Big Booty Judy: Can I Live??

I didn’t watch the Espy’s last night a.) because I don’t have cable,  2.) because I don’t even watch sports and III.) I’m pretty much over awards shows. But because I do frequent the Internet, there was no way I could miss the “buzz” about tennis champ Serena Williams at the ceremony. Or more accurately, Serena Williams’ ass.

Serena walking off stage after making a presentation at the ESPY Awards.

The same thing happened last month when Free (former co-host of BET’s 106 & Park) showed up to the BET Awards in a form-fitting, sparkly dress. #FreesAss became a nationally trending topic on Twitter:

Here's Free talking to some celebs that I don't really know or care about after the BET Awards.

 

I cannot begin to tell you how uncomfortable this makes me. The comments made about Serena and Free weren’t even about me, but they made me cringe,cower and cover up sitting alone at my computer.  As a Black woman with a big butt, this type of attention is the bane of my existence. No matter what I wear, whether it be long and loose or short and tight, some combination thereof or anywhere in between, it is impossible to hide my behind. I am Big Booty Judy and I come from a family of Big Booty Judy’s. All of the women in my family have junk in the trunk. We can’t help it…we were born this way. Full disclosure: I was thin as a rail until after I had my son in 1998. According to legend, in my family you don’t “fill out” until you turn 25 or have your second baby. I did both in the same year.

To have one’s body dissected, objectified and fetishized in such a manner is an absolutely despicable feeling. It’s like being molested by the words and attitudes of absolute strangers: the stares, the cat-calls and those bold S.O.B.’s that have gone as far as to reach out and touch me. I will never understand why people think it is ok to do this. It is sickening to be approached in an overtly sexually aggressive manner for no reason other than having a high, round ass. Having people comment one way or another on something you just can’t help, something as personal as YOUR BODY when you do nothing more than stand at a bar/attend award ceremonies/walk down the street is absolutely dehumanizing and degrading. I have gone through this so much in the last 13 years that I find myself actually apologizing for my own ass to people, being embarrassed by it and sitting down when I’d rather be standing. It’s not a compliment and it is not fun to be the world’s seemingly favorite sexual fetish. I just want to have a peaceful public existence in this body. Can I live??

And for those who would dare come through here and tell me “Oh, well…they knew what was gonna happen when they put on those dresses. They wanted the attention.” I would advise you to miss me with that bullshiggity. There is nothing you can wear to hide an ass like that. Serena is one of the greatest tennis players who has ever lived, black or white, male or female. I don’t recall seeing too many comments or posts about her athletic accomplishments after her appearance on the Espy’s, DESPITE it being a sports awards show. Where’s that kind of attention? I attended a panel discussion hosted by the Black Women’s Health Imperative in May here in DC, focusing on the sexual health of Black Girls. Free was one of the panelists and spoke so eloquently and strong about her dedication to bettering the lives of little Black Girls (as well as the street harassment she experienced as a young girl due to having the body she does). Where were all the people with their comments then? Oh.

Look, my point is this: can ya’ll just stop and consider that these asses that amaze you so much are attached to women with feelings, thoughts, talents and ideas? Can you remember that our bodies are our own and that there is a proper way to admire and compliment the beauty of a woman if you feel moved to do so?

“Unf. Dat ass!” ain’t it.

 

~pbg

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  • Leah

    Excellent post! It was so interesting hearing “the other side”. As a black woman with a small ass, I’ve never really thought about the downside of being bottom heavy. Hell! I never even knew there WAS a downside until now.

  • Mel

    Awesome … as usual! *round of applause*

  • Vickie

    I whole heartedly agree with you. Its annoying and sooo disrespectful. I can count on one hand how many times I have been in a club in my life and I am 36 years old. The reason for this is because everytime I have been, some jackass felt the need to grab my behind to see if it was real or slap me on it to see it bounce. What gives anyone the right to touch my body without my permission. Since they didnt get my position to touch my ass, I didnt feel the need to get their permission to punch them in the nuts. It’s is bad enough when men do it but the ladies will join in as well. How can you disrespect another sister that way? I have no control over how big or small my behind is..like she said, Can I just live?

