I remember the moment like yesterday. I was standing in my room getting ready for another day of 11th grade when i noticed it. A stretch mark. On.My.Butt. I spun around in fear and naive confusion. “Why do I have this line on my butt?! What did I do wrong?! Did i stretch wrong in cheer this week?! What’s going on?!”
Over time, that stretch mark had many other friends pop up as my derrière expanded and I officially went from “small booty Judy” to “big booty Judy.” By the time I got to college, I had what many would call “junk in ‘da trunk.”
Sometime ago, I read a Tracee Ellis Ross interview in which she mentioned making peace with her body and her shape, specifically her big butt. She basically talked about how she’d been fighting with herself and not accepting that she had a big butt and that when she stopped doing that she was able to start enjoying her body.
I can relate to Tracee’s former struggle. I used to have a love and contempt relationship with my derrière but have grown to love and appreciate my butt. After starting to do some self-esteem work, I realized how much wanting to change a natural part of me was a unnecessary burden I didn’t have to bear. I was missing out on loving myself fully by allowing my gaze to be clouded by society’s view of me.
Recently, I signed up for the bar method. In class we do a lot of tucks–an activity that tortures your butt, inner thighs and legs to get them into shape. As I lay on the floor forcefully thrusting my pelvis high towards the ceiling I thought, “Please let my butt get firmer, but I don’t want to loose the roundness!” The old me would have wanted a smaller bum, something less big, something less me. Not now.
A good friend of mine has a very small butt and little to no curve–it’s what is often referred to as flat. “I can’t change it. I used to really be embarrassed about my butt but to be honest I like my butt now,” she shared with me once. She’s heard every joke in the book about her backside, but her small butt makes her no less beautiful than the next woman. At the end of the day, she accepts it and that’s all that matters. It’s going to be looming back there whether you like it or not. Small, big or medium, all women should make peace with their derrière.