It has taken me nearly a week to think of a response to Vogue‘s proclamation that “We’re Officially in the Era of the Big Booty.” In her September 5, 2014, article in Vogue Patricia Garcia makes the argument that thanks to Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea, Kim Kardashian and MILEY CYRUS, we are now living in the era of the big booty. While she makes mention of Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Blac Chyna, it is perfectly clear who she believes this movement belongs to – women of the lighter persuasion. The article is in response to the musical collaboration between Iggy and J.Lo.
Maybe it does. Big booties are not a novelty to black women, or Latino women for that matter. No, it is only an anamoly to white women. White men on the other hand have appreciated such delicacies for centuries. They’ve capitalized on the booties of black women since the 1800s. Where do you think the term “child-bearing hips” came from?
Early in the 19th century, Sarah Baartman, was coined the Hottentot Venus and paraded around Europe as a freak show with a large buttocks and extaordinary labia. As a woman from what we now know as South Africa not owning her own body (she was slave) she didn’t have much choice in the matter. That my friends is what a big booty got black women back in the day. Even now it is gawked at, stripperized if you will.
But the booties of Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea and Kim Kardashian and glorified. The appropriation of black culture or what some would say are black-isms by all three of these women – and Miley Cyrus as well – does not help Garcia’s case much. If they could just walk around with their big booties and live their lives it would be great. But we know that is not possible. No, they have to wear gold teeth during performances. Chill with rappers. Make sex tapes with Ray J…none of these things that I, a black woman, has ever done by the way!
So I suggest that Vogue step into the 21st century and leave the big booty critiquest to Essence, Glamor, …well, anyone else.