Dear Vogue: A Big Booty Is Not A Fashion Trend » VSB

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Dear Vogue: A Big Booty Is Not A Fashion Trend

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Let me get this out first:

WE CAN’T HAVE SHIT.

*woosahs and le sighs*

Patricia Garcia, Vogue writer, hipped me to something new in her essay, “We’re Officially in the Era of the Big Booty.” First, let’s start with the title. We’re “officially” embracing big butts, huh? Says who? Fashion designers? Pop culture experts? Mark Cuban? This is something new, I suppose.

Also, the term “era” is defined as a “period of time associated with an event, person or a series of years, which signals an end.” It’s safe to say that like any other trend, it’ll be trashed, and they’ll be on to the next (“Oh, big butts were so last Fall!”).

The biggest secret Garcia shared is that Jennifer Lopez is the Queen of the Big Booties. She single-handedly brought round derrieres to the forefront, and now everyone wants one. Then, here comes Britney Spears, a song by Destiny’s Child (so popular that “bootylicious” was added to Webster’s Dictionary), followed by Kimmy K. West, who stole the scene with her “suspicious” behind. Iggy Izalea’s asset is a winner, too. Apparently, these women are Trailblazers of Boo-tay.

Oh. Now, they’ve decided that big butts are cool.

Since we’re talking about it, let’s take a look at the many, many identities, cultural gems, trends that have been high-jacked by mainstream America. There’s braids and cornrows (remember Marie Claire’s infamous tweet about Kylie Jenner’s “bold braids”?), colored and dyed hair, step shows (as seen in Rick Owens’ Paris Fashion Week runway show) and plump lips. The list goes on and on.

ALL of these things were once looked at as ghetto, raunchy, weird and too BLACK.

But it all comes back to Jenny from the Block, and I, in no way am I hating on her or her ass. She looks damn good, and yes, she is a woman of color who happens to take care of body and keep things rounded out. But let’s be real, way before she ever got “On the 6” or rolled around on the floors of the In Living Color set as a Fly Girl, we knew women — Black women — whose booties would put hers to shame. They were in our families, friends, girls from the neighborhood. They were us.

In our community, booty is king. What makes JLO, Iggy or anyone else more desirable or acceptable than us? How did it become so acceptable when for so long, it wasn’t?

Hey people, while you’re twerking and discovering your weak leg endurance dancing to “Anaconda,” take time to listen to the sample Nicki used. “Baby Got Back” by Sir-Mix-a-Lot hit #1 on the Billboard charts in 1992, and is perhaps, the answer to what Garcia writes

For years it was exactly the opposite; a large butt was not something one aspired to, rather something one tried to tame in countless exercise classes. Even in fashion, that daring creative space where nothing is ever off limits, the booty has traditionally been shunned.”

But no more, and it only took 20 years for it to happen. Now, squats are THE thing, followed by surgery that can unfortunately result in deformities or death. And let’s be clear, all women, especially if we’re lacking in that area, are putting in work for results, but still, a large behind isn’t a phenomenon in our culture.

Mix-a-lot talked from Black men’s perspective, celebrating Black women’s curves and in turn, shunning White culture’s desire for White women with smaller frames. In the video, women in leotards and barely there shorts flexed their buns on a giant (and hideous) life-size butt, gyrating and yes, twerking (the early 90s version atleast). It was a bit raunchy for that time, but no one really cared. It was hit, especially among Black folk.

But really, this isn’t about who had big butts first, although this is a prime case of “columbusing.” Some would argue that because America is such a melting pot, no one can claim ownership to any one thing anymore. Lies they tell.

What’s so maddening about appropriation is whenever mainstream decides something is favorable or trendy, it’s snatched up immediately with no warning. The very thing that was an eye sore or embarrassment is now a high commodity. Our bodies, our hairstyles, fashion, our mannerisms and conversation styles ARE NOT must-have accessories. You can’t pull them off of the rack and put them on to be the “cool girl or guy.”

They are a part of us and our culture, what we do without thought about whether it’ll turn heads on runways. What we were raised on or in. What we danced to our bedrooms as children and teenagers, what we begged our mamas to buy for our first day of school.

It’s what we wake up in every damn day. Stop trying to make the dear pieces of us “a thing.” I got this from my momma, so it’ll never be “last season” to me.

