Can I vent for a second?

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Street Art

I got my big butt from my father, not my mother.  Strange, right? Of all the traits I inherited from him, a large, firm derriere was one of them.  I also have his smile.  Yet, when I walk down the street, people don’t comment on my smile, they talk about my butt.  Sunday morning, my friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go for a walk.  I threw on some workout clothes and met her outside.  As we walked past a group of guys, one of them said out loud, “Damn, that thing heavy,” referring to my butt.  “I hate men,” I responded with disgust and frustration.  I really just hate being diminished into a walking body part.

We continued on our walk and almost an hour later, we were a few blocks away from where we saw the group of guys.  Consciously, I decided to take the longer route home to avoid them.  As I mentioned my annoyance of having to inconvenience myself to avoid ignorant comments, she replied, “that happened over an hour ago and you’re still bothered by it?” “Yes!” I exclaimed.  I am completely over being objectified because of my body.  I feel like a walking ass most of the time and it’s degrading.  As I began to explain that to her, she let me know that there are women out there who pay money to have an ass like mine.

ANDDDDDD….?

Does that mean I should be flattered when people reduce me down to my body instead of me, the person?  I remember Ludacris’ wife posted something to her instastories about covering her body because she didn’t like the negative attention that came with showing off her curves.  I completely resonated with that.  She received backlash, but the truth is, some people want to be recognized in more than a sexual way.

I noticed that I’m completely modest when it comes to how I dress and most of that is because I want to avoid negative “compliments” about my body.  One thing I’ve learned is regardless of whether you wear sweatpants and sneakers or a bikini, people are still going to comment.  A few weeks ago, I went to the corner store in sweatpants and a guy inside the store asked if he can pay me a compliment.  “You have a really nice body.  If I could take you, I would take you right now.”  “First of all, that’s not a compliment.  I don’t want to hear about what YOU think of MY body.  Secondly, I’m not takable.  You could never take me!”  I exclaimed.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Street Art

I’m not sure men realize how comments like this make some women feel.  Let me be clear, not all women have the same reaction to catcalling or “compliments” the way I do.  Still, I want to be able to walk down the street and be acknowledged in a respectful way.  My smile is just as beautiful.  A real compliment is commenting on my overall beauty rather than my ass.  I’m tired of being disrespected by insults that reduce me to an object.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Street Art

Men, ya’ll gotta do better!