There’s been a lot of twerking on Twitter lately. If your first response
was “huh?” then take comfort: when I first heard of the twerk, I
assumed it was some sort of vile kinky practice involving Twitter. The
easiest way to explain it, however, is a sort of “shake yo booty” on
steroids. Google it and you’ll find several helpful how-to videos on
To be able to twerk, you need one thing: a bum. A big
one. This is a revelation for me, because I’ve hated my bum ever since I
realized I had one. I hit puberty in the 1980s, when bums were flat.
They extended seamlessly from the top of the thigh into a Calvin Klein
jeanpant. Bums had to look great from behind, but be almost
indistinguishable from the side.
When I was seventeen, I tried to diet all my curves into non-existence. I succeeded with the boobs (down to 32AA) and almost
got rid of the stomach. But the bum stubbornly refused to shift. Oh,
how I hated it. I’d line up next to the mirror and glare at myself,
wishing I could airbrush out my sticky-out bits in real life.
then, things have changed. During the 1990s, stars like Jennifer Lopez
and the aesthetic of Brazilian women became fashionable. Suddenly, the
stick thin ideal became undesirable, and a more African silhouette was
the kind of thing that women paid their plastic surgeons to give them.
The ATM (African trademark) has culminated in Kim Kardashian, and
everybody seems to want one.
So it seems that maybe I’m in line
with fashion after all. Oh, I still get reminded why I’ll never love
myself. “Your ass is getting big,” said my friend at dinner a few weeks
ago (gay guys can say this to women and get away with it). “You’re going
to look like Saartjie Baartman soon.”
He was joking, but it
stung. Still, as Meryl Streep once said, every woman reaches a point
where she has to choose between her face and her ass. My face is good
for my age, but my backside betrays me. I hate its lumpiness and the way
it answers to the siren call of gravity. It hangs around behind me like
a stray dog lurking around the kitchen door waiting for leftover
spaghetti bolognaise. I want to tell it to go away, but it won’t.
is one of those things that have taught me that maybe I’m wrong. Maybe
having a big bum isn’t entirely a bad thing. (It would be nice if the
local Virgin Active offered a twerking class – based on my attempts to
master it so far, it’s great for thighs and abs.) Look, I’m never
actually going to like my bum. But who knows – if I learnt to shake my
booty, maybe I can learn to live with it.
Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.