Alisha Tillery

Alisha Tillery is a freelance writer living and working in Memphis, Tennessee. She loves music, magazines, old Martin episodes and black people. Her work has been published in ESSENCE, Ebony.com, Clutch Magazine and Mediabistro.com. She writes about any and everything that hits a nerve at www.alishatillery.com. ?

  • cakes_and_pies

    It seems like I been seeing this stories and narratives on a fairly often cycle lately. White publications making money and getting attention off of our outrage, clicks, RT’s, likes, and shares. They know what they’re doing, but we always been to take the bait? (Except for baby hair appropriation, that was just stupid)
    It another way to monetize off of us without having to acknowledge us. I just don’t think I have it in me to react to this anymore.

  • Hold on they mentioned Britney Spears in an article about big bootays?

    • Yes. This phenomenon is real. Though I may or may not have been called in to ghost write an article on a pr0n site about the biggest booties in the genre after a White writer got lost. LOL

  • SuperStrings

    Booty isn’t all about size. It’s that right (depending on your preferpreference) combination of size, curvature, and placement. Just want to personally acknowledge and big-up the myriad of booties that are representative of our women. Never out of style to me. VSS’s, STAND UP…and to the side. ;-)

    • VSS’s, STAND UP…and to the side. ;-)

      PREACH BROTHER SUPERSTRINGS! :)

    • Epsilonicus

      *shakes his church tambourine*

      Mmmmmhmmm. Yaaaasss all praises to booty loving Jesus.

    • whaaaaat, SuperStrings makes an appearance for the booty?!?! ‘m here for it! lol

      • SuperStrings

        I don’t even remember how I got here . My Spidy senses started tingling, and the next thing I remember is coming to and having the feeling that I might have grabbed an @$$ or two, or six.

  • Animate

    I saw this nonsense yesterday and my initial thoughts were “Fuck Vogue”

    • Please, no, don’t. There’s better options out there. Besides, skinny women aren’t my thing.

  • Epsilonicus

    I read it and thought that this is the history of how White people got put on to booty. I was not mad because I assumed it did not apply to Black folks. *Kanye shrug*

  • caballeroso

    This article is one more reminder of the exclusion of Black America from the mainstream. They write an article like this with complete disregard of or consideration for the black experience and perspective. When you realize that we are not the target audience in their writing, which is evident when you view it in the context of what’s being said, it makes perfect sense since thier target audience is also oblivious to the our experience which makes all of this relevant breaking news for them. Call it White privilege (or willful ignorance).

    • I think it’s just ignorance. White people don’t check for Black culture like that. This isn’t big news.

  • The interesting thing to me is, even the examples the writer uses arent American white women. Kim K has Armenian blood, Iggy A is Austrailian. I dont know HOW Brittany Spears got in this discussion at all. Besides, I got love for white people but they’re always a step behind when it comes to style! LOL

    • Epsilonicus

      Exactly.

    • Rawtid

      but austrailia is a country…not indicative of iggys race or genetic predisposition. aka, shes still white

      • Clarissa

        Exactly.

  • Freebird

    – So it’s cool for black men to dig the black female body type again? A couple of years ago I remember the cry from some was that what black men found attractive (big booties and slim wastes) was unhealthy. The White Male Gaze….it’s amazing….really amazing how powerful it is.

    – I know it doesn’t get said out loud, but can we stop pretending that white dudes dont find black women physically attractive. There is proof of the concept.

    – Black men – and a lot of the self hatred some of us have for black women – are in in part responsible for this phenomenon. Why are so many of us more impressed when we see things available our whole lives in the women on our blocks in other woman?

    – When I was a young caged bird I remember watching the Brandy Bunch and they would use words like groovy and far out. I thought white folks invented the slang on the show….until I read a few books and poems by black authors from 20 – 40 years prior. This (booties and thickness) is just the latest in a long list of reasons why black folks need to get over what white folks think about what we do and how we do it….they’ll be biting it 20 years later anyways.

    – Shout outs to Kema and Afro Petite for being VSS role models to the booty.

    • First of all, anything exotic is considered hot. There’s a reason that the type of Asian guys White dudes check for get little love inside their own communities. Or even the type of Black girls White guys love. That’s just human. Strange nani/D is always going to be hotter ceteris parabis.

