tracee ellis ross standing in mirror

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.

  • Chandra

    Yes, I have finally accepted it will shake, jiggle and wiggle when I walk, Dance or get my Workout on and that is okay. It will rise to attention in a pair of heels and poke out in flats. Jessica Rabbit will come to mind in a dress and some may bite there lip when it is in some jeans but it is me, my signature, my heritage and pride.

  • sarah

    i’m like Sommore. my butt is wide but it don’t have much weight on it. wide hips run in my family. but, i’ve always though my mother and great-grandmother were the flyest chicks on the block so i’ve always loved my wide set hips. it makes my pelvic area look like a heart 😉

  • Anonymous Name

    Thanks for sharing this! Like your friend, I have what some would call a flat butt. I dont know we’re scared to call it what it is, lol. Anyway, I have not made peace with mine besides the fact that I must change it! I am getting surgery within the next year to have it enhanced..not implants but fat placement. Now that I am an adult and have dealt with the rejection of being black and buttless, I realize that I myself am not satified with my own body and feel like it’s the best decision I can make for myself.

  • Dasia

    I love my booty lol. Not to small but, not to big, perfect for my size. I never understood why it’s such a bad thing to have a smaller butt in the AA community … just more issues we have to deal with I guess.

  • lola

    I really like this article altough I don’t have a very generous booty…it’s not flat as a pancacke but still small.I never tought anything of it until a few years ago when I became aware of the rap/hip-hop culture and such.Guys always talked about how they like juicy derrieres and I became aware that mine was of a negligeable size intheir eyes.But u know what?I still like my small butt cuz I think it looks cute in my jeans and in my skintight dresses.
    Whatever size booty you have,work it!!!

  • artsylee

    My butt is nonexistent. I used to feel so self conscious growing up and I still kinda do. I have made peace with it for the most part though. Sometimes I am taken aback at how flat it is. I tried on a dress I have last week, spun around and was like, @_@.

    But I’m slim and athletic and I can run and swim like a gangsta because my body is streamline so I’m proud of that.

  • TJ

    My hinnie fits my body. I finally accepted this after years of being called “white girl butt” by family members. They all had what we call “ghetto booty”, I can’t change it and if I could I still would not do so I’m not shaped that way, it’s not ME. I’m happy with what I have.

  • napfrocurlzgirl

    I do not love my booty and never have. It’s the biggest thing on me. I’m sure it could be featured on the cover of “King,” but I keep it covered at all times unless I’m wearing my stretchy pencil skirt…then I love it. But, otherwise, she stays hidden from public view. I’ve been compared to a candy apple on two sticks.

  • Babsy

    I have ne of those start from your back butts. It took me a while to get used to it.

  • BlueCornMoon

    I have always been thankful that I don’t have one of those high round butts! I do have a wide pelvis & a flat butt & the fashion industry seems to favor narrow hips.That’s an annoyance. HOWEVER! Even tho some “onion shaped” women can wear a smaller size than I do because their hips are actually narrower than mine, they have a much worse time trying to get pants that fit their shape & cover their butts. All I have to do is wear a larger size or try a different brand,but those other women often wind up wearing pants that don’t cover the tops of their butts so that their undies/thong tops show & let’s not even mention what happens when they bend over or squat down !!!!Some have the good taste to wear tops that cover the bare areas but others seem to flaunt it & get lower back/tailbone tattos so it can show. Now I’m all for hair & body self acceptance but some of these women look downright trashy walking down the street & men make crude remarks. I saw a woman in a store today wearing silver colored skinny pants that looked like they’d been spray painted on.All her panty lines were visible & she had a small waist & a very big butt. Now big butts are nothing new in our community,but women should dress more tastefully. I’ve had big butt pals in the past & present that would wear clothes that flattered their figures without looking trashy.Too much of today’s pop culture emphasizes unnecessary sexuality,even for little girls & teens and we black women,who have fought so hard against white folks’ stereotyping of
    us as hot to trot, do not need to embrace these images.We need to maintain our dignity as intelligent women…like our mothers told us back in the day. Would Michelle Obama go out wearing butt exposing pants?? I don’t think so.Love your shape but don’t degrade it.

  • Ebony

    I don’t have a big butt but I do have wide hips. lol I do have strecth marks I called them tiger spipes. ha

  • Maha

    I like my butt. I think it looks fine… I am really confident about my body and love my body. My booty is really small, not really flat, but SMALL… So that is one thing that I am not at all confident about with men. Especially black men. Or any men now adays because it is such a big deal in the media and everywhere. I think my slender athletic shape might look kind of ridiculous with a big butt. But I know that the fellas like a big ol butt. Sooo… I just have to be like whatever.

