It’s So Hard to Find Good Henchwomen
Friday Ephemera

The Wrong Colour Buttocks

A Guardian headline brings to light another pressing issue for its readers to fret about:

Why does a black butt only look good in white skin?

Our fearless interrogator, our prober of deep mystery, is Yomi Adegoke, who tells us that she “writes about race, popular culture and intersectional feminism.” Heavens, what a surprise. It’s not Ms Adegoke’s only question, though. She has more:

So the attributes that black women have so long been shamed for have finally been given the… seal of approval due to a new Aryan aesthetic?

Oh my. An Aryan aesthetic. She went there, being so fearless.

Ms Adegoke’s article is at times hard to follow and extrapolates a little too wildly from things that someone said on Twitter. It isn’t without its gems, however – candidates for our ongoing series of classic Guardian sentences. Among them, this:

The black female body is still played for laughs as butt prosthetics become the new blackface.

From what I can make out, our indignant Guardianista is upset that some white female celebrities have been happily drawing attention to their fulsome hindquarters, which are, it seems, the latest must-have fashion item among the suggestible and insecure. No, I hadn’t noticed. Possibly on account of my total lack of interest in MTV and celebrity tattle magazines. But apparently it’s a thing, the hugeness of one’s arse. And this pride in ample buttocks simply will not do. Not when ladies of pallor are the ones doing it:

White women popularising what black women have always had is the latest example of the mainstream media’s cultural appropriation… The era of the big booty has neither started nor ever stopped for black women… Despite what the mainstream media told us, black women never stopped aspiring to possess the curves society so hated.

It turns out that the well-upholstered rear has been “appropriated” in “a world where white is right.” Two ladies named Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, possibly pop artistes, have been,

using huge novelty bottoms as performance props in a bid to appear contemporary and comedic while accessorising the black aesthetic.

A pop cultural detail that had hitherto, and regrettably, escaped my notice. Doubtless all pale women, being so determined to appropriate and oppress, will soon be turning up to work with huge foam bottoms attached to their person. And according to Ms Adegoke, larger than average buttocks are a “part of black culture” - a part that is “now deemed good enough to gain a level of mass respectability after getting a belated thumbs-up from white society.”

You heard her. Thumbs-up or not, big buttocks are black culture. So you white folk mustn’t pinch them.

Update, via the comments: 

Ms Adegoke seems to believe she’s uncovered a fresh source of handwringing for Guardian readers, and a fresh source of grievance for identitarian clots much like herself – based on one article in a fashion magazine and the stage prop of an attention-seeking pop star. But Miley Cyrus’s huge foam bottom was apparently a playful dig at a rival stage artiste named Nicki Minaj, who, like Ms Cyrus, is known for her suggestive gyrations. Ms Minaj, whose skin is brown, is herself quite rich and famous, in part, dare I suggest, because of her formidable rear, or badonkadonk, to which she draws attention in her videos, onstage, and whenever cameras pass within 300 metres or so. Which rather casts doubt on Ms Adegoke’s claim that big-bottomed black women have been “so hated” by “society” prior to some very recent “cultural appropriation” by paler, more wicked people.

Evidently millions of fans have overcome their alleged “hatred” enough to buy Ms Minaj’s records and concert tickets, to such an extent that the rapper-cum-professional-thong-wearer now owns an impressive Malibu mansion worth twelve million dollars, complete with maids, gardeners, five garages, seven bathrooms and a pool. Indeed, it seems that Ms Minaj made her millions long before big bottoms were “appropriated” by Miley Cyrus and her comedy falsies, and before any “belated thumbs-up from white society,” whatever that might mean. And it scarcely needs pointing out that the oversized fake bottom that so offends Ms Adegoke generated attention, of a sort, precisely because it’s not the kind of thing people generally do.

Still, Ms Adegoke is an authority on pop culture and all things intersectional, and is, it would seem, an expert on being black. So who are we to argue?