      Two, allow me to show you the receipts on the whole White guy/Black woman thing. Yeah, there are exceptions to the rule, but the trend is real.

      • Freebird

        “First of all, anything exotic is considered hot.”

        truuuuue

        “There’s a reason that the type of Asian guys White dudes check for get little love inside their own communities.”

        question. id did know there was a difference but do asian men go as hard against those asian women as some of us do black women? maybe they do and im just not around it.

        i disagree about the type of black girls white guys go after. any “type” you can name ive seen a white dude with her. white dudes find black women attractive.

        • question. id did know there was a difference but do asian men go as hard
          against those asian women as some of us do black women? maybe they do
          and im just not around it.

          In my line of work, I’ve crossed paths with a lot of Asian guys. They go HARD in the paint against those chicks. Probably harder than brothers do with comparable women. At least Black men have a niche market checking for them outside of their community. There isn’t a such thing as a fetish for Asian dudes.

          • Freebird

            im trying to learn now. what kind of asian women do asian men not check for?

            • Think super young and super thin. Like “dog, is that really legal?” “Yeah, she’s 28…peep her license”. LOL

        • Kema

          “i disagree about the type of black girls white guys go after. any “type” you can name ive seen a white dude with her. white dudes find black women attractive”

          Dark and slim seems to be the preferred type. But yea I’ve seen all types of combos.

          • John Shannon

            Since When????? I see more Jada Fire, Csndice Jackson and and Sydny Capri vides along with Skin Diamond ones- and they are thicker than her

            • menajeanmaehightower

              Kema is talking about wm/bw couples and i tend to notice the same thing.

          • Exactly. They ain’t checking for thin chicks or light skinned ones either. I saw the exact example of what you’re talking about at a party this weekend. The one bit of thickness these White guys will accept is big boobs…and #dassit

            • Freebird

              ok. yeah….might be where im at and the type of white dudes i know. all types over this way. got two friends built like ms ross who are huddled up with white dudes.

            • Don’t forget thick hair. White guys love big “ethnic” hair (at least for a season)

    • Epsilonicus

      I did not know that Black men did not like the Black female body type? When did that happen?

      • Freebird

        no, we never stopped liking the body type, it was suggested (by a few bloggers) that the body type we like is unhealthy. it might be, but it seems ok at this moment.

        • Epsilonicus

          Ahhhhh

        • That skates on the border of the whole thick vs fat convo that always tends to go *signal lost*

          • Freebird

            you know what im talking about.

            • you right. In my head, there is a particular “type” of Black woman that Black male b00ty connoisseurs love: skinny waist, blooming onion. But I don’t know how commonly that occurs.

              As for myself, i ain’t never been thick lol, so I can’t speak to what ya’ll like.

              • Epsilonicus

                I like pretty women that like me.

                • That’s it in a nutshell. Otherwise, does it really matter at the end of the day?

                  • Epsilonicus

                    Keep it simple.

        • Deeds

          Well from what you wrote, big booties and slim waists, they are actually a very healthy body type.

          • Freebird

            thats what i always though, deeds. so when i read things that said that black men were encouraging something that was not healthy i was a bit surprised. we have our issues but i always thought this was not one of them.

            • Epsilonicus

              The issue is that Black men do have a higher willingness to date women of the BBW size. Which I don’t find to be an issue at all.

              And before you all ask, Mrs Eps got some Little Debbie Cakes, like Dara and Ratchmo pre-pregnancy lol

              • Funny story for you. Last month, I was at a BBQ full of White folk (like I was the only brother there), and the hostess was…blessed. Like how the h3ll they didn’t notice it was beyond me. And if was as all natural as organic locally-sourced produce. It led to some interesting conversations… If it wasn’t for the fact her son looked like an Aryan wet dream, I’d be…asking a few more questions. LOL

    • Yolie and Sham Sham have nice booties too.

      • Freebird

        Hard to tell from the avatars Ive seen but I would not doubt Shamara. From her avatars Yoles looks like she is PACKIN.

        • God Shammgod

          I got a lil sumthin but nothing to write home about.

          • Freebird

            id almost believe you if it were not for the new avi.
            im rolling with ricky on this one.

            • God Shammgod

              You don’t even see the bewty, smh

        • Yoles

          just proportioned… “PACKIN” is a bit much

          • Freebird

            yeah right…

  • Skegeeaces

    Yesssss.