  • India

    After my baby girl, my behinds just looks flat at the top and round at the bottom. I’m making peace with it. My husband teases me and my gf’s make fun of it… but I have to love myself right? Losing wieght isnt helping either. I still trying to maintain losing wieght and I’m down from a 13 to an 11 and still pushing. :)

  • LillianMae

    Well…I’m a BBJ…when I’m told that, I just tell people that their eyes play tricks on them…I tell them that because my waist is small, it just makes my booty look bigger LOL!

    But seriously, I like my shape. As I’ve grown into an adult, some of my insecurities have melted away. Honestly, hips and booty give you curvaceousness…and I love my curves, stretch marks n all :)

  • Amber

    Great topic, I had to come to peace with my butt. Working and interning in an area where booties are NOT celebrated and everyone is obsessed with being skin and bones for a long time I had a little insecurity. Esp because I don’t have the traditional coke bottle I literally have NO hips then wam a butt pops out (I used to call it duck syndrome). However, I do enjoy it now :)

  • CurlyInTheA

    Booty acceptance! Struggling with this issue just a little bit. I’ve always liked my butt, which used to be wider and a bit flatter pre-kids. Now, its the biggest thing on me and gives the “girls” a run for the money. I let it do what it do — I’m a girly girl who loves dresses, especially wrap dresses that hug my curves. I guess I’m stressing, tho, because I’ve gained a little weight (guess it’s the middle age spread, because I’m not eating differently AND I’m working out, so go figure) in the past few months and 90% of it has gone to the derriere. I know some would say I probably don’t have anything to complain about if I’ve gone from a 6 to an 8 or 10, but I have to buy new clothes and I’m short, so a little weight looks like more on me. Tried on stuff in my closet the other day and there’s no way I can fit my butt and hips into my size 6 pencil skirt, and my size 8 is a bit too tight. The waists are roomy and now I guess I have to buy clothes for my butt. Other dresses that I could wear last year now ride too much up my butt, which isn’t cute when you’re almost 40. At this point, I’m like eff it. I’ll continue working out and lifting weights and as long as I’m healthy, I’m not stressing over gaining 7-8 pounds.

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  • julia @ simple truths

    My butt “arrived” in Jr. High the summer before “Baby Got Back” came out 😐

    I hated it. But I loved it. But I HATED it.

    No one else in the 7th/8th grade seemed to have one so I got all the “attention” I didn’t like that either. My dance teachers always thought my form was incorrect, I just kept telling them “My butt IS tucked!”

    I tried lots of different ways to “hide” it and luckily this was also the TLC/Nirvana era so baggy jeans, long plaid shirts, overalls were all in. It was never a weight issue with me. I’m 5′ tall and I was only about 96lbs until I got to college – hello freshman 15 :)
    By my Sr. year in High school I was more comfortable with my curves. Well, I was actually comfortable with my butt very early on – but it took about until my Sr year to be comfortable with the attention it got.

  • Kels

    I have a flat/small behind, and I am extremely self conscious about it. When I run, I tie a jacket around my waist to kind of conceal the flatness. It’s always funny/ironic to me how it’s one of the first things that people (both women and men) comment on when speaking about you negatively… ‘She ain’t even got no type of a$$…’ As if it makes you less than great. I try to accept my shape and I’m looking into shape training. But I suppose there are pros and cons to every body type.

  • Tia

    I’ve never had a big butt and many men tried to make me feel inferior b/c of that. They made jokes, comments etc. told me they would never date a woman who doesn’t have junk in the trunk. These remarks affected me for a while but now I loooove and am satisfied with my petite frame and my small perky butt.I think it loooks fab in tight skirts/dresses.
    I appreciate a woman with a nice round derriere but do not envy her shape. everyone should be happy w. what they have.

  • Tiffany

    I’ve had a “big butt” since I was in middle school and my male classmates use to reminded me daily. I never had a complex about it because my mom had a lot of junk in her trunk and she also advised me to embrace it. The one thing I do hate about it is not being about to buy pants “off the rack.” All my pants must be bought at a bigger size and taken in. My tailoring bills are outrageous :)

  • Charley

    I have always had a big butt since my elementary school days. Entering middle school I received attention for it and from age 10 I hated the attention. I felt objectified and wanted people to look pass the mountain behind me. Despite hating the attention I never hated my butt, I realized it was something to be admired but it wasn’t all of me and that’s what I wanted people to understand.

  • Faye

    I’ve had a behind that was round and high like a basketball since I was in middle school. I would get into fights with my school mates (the daggone BOYS) because they would smack me on my behind and run away – frustrating the HELL out of me! My cousins used to always say I had a basketball but and I never really knew what to think of it. Now, I love my entire body, small breasts, no hips and high round derriere included.