Last night my 5 ½ year-old son matter of factly said, “You have a big butt”.
He did this while walking on my back a-la George Jefferson. Don’t ask.
Without missing a beat I replied, “Yes, I know, and I’ve worked really hard for it”.
My husband was horrified, and yelled at him.
My son is obsessed with my butt. He has been since he was about 2½. It’s slightly creepy, but not at all sexual. He’s also obsessed with the word butt…and booty…and booty butt. I’ve been assured this word obsession will end – at about age 30. Sigh.
He’s 5½ – he’s at that stage where he’s intrigued by bodies, his mommy’s body in particular. He wants to pat my butt, Zerbert my belly, touch my belly button, and squeeze my boobs while going “honk honk” (WTF?!).
He wants to know if I have a penis. I’ve explained to him that I have a vulva, not a penis, and no he cannot see it.
It’s innocent. It’s the curiosity of a child.
Thankfully, this curiosity doesn’t hold for others’ bodies. And, as annoying as it is to be the sole subject of his curiosity, it’s a blessing. It means no calls from school about “incidents”.
Still, we talk about touching and bodies. What’s appropriate, what’s not. Places that he shouldn’t touch and shouldn’t be touched. We talk about having respect for other people’s boundaries and their bodies, and that they in turn should have the same respect for his. I think he’ll be OK.
So, the butt comment – no, it didn’t upset me, because well, I have a big butt. Lots of Black folks do. Shoot, big butt songs are practically a whole sub-genre of Hip Hop. Now if only I could use my posterior assets to Twerk (someone, PLEASE teach me how to Twerk like this guy!)
I’ve always had a big butt (wrote a post about it. wanna read it. here it go). In my youth I was embarrassed and ashamed of it, but as I’ve gotten older, fitter, stronger, and wiser I appreciate it.
Of course I had to post my son’s comment on Facebook, it is 2016 after all. My social media friends got a good laugh. I also got some “support” – my husband yelling at my son that his comment was mean and a couple of people telling me “not to feel bad” about my son’s observation.
My son wasn’t trying to be mean though. He was simply making an observation. It was perfectly without malice. To my 5½-year-old, bigger is always better. He doesn’t even have a concept that “big” or “fat” are “bad”, and I love that!
In the past few years an industry, made up of fitness experts (check out bretcontreras.com for the best research and programming in this area) and plastic surgeons, has been build on helping flat-bottomed, er, un-endowed women become endowed. There’s a “movement” of female powerlifters and bodybuilders celebrating their gains with the hashtag #peachgang. I’m proud of my peach. Genetics make me a natural deadlifter and (Kettlebell) swinger. Hard work and expert coaching have made me STRONG a deadlifter and swinger.
True confession time – my body isn’t where I want it to be, and I’m not OK with that, but I still celebrate what my body can do. My son never hears me berate it. Instead he sees me doing strong things, and he’s proud of me for that, even when he’s trying to compete with me to see who’s stronger (for now that’s me, but you will be in about 10 years, kid).
Instead of putting myself or anyone else down, my son hears me talk about proper nutrition, and why I only allow him to have treats a couple times a week. He’s never heard me say “I don’t want you to get fat”, but he has heard me talk about how “real food” makes you strong and fast and healthy.
So for now, my big butt and I are going to keep getting stronger with deadlifts and swings and my new love – Back Squatting. And maybe my little guy will direct his fascination to another body part. The other day he was feeling my biceps.
*Subtitle is a nod to my hatred of “an open letter” blog post titles.