  • b sweet

    I would love to get the VSBs opinion. [insert generalization disclaimers here] in the T&A equation, black men love the A, white men love the T. Any thoughts on why that is?

    All theories are welcome (historical, aesthetic, physiological, socio-economic, etc)

    • Kema

      I’ve always thought it was because that is what ‘their women’ bring to the table.

      • b sweet

        That’s kinda what I was thinking too Kema. I was just curious if there were any other theories out there.

    • Rachmo

      #dasraces

      • AlwaysCC

        buahaha

    • BreezyX2

      Iduuno…where is Sahel? Isn’t he a 2520 man? Maybe he can answer the tiddymeat thing. I definitely think the tiddymeat thing and 2520 is very historical. Like you know 12 Years a Slave historical…ya know what I mean?!?

      • Sahel is 2520? Sahel is a man? I’on know, i need to see receipts and transcripts for this….

        • BreezyX2

          In my mind Sahel and Freebird will now and forever be androgynous.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Sahel and Freebird live in the land of unicorns and men / women that meet all criteria on those lists..

            • theyre Centaur-type ppl with broad shoulders up top, hips and azz on the bottom lol

              • Sigma_Since 93

                Sahel is the old spice guy!!!! BOL

          • Freebird

            really!?!

            • BreezyX2

              BOL! Just messing with you Free but not with Sahel. That thing is yet to identify its gender. For all we know this could be Sahel….

              • Freebird

                well….he (i thought) did throw an unexpected and confusing comment at me last week.

        • Freebird

          and look at your new avi! all pretty and what not.
          looking like cicely tyson’s daughter or something….

      • Val

        Lol@Sahel being a 2520

        • BreezyX2

          But isn’t he?!??! Ya’ll keep better track of him than I do but I could have sworn he is.

          • Val

            I doubt it. He’s way too informed on Black interest subjects and the nuances of being Black. But, he is a spy so you never know. Lol

            • BreezyX2

              Nilla and Ice are well informed too :)

              • Val

                They are but Sahel seems to have first hand Black person’s experience. I could be wrong though.

                • Ya’ll keep calling Sahel a he, and I still speculate that Sahel’s an arab lesbian, so…….

                  • Val

                    Lol. Arab though?

                    • Lithuanian? Girl idk lol

                  • Neptunes presents The Clones

                    Totally lesbo

                    • Val

                      Why are you hiding behind another name, Sahel?

                    • Neptunes presents The Clones

                      I have no idea what you mean

                  • I’m guessing he has origins in a nation in the Sahel but grew up in one of the British commonwealth countries b/k/a America’s hoes (Australia, Canada, or the UK) that followed us to war last decade… or he’s a an actual lesbian from Yemen.

                    • NomadaNare

                      Since we’re throwing out theories, I’d say Sahel was actually a hyper-intelligent strain of lichen, based in the Pacific Northwest originally floating over the ocean on driftwood from Japan. But that’s just my guess.

                    • Or he’s Jay Electronica…

                  • January Jones

                    I’ve lurked long enough to know Sahel is a Prince lovin’ Italian, that has a farm in Minnesota and wear timberlands.

              • Freebird

                lmnop too. her comments here are very informed as well.

      • Epsilonicus

        What is 2520?

        • AlwaysCC

          the 25th and 20th letters of the alphabet – Y, T :)

          • Epsilonicus

            See for all of that, you might as well just say white. I should have to use my cryptographic skills lol

            • Val

              Black folks have always had code for White folks.

      • Neptunes presents The Clones

        Dang,Sahel is 2520. Who knew

    • Val

      From what I see on tumblr these stereotypes don’t hold true. You’ll find find White guys that are into big butz and Black men into breastesess. But, that’s just anecdotal evidence.

      *waits for our resident chex experts Sahel and Todd to chime in*

      • Sigma_Since 93

        “From what I see on tumblr”

        From what I see on YOUR tumblr you’re an expert too!!!

        *gives Val a seat next to Sahel and Todd*

        • BreezyX2

          *looks around and whispers* Please add Malik and AP to that list.

