I have a confession to make: I love my butt. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, it is not a typo: I love my tuckus, my derrière, my behind — whatever you like to call it. It is my greatest asset (pun-y, am I right?), and this is why.
When I look at my body in the mirror today, clothed or naked (everyone does it!), I see a rather tall frame standing at 5’7”, curvy hips and thighs, broad shoulders, and a small waist. But it wasn’t always like that. When I was younger, I had a straight frame with skinny legs and arms. I also usually had super short hair and donned a tomboyish style, and from certain angles people even remarked that I "looked like a boy." But then puberty happened. And as we all know, when puberty happens everything changes.
Since then and throughout high school, I have grown into my thick thighs, wide hips, and broad shoulders. I got accustomed to shopping for bigger sizes and picking out shirts that cover my shoulders rather than flaunt them. But one aspect of my shift into womanhood that I never really got used to, and am still amazed by today, is my butt.
My butt is large. My butt is round. My butt is wide. It is by no means on the scale of Kim Kardashian, or even Nicki Minaj, but when I compare my butt to others in my fam, I am left wondering how I acquired such a vast behind. Neither of my parents have notable tuckuses nor does my sister, and I even competed in an office-wide "largest butt competition" and came in second (I’m still convinced the first place winner cheated with pads). And despite what my mom thinks, my butt does not grow larger the more time I spend watching Netflix on the couch.
So, you can imagine teenage Melodi's confusion and utter disbelief at waking up one morning and walking past a mirror only to walk back to it to inspect her derrière. There it was, much larger than two handfuls, directly where her previously nonexistent booty resided.
But years have passed since puberty, and I’ve had enough time to get used to my new and arguably improved tuckus. And while I’m no longer inspecting myself in mirrors or touching and poking at my cheeks to see if they’re real, I am still constantly reminded of my bottom every time I go shopping. While I’m sure everyone has their fitting room trials and tribulations and clothing fiascos, my butt loves to steal the show.
Like almost everyone, before I purchase a piece of clothing, I like to try it on and see how it looks on my body. But for me, this step in the shopping process also requires special attention to my behind. For my body shape, I know there are things that won’t look good on me or my butt; drop waists look absolutely terrible and tunics lose my shape. But it’s the occasional pair of pants or dress that I can’t be too sure about, so I’ll step into the dressing room with my butt craving the attention.
While most people would face the mirror while changing into their pieces, I face opposite the mirror. That way, once I have the piece on, I can make an automatic decision according to how my tuckus looks. If it looks bad from behind, it’s no good. If it looks good, I face forward and inspect it some more before coming to a conclusion. If it looks really good, making my butt look wide and round, it’s for sure a keeper.
Obviously, this seems a little ridiculous. And I admit, even I feel ridiculous doing it in the dressing room. (It doesn’t help that I’ll occasionally smack my butt to get a good feel for the hold of the clothes I’m trying on.) But for my body and me, I consider my bottom one of my greatest features, and one of my favorite features.
While some people would dread paying close attention to their butt and limiting themselves to specific clothing, it’s become something I’m used to. Though I may have been confused about it at first, I’ve grown to appreciate my wide hips and large bottom, not because they "look good in tight jeans" or attract a specific type of person. But because my big butt shows my unique figure and curves that I’m not afraid to embrace. My big butt represents my confidence and courage to love the skin I’m not ashamed to be in. My big butt is my extra cushion against body shaming.
And well, frankly, my big butt looks good in tight jeans.
Images: Author's Own, Giphy