I was told in school by a group of obviously not nice people that I was lucky, I didn’t have to worry or try to improve how ‘plain’ my face was. I could find an ‘Arse man’ and I’d be fine. When I turned thirteen/fourteen, other girls were getting breasts, I got a size 14 bum attached to my skinny body. It was really hard to miss when I was younger and less developed. Now the rest of me caught up… I average out at 5ft 11, a 10/12 up top and still a 14 in the bum area. It’s still big to me, but now in proportion. I’ve always been self-conscious of it, mainly because it’s behind me. I know, I sound conceited. I’m not saying I’m gorgeous or just irresistible to men. I don’t think either things of myself. I’m self-conscious because I’ve had it touched, grabbed, pinched and prodded so many times. In the street, in queues, in bars, clubs. I’ll be dancing in my little black dress, minding my own business and then there’s a hand up the back of my skirt.
People have that mentality, ‘oh you should be happy, getting the attention’. Really? Happy? Every time it happens I feel a little bit worse about myself. Once walking home from a friend’s birthday (it was broad daylight) my bag handle snapped. Nightmare! I bent down and retrieved all of my belongings from the street, and while I was crouched, a man came up behind me and decided to give it a feel. He got an elbow to the stomach and ran off. I went home and cried on my living room floor with the dog. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. It’s not every night I go out, or every time I’m alone somewhere, but It has happened. It does happen and it will again. That’s fact. How scary is that? You have to go out knowing theirs a high chance you may be groped because you’re dressed up.
Now you may wonder why I’m going on about this, it might be because I’ve just had JLo’s new song Booty pop up on my news feed. I will admit, she’d not the only one at the moment but it’s the most recent. ‘I wanna take that big ‘ol booty shopping at the mall. I wanna pick it up and put that booty in my car’. I mean, really? Objectifying women because of how big one part of their body is? By a woman? Is this supposed to be empowerment? I felt empowered when I learnt about women fighting for the right to vote. I felt empowered when I learnt about Marie Curie or read Anne Frank’s Diary for the first time. Taking most of your clothes off and dancing around in a video that just focuses on one part of your anatomy? That’s empowerment? To me it’s over sexualisation for the female body. For as long as I can remember watching music videos I remember a half-naked woman in one shaking her arse in a teeny tiny bikini. The music industry is rife with it, at the minute we seem to be on booty overdrive.
Why do you have to get naked and shake everything, or write a song about it to feel empowered? I feel good about my body with my clothes on as much as I do without them. It’s took a long time to feel that comfortable with myself but I’m there. Does that mean I have to strip down and bare all to show it? What happened to a little bit of mystery being sexy, or intellect and humour being sexy? Or is it all visual now? The female body looks beautiful, no matter what size or shape. It’s been the focus of art for centuries. It’s erotic and the centre of a lot of fascination, but at the moment its an unhealthy fasination which is seriously close to going too far.
Like with the hacking of all the celebrity nude pictures. Women and the female body seems to be a curiosity. People seeming to have no disregard for that person’s body as they shared or posted those pictures. ‘If you don’t want nude pictures leaked, don’t take them’, or how about be a decent human being and not a pervert? Just because they took a private photograph doesn’t give you the right to look at it. The same way if I’m in a club dancing in a bodycon dress, you have no right to just come up and feel my backside. I’m not a prude. I’m not a man hater, I know women can be just as bad. What I am is a person with respect for my body. Yes, I have invited people to touch my bum (friends) when we’ve been laughing and joking about it. That’s completely different. I’ve invited people to kiss me, that doesn’t give any randomer on the street the right to do it too. My body is my own and I make choices about it.
This current obsession with ‘thick’ women (Thick meaning big bootied and breasted. You know, like sir mix-a-lot said, ‘iddy biddy waist and a round thing in your face’?) What I don’t wish to be is judged about it. When I find a partner I’d very much like them to focus on other things than just my backside. It’s great that people are appreciating more body shapes other than what society classes as average, but in this way? Over sexualised and just asking to be touched? Making out that thinner women are somehow inadequate or less desirable. I didn’t ask for my arse and I can’t get rid of it. Thinner women are mostly thin because that’s their body type, there are so many body types it’s hard to remember them all and none of them should be judged or pushed down. This inadequacy we seem to place on other women because their size of shape isn’t in trend at the minute is disgusting. I know for a fact that if I had a big bum or not I’d still get felt up in a different way. That’s another issue and another problem all together. Right now? Society needs to take a long hard look at itself and where it’s going. Over sexualisation and objectification isn’t something I want. Getting empowerment this way? I don’t think so. Big, small, athletic, skinny or curvy, its hands off.