I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie: Confessions of a Skinny Girl


Let me say this for the record. This entry is not about the objectification of women or to engage in a deep discussion about images of women in the media and music. It really is about the fact that I like big butts and I cannot lie.

With that out of the way, I am over the world acting like big butts are a new thing. And now everybody wants one. Contrary to what pop culture may have you believe, “phat” butts did not arrive on the scene with Kim Kardashian. Yes, she has mastered the over-the-shoulder-stick-your-butt-out pose while wearing body hugging garments that show off her ass-ets. But she is not the originator.

Where I grew up, big booties were the norm. They called my BFF in 9th grade “Tonya Bass with the big fat ass.” And she wasn’t the only one. At each turn there was a beautiful sister sashaying by in her Jordache jeans with junk in her trunk. “It’s so big you can see it from the front,” they said.

And then there was me. “Columbus thought the world was flat but he was just looking at Andi’s back.” I hated to dress for gym with my skinny legs and lacking backside. I never wore dresses. I wanted to stab people who felt comfortable saddling up next to me and spouting “Girl, you need to eat. Do you eat? You are soooo skinny. Your butt is flat.” I often wondered if people go up to those with a little extra around the middle and say, “Girl, you are fat. Just stop eating.” I pondered what would ensue if I responded by saying, “You sho is ugly.”

I suffered in silence and dreamed of a world where I had a coke bottle figure with matching round derriere. No one wants to hear the skinny girl complain.

If ever at a party and Sir Mix-A-Lot came on, I felt awkward dancing.

I like big butts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung

I was at Spelman when Spike Lee shot School Daze at the Atlanta University Center and, in the process, gave life to a song and dance craze that swept the nation. It was called Da Butt or as I referred to it, “Just My Damn Luck.”

And Sonya got a big ole butt (oh, yeah)
Melissa got a big ole butt (oh, yeah)
Tammy got a bubble butt (oh, yeah)
Little Keisha got a big ole butt (big ole butt)

Not little Keisha too!

As the years passed and I grew…up, I learned to love my rear. All that it is and isn’t. Make no big bones about it, from time to time I still get butt envy. But I have embraced the words of a different song, “Shake what your mama gave you.” So, that’s what I do. I shake what my mama gave ME and I do a pretty damn good job at it.