Your butt is too small… WHAT?


Your butt is too small

Photo credit: Sparkpeople.com

Your butt is too small… WHAT?

Have you seen the movie, “My Life in Ruins”? It’s about an American woman who loves Greek history and culture and has recently lost her teaching job in Athens.  She took a job as a tour guide (that she hates), while applying for and hoping to get another teaching job.

I really enjoyed the movie, not so much because of the plot itself, but because of certain values and quotes expressed throughout it.

One of them is, “Your butt is too small.” Can you believe it?

Now why would that be one of your favorite quotes? you may ask.

Because I am one of the many women in the western world that has fallen prey to the never-ending search for physical perfection.

Are you overweight Staci? No.  Do you exercise regularly and eat healthy? Yes.  Do others  consider you unattractive? No.  In fact, most people think I am thin.  My in-laws think I am skin and bones.  At one point my husband told be that I was becoming ugly because I was losing too much weight.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have an eating disorder, take diuretics or exercise too much.  I just strive for the western world’s idea of physical perfection. So what’s wrong with that?

A LOT!

Perfection doesn’t exist.

Unfortunately, the media and fashion industry preach their message and we buy into it.  We have been deceived to believe that a supermodel’s body is what is beautiful and ideal.  Supermodels need to be taller and slimmer than the average girl(1) and many of them go to extreme measures to ensure that this standard is met.  Unhealthy methods to control weight, such as anorexia and bulimia, lead to health issues and possible death(2).

But I would like to get back to, “Your butt is too small”. I’ve always had an unhealthy relationship with my butt.  I was chubby as a child and teenager and called fat in school.  I even had an ex-boyfriend that would tell me “I love you” in Tagalog, only later to find out that it meant, “you’re fat”.  Talk about putting a damper on a girl’s self-esteem.

When I lived in Hong Kong, I went shopping one day for a pair of pants.  While looking in one store, the attendant came up to me and said, “These pants are good for you because you have fat legs”.  Now, I was already feeling down that day so you can only imagine how I was after that.

Right before moving to Brazil, I was talking with a friend about this fixation for a smaller butt and dissatisfaction with mine.  She went on to tell me a story about the late Amy Carmichael, female missionary to India in the late 1800s, early 1900s.  She had brown eyes but wanted blue.  She would pray and ask God to change her eye colour and was disappointed because it never happened.  Later however, she realized that her brown eyes were what helped her gain entrance into India.  My friend then said to me, “You see Staci.  God has called you to Brazil.  Brazilians like bigger butts.  You’ve been given one for a purpose.”

The ‘perfect body’ is subjective. The western world values thinness.  I was curious to find out what other cultures around the world consider beautiful.  The following are some examples from http://www.cosmopolitan.com/hairstyles-beauty/weird-beauty#slide-2 :

  • Kayan tribal women in Thailand consider super-long necks beautiful and elegant.
  • Karo tribal women in Ethiopia scar themselves because it is sexy.
  • Mauritanian women want to be large.  Some even send their daughters to camps where they’re forced to eat 15,000 calories a day.
  • The Masai tribal women of Kenya value long stretched ear lobes.  It is considered beautiful and women will use stones and pieces of elephant tusk to accomplish this.

So you see, beauty is really in the eye of the beholder.  I don’t think I will ever reach the western world’s idea of perfection.  And if I did, I would have a very unhappy husband.

What are your views on the way the western world views beauty and perfection from a physical standpoint? Are you trapped in this mindset? Or do you come from a different culture that thinks differently? If so, I’d love to hear what your culture considers physically beautiful.

Here is an excellent blog by the talented Miss Hava.  She paints actual fashion photos, but with a different perspective.  Truly amazing:

http://fashionvictimstories.wordpress.com/

1 http://teenadvice.about.com/od/girlstuff/a/modelinggirls.htm

2 http://www.academia.edu/1172572/Fashion_Industry_and_Media_Today_The_Negative_Impact_on_Society

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61 thoughts on “Your butt is too small… WHAT?

  1. I’ve always struggled with my butt being too small.
    But seriously, as the father of girls, I am so careful about everything I say to them. I want them too know how beautiful they are – at whatever size or shape they are in. It’s a sad world when girls are trying to live up to an impossible standard.

    • Hi Mark. Very sad indeed Mark. I have a little girl, just turned 4 yesterday. I had an awful habit in the past of always complaining about my body and asking, “do I look fat?” I’ve stopped that. And actually, I am constantly telling my daughter that she is beautiful. That she is a princess. That she is my, her daddy’s and God’s princess. And I never ever complain about my body in front of her. Have you ever seen this video?

