Michelle Obama May Have a Big Butt, But Jim Sensenbrenner Has a Big Mouth

Michelle Obama, buttIf there was ever a hip-hop song that’s been absorbed into the annals of American pop music infamy, it’s “Baby Got Back.” But it’s not the infectious beat or the super complex verses that made it so popular — Sir Mix-a-Lot may be many things, but a lyrical genius is not one of them. It’s the fascination the mainstream public had with the idea that having a big butt is, in the black world, a good thing.

Remember how it started out (clearing my throat to do my best Valley Girl impersonation): “Ooooh my God, Becky. Look at her butt. It’s so big. I mean, gross. Look! She’s just so... black!”

Now take that same sentiment, change it to a male voice belonging to a portly politician from the Midwest, and I can imagine that’s how Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner was feeling when he made his now-infamous comment about Michelle Obama having a “large posterior.” 

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So what he backpeddled? So what he sent a little oopsy note the White House to make amends? So what he, like so many other foolish public servants, has watched his private thoughts tumble into public headlines and now wants to say he’s sorry? Soooo what? My thing is, don’t feign apologetic for a comment you made 1) sincerely and 2) more than once. This isn’t the first time the good congressman has been caught firing off snarky comments about Lady O’s backside, which makes me wonder if he really finds it as unattractive as he lets on.

I am so sick of women in general and black women specifically being picked apart and torn down because we don’t fit into somebody’s standard image of beauty. It’s ri-damn-diculous. Do you know who Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman was? She was an African woman tricked into slavery, put on display because of her big backside, and dubbed “The Hottentot Venus” by European folks who made a spectacle of her and then, when they got tired of that, left her to little options besides prostitution to support herself.

We’ve been poked and prodded like zoo exhibits, literally and figuratively.  

On the other side, there’s hip-hop culture, flesh-peddling our body parts, sizing us up like slabs of steak at the meat counter to compare who has the fattest rump and the biggest rack like that’s our greatest value. The birth of the video vixen is the main reason why chicks are running around here getting injected with toxic substances and having backdoor surgical procedures, all because those of us not shaped like Sister Baartman — or, in this day and age, Nicki Minaj, though I’m not sure where the real Nicki Minaj is in all of that — feel like we need to get plumped up to compete.

More poking and prodding.

Now, the most recent insult to us and assault on us comes from a dude whose belly protrudes some 4-5 inches away from his waistband, who shares the same physical stats as Buddha but apparently none of his perpetual wisdom, who openly makes comments about a woman who’s made it her personal business to make our children — and the rest of us — healthier and less obese. Not crash-diet skinny or waif-thin aerobaholics. Her mission has been to show kids how they can enjoy a burger every now and again in balance with a lifestyle that includes regular exercise.

And for that, she gets criticized and called out for having a big butt from somebody who has his own big butt to analyze and pontificate upon. Where I come from, folks in glass houses do not, can not, and should not throw stones. But homeboy has cocked back and launched them on a couple of occasions and now expects somebody to believe he’s sorry for denigrating Michelle’s grade A black girl booty? Not so much.

I applaud Michelle Obama for maintaining a figure well into her 40s that chicks in their 20s could be envious of — and after two kids at that, because any mother knows childbirth can wreak permanent havoc on a woman’s body. She’s tall, but she’s not a scrawny like a runway model. She’s shapely like average American women, and her biceps have earned fame in their own right as ladies flock to the gym and announce to their trainers that they want “Michelle Obama arms.”

I also applaud her for rocking pencil skirts and sheath dresses that unapologetically showcase the natural curviness of black women: full hips, thick thighs, and yep, even that notable butt. Whether ol’ Jim can get it through his comb-over or not, there’s beauty in having back.  

Did Jim Sensenbrenner’s apology come from sincerity or necessity?


Image via cliff1066™/Flickr

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