I remember the first event in my life that made me start to hate my butt. It was Freshman Honors English class and the teacher asked me to diagram a sentence on the blackboard. I walked up there confidently (my diagramming skillz are legendary) and got to work. As I was finishing, I heard a voice come from the back of the room.
“Tara’s got a big ol’ butt…I know I told you I’d be true…but Tara’s got a big ol’ butt…and I’m leaving you.”
Shawn Senter, popular football player, was serenading me with the lyrics to LL Cool J’s song as I stood with my back to the class.
It amazes me that after seventeen years, this event and the feelings it brought up, remain crystal clear in my memory. How is that even possible when I can’t remember where I put my keys?
Despite this high school trauma, I’ve had an amazing revelation since then.
I love my body.
In fact, I said that very phrase out loud to my husband the other morning. I realized that it was, quite literally, the first time in my life that I said it AND meant it.
(After I said it, my husband responded that he, too, loves my body. So cute, that one.)
It’s a little sad that it took me thirty-four years to fully embrace my junk. But is it all that surprising, really?
Negative body talk surrounds us. From snippets of complaining I overhear to images and posts I see online, women are unhappy with their bodies. Whether it’s the off-hand comment about losing five pounds or the demeaning joke about the pear shape of your body, it seems like this body unhappiness seeps into many conversations I have with my friends.
And it’s not just my friends.
“In one American survey, 81% of ten-year-old girls had already dieted at least once. A recent Swedish study found that 25% of 7 year old girls had dieted to lose weight – they were already suffering from ‘body-image distortion’, estimating themselves to be larger than they really were. Similar studies in Japan have found that 41% of elementary school girls (some as young as 6) thought they were too fat. Even normal-weight and underweight girls want to lose weight.”
I’m tired of it.
My strong and powerful glutes (the gluteus maximus, minimus and medius are the major muscles in your butt) made all of the following possible…
- 1000 miles backpacking
- 7 half-marathons
- 1 marathon
- 2 triathlons
- 7 Bolder Boulder 10k races
- 1 24-hr. mountain bike race
- 1 100-mile road bike race
- 5 summits of 14,000+ peaks
- skiing black diamond runs
Call it my booty resume.
But besides the impressive list of achievements above, what else has changed my mind and caused me to embrace my body now?
Two things: my husband is an ass-man and CrossFit. The fact that I hear on a daily basis how much my husband loves my ass (and that he can’t keep his hands off of it) has had an amazing effect on the negative feelings I used to harbor towards my backside. When someone loves a part of me that much, who am I to hate it?
And because of CrossFit, I’m much stronger now than I’ve ever been. The ability to deadlift like a champ, perform 150 squats and box jump with the best of them have made me love my body in a whole new way. My glutes are the basis of an amazing amount of functional strength and I honestly feel like I can do anything, physically, that I put my mind (and my ass) to.
Plus now that women are buying butt enhancers and having surgery to plump up their behinds, who’s singing the praises of my ass now, Shawn?
Echoing the famous words of Six Mix-a-lot, I too like big butts and I cannot lie. But enough about my booty…how’s yours?