The other day I found myself working out next to a woman who was as tall as she was wide. At one point, I turned to her, and said: “Don’t you find working out boring?” She looked at me and gave me an emphatic “NO.” She is a self-confessed gym junkie, despite her size. She claimed that she loved each and every sweat bubble, striving to lose the weight she had put on after a prolonged illness. Her goal was to lose 100 pounds.
I told her that my goal was to lose my ass. With that remark floating around in the stale gym air, the conversation took a turn. She asked if I had children. My answer was “Yes, three of them.” Then she said, “What the hell? Look at you! You are already in shape! Why are you going on about your ass?” Before I could bore her with my self-imposed body dysmorphia, she had to leave.
I have always hated my ass, probably since kindergarten. My ass, being bubbly and high, has been the brunt of many references that were shocking at times. In fact, the great designer Azzedine Alaia once remarked that he wished he could use his scissors to trim my posterior. I was his fit model for the costumes he was making for the divine Diana Ross. Ever since that comment, my ass has been my enemy.
Then there was the beach. Thanks to my ass, I never walked the shore without my trusty sarong wrapped tightly around my derriére. In fact, I don’t think my husband has had the privilege of eyeing my buns EVER because I always walk out of the room backwards. Oh, woe is me …
Why this strange phobic obsession? I have spent many years of my life in front of the camera. I am a professional clothes horse. A fashion model. The stakes are high, competition stiff, and the requirements of having the right body size and weight means that I have to restrict all gastronomic indulgences. I dream of chocolate and bread most nights.
Of course, I am not alone with my obsessional thoughts. Most of us are confused. Why wouldn’t we be? Hell, I don’t even know what my size is! Not kidding, one pair of jeans might render me a size six, another a size four. If I am in Australia trying on pants, I am a solid size two. There is not one correct size out there. You just have to wing it in the dressing room, hopefully not being turned off by the shitty overhead lighting.
I know you are just as flabbergasted as I am in the lingerie department. How many times have you bought underwear that stated on its size tag, that you have an ass the size of an elephant? Happens to me, unless I am buying thong undies. In that case, who cares, as long as the dental floss fits, I will wear it.
What gives? How do we navigate in this land of confusion? This yo-yo effect of what is “in” and what is “not” has always been prevalent. Since the dawn of time women have been purchasing the latest fashionable accoutrements to hide or enhance their bodies, mainly their derriéres. Unless you happen to live amongst a Pygmy tribe in Brazil or walk the plains of Africa, your butt has to be perfect.
I recently came across a genius article that shared trends of beauty standards over time. Since the 1800’s we have been wearing some type of contraption to help us suck it in and suck it up. There were a few brief hiatuses for us, as women. The 70’s gave us a chance to let our natural selves shine. Gosh, we were half naked then. The end of the era of the supermodel gave way to grunge. With that, we ushered in the era of “thinspiration.” A movement that has yet to die, but one that is killing us.
For those of us that have body types that cannot be reigned in, no matter what we do, now we have Spanx. Try putting a pair of those on in less than 5 minutes. Too much hassle for me, also too claustrophobic. My butt needs to breathe!
Mercifully, over the last few years, we are being treated to a new movement of acceptance. A new breed of women is popping up on our radar, via the big screen, little screen, magazines, and music—women who are big, sassy, curvaceous and bodacious. Our collective pop culture has embraced the beautiful bodies of Beyonce, Adele, Queen Latifah, Nigella Lawson and Christina Hendricks. (to name but a few) Yes, ladies we are back to the golden age of the feminine form! Hips have made a comeback! Glorious asses have returned! “THICK” is the new “THIN”.
I for one am incredibly thankful that the hourglass, shapely goddesses have returned. Let’s eat people! Indulge I say, enjoy the dinner on your plate!
Don’t get me wrong; I will not leave my trusted tricks for staying in shape behind. Instead, I have decided that I will put my best ass forward. Make way people; my big ass is coming through!
“I want women to be liberated and still be able to have a nice ass and shake it.” —Shirley Maclaine