|(Image via www.vintageconnection.net)|
The other day I was faced with a bit of a dilemma. I was to meet with a client for the first time and she asked the very innocent question: What do you look like?
Now, since I recently cut my hair and it’s gone from long and curly to short and dykish (BTW, some of my best friends are dykes so don’t take this as a slur) it made answering her question pretty easy, because not a lot of women have such short, I-just-had-lice haircuts. However, just in case there were, say, truckloads of people planning to come to the same coffee shop with the same hairdo as me, I felt compelled to add a further detail of how she might identify me. And that is, I have a big butt.
But the truth is, I just couldn’t say it. Firstly because I didn’t really want her looking at my butt, and secondly because it might’ve make her uncomfortable if she had to look at all the other butts that came through the door that morning.
But there’s more to this big butt issue and I’ll tell you why. To begin with, I think I should describe my butt. Broadly speaking, just so that you get the picture. My bum is such that I’d give Sartjie Baartman a run for her money. And as for that photo shoot that Kim Kardashian did with a champagne glass balancing on her butt? Piece of cake for me (which is probably half the problem here.)
Just to be clear, this isn’t a vanity issue. No. It’s a comfort issue and it’s a social issue. I’ll explain.
First, the comfort issue. I have one of those butts that’s not only an outy bum, it’s also a looooong bum. It seems to start halfway up my back and end rather low down my hamstrings. It actually butts into my hamstrings, pardon the pun. In fact, it butts into my hamstrings so greatly that I’m not really sure where the butt ends and the hamstring begins.
What is the problem with and outy and longy bum, I hear you say? Well, to begin with, it makes clothes buying veeeery bloody tricky. What fits in the bum, drowns at the waist and what fits in the waist, ain’t no fecking way is getting around the bum.
But there’s more to it. Take exercise for instance. Running = tricky. Very bloody tricky. When running (or, say, doing star jumps), an outy-longy bum appears to be on a journey all of it’s own. You can see it moving up and down, this way and that and for the big-bum owner, it feels like they have a sack attached to their waist in which two pigs are fighting (thus the proverbial “two pigs fighting in a sack” expression).
Exercises like planking (or God forbid, press ups) are also problematic because you’re weighed down at the crucial part. It feels like you have a hefty 4-year-old child sitting on your hips. Same goes for side plank a.k.a the mermaid (a side note here: such a deceiving term, that. Mermaids live in water, which makes them buoyant.) Same also goes for the yoga bridge, and as for a backbend, well no chance in hell this is happening because as you know, the higher your butt is supposed to be thrust, the more gravity pulls on it. It’s a whole Newton thing apparently.
But the comfort issue is small when compared with the social issue of having a big butt. One thing I can tell you for sure, is that if people do like butts, it’s for some kind of perverted reason. For example, you’ll very seldom hear people say “Oh, that’s a nice butt. I’d like to take it out to dinner”, or “Wow, look at that big butt. I’d like to roll it up in a blankie, make it some tea and watch a rom-com with it”. You don’t even hear people say things like “Shoowee. Now that’s a butt I’d like to play a game of tennis with.” No. When people talk about butts it’s always with reference to, umm, “tapping that”.
If you don’t believe me, I can prove it to you. Here’s a small sample of lyrics of some songs I know about butts…
The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin’. Oh, the irony Spinal Tap! Should a band with such big hair be talking about big things on other people?
Baby make your booty go da na da na. This is from “Thong Song” – who could forget it -which is pretty much ALL about butts. It was hard to choose just one line.
My Anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun. Seriously? That’s just fucking frightening right there, starting with the word “anaconda”.
Too much booty in the pants. Erm, and this from Soundmaster T who in all likelihood has too much gold in the teeth.
“Shake your ass” ß Almost any rap song.
“Ass, Ass, Ass” ß EVERY rap song.
You’d think that at least country music would be exempt from this kind of butt fixation but no, Trace Adkins proves otherwise when he sings, It’s so hard to stare at that honky tonk, badonkbadonk.
Get my drift? I nearly rest my case. But to really drive home my point, I’ll illustrate how all this butt-talk is contrary to when people talk about other body parts they fancy. Take eyes, for instance.
Van Morrison longs to take his Brown Eyed girl to do the things they used to do. Like “laughing and a-running, skipping and a-jumping, going down the old mine, and standing in the sunlight laughing. See, no suggestion of getting humped or tapped and no pressure to shake anything at all.
Elton John sings about how when the morning comes he’ll be far away from Baby’s Blue Eyes. And that she’ll be alone, which is great because she won’t having anyone breathing down her neck wanting to tap her blue eyes.
And good old Angel Eyes, well, she gets to drink whiskey with her water, dance when the stars come out, leave you dreaming and rock out by the bonfire. Hell, she even gets to sing with the choir. Still no reference to getting in the sack with old Angel Eyes. No, she just gets observed from afar and left peacefully alone.
Nowhere will you hear things like “Man, I want to take those eyes home and fuck ‘em”. You won’t even hear “Gimma a piece of those eyes” or “Shake those eyes baby, shake em”. No. All those kind of lewd suggestions are reserved for butts alone.
My dilemma with this butt business is that you don’t want people to be repulsed by big butts but equally, you definitely don’t want them to like butts too much either.
In my mind – and I know I’m not alone here – the only way around it is to hide your butt as best you can. This is one of the main reason’s you’ll see women go jogging with a sweater tied around their waists on a 38 degree Summer’s day. It’s because some arctic wind is just about to blow in, it’s to hide their bums. Actually, this is even something that girls who have smallish bums do.
Look. Unless we’re Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez or Arianna Grande, we just don’t want people staring at our bums. It’s kind of rude, no matter how big or small it is.
Still. If one can manage to ignore all the references to fucking and tapping and shaking, it’s not so bad to have a big butt. For instance, we can thank heavens that we don’t carry our weight on other parts of our bodies. For instance, on our necks. Or on our forearms. Or, in fact, on any other body part that would seriously encumber us. Just imagine for a moment that when we put on weight, it went straight to our fingers and then we’d have to try and write and type and cook and stuff with these really, really fat fingers. Now that’s a horrible thought.
I’ll leave you with this fun thought: Next time you hear a song about butts, insert the word “teeth” where arse, butt or bum would normally appear and then have a good laugh when you imagine someone “shaking their teeth”.