      It’s amazing. Check it out when you get the chance:
      Thanks for sharing =)

    • Hey Mark. I only realized after my last reply to your comment that your first line was so funny. And I can just picture a man joking with something like that. Don’t you worry though, it’s ok and accepted if you have a small butt. My hubby’s is too. Thanks for the humor (Big smile).
      Blessings =)

  2. I love this. Ummm can I live in Mauritania??? lol This is so true, and I struggle with this. I was chubby in elementary, better in jr high and ‘average’ in high school – higher or lower at times, but never ‘fat.’ usually the 5’6″ 135 lbs. Average.

    I fluctuated 5-10 lbs most of my life and hovered at 130 for years, up until my wedding. The lbs. started creeping up little by little. I complain about it, and yes, I still think I need to lose 10 lbs. But really, is being a size 8 instead of a 6 that bad? I am fixated on still being a 6 and refuse to buy an 8! I’ve got issues. So, yeah – super relevant post. I’m still working on this one!!

    • Hahahahaha. Yes, Mauritania seems just right eh. Love it Kate.
      If you think you’ve got issues, I struggle when I’m a 4. Really great that I live in Brazil because my natural make up is a round butt and full legs. A friend of mine once told me that girls go to the gym and do exercises to try and get my legs and butt. And I couldn’t believe it when a Brazilian friend of mine told me before I moved to Brazil that there are women in Brazil that actually get silicone implants to make their butt bigger. I was shocked, to say the least.
      =)

  3. beautiful insight, Staci. my thoughts on the perfect body … when everyone has it, it ceases to be beautiful. x tony

    • Love it Tony. The imperfections, individuality and uniqueness of each person is what makes one beautiful. Thank you for such an insightful comment.
      =)
      Staci

  4. First of, belated Happy Birthday wishes to your daughter!

    I think that no matter what culture that you live in, there will be criticism about not being the ideal man or woman. We know what the cultural foibles are of our society as they relate to image, but I’m sure that people from every single country and culture have these very discussions. I used to have very fixed ideas on what beauty was. I think that it’s a product of maturity and our recognition that values are being forced upon us. Once I recognized that MY ideal woman was an image planted in my mind by a sales organization, I started to look at the world differently. Now, I find beauty everywhere, big butts and all… 🙂

    • Ohhhhhh, I’m frowning. Don’t remind me. Soon enough I know gravity will have it’s way with me as well. My mom always talks about gravity and its effects on the body. Real bummer.
      Blessings Richard
      =)

  5. I loved reading this. And I think different cultures have different standards which if we identify with, will cause us to try and meet those standards. I don’t really like my body, mostly because I want a body that is a mix between western standard (small slim waist/stomach) and a mostly west African one (big butt/big legs). I have the legs too, but my mother is of American descent and the mixing in her lineage has failed to gift me with much of a derriere. In fact one day at the gym I asked a personal trainer of latin descent to help me and she literally said: turn around. When she saw what I was working with, she said, it’s going to be difficult. There are some things you can do but it won’t help you much. O_O

    SO, uh, I think we as women need to focus on what we can see is positive about ourselves and affirm that! Lol. We can keep working at the other, but that mentality is based in trying to fix and may hammer our self -esteems into the ground. Your husband is happy, perhaps you can focus on highlighting what he likes and what you think is good. Release the ideal you’re chasing?

    I’m trying to…

    *Great post!*

    • I’m with you when it comes to body. I would love to to have a body similar to that of Eva Mendes. Slim waist, shoulders that are the same width as my hips. Nice toned and round butt. Flat stomach. My torso is also really long and I have a thin waist, however my legs are shorter so even if I’m not even chubby, I still can look it depending on what I wear because of how long and thin my torso is, and wide my hips and butt are, but with shorter legs and stalky thighs.

      I agree, we need to focus on the positive about ourselves. And, difficult as it may be, choose not to believe that messages that the media and advertising are constantly trying to drill into us. Too bad the rembrandt era isn’t the ideal for beauty now-a-day eh. It would be a lot easier for women to accept themselves. At least in the western world.

      Thanks for such a great comment and kind words.
      =)

      • You got it. And yes, a return to an older standard of beauty regarding body form would help so much, cuz according to the media/fashion industry you’re of no use if you’re not the splitting image of the standard. But how boring that would be if we all looked the same…

        Take care. 😀

  6. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And I can be criticized for my attraction to “beautiful” women. What keeps me attracted though is finding out that they too possess brilliant minds and have a warm and alive heart. So beauty is more than skin deep and what is inside counts more than the outer appearance.
    It’s sad when others point out or say that we are too skinny and should put on some pounds as there are many reasons or factors that determine body weight – calories consumed and burned, genetics, bone structure and myriad others. I have weighed 130 pounds for almost 40 years and it is unlikely I will ever hit 150. Do I worry; not. During a recent visit to my doctor I exclaimed “I only weigh 130”. After asking me what my weight was at age 20, 30, 40 and 50 and my answer was invariant, “about 130”, he said “So what is your problem?” Do I have a problem with my weight? No, but others do. In sum, I am content with my weight, looks and myself no matter what the ads or others try to deceive us into believing.

