ready to bite the head off of anything. We’ve heard about the angry black woman stereotype, and we have a right to be angry. The entire world wants to disrespect and exclude us by pretending that we don’t have power. It is hard. Like really hard, harder than that math test you took in tenth grade. We can’t escape our Black skin and it feels like we have to carry the weight of it everywhere.
When you’re a Black woman, it feels like you’re never given a moment to rest. Always being prepared to fight does make you stronger, but it’s not healthy for your mind. You can be the strong Black woman fighting to have everything that you want in the world. You can also be the strong Black woman who takes herself to the spa and enjoys taking a moment to rest. You can have the best of both worlds, but it’s going to take some practice.
It’s okay to cry, and scream, or talk to someone about your problems. Keeping everything pent up inside is too old school. For our generation, it’s all about expressing yourself and self-care. For all strong women of color who refuse to rest, we have to remember the simple facts of life. The first of them being you can’t change the world if you’re dead.
The Internet was outraged after a picture of Meryl Streep circulated of her wearing a shirt that said, “I rather be a rebel than a slave.” Some believe that critics are being too harsh on Meryl Streep. She’s always been a feminist and this shirt just further proves the fact that she fights for gender equality. Others point out that this shirt is a representation of a lot of the problems with mainstream feminism. No one wants to be enslaved, but historically speaking Black people didn’t have a choice.
There’s a form of privilege that’s involved with being able to say that you would rather be a rebel than a slave. Some have a choice to fight against the oppressing systems. However, for those who are the ancestors of slaves, the shirt makes us want to give a Rihanna worthy side-eye. Our ancestors didn’t want to be enslaved. We were dragged from a different continent placed on a new continent that was not melanin friendly, forced to work for centuries while enduring the rape and massacre of our people, and then once freed were forced to learn how to function in the Plessy v. Ferguson world where institutionalized racism is the norm.
I too would love to be a rebel, but first I have overcome years of being enslaved. It’s moments like this that make you want to pull a Marcus Garvey and go back to Africa, but plane tickets these days are too expensive. Lately, it’s been a tell all tale of who’s accepted and not accepted in mainstream feminism. During these moments where Hollywood’s favorite feminist are caught in a moments of tone-deaf tomfoolery, you realize that it’s not just enough to say that you fight and always fight for the equality of women. If you’re going to say that you fight for the right of all women, become culturally aware. Remember that for generations of individuals, slavery was not a choice.
Amber Rose’s Slut Walk is happening on the 3rd. No matter the outcome of the event, it is a step in the right direction to stop gender inequality and slut shaming. The event will be exciting, spectacular, and I can’t wait to see the coverage. Even though it hasn’t happened yet, it’s time to start planning what we will do after the slut walk to continue fighting against gender inequality.
Just because Amber Rose was able to use her star power to get big names behind her walk doesn’t mean that you can’t do the same. Every movement has to start from somewhere. We can’t keep waiting on the stars to initiate all the change. In your sweatpants and messy bun, you can make a difference too.
Step one: burn all your bras. I’m kidding. They’re too expensive and I’m such a klutz that I would probably end up burning down my apartment. So put the lighter down and let’s keep brainstorming other ways to make difference. Like Amber Rose, you can start using your different social media platforms to express your outrage and start a movement. Call out the people in your life who try to slut shame you or mansplain life. Let people know that you’re fighting for the justice and equality that women have been denied for centuries.
You’re brilliant and powerful and you don’t have to tolerate any form of inequality or discrimination. If you can take a picture of your food and put it on Instagram, then I think that you can post a picture that fights against inequality and sexism. It doesn’t have to be radical. It can be as simple as a hashtag or as beautiful as your face proclaiming that you’re proud to be a woman.
Are you truly what you wear? If you walk around in a tube top and a short skirt, are you suddenly a hoochie mama in training? If you rock spenders and a tie, are you just a nerdy gal? Even though clothes are a fun way to express yourself, sometimes people are quick to assign your identity because of a piece of cloth.
Despite people trying to stop slut shaming, there are still those who feel that they have the right to comment on how you look. Perhaps the people in the peanut gallery are not slut shaming you, then there might be another group in the gallery trying to fat shame you. People in the world are allowed to have their opinions, but sometimes you wish that they would just shut up.
So what do we do? Shaming women because of their clothes and bodies seems as natural as breathing for our society. A part of me wants to just end this article by saying that you have to embrace your clothes and don’t even think about what you’re wearing. However, I know several women who been put in uncomfortable situations because of her clothing. Catcalling and slut shaming isn’t reserved only for women who wear dresses, it’s also for women who wear sweatpants, shoes, or even a t-shirt. The issue isn’t what the woman is wearing. The problem is that a woman is a woman.
What needs to happen is that society needs to have more respect for women. For centuries, we have been viewed as an object that is supposed to just sit next to a man and look pretty, but those days are over like Iggy’s career. There needs to be respectability from all parts of society. Furthermore, there needs to be acceptance of all women, including women of color. Allowing only one sector and color of feminism to enjoy the privilege of body-positivity, anti-fat shaming, and anti-slut shaming does a disservice to the rest of the women still trying to gain the same rights.
Oh Amy Poehler.There was once a time where I thought you were an ally in sisterhood. You have an organization aimed at helping and empowering young girls. Your character Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation was a dedicated feminist who didn’t take no for an answer. Continue reading “Amy Poehler’s new show includes ‘joke’ about R Kelly urinating on Blue Ivy”