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Black Women, Booty Culture And The Pursuit Of The "Perfect" Bottom

Throughout my teenage years, as the conversations around bodies, beauty and adulthood began to shape interactions between myself and my mother, one adage continuously rang true – “In order to have shape, you have to have bottom.”

Despite the fact that my evangelical mother would balk at the sight of things like the rhythmic arse shaking now commonly featured across many music videos, she has never failed to explain, in English or whichever native dialect she lands on at any given moment, that second only to salon fresh hair, a shapely derriere is key to her version of beauty. As one of three girls, the importance of a bodacious behind was a non-negotiable factor in our mother’s guide for perfecting our societal articulation of beauty.