Can I vent for a second?
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.
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.
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.
Men, ya’ll gotta do better!