        • Val

          Nah, man, don’t even try it. I’m not in their league.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            *gets buzz from league office. After further review, @disqus_QGKOTi1oX5:disqus objection is overturned*

        • Neptunes presents The Clones

          Val’s tumblr is insane

          • Val

            You know it isn’t. You’re just salty because your new undercover spy assignment is selling German cars pretending to be British ones.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Val what you don’t recognize is you’ve got something for everyone: Big women, skinny women, athletic women, white women, black women, and Mrs. Beats. Your tumblr page is the present day Wu Tang Clan Ice Cream song.

              • Yes. Variety Val is for the people.

              • Freebird

                val’s got good taste in women. i’d be your wing man val.

            • Freebird

              what are you doing on tumblr val? and is there a public link?

              • Val

                Lol! I’m not doing anything. They are exaggerating. Especially Sahel.

                edit; but it really is NSFW (happy Mena?)

                *redacted*

                • menajeanmaehightower

                  Thank you!

                • Freebird

                  Val you got a rep out here homie.

              • menajeanmaehightower

                It isn’t safe for work. Val be tryin to get folks fired.

                • Val

                  I gave a warning just for you, Mena. Even though my tumblr says NSFW at the top of the page.

                • Freebird

                  word!?!

                • Freebird

                  and thanks for looking out mena cause i cant lose my job.

    • Im hispanic and I love both…..

      *smiles as my existence ruins all the data in your research*

      lol, idk….maybe cuz thats what each race “specializes in”?

    • I have to run, but there is a theory that big booties were a) an adaption to the hot climate in Africa and b) the need for a certain amount of body fat for a woman to have her girl parts function properly. A big booty allows for storage of said fat in a body part with a large surface area where it is easier to cool. White people didn’t have those problems, so they really didn’t *need* a booty.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      I feel bad because I like abs, thighs, and a mean walk. I love em from Venus to Ms. Good.

    • Freebird

      if its natural and on a woman im bout it.
      but im one of the few black dudes i know personally that is team tiddymeat. i dont know how i got here.

      • I see that we fell down the same rabbit hole. I will say that if the top is blessed, it’s better if the back is out as well… you know, for balance n stuff.

      • You’re a minority, but you’re not alone. I know a few brothers that are Team tiddymeat.

      • menajeanmaehightower

        A hand full or pouring out of the hands? Saggy? Plump? Hanging to the knees? Perky? Does the letter matter more than the number? #questions

        • IMMA LET FREEBIRD FINISH, BUT PRESENTATION CAN MAKE ‘EM THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!!

          • menajeanmaehightower

            Why you yellin though?

            • My bad Ms. Mena- I grabbed that imaginary mic with a quickness, and dropped it sexual chocolate style, for emphasis.

              • menajeanmaehightower

                Yellin all on stage and whatnot. Calm down Trip :-)

            • Freebird

              cause he talking bout TIDDYMEAT mena. gets some of us LUPE EXCITED!!!!

        • Freebird

          Saggy, hanging to the knees Queen Mena?

          I do like them big. Natural. I heard jill Scott photos were leaked….and I almost went looking. But All sizes really. Trip gets it though – presentation does a lot.

          • menajeanmaehightower

            No where near the knees but also not sitting up either. They haven’t sat up since i was 8.

    • mylesfast

      Ive had this conv. white guys generally like different type of A. Think the petite soccer/volleyball behind. Team tiddymeat for me.

    • h.h.h.

      T > A.

    • SuperStrings

      I like and appreciate the T, but there’s just just something about the A that feels right. Like when you’re holding your girl in your arms, and your hands are resting on that seemingly strategically placed curve just below the small of her back. It just fits.

    • NomadaNare

      It’s all about proportion. Basically if the core is tight, it really doesn’t matter what’s happening up top or on the bottom because the core will make it seem bigger than it is. If I had to choose, I’d say I’d go with more A over T, but really it’s a toss up. I’ve had too much and too little of both on many different women.

    • well it’s more hips than an a** according to my limited anthropological knowledge. I prefer A because it sits as nicely in your hand as it does my face.

      • Lea Thrace

        0_0

        • Yes Lea?

          • Lea Thrace

            I’m just over here watching your words…

            • Just trying to best answer questions poised based on my experiences and knowledge gathered. :)

        • Freebird

          and the young homie ricky said he was shy once around these parts….

          • I am very shy.

            • Lea Thrace

              Nope. Dont believe that one bit. You need more people.

            • Freebird

              HA!

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