I found this magazine just sitting outside my apartment building last night. Just sitting there. I didn't dig in the garbage to find it. It was just there. Like a sign. Ass all over the place. I thought the timing was pretty uncanny considering I was just discussing on Twitter with @alvinthethird that I was pondering what my next erotic work of art would be because I received another request to make a sex tape and had just read some commentary on the Kim Kardashian spread in W magazine. No doubt, I want my project to be sensual as well as erotic and somewhat political -- make a statement.
I want to always be in control of my erotic art. And as an obvious extension of that, my body. If I want to pose nude, I will. If I want to sext with pics, I will. If I don't want to work with a particular photographer, I won't. It all boils down to my comfort, my mission and the joy of creating.
Of course there were comparisons to J-Lo made with the whole Kardashian photo and whether or not a Black woman could get away with the same thing. Black women do it all the time. The question is the stigma attached to it. What made Kardashian any different? Her image is art because she didn't have a g-string disappearing between her cheeks for emphasis? We have butts. Some of us have big butts. Some of us have humongous butts. And thanks to magazines like the one pictured above, some Black women use those butts to earn a living and make a name for themselves. But what's in a name? What's behind (technically, in front of or on top of) the booty? When I was a personal trainer, I got most of my clients because of my butt. Many of them told me they wanted a butt like mine. I was never offended because they were never offensive. Sure, I had a shapely butt, but I also had the knowledge and experience to get them what they wanted or the sense to tell them it wasn't gonna happen no matter how many squats we did.
When I first started modeling, it just so happens that the best photo from my first ever photo shoot is one where my butt is prominently displayed. It wasn't planned that way, that's just the way it worked out. Since then I've showcased my strength, flexibility and smile. Yet it always comes back to the butt. In correspondence a few months ago with Naked Happy Girls, a comment/suggestion was made to me about the images I had up on my website at the time (I've changed/removed/added images since then, but not in response to the message below):
Wow! Excellent variety of images. You and dildo alike. Well done. Love bathroom self portraits:) My only suggestions are just a few smiles, more butt, and some more rope. But that's just me.
There are times when my butt makes the photo, where that's the point of the image and there are other times when it's just easier to show my butt. I don't have to worry about expression, conveying emotion and all that. I make the decision consciously. I know I have the choice not to. Is it possible to put a positive spin on Hottentot? There are certain terms that have been reclaimed by women - bitch and slut (one I've claimed). The difference is anyone can be a bitch or a slut. Hottentot has sexual, racial and intellectual implications. It represents base inferiority. You can be an intelligent bitch. A savvy slut. Hottentots don't have anything going on between the ears, so we're told (but at least they have clean, white teeth!)
Should Black women reclaim "Hottentot" the way, nigger/a has been? Is it because Hottentot is known for her ample posterior why we run from it? (I should mention that when Africans are made fun of with sounds and clicks, the languages being mocked are similar to the languages of Southern Africa, including the Khoikhoi, "Hottentot's tribe". So that's a different stigma to erase.) We've been brainwashed to believe that you "can't trust a big butt and a smile". What about a big butt and brains? What if "Hottentot" became synonymous with "vixen" or "siren" or even "coquette"?
The market for butt implants and padded underwear should tell us that a non-flat, round, ample booty is a shape women strive for. If you have it, should you flaunt it or hide it? Do you wear leggings like a uniform to show it off? When you pose for a picture, do you automatically turn your back and look over your shoulder? Suffer from lower back and knee pain because you've forced yourself into "that" posture for so long so you can be on the cover of one of those magazines? I found that magazine "in" the garbage. Is that where it belongs?