  • Kimberella

    I feel you DPT! This booty has gotten the disrepsectful in trouble since 4th grade. I’m proud of mine and I make no attempts to hide it. Big Booty Judy’s unite and CELEBRATE!

  • http://www.EisaUlen.com eisa

    great post! thanks for sharing your personal story, sis.

    eisa

  • http://www.notoriousshe.com aonya3000

    This is an awesome post. As a top heavy sister, I’ve been self-conscious about how my chest looked and how often it gained unwarranted attention from men and women. I, however, admired Serena’s beauty last night. Not just her body. I have come to a point where if I’m not confident with my beautiful assets then I can’t expect anyone else to be. The sultriness and beauty Serena exemplified last night not only made me fist pump because she rocks as an athlete, but it also showed that you can be curvy, healthy and sexy sistah.

  • Barbara Soloski Albin

    Wonderful article, strange how through the ages, there was a time when a fully developed woman made an artist famous for his paintings.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jluntzreport Jason

    Question:

    Why is it okay for women to post pictures of Morris Chestnut or Trey Songs with his shirt off all over Facebook but when men admire a woman’s body it is wrong?

    Seems hypocritical to me. Women can go crazy over men but when a man does he is disrespecting your entire gender?

    So to not assume where you stand, I would like to know how do you feel about how women oggle over men that are in shape?

    • ThePBG

      Hi Jason. To answer your question, I’m going to quote a friend of mine that answered this very question in another forum discussing this topic and statements I made about it:

      uhm. plz miss me with that. ppl honestly trying to say saying a person is handsome or beautiful is exactly the same as dissecting a person? fuk. dat.

      let a pic of idris elba (who is very handsome) get posted. u know what you’ll see? comments like:
      -HES so handsome!
      -i want to bang HIM
      -i love HIS accent
      -omg i love HIM
      -HES so good in movies!

      not “THAT ass” “THOSE tits” “i want to fuck SOMETHING” “id hit THAT” etc…

      see where im going with this?

      complimenting a PERSON is not the same as sexualizing PARTS of them while ignoring the whole person. its just not.

      • http://www.twitter.com/jluntzreport Jason

        Besides the I want to bang him part I see the point. Thanks for the answer :)

        • ThePBG

          “I want to bang him” is not the same as “Damn, look at her ass” and I think you know why, Jason.

      • Corey

        Sorry, but I agree with my brother Jason; sounds like word semantics to me! I don’t want to here your friends answer to Jason question we want to here yours. This seems to be one of the biggest problems in America especially with black women. At some point we have to take responsibility for the choices we decide to make. If you don’t want negative comments about your butt don’t wear clothes that look like you painted them on. And I beg to differ, if Serena would have wore a sundress her butt would not have been so pronounced. I know this might sound a little old fashioned, but……..there is a”right way” to do things; and sometimes it might mean not doing what you feel.

        • ThePBG

          My friend’s answer is my answer. So there you go.

          And as far as what Serena wore: She’s a full-grown autonomous woman, as I am. I can wear whatever I so choose. Whatever fits my taste, my personal aesthetic and my financial means. That is the “right way”. She and I and every other woman, black or otherwise in America and everywhere else should be able to do that without becoming the object of some stranger’s fetish and street harassment. Why is it OK to do that? Why is it important that you be able to do that?

          And…WhoTF wears a sundress to an awards show?

          • Corey

            Lol……yeah the sundress was a little extreme. However, I anticipated you would go there. That’s the number one excuse when people do things that don’t make sense….”I’m grown I can do what I want”! I got news for you……you can’t do what you want! Republicans don’t wanna help Obama fix the economy and want to cut entitlements for the less fortunate, that’s not right. Gay people can get married in this country, that don’t make it right. And every time two people have an argument and one shoots the other that don’t make it right. And lastly,if a grown woman with a big butt decides to wear a skin tight dress, that don’t make it RIGHT!!! Come on people its not rocket science. You can’t keep shoving your personal preference down everyone’s throat and expect nothing to be said!

  • ThePBG

    COREY MUST BE NEW HERE.
    COREY MUST BE NEW HERE.
    COREY MUST BE NEW HERE.

    • Corey

      Is that my official welcoming?

      • ThePBG

        Corey, welcome to Dirty Pretty Thangs, where everything you thought you knew about a Black Girl will be challenged and you will be better for it in the end.

