Can White Girls Co-Opt the “Booty?”

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the current “glorification” of big butts, brought to you by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Iggy Azalea, aka, not Black people. Recently Vogue magazine declared that we were living in the “Era of the Big Booty,” and actually credited Jennifer Lopez with starting the trend. Excuse me?

Then today, I finally get a chance to check out the video behind the infectious pop song by Meghan Trainor called All About that Bass. Basically it’s a self-love anthem for those girls with extra junk in their trunk. I assumed Meghan Trainor was Black, but she’s not. She’s very White. Check out her video:

So, at first I was feeling kind of duped. And then I was feeling like I was living in a Bo Derek braids moment all over again. (If you don’t know what the Bo Braids moment was, you can read all about it in my book Hair Story.) Really, White girls are going to get the credit for popularizing big butts? Did Sarah Baartman (aka the Hottentot Venus) die in pain and humiliation in vain? Can Black women get the credit for anything? Anything? And please note, that Trainor uses mostly Black women in her video which kinda says to me that she’s using Black women to bolster her claim, which gives credence to my theory that this is a co-opting moment.

But then I had to check myself? Well, at least ask myself this question. Do Black women own big butts? Is that something we can legitimately claim? Clearly not all Black women have big butts and many White women do. So, is my indignation misguided or misplaced? Is this the wrong issue to get worked up about? I had to wonder. And I’m still wondering. I don’t have a well-researched answer. I only know how I feel and that is that once again, it’s only when a White woman embraces it, can Black beauty be acknowledged. #sadsadsad

What do you think about the booty issue, dear readers? I’m so totally listening.


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10 Thoughts to “Can White Girls Co-Opt the “Booty?””

  1. Rachelle

    I am a white woman with a big butt. I was born in ’86 and grew up in a very culturally diverse home. I grew up listening to sir-mix-alot’s ‘baby got back’. I remember feeling excited for Jennifer Lopez to come on the scene. I never felt it was ‘ok’ for me to have this butt with my skin color. I tried modeling in my early twenties and did ok, but it definitely doesn’t feel acceptable being white with a big booty. Especially, now with all the booty talk. Makes me very uncomfortable and almost ashamed. I am most definitely not trying to minimalize what body-shaming black woman have gone through. People getting injections and butt implants is crazy to me, especially since its so hard to find pants. Lol.
    I guess my question is it socially or culturally acceptable for a white woman to have a big round muscular behind?

    1. AN

      Whatever a white woman does or has is always socially and culturally acceptable because white women get that stamp of approval on everything they do- whether they are the originators or not. It’s just the way it is. It could be wrong as heck but because she’s not black it’s all good.

      And let’s just be honest –not too many white girls have firm booties. So I don’t see it being somehow an issue among white women being bashed for having firm butts. If there was some concern. And like I said the world would love it if most white women have firm butts and blacks with flat jiggly booties.

      Their is this idea that black women are born bad– sex addicts, moodie, hostile, mannish, ugly, huge lips, huge behinds, nappy hair, loud, selfish, foolish etc.
      But a white girl or nonblack woman— HONEY—she’s gorgeous, loving, patient, intelligent, beautiful. And –honey —-don’t let her have similar features of a black woman– Oh her lips are beautiful and full, her body is shapely etc. And if she’s an “actual garden tool ” *wink wink*… Oh she’s sexual liberated, she’s a role model. On and on. So culturally and socially yall white chicks can do no wrong.

      On a tangent.
      I was just reflecting upon the times that I have been done blantanly wrong and I stood up for myself respectfully but I’m the witch. How me, the victim, is wrong? I’m suppose to be the black female door mat for people when they are having their tantrums. I’m a black woman and I’m wrong all day long. My feelings and image does not matter.

      But back to what your question was. What you as a white woman does is never a bad thing — according to society.

    2. AN

      And what do you mean that you” never felt good about having this booty in your skin color?

      And being a model in an industry that wants manicans so the clothes can drape the way they want or think it should drape– you better be skinty. So modeling and round booties, thick thighs, shapely legs— don’t mix.

      So if that’s why you feel like having a round butt as a white woman is wrong—I would certainly say that’s not a reasonable example. The modeling world is strict with their weight and even on plus size models they have certain standards. Modeling world is a whole different world.

      Now it does impact female’s self image but if you are working in that industry they want stick figures. Me myself they wouldn’t look at me for a host of reasons and to top it of because of my body shape.

      But as far as society goes I don’t see your dilemma.

      I remember this country song that came out in maybe the late 90s or early 2000s and the singer sung ” that hunky trunk is what I’m talking bout. That badunkkadunk is what I’m thinking about.” LOL That song was ratchet but it made me think why are black women bashed so much for our butts. This guy is singing about white women’s butts and praising it.

      Excuse me for my tangents. But this discussion has me thinking about young AN compared to older AN and I see the world clearer than I did back then.

