‘I like big butts and I cannot lie’, I know, that’s song is in your head now, isn’t it?! #sorrynotsorry. I do like big butts. Not in the way that the song dictates, but due to the fact that society is fast embracing a woman with curves. Specifically, a woman with a bum.
A societal shift from unhealthily skinny to curvaceous, is a refreshing thing to see, and for the first time in my life, a girl of my body shape – which will never be, (and I mean no offence in my brash choice of words), stick thin, long and model-like – is being more and more accepted and seen as sexy. However, shouldn’t the question about using bodies as a fashion statement, akin to that of the flared trouser making its way back into the fashion houses and magazines of late, be being raised and shed light on? With this blasé use in categorisation of features of the human body, should we not also raise the question of how we are affecting girls who are so easily influenced, which don’t have a body shape like that of the Kardashians, Lopez or Minaj?
There are deliriously positive benefits to this rather dramatic shift in culture, make no mistake of that. Women of ethnic minorities, Black women, Latinas and even Indian women are being celebrated for their natural physiques. As a woman who is half Punjabi, we are naturally made with more meat on our bones and junk in our trunks. We have more fat, and on top of which, we like bad food. Well I say bad, like bad for your heart and just your general life expectancy age being over the age of 45, but it tastes divine! This has never fitted with a typical 90’s runway model, or the beautiful long-legged blonde-haired beach babe pinup, forever gracing our television screens growing up. Until now. Being curvy is being embraced whole-heartedly and celebrated too, giving these previously insecure girls, a chance to feel like the beautiful women they have always wanted to be, that they always have been, and that they already are. Societal perception has now – albeit finally – allowed them to see it.
With every IG fitness model, gym lifestyle or health and fitness page saturated on social media – there are millions, I’ve literally just gone onto Instagram, and followed about 20 new pages – there are videos of women working their glutes and their legs, and photos of some really perky bubble-butt belfies, it really is all the rage on this visually stimulating modern-day application. I’m not criticising, for I do it to. I have videos of me squatting and deadlifting, and photos of me posing and flexing to highlight leg and bum definition, a smaller and more defined waist, and a new PB on hip thrusts – naturally, if I so say so myself. What I am highlighting, is the fashion trend, modern obsession, and above all, the total ease of influence on girls and young women, being both positive and negative.
The positives, we are exercising more. We are eating better, and because we now also have the knowledge that gaining a bum on a budget (relative, one that doesn’t involve the cost of a Brazilian butt Lift – cause it is expensive as hell) requires natural work and good food. This is helping overall health, body strength, mental health – due to the benefits that come with exercise – to name just a few. It’s inspiring people to change their health and lifestyles for the better and is making a clear and consistent flow of business to the health and fitness industry, by way of personal trainers, gym memberships, protein shakes, and oh so gorgeous leggings to work out in.
The negatives come by way of social pressures that are faced more and more every day. What about the women who don’t look like this? What about genetics? What about the unrealistic representation of what we see from celebrities and social media? Have we stopped to think about how the women who were once seen as beautiful for being tall, slim, and model-esque framed, are now being made to feel inadequate and ugly? That while we can argue that this is an eye for an eye, shouldn’t we have now realised that no one should be made to feel this way? Not if you have a different body shape, nor if you’ve gained a few extra pounds over a holiday. Society may have embraced this type of body shape as the new on-trend, en Vogue look, but what it has also done, is replaced the categories that you now fit into. Where once upon a time the categories were simply fat or thin, they are now bum or no bum. When in reality, we shouldn’t actually be categorising beauty in this way at all, and we never should have to begin with.
Boys and men the world over, are now crawling out of the woodwork and agreeing that they too now like a girl with meat on their bones. A girl with an ass. So, we as women, have seen this as a fashion trend, and are now conforming. Me too. I was so influenced by a person who liked a short, curvy girl, that I’ve worked to become one, only to discover that his type is neither curvy nor skinny, it’s simply easy to pursue. I think as women we have in some way, shape or form been subliminally educated to conform, and so by nature, we do. Which opens up another question and topic entirely that requires addressing too, but perhaps not today…
What I will say, is that a change in body perception and the ideal perfect figure is welcoming. It allows the outcasts to finally be accepted and embraced – in a manner of speaking. However, it should never have been classed as a fashion statement, to be built in a particular way in the first place. Because fashion trends have an expiration date. Your body shape is with you for life. All shapes should be embraced in their entirety, highlighting that beauty is subjective to the person, not that what society is conforming to, is by definition, beauty.