    • Good for you Terry. And you should be content with your looks just as you are. We are all individual and unique. My son is skinny and my mother-in-law would talk about it and so would the doctor. However, another doctor said that if he’s always been that way since he was born and he is eating healthy and well then it’s just his physical makeup. No problem. My goodness, we are funny humans aren’t we. We get worried about such silly things.
      Thanks for sharing Terry. Great hearing your thoughts and experience.
      =)

  7. Lovely post Staci, so well expressed. I struggled for years with my big butt and what some called my thunder thighs, for many years too – till I finally let go and accepted them along with all my other imperfections or rather what I perceived as far from what I thought was perfection. Beauty really does lie in the eyes of the beholder and once I began to look at myself, others, the world, through eyes of Love – all judgement and rejection faded away, replaced by acceptance and joy. Now I sure would like to lose some weight, but it will happen when it will, when my body is ready to let go of it, without stress or strain – in the meanwhile, I simply enjoy my voluptuousness and curves and so does my partner, who see only beauty through his eyes of love too 🙂
    Have a beauty and bliss filled weekend, love and hugsssss xxx

    • So funny (or not) that we strive for ‘perfection’ that is unnatural and takes so much effort to achieve, not to mention starve and harm your health. I love living a healthy lifestyle – eating healthy and exercising. But a lot of these supermodels really go to extreme measures to accomplish extreme skinniness.
      My hubby love my body so that’s all that really counts. And if I were to gain another 10 kilos, he’d still think I’m beautiful. That’s the good thing about having a man that appreciates me for me and enjoys curves. 😉
      Thanks for yet another great comment beautiful Neeta.
      =)

  8. Too much is made of what society believes to be physical perfection, so much so that it is distorting people’s self-image and is a major cause of eating disorders. Why is success rated on how much you weigh? It’s a societal concept, not only that, it’s dangerous too.

    As Dorothy Parker once said: ‘Beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes clean to the bone.’ Perhaps we should be more concerned about what’s on the inside rather than the outside.

    • You know, if I could only have my way with the media… So many women are obsessed with this issue, don’t you think? I recently watched a documentary on TV here in Brazil that was talking about this whole idea of striving for physical perfection. Some people are literally worshipping their own bodies. And others have gone to such extremes that they look so wierd from being so plastic.
      ‘Beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes clean to the bone.’
      –Definitely wise words. And I totally agree, we need to be more worried about what’s on the inside. Character, values, attitudes, compassion, and the list goes on.
      Thanks for such a great comment Heather.
      =)

      • In Britain our media sends out a distorted message to children (especially girls) that slimness equates to success in life when we should instead be encouraging children that beauty is only skin deep.

        Much more emphasis should be placed on adults leading by example and showing that people of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and good people. Working with disabled people, one of the most important aspects of my job is to show that people who are considered different are not lesser people and should not be treated as such. Everyone has a right to be in this world and be accepted for who they are, the media should be educating the public to this kind of message instead of pushing the inaccurate idea that beauty equates to success.

      • And not just Britain, but all of the western world. Have you seen this video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei6JvK0W60I&list=WLZP6N7Jj-O0NGKEEbLEZPvrpshxVQAzdA. It is phenomenal.
        “Much more emphasis should be placed on adults leading by example and showing that people of all shapes and sizes are beautiful and good people.”
        –I totally agree Heather. I’ve even thought of doing interviews with various different women from different cultures, with different body make ups, bone structure, features, etc. and then turning that into a series of posts about true beauty. One of these days maybe. We’ll see.
        Thank you for such thought provoking and compassionate words.
        =)

  9. Very good presentation and great opening, S. I wanted to read on. Love the list of different cultures and what they behold as beautiful. Koreans (I mean natives in S Korea about whom I don’t know a whole lot, now that I think about it!) are very particular. Very image-conscious, particular about feature symmetry. Hardly anyone is fat (at least was, before McD’s and the advent of the western diet).

