Pop Culture

Black Booties in Public Spaces

I do not know if this post needs a trigger warning, but I will at least note that there will be a whole LOT of derrière featured in this article. You saw the title.This content may not be suitable for work or young audiences. (I will do my best to not touch on Lizzo’s weight in this article, as it is a touchy subject on the blog, and people are ready to stan for her like she’s Beyoncé.) Lizzo recently created a Twitter storm online when she decided to go to a basketball game with her buttocks exposed, save a thong. If you would like to see the video, I am including it below. Please note that there is a lot of swearing in this video, so viewer discretion is advised:


Yes, I see that she is spoofing Nicki Minaj at the airport, and the memes and challenge that was born from her antics. It was not funny to me either time. If that was not bad enough, Lizzo decided to twerk for the entire audience, exposing her bottom on the Jumbotron for the entire audience and the digital world beyond.To say that I am shocked is an understatement.


I am genuinely confused and somewhat concerned at the amount of bottom that I am seeing out and about via the internet. Are these people aware that it is winter? Why is exposing your bum a style? Did you cut that hole in the shirt yourself? Why does your right to express yourself infringe on my right to decent exposure and a family friendly environment? I remember the days when we would recoil just seeing a bum crack from a plumber or janitor, but I may have to go back and find those men and apologize. I never thought I would be seeing this out in public, and see it celebrated.

The thing that was even weirder was the positive reactions from some people. People clapped back, claiming misogyny, fat phobia and sexism. Many people defended Lizzo with examples of slimmer celebrities doing the same thing. I will not say that there were not instances of this hate online, people had a point. However, no one should be taking their children to a family friendly event and be subjected to this display. Could you imagine having to sit on a seat where someone had their bare bottom?!


Lizzo herself said that her inspiration was Rihanna: 


While I ordinarily appreciate Rihanna’s daring wardrobe and amazing style, I did not like this outfit at all. Just because something was expensive to make, does not mean that it is a quality or classy outfit. It is fair to say that Rihanna did not get as much backlash over her outfit, but there is a context to consider. RiRi was at a fashion awards show, where people typically push the bounds of fashion. I still detest the look, but I understand why it came about.

People were even bringing Queen Beyoncé into the mix. Again, context is key. Beyoncé dresses provocatively on stage or during photo shoots, but she is not walking around in public just baring her behind. In this case, she is advertising clothing in a tasteful way. It is still not my favourite look, but I can work with this.

I have seen Summer Walker on the street in her panties, in a bizarre display. Within another video, she is even seen pulling a tissue or a piece of paper out of her behind. (I will eventually get my post on her and social anxiety out soon.) Other people brought up Nicki Minaj, Azealia Banks and others. We could go on for days. That said, I am curious as to why this is the new trend. 



If one person were to jump off a bridge, does that mean everyone should do it? Why is it that we are seeing an increase this year in famous black women not wearing pants or skirts. I would even take leggings at this point. Everyone is so focused on hyping people’s personal choices, that no one is thinking of the collective. I believe that there are unwritten codes of dress and decorum that we all need to follow. 

People wanted to comment that cheerleaders dress like this everyday. These are women doing a job that they are paid to do, with uniforms that suit the rigor of their job.  It is fair to say that they could show less skin. I have never seen any of them courtside in a thong though. I could be wrong.

To me, this is not the imagery that we need right now. Why are we taking blackistani  ratchet fashion and culture and perpetuating it in the public sphere? Why are so many people defending Lizzo online? We black women are more than our bodies and more that our rear ends. This level of focus and attention we have on our bodies and base behaviour is just sad. This kind of dress and behaviour belongs in the hood, the club, music videos and environments like that. This does not belong at a courtside game. People can tell me not to look or just mind my own business, but this imagery is literally everywhere.


No one is saying that plus sized women cannot be sexy and have fun. We are saying that there is a time and place for that. Case in point: this gorgeous lady decided to wear something beautiful for her birthday. I loved how she put herself together: 


Y’all, I am just tired. I almost ready to just give up and join the Amish. 

Before I close off this blog, you may enjoy the commentary of LovelyTi. I thought that she offered an excellent perspective here.


To learn more about how to dress your body and flow in different spaces, I would highly recommend the Pink Pill. For more posts like this one, please subscribe to our website, or follow us on social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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