        • Corey

          Thanks my Sista, I humbly accept!

  • http://naturallyalise.com/blog/ Naturally Alise

    I have the “big boob struggle” and for many years I wanted to get a reduction because of all the unwanted attention and ogling… until I realized that there are trolls out there that will objectify you no matter the size of your breasts, ass, etc… All of this circles back to the huge problem of street harassment and abuse women suffer on a daily basis. The funny thing is the dudes online that speak to with women on the whole street harassment issue are the main perpetrators online of the #ThatASS syndrome. smh… “girl child ain’t safe in a world full o’ mens”

  • House

    Big booty Judy is what they call you huh? Ya don’t say…lls…Sike a boo boo, I already know what time it is…lol

  • http://novaslim.com nOva

    For anyone that wants to apply the “women do it too” rationale/device, please consider this:

    You are reading the account of one woman’s experiences and perspective. Unless you are armed and prepared to provide current, documented examples of this woman in particular engaging in this behavior, the argument is not valid; it is rhetorical.

    As recently as this month I had a woman literally slap me on my ass, simply because I was wearing snug swim trunks. But obviously I wanted the attention, right? Clearly, my trunks had the words “Please, drunk obnoxious stranger woman with whom I have no interest, slap me on the ass because it’s totes a compliment and validates me!” Does this drunk obnoxious stranger woman’s behavior invalidate this entire blog post? I don’t think so.

    “Women do it too” is no excuse. It just isn’t.

  • http://bigsole.blogspot.com/ Nordette

    Bernice McFadden shared your post on Facebook and I saw it there. I’ve already let some others know about your post because I think they should read it, too. In addition, here is a post you may appreciate written by Maria Niles in 2009.
    http://www.blogher.com/fetishizing-pneumatic-ass-woc-and-problematic-body?wrap=blogher-topics/body-image

  • Marshall

    On day on a golf course I met Bob Lanier (ex-Basketball player) at a celebrity golf tournament. He was carrying his golf shoes and they were the BIGGEST SHOES I HAD EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! I said, “OMG those are the biggest shoes … they are like boats man! What in the hell?” I was amazed and couldn’t help myself but mention it to him.

    Now obviously at the time I wasn’t thinking about Bob’s feelings about his shoe size and of course I didn’t know that at one time he had the LARGEST SHOE SIZE IN THE NBA at a SIZE 22! But when you see someone with an extreme body part you don’t really think about how that person would feel!

    And when men see a woman with an extreme body part sometimes we don’t think about the woman’s feelings …. and maybe we should should keep our thoughts to ourselves.

  • Stustustudious

    This is not a struggle I can identify with. I’m not about that Big Booty Judy Life,but don’t you think Serena And/or Free wore those outfits well aware of the comments that would follow. Its a little hard for me to believe Serena wasn’t out to get this kind of attention, at least on this particular day.

    • ThePBG

      It’s easier for me to believe that she loves her body and has a healthy self-image despite all the negative things that are said and insinuated about black women’s bodies. She shouldn’t have to hide that just because there are people out here ignorant enough to speak so freely (or worse) on it. Yes, I think they are very aware of the comments that would come. I know Free knows because I’ve heard her speak on experiencing street harassment as a young woman. Does that make it ok to do? No.

  • http://iamnotablogger.tumblr.com Rissa

    I hate the fact that a body part can (and eight out of ten times WILL) be paid more attention than a thought or suggestion.
    It drives me crazy.

  • http://blackgirlinmaine.com/ Blackgirlinmaine

    Sigh…I can totally relate, as a smallish sista with a sizable behind I can relate to this post. I struggle with finding appropriate bottoms especially jeans and have always hated feeling objectified.

  • http://www.esharktv.com Erica

    While I do understand how it feels, I think at some point a lot of us get over it. I don’t say it to be cruel but I just realized I can’t change my donkey lol. I just make sure that I carry myself in a way that minimizes the jack a’s. I went through changes as a child but now im cool with it. I hear the comments but I just have a mental block to it.

  • teecolah

    Interesting timing. I caught up via google reader on DPT and come across this blog. My sis just told me earlier how she caught baby girl in the bathroom admiring her rump…ummm…may I request a conference call? You know I be struggling sometimes :-/

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