  2. Ms. Meltingpot

    I am enjoying the exchange of opinions and ideas here. It’s always useful to hear other people’s perspective and I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. I never thought I’d get so engaged in a discussion about “the butt.” These days the only person who I talk to about booty is my three-year-old daughter. So, carry on!

  3. AN

    Oh. Let me make it clear- I didn’t watch the video that was included in the post and I will not. I just responded to Lori’s written post. First, what the girl in the video has to say does not apply to me- for the simple fact that we are viewed differently in society. Second, I am speaking from personal experience regarding my comment. And yes in society black women are always being bashed for our physical features, who we are as individuals and for what we have to face- alone. As black women we face racism and sexism – even from nonblack feminist. So I can’t take what an outsider says as gold for me . This is not just about the fact that black women’s physical features are acceptable on others but the fact that we are marginalized in society as nothing. And this “white woman round booty revolution”is another form of oppression for the black female.

    Look at how Nikki Minaj was attacked for her Anaconda CD cover and song. But J Lo and Iggy were praised. One woman got booty from her black ancestry and another Doc Mc Injections and both are nonblack women who are appreciated by mainstream.

    And just recently Emma Watson- girl who stared in Harry Potter movies was denouncing Beyonce’s position in feminism. And Emma is spokesperson for He For She campaign and had speech at a UN conference- supporting “white feminist movement”.

    Let’s keep our perspective here. The reason why black women and the black community is offended and upset because everything we are and have is taken and accredited to non black people. That’s why we are upset. And this ” let’s banned together because we all have big booties” is foolish. First my booty is round, firm and brown and your’s wide jiggly and flat. Let’s keep it real.

    1. Wendy

      If you are talking about my booty in particular, you are mistaken.

      1. AN

        I am sorry for insulting you but I do not know what your bottom looks like. But I am not going to pretend that this acceptance of the big butt is just an acceptance of all woman loving their bodies– because it’s not. If we as a society are going to be accepting and respectful of all people then we all need to be honest. And society’s attitude towards blacks is hateful and straight up unacceptable. This topic is just another example of what blacks face- oppression from every direction.

  4. Jane

    It’s true white people are shameless in appropriating other cultures & claiming them. BUT I took the video as a chubby girl who happens to be white saying large is beautiful especially in the booty. And using black women to illustrate the point – not to rip them/us off.

  5. Wendy

    First of all I enjoyed the comment above me. Second of all, I think the appreciation of big butts has been around for awhile and goes beyond skin color. “Baby Got Back” takes me back to my teen years. And Nicki Minaj is also in the forefront of representing the big booty today. I’m personally happy that rounder bodies MIGHT be a bit more accepted as part of what it means to be beautiful and white. It’s no doubt better than the Clista Flockhart days. This white pear is tired of trying to stuff herself into skinny jeans. Let’s join together as females and demand respect for our “Fat Bottom Girls” (Queen). I’d rather white girls be jealous than starving to fit an impossible ideal.

    Cultural appropriation is confusing thing to me. Yes, there are instances of straight up RIP OFF! But there is also a BANG of cultural collision at times as well. I believe beautiful things happen when cultures bump up against one another.

    Then again, if I hear another rich yuppie say NAMASTE I might vomit! :o)

  6. AN

    We Black women are known for our bodies and the grand majority of us do have round butts.

    I remember when people would say that black women are very muscular and it’s a bad thing. But in order to have a round firm bottom you need muscle and the right bone structure to have a natural beautiful round butt.

    And most white women I see lack those key components for the envied black butt —-that white women somehow magically have in abundance and us black are the ones with the butt implants and injections.

    And let’s make it clear – Kim Kardashian’s fake booty is cartoonish and very unnatural. She has skinny legs with injections in her thighs and buttocks– to me that’s evidence enough that her bottom is fake. And her butt is cartoonish. I’m not insulting God with give him credit to Kim cartoon booty that a witch doctor did. And then look at her wide torso that is associated with flat botty syndrome. There are pictures out there with Kim K with her original body and face and they’ll prove she’s a plastic surgery queen. And Iggy is another flat booty that got a cartoonish booty. And most white girls I see do not have the envied muscular bottom.

    Let’s put credit where it’s do. Us black women are beautiful and original and people are always discrediting our beauty. But my mom always said actions speaks louder than words— If black women are ugly then why I see people copying our look from head to toe? And they don’t accredit us because they will openly acknowledge that we are beautiful so imitators are given the full credit.

    It’s kind of like Elvis Presley and Jackie Wilson. Elvis is king of rock and roll but the grand majority of people don’t know that Elvis copied Jackie Wilson’s style and stole actual black songs.

    Just wait next summer we are going to have an abundant amount of white girls with fros. LOL Quiet a few say that their hair is froie and curly. But it’s nappy and ugly on is black women.

    White People. They are sick with envy.

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