In the article, The Psychology of a Big Butt, Dr. Bryant-Davis' provides an insightful take on Western beauty ideals and balancing the celebration of full figures with the objectification of the exotic.
Here's a brief excerpt:
I think what we have in a lot of ways mistaken is we have bought into the myth that if I do it to myself it’s empowering, so it’s like, you’re not gonna do it to me, I’m gonna do it to me but it ends up with the same effect that in essence we’re on auction blocks and those auction blocks are now the street corners, those auction blocks are on tables when I’m feeling like I have to give lap dances to get my college tuition, those auction blocks are standing in line hoping to be chosen for a rap video. A lot of times these are girls who actually have dance training. Some of them just woke up and decided to show up but several of them actually have talent. But unfortunately in our community, there have been a lack of celebration and recognition for people who are doing the right thing. It’s not that we don’t have sisters holding it down, it’s not that we don’t have brothers who are very respectful of women but they don’t get highlighted. They don’t get the big commercials. Like, the big commercial is the guy sitting there and three women standing behind him with their bikinis on and that becomes the hero, and people want to be that so I think we really have to alter who it is we have to give our power to and really start to acknowledge those who are doing incredible things. It’s not to demonize those who create videos, they’re doing what they do but we have to be clear about putting forward to our young people and to ourselves other examples of heroes and sheros so that there’s a better balance.
Agreed. Bring on the sheroes and heroes!
You can read the full article here: http://vibe.com/posts/psychology-big-butt-how-society-went-flat-phat