Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hips, Butt and Thighs...I've got them

I've been thinking about how to approach this post for quite some time; it can be a sensitive topic for myself and for others who experience any kind of body shape anxiety.
Before you read any further, I want to preface this post by saying that I have quoted some comments made to me by others that could be offensive to some readers.  Please know that I post these remarks because I am being true to my experiences and want to share them with you.  I want to share something that is authentic and real.  

  One theme of my blog is dressing a curvy figure, hence the title, Dangerous Curves.
There are other themes that I explore; such as looking good in your 40's and 50's and of course ballroom dance.
This topic, though, preoccupies much of my thought when I'm dressing for the day, trying on and purchasing clothing as well as throughout my day in social situations.  I believe many of you can relate, no matter what your size, shape, age or ethnic heritage.  
I am extra sensitive to this topic; how it relates to me, how it relates to you.
I am interested inYOUR experiences and how they have shaped your body image.  If my post or experiences have resonated with you, please share with other bloggers.  

I have an abundance of hips, butt and thighs; and especially an abundance of butt.  For the most part, I've learned how to dress to minimize this, and creative posing and camera angles can do a lot to camouflage this too.  I want to look my best.  I want my proportions to appear to be as balanced as possible, while still allowing me to be as God made me and embrace the curves I have.
In addition to being extremely pear shaped, I am short and petite.  I have a very small frame; tiny wrists, ankles, small hands and a small face.  
It's not easy to balance this combination of features.

Yes, I still posted an outfit photo.  I feel kind of modern retro in this dress.  I could probably improve it by hemming it about two inches.
Right now, I am 10 pounds above the maximum healthy weight for my small frame.  Two years ago, before I returned to school to work on a Master's degree; I was at a good weight and more fit.  Oh, and ummmm...I still had an abundance of hips, butt and thighs.
I wasn't sitting so much while writing papers and I spent more time in the gym.  In addition to dance, I also had a membership at a boxing club and worked out 3-4 times a week there.  
The demands of school and the budget required me to forgo the boxing club membership.  I was dancing too; and in terms of time and money; I had to choose one hobby or another.  Dance won. Although I am trying to get back to regular workouts and eat healthier; I must accept the fact that no matter how much time I spend on a treadmill, hitting the heavy bag or dancing, I am still going to have this round, basketball of a disproportionate butt.
It is a part of me.  It's not going anywhere.


Until I was 30; I weight under 100 lbs...even after two children.  And...oh; I still had the hips, butt and thighs.  Even in high school, where I was grossly underweight...the booty was there.  It WAS smaller than it is now, in proportion to my weight at the time, but it was there.  I should be appreciative of my curves, my unique shape...and I am.  But in reality...my shape has been a catalyst of many uncomfortable and downright rude treatment throughout my life.

This is the necklace I won...the green stones coordinate with my green shoes.
Of course the typical issues exist; finding pants that fit, that don't gape in the back or pull across the butt and thighs, and of finding a suitable bathing suit that doesn't make me feel like a freak are regular challenges.  My major issues though with my butt in particular stem from the way my rear end has been perceived as others...it is so prominent that people often stare, whisper behind my back or even comment aloud.  My butt has caused me embarrassment; it has even caused embarrassment to my two older sons.  I sometimes feel like my ass is public property; a monument that people stare at in wonder.  No, not like staring at the Washington monument in wonder.  More like staring a grape on a toothpick in wonder.  (That's a wee bit of dark humor in an otherwise serious post).


How I love love love this unexpected prize!
People seem to think it's OK to talk about my butt in a very public manner.  I've heard everything; I've been asked everything.  "Is that real or did you have implants?"  My response is "Do you think I would choose to do this to myself?"  
I've been asked about my ethnic heritage; everyone seems to need an explanation for this "phenomenon".  
I've been told I have a JLo butt, a Kim Kardashian butt, a Nikki Minaj butt.  I've been told I have a JLo/Kim Kardashian butt combined on one little body.
I've been told I have a "sister booty".  That my butt belongs on a black woman, not on me.  I believe the implication is that pale white girls don't have big butts.  I'm living proof that they do.  This comparison is not what is upsetting to me; what is upsetting is that ANYONE would dare to be so rude to speculate about any body part on any woman.
Its beyond rude.  Its an insult to all women of all sizes, shapes and ethnicities.  Why is it that a particular prominent feature has to belong to one ethnic group or another?  Why is it okay to say this OUT LOUD?  Ok..think what you will; but why talk about my butt or any woman's butt, breasts or other features in public, in front of children, friends or strangers?
I can related to women who with very large breasts and their experiences with this same type of treatment.  The only difference for me, is that the big booty is not as common, particularly on a small woman.  Its an anomaly.
Also hurtful is the over sexualization of this feature.  I won't repeat the comments that have been directed to me; suffice to say they are grossly inappropriate.
I have had men express interest in me based on that feature alone.  I am not a woman or a mom or a person in those moments...I am an object; a receptacle.

There is a song I've heard by the singer Nelly called "tip drill".  One line says "It must be the ass cause it ain't the face; I need a tip drill".
My interpretation is that the female subject of the song is not considered attractive but she is good enough to turn around and "tip drill".
I sometime wonder, when I hear the comments, if this is how the person thinks of me.

The funniest thing is when people gingerly approach me on the topic of my butt as if they think I might not be aware of it.  Hey, thanks for letting me know.  Wow. I wasn't aware.  I'll have to do something about it. 
Yes, I am aware.  I do know that my booty arrives to the party about five minutes after the rest of me.  If it wasn't so insulting it would be kind of funny to think that people imagine that I'm not hyper-aware of it.
If this was an occasional occurrence, I might blow it off without a thought. People are people and can be insensitive and rude and sometimes just ignorant. I get that. But...it happens nearly every day.  All of my jobs have place me in the general public on a daily basis.  I'm not sitting behind a desk, I'm out meeting and greeting many people therefore my booty is on display in a manner.   I get weary of the looks, the comments, the innuendos.

That being said; I do joke with those people in my social circle about my butt.  Sometimes its just to be funny; sometimes its a preemptive strike; a defensive move to reach the punchline before they do.

I'm thankful that my husband has NEVER, EVER treated my butt like an object.  He has never made a rude comment about it.  He appreciates it....but doesn't ever over-emphasize it, even during intimate moments.

Someday, I will get brave and post a picture of myself walking away from the camera.  Just so you know I'm not exaggerating.  Someday, I will be brave and embrace this without shame so that you too can embrace whatever it is you may not love about yourself.

I love my body.  I don't love all of my features.  But I love the body that has carried my children; that dances like a princess and that carries me through life.
I hope you too, will love your body for it has carried you through.




13 comments:

  1. Hi Lisa,
    I'm a pear shape, too, so I completely empathize. Finding pants that fit the waist, hips, AND thighs sometimes feels like an exercise in futility. God bless a-line skirts and dresses for us pear shapes. Fortunately, I have never been subjected to the type of rude comments you've experienced. Sadly, there is always some ill-mannered schmuck out there who thinks it's perfectly acceptable to make comments about someone's body shape. Thanks for sharing this story. And bravo for loving your body despite the comments people make!

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    1. Thank You Chris for your comments and support. Finding clothes has always been a challenge; more challenging has been comments from people who just think it's okay to point out the obvious. Hard to overcome body anxiety when there are constant comments. But I do appreciate what God has given me!

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  2. It is difficult when people can be so rude and insensitive. Sorry that you have to go through those comments. It is a great thing that you are continuing to be active and embracing who you are. My whole adult and teen age life I've dealt with weight issues. It wasn't until about 8 months ago that I had an epithany and I changed the way I looked at food. I was never a big eater but it was what I was eating that was wrong. I always thought that eating healthy was eating whole grains and low fat foods...boy was I ever wrong!!!! I've given up wheat and processed foods and I feel like a new person. If you ever feel like you'd like to know more, just shoot me an email. I wish I would have done this 20 years ago:)

    BTW, you look very lovely in your dress:))

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, Joanna. I know I need to make changes. I definitely need to amp up the exercise and cut out some of the yummies I'm addicted to; the bread and cheese and the chocolate (at least the volume of it that I eat). I know I need to fill up on veggies...I'm working on that! It's not so easy. Thanks for reading my blog.

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  3. My youngest daughter receives similar comments and she attracts a lot of attention from a certain ethnic group of males. She's learned to be very sassy about it. I can see that you've tried a variety of approaches, but I hope you have a rude retort of your own that makes such commenters stop and think twice!

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    1. I'm not rude but I can be very creative in my responses. Once when a man made a comment to the effect of "what would it take to get you to agree to a night of ecstasy" (I had just met him) my response was "the right man". It was a very public retort because he chose to make this invitation in a public venue. He understood from my tone and my response that he was definitely not the right man, and I think he felt like a fool, being rebuffed in public.

      I never want to be rude, but I do want to discourage comments. The funny thing is, that the comments, questions and remarks are not limited to just males..or just males from any particular ethnicity. Women can be just as rude. Do you know the song "baby got back" ? In the beginning of that song...the words spoken by the girls are words that I have hear more than once. There are times when I just play it off and ignore it...sometimes that's best. I would love to see a return to some level of respectful etiquette though...this 'say what's on your mind' manner of relating to others is unhealthy at best.

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  4. Oh Lisa. You are my HERO. I'm short and petite like you but yep, I have the butt, hips, and thighs. And a mommy tummy. It's not so fun. I'm trying to embrace them but it's not easy.

    YOU are absolutely beautiful, both inside and out, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to "get to know" you. You're fabulous.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet compliment! Well...they mommy tummy is so worth it, isn't it?

      You also look great. Your blog was very much an inspiration for me to get started blogging. Meeting this community of blogging friends has been wonderful. There is so much acceptance and support.

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  5. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your kinds words on my Fresh Mint, Warm Loaves post. I'm glad that it seems there are people out there who actually taking the time to read what I wrote! :)

    I have to giggle while browsing your blog, because we are similar yet the opposite! I've been tall and stick thin my whole life, totally flat, yet with butt! That's why I can never wear pencil skirt. I love my butt, and my husband, too, but I don't want too much attention directed to my rear! And yeah, people could be very annoying without meaning to do it, if you know what I mean. Just being unthoughtful, like saying all the time: "You're so skinny! You should eat more!"

    Luckily, as get older and a little bit wiser, I've come to embraced my body shape, just like you did!

    All those gorgeous models and Victoria's Secret angels are lovely to look at, and polished perfection being shown in magazines can serve as a good, positive inspiration, as long as we keep things in perspective.

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season
    http://stylenseason.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I have really enjoyed reading yours.

      I think you can wear pencil skirts...I do. I size up though to accommodate my butt.

      Thanks you for taking the time to respond to my post!

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  6. A very good friend of mine is built similarly to you, and she gets a lot of attention for her back end. It's good to know that you try to keep other people's comments in perspective. People tend to say stupid things about anything from body shape to having kids to other people's love lives. Keep your chin up and your positive perspective.

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    1. It's good to know there are others who share same experiences...except for the fact that it just not a good experience for anyone. Just knowing that others can relate.

      Thank you for checking out my blog and for you thoughtful comment!

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  7. In my culture, a big butt is celebrated, but I can see how the attention and comments can be very offensive. I was always skinny and in my younger days, boys would not look twice at me because I did not have a big butt. I am so sorry that people are so rude and offensive to you. I know its hard, but try to ignore them. Some people in their ignorance, probably think they are complimenting you. Hold your head up and know that you are beautiful, curves, big ol butt and all. I am now following your blog. I love following bloggers who are authentic and have something to say.

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"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain