booty, bootylicious, self-esteem, culture, body confidence

I have what is commonly called a ‘ghetto booty’. It gets comments wherever I go. Co-workers have literally lined up to give it a cheeky pinch – at my invitation, of course. People are astounded by its firm feel and perky look. I call it, “The Girls” and joke that everything that was supposed to go to my boobs went to my behind. What’s unique about my body is the proportions. My top half is a size 8-10. My bottom half is a 14. My figure is like something out of the Victorian era and I own it.

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However, it’s only over the last two years that I have developed body confidence. I used to do everything to disguise my rear. Long skirts, A-line dresses; I didn’t own a pair of jeans. I constantly lamented the fact that my bottom was not proportionate to my top. This is because, for much of the 2000s, it was the height of fashion to have a flat butt. Australia has a beach culture, so go figure.

At the end of 2012, something happened that changed my life. By some wonderfully bizarre twist of fate, I started working on a film in the USA. I arrived a few days before filming, and around the hotel I wore tights and circle skirts. However, being on location required something more practical, so I took a deep breath and did something I hadn’t done for years…donned a pair of jeans.

Nobody noticed what I was wearing, until, walking past the hair and makeup trailer, I heard: “Dayumm, girl, what’ve you been hiding underneath those dresses?!” It was the head hair stylist, an African American gentleman, and one of my favourite people in the film crew. He was looking at me with a combination of awe and wonder.

“What do you mean?!” I asked.

“Girl!” he repeated, throwing up his hands, “I did not recognise you! I thought, ‘Who is that girl built like a brick wall?!’” By now, some of the other makeup artists had emerged and were nodding enthusiastically.

“Yeah! Why you been hiding that?!” one of the girls asked.

“Hiding what?” I replied.

“That BOOTY!” another continued. What followed was a storm of praise, because in America, especially in African American culture, having a ghetto booty is the most desirable thing a girl can possess. They told me that I had literally been sitting on my greatest asset (pun fully intended). And I had NO IDEA. I went back to Australia with a spring in my step. A world of self-esteem had opened up – although I still disguised my posterior during 2013.

But then… 2014 happened.

All of a sudden, booties were everywhere. Nicky Minaj was grinding up a storm. Kimmy K broke the internet with her gleaming derriere. Twerking was the new Macarena – and I took full advantage of it. I tossed my long skirts and worked the short dresses. I lived in jeans and high heels. I will now wear anything to make my butt look more prominent and when somebody stares at ‘The Girls’ with that bewildered, trance-like expression, I stick it out and swagger.

I’m not saying that thin bodies aren’t desirable. If you’re blessed with lovely petite hips, that’s fabulous. Own it. But holy hell, am I glad the tide has turned. Let’s be honest; it’s not enough to just say: “Love your body no matter what.” The road to body-confidence is longer than that. If society, for whatever reason, is now (finally) celebrating varied body types, I’m rolling with it. So ladies; whether you’re a willowy waif, or you’ve got a booty like a Cadillac, work it with pride.

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