Thursday, October 1, 2009

When Bootylicious Wasn't

Back in the spring, I was asked to participate in a project about women and self-esteem. Each woman was asked to contribute a short essay about her experiences grappling with her own self-esteem. Since this is an issue I'm very passionate about, I didn't hesitate to share my story. I felt, with today's blog (see above), this was the perfect time to share this piece.

Growing up I was 'lucky.' I was smart and funny and had the privilege of going to a great school. Of course, for years, I was the only black girl in my class - a drop of chocolate in a sea of vanilla. I stuck out. And matters only got worse around the 7th grade when I could add curves to the growing list of things that made me different from my classmates.

Hips . butt . thickness . blackness. It belonged to me and me alone in the Class of 86. It was hard not to feel self-conscious. I didn't get that same look in my Jorache jeans. And my curves didn't suit Calvin Klein very well either.

While no one commented to me directly, it was hard not to feel a little out of place when my petite classmates complained about being 'fat' and the horrors of having a 'big butt'. Frankly, I didn't see any butt when I looked at them . But when I turned around it was a different story.
I tried to starve myself throughout high school. I actually wanted to be anorexic. I hated the fact that not eating made me sick. If only I could lose that butt!

Over two decades later, after years of agony, I have finally come to a place of not only self-acceptance but self-love. My curves are mine and I wouldn't trade them for anything. And what's funny is that fashion has finally caught up with me. Bootylicious is a good thing now. Women actually pay to get tanned and to get their lips plumped.

And the other day, I experienced the ultimate victory when I saw a product I'll never need . butt-padded panties for the booty-impaired.

The curvy girl gets the last laugh.

No comments: