I know. Odd question, right? But that was the caption I read above an image of a Black woman bearing her thong-clad, uber-plump, backside for an ad on my favorite Black gossip site. (Click the pic, and a link to one of those sites on how to get a bigger butt by taking some pill pops up.) Seeing that ad multiple times daily, along with the rotund rumps bared on the covers and layouts of men’s magazines, made me wonder about the pressure Black women are under to have brick house bootys.
Usually. when anyone talks about the effects of maintaining an ideal body, it’s a conversation for, by and about White women who are struggling to get and maintain a size 0 or 2 in the unhealthiest ways possible. And while the ideal shape for Black women may not be rail-thin, having a body with the proportions of Nicki Minaj or current King cover model Amber Rose is equally impossible for most, even with the all the working out in the world. And perhaps that’s why the booty building business is booming right now.
Do an Internet search for “how to get a bigger butt?” and the sites that pop up aren’t full of women you’d expect to see. It’s pictures of brown girls whose tushes have gone from from medium and large to unbelievably gigantic. Some attribute the growth to lunges or butt pads like Booty Pop. Others suggest a proud country-girl diet of collard greens and cornbread. If you lack in the back, and have the money — approximately five grand, plus the cost of the facility, anesthesia, and medication — you too can have a professionally sculpted rump of Sir Mix-A-Lot worthy adulation. Or if you’re trying to get a booty on a budget, there’s the careful suggestion of pills, or worse, illegal butt injections (discussed, of course, in a shroud of secrecy). Those are the ones that worry me the most.
Earlier this year, a 20-year-old Black student died in Philadelphia after she received her second round of illegal injections in a local hotel room. When FOX News covered the story, Dr. Steven Victor, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City, told reporters that this kind of botched procedure happens all the time. “We’ve been seeing this for years,” he said. No doubt he’d heard the widely publicized story of six Newark, New Jersey women who were hospitalized last year when they received buttocks-enhancement injections containing silicone used to caulk bathtubs.
The pressure to look like a male fantasy may be high, but you know who needs to stop? Us! I believe in looking good as much as the next woman, but what you can’t get through hard work and sweat in the gym or create the illusion of with some pull-ons with puff in the back, just isn’t worth it. There are better ways to spend your money than surgery for a fat tush, and no man’s attention is worth risking your life. Want a bigger butt? How about just being satisfied with the one you have?

Are you happy with your behind?
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter: @abelleinbk

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