Like most African-American women, I am equipped with curves. Because of my frame, it’s difficult sometimes to decide how I want to look. I can’t throw on something all willy-nilly without wondering if I’m going to be showing off too much of my curves–even if I’m really not trying to. Music videos and songs would have you believe that girls with a “body” just want to drop it like it’s hot, shake it real fast and show it off. On the contrary, most of us are just trying to find an outfit that doesn’t have men gawking and reaching in their pocket to throw singles. The media has glorified backsides all the way back to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s hit “Baby Got Back.” Trying to find a rap song that doesn’t describe a woman with a large caboose (even if it’s done nicely), is a struggle these days. Google ”black woman with curves” and now all you get are infamous “booty” shots and video models.
With a curvier frame, clothes automatically look different on your body, no matter what you do. A dress may look one way on a mannequin and once you put it on, it magically becomes shorter and it hugs you like you needed some love. It’s inevitable. And there are probably times where you may not even mean to wear something body hugging, but it just happens that way. Knowing this, do you buy clothes a larger size so you have more room, or do you wear your size and flaunt the goods?
I am a strong believer in the idea that the venue always depicts how you should dress. If you are going to run errands, it helps to probably look and feel as laid back as possible, and for work purposes, you know to keep it loose and professional. Now, if you are going out with your girls to a club or happy hour, it may be a more appropriate venue to wear more body hugging clothes. However, when you do, many times you are faced with glaring stares and men ruthlessly breaking their necks to look at what is behind you, and while some women love the attention, others don’t want it. Unfortunately, when most men see a woman with a larger behind they automatically think of sex, and images from BET Uncut flash in their mind. They tend to look at women with larger behinds and curves as sexual beings. This is partly because a lot of media portrays the curvy woman as the one dancing and working poles.
When I am with my male friends it is so obvious. The way they approach women is COMPLETELY different depending on their body shape. Even the way they describe a woman is different: for example, if there is a girl who is petite, has a pretty face and dressed reasonably, they approach her with some respect and decency. They spark up regular conversation about the weather and gas prices and drop a compliment here and there. But if they see a female with a small waist, a large behind, and nice legs, it is a whole new game. They approach her with sex in their eyes (and on the brain), some very close and in your face. They might even make a lewd comment or two. There also is a sense of urgency because the faster they talk to you the faster they think they can get between the sheets. I have seen men literally chase a woman down from what they could see on her from behind. It sounds crazy, but it happens. When he is talking to her, he doesn’t even bother to look at her face for a majority of the time; a lot of the time he is scanning up and down taking mental inventory. Don’t even get me started on the unnecessary touching. Conversation just comes off as unnecessary these days; they just ask for your information, and hit you with the “What you doing later?” No nice talk, just lets get down to it.
Every curvy woman has been through this time and time again, and it’s pretty sad. Nobody wants to be approached or looked at in an over-sexualized way. Your value as a woman shouldn’t be affected because you have what is considered a “curvier” frame. It ends up being the woman’s responsibility to try and make sure that she portrays herself in a way that commands respect. Maybe rock that pencil skirt instead of a mini skirt. Maybe wear a higher neck shirt instead of that low-cut top. We have all seen that girl that has it ALL hanging out. What kind of message is she sending? Or should she even care? It all comes down to who you are as a person and what you want to say. There are other ways to attract attention of the opposite sex with things like your smile and confidence, but a lot of men see booty first. There will always be a difference between a curvier woman and a woman with less of a curvy shape. It’s like the difference between Jennifer Lopez and Zoe Saldana. What might look elegant on Zoe will look Hot on JLo. As women, we just need to be in control of who we are and our Hot. Seriously, with all the drama that comes with being curvaceous, I can’t even imagine why some women would want to get butt injections.