    • Hi Diana. Thanks for appreciating it. Isn’t it funny how different cultures view beauty. And thanks for sharing about South Korea and feature symmetry. Now that you mention it, I can tell from what I’ve seen in the past and all. I have a sister-in-law that is Philippina and she values light skin. She doesn’t ever want to tan and thinks that if she uses brown clothes it will pale her skin. I’ve even found whitening cream in India before as well.
      Gotta love (actually detest) McD’s.
      =)

      • Great. Can’t wait to read it. Listen, I’m really interested in this project ‘around the world’ that you’re doing. I would really like to share my experience as well, in fact, I have already started. I stopped though, a little bit overwhelmed with all the information swirling around in my head. Plus, I’m writing a guest post for http://www.bloggerthoughts.com/ and have been so busy. If it is still possible to get something in to you within the next week and a half to two weeks could you let me know. Or is that too far away?
        Thanks Diana.
        =)

  10. Great post! Very well written, enjoyable to read and informative at the same time.
    It´s so important to talk about the looks not being the most important thing at a person – especially for the kids which grow up with these false images of perfection.
    And isn´t it good to know, that everybody of us is considered to be a beauty somewhere in the world? 🙂
    And of course thanks to you, Staci, for mention my blog. I love it being mentioned in this context!

    • Hi Miss Hava. Thank you so much for such kind worlds. Yes, it is important to value a person for who they are, and not how they look.
      Have you read Tony’s comment from ‘Things + Flesh’? I love it. If everybody had the perfect body, it ceases to be beautiful.
      You’re so very welcome for the mention. I was happy to do so. You are a brilliant artist.
      =)

  11. You lived in Hong Kong too!!!!! I so want to comment on your butt topic Staci but now I’m starting to realize that I shouldn’t ask you what countries you’ve lived in….I should ask you what countries you HAVENT lived in!!! ….I am SOOOOO jealous like usual 🙂 I will be back tomorrow to talk about butts… for now I’m going to go wallow in self pity with the realization that you are so much more cooler than me 😉

    • Hahahaha. My time in Hong Kong was definitely an awesome experience. I absolutely loved experiencing Chinese culture, especially in the thick of Chinese new year. HK is a very busy city, full of people. Thankfully, I lived on the outskirts at a base just across the way from mainland China. Whenever I went into the more populated areas I always ended up returning home exhausted. It is , however the culprit of my food fall. By this I mean, that with a desire to have a little taste of my own culture, after years of never doing this, I succumbed and ate at McDonalds. It’s unfortunate, but it happened. 🙂
      I grew up in Vancouver. Vancouver is very Asian, hence little butts. I’m in the right country now. They appreciate my body type. Hahahaha.

  12. Thanks for sharing it Staci…its really worth reading…Indians are more fond of Curveous girls…you ask boys of any age group…they will always have an eye for a full figured girl…bollywood and TV industry are show casing thinner girls but reality is way too different…I know sometimes you just cant control your genes, I have seen skinny girls who always desire to have full figure but they cant…I am a huge fan of curvy girls and mascular boys but nowdays thanks to this media…both are missing…girls looks like skelton and boys looks like girls…eewww…I hope people get over with this skinny concept…I am tired of it…Great Post

  13. Lol @My friend then said to me, “You see Staci. God has called you to Brazil. Brazilians like bigger butts. You’ve been given one for a purpose.” 🙂

    In Nigeria where I’m originally from, I’m okay. Although in recent years the magazines feature thinner girls. When I’m in The Netherlands, I feel big! I’ve more or less accepted my basic body shape- full, curvy, and yes, big butt 🙂 thanks to genetics. It’s been a difficult road, but I’m not as fixated on the Western media’s version of beauty as I used to be. I think confidence that springs from self-acceptance is very attractive, and it isn’t wise to base confidence on physical beauty alone.

    • Here here to that. I totally agree with you. There is something super attractive about a woman that accepts her body the way she is and is confident in who she is as a person. I know fuller girls that are like that and it’s beautiful.
      So cool you’re from Nigeria. My son had to focus on Nigeria for his mid year culture fair at school (which was held just yesterday). He looked so cute in his little Nigerian clothes (borrowed). We made Shuku shuku as his recipe and learned all about the cross-river gorilla, history, culinary and national anthem.
      🙂

  14. Reblogged this on A God Coloured Girl in a Grey World and commented:

    Since I’ve been on vacation for the past 3 1/2 weeks, I have eaten more than I normally would and have been feeling bloated and worried about my body image. I have also been very lax with blogging during this time so would like to reblog this entry from some time back. I thought it fitting.
    🙂

  15. Loved it! Us males don’t get too caught up in the ideal thing, although the men’s fitness magazine tell us that ripped abs are the only way to go…lol.
    I have a big butt, but that’s genetic. Comes with the stocky legs. But that gives me good center of gravity 😉

    The post makes me think of this commercial:

    Paul

    P.S I sent you an email to the about.me account. Did you get it? If not, just email me at: carrythemessage164@gmail.com

    Hope you’re having a great vacay!

    • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Really? You have a big butt? According to my hubby, mine is great. Although it is a bit on the rounder size. hehehe. My legs too are more stocky. That’s a good way to look at it though. Gives a good center of gravity.
      Love the video. You would never hear a guy say those things. Only us hormonally influenced females.
      BooHoo! We’re not going to get to meet. I will definitely call though. Keep your phone on hand ok.
      🙂

  16. I was naturally very skinny as a teenager – even underweight. Since growing up and leaving home (= more junk food!) I’ve gone up a size and am much happier and healthier as a result.
    Around this time I got interested in makeup and clothes – another stage I skipped! This was when I began to notice the ‘Western ideal’ in magazines, etc. It seemed that there weren’t many beautiful people around. After all, we all had to be tall (I’m not!) skinny, and with defined cheekbones. Over the next little while I took to looking at other woman around the place, to see if this was so. And do you know, I have yet to encounter a single woman who doesn’t have something – lots of things! – beautiful about her. One day it occurred to me that maybe we are all beautiful. I’ve also noticed that stereotypically ‘perfect’ people really don’t seem any happier than anyone else. The world is a beautiful place, and we humans, who God designed, are the most beautiful things of all.

    • I have never been naturally skinny. Although now, many would say I am. I have a very long torso and shorter legs. So I don’t think of myself as having great symmetry. I am very fit and lead a healthy lifestyle, but I keep falling into the lies of the media. I guess the trick is to not feed into those lies.
      I just heard on the radio today of a study that was happening (don’t remember where). People that lose weight should really think more about their mental and emotional well-being. It was basically saying that those that focused so much on being a lower weight, were more apt to depression.
      “I have yet to encounter a single woman who doesn’t have something – lots of things! – beautiful about her.”
      –I absolutely love this. It is so true. I know of a few bigger women that are absolutely stunning. And it’s not necessarily because they have a pretty face or some other beauty feature, but because they are comfortable with who they are and carry themselves well.
      Thanks for such a great and concise comment.
      🙂

      • Ha ha I have a long torso too! I was always being scolded by my piano teacher for slouching. Well, I have more length to slouch with!

        Today I was trying on clothes and got to thinking that I look like an alien. In a good way, of course. Certain portrayals of aliens have long bodies. Maybe we’re just special 🙂

  17. Absolutely insightful…..thanks for sharing Staci….yes Beauty indeed lies in the eyes of the beholder but more than that I believe as I mentioned in my post beauty is the uniqueness of each one of us gifted by God’s grace. In the long run it’s ephemeral…doesn’t even matter that much if you share that connect…and yes being imperfect makes us human; thus beauty lies in humanity….

    • “beauty is the uniqueness of each one of us gifted by God’s grace.”
      –Oh yes, true indeed. And just like you said, that it’s ephemeral. Youth is fleeting. It’s far better to be beautiful on the inside.
      🙂

  18. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
    to say that I have truly loved surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing on your feed and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!

  19. Well said Stacilys! I agree with you, “beauty is really in the eye of the beholder”. Start to love ourselves just the way we are not based on others judgement..sometimes it is hard due to social pressure like advertising and social peer… 😦

    • Thank you Indah. Yes, cultural and social pressure does make things very difficult at times. I agree. I think I’m living in the right country for my body-type. Good thing eh. I used to have a real complex. Hehehe.
      🙂

  20. Hi Staci! The title of this post caught my eye! Ha, ha! If this post proves anything, it’s that women, no matter where they’re from are subjected to some weird depiction of beauty. It’s ridiculous! As far as the perfect “butt”, I think that has flipped. Flat, small, skinny butts are no longer “in”, now women are expected to have a JLo, Beyonce, or Kim Kardashian butt. 😉

    • Hahahahaha. That’s so true. It really has flipped. It used to not be that way. I remember when I was still in my 20s (I’m 41 now) I was trying on some clothes in a store. I heard a girl and guy talking, and she mentioned something about JLo’s butt. He said to her that it was so big. I couldn’t believe it. Now it’s coveted.
      hahahahaha.
      🙂

      • That’s hilarious. I first heard about butt implants right before I moved to Brazil. I was meeting with a Brazilian guy sometimes to practice my Portuguese, and he told me that women put implants in their butts in Brazil. I couldn’t believe my ears at the time. Now it’s so common. Hahaha.
        🙂

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