November 22, 2017

The Butt of the Joke

By Ann Van De Water

Recently, I was looking at reviews of a dress on Old Navy’s website.  These usually crack me up as one person will write something like, “This is the best dress ever!!!  It is very flattering, a gorgeous color, beautiful fabric.  I wish I could get one in every color of the rainbow!” The next reviewer will say, “This dress has the shape of a garbage bag, is a putrid color, and the fabric is see-through and clingy.  Horrible!”  One person’s dream dress is another person’s garbage bag.


One of the reviewers of a dress I found quite fetching wrote, “I have difficulty finding a dress that fits me well.  I am 5’5 and very slender (110 pounds) but with a very large chest (34 DD), and a short torso but long legs.”  Really?  Did Barbie write this review?  This person just described… the opposite of me! Other than similar heights, I’m not even certain that we are in the same species.  I am definitely not going to order that dress.


This got me to thinking about my own proportions.  Now let me explain that I do not have a poor body image, contrary to someone who responded to a piece I wrote almost a year ago about bikinis and the subsequent Bikinigate that erupted. I have almost recovered enough from that fiasco to brave another somewhat similar topic. 


I am happy and grateful to be a healthy woman.  I fit in the “healthy” part of the weight chart at my doctor’s office.  I exercise almost daily, try to eat healthy, and get enough sleep. I enjoy life most of the time.  But it might be fun to be Barbie for just a day.  It’s almost swimsuit season again and it would be really neat to look in the mirror at my backside and see a butt that is fully contained in that swimsuit, not one which, in the words of one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, “looks like it’s making a break for freedom,” describing her own derriere.


My own bottom hasn’t been small in several decades, but certainly expanded after having kids.


My twin girls are 10 and have cute, tiny, ten year old buns.  Several years ago one of my daughters offered to give me a massage after I complained of being very sore after an aerobics class.  She rubbed my shoulders a bit and then asked if anything else was sore.  I told her I’d had to do a lot of lunges and that my rear was very sore.  She said, “I’ll massage your butt.”  Then a few minutes into the massage, she gave a big sigh and said, “I didn’t know this was going to be such a big job.”


Last week my girls saw a movie at school about “your changing body.”  One of my girls asked, “You know how when you’re older your hips and butt get bigger?” 

“Yes,”  I answered, not liking where this conversation was headed. 

“Well, do you remember when your butt got big?” 


I told her she still had a few good years left.


I have recently taken to thinking of my butt in a more positive way.  I like to imagine it is J. Lo’s twin.  J. Lo likes her butt.  She and I may not have a lot in common, but we both have ample booties.  We also each have twins (as in children).  We both have brown hair and brown eyes.  The similarities stop there.  I think I have much better taste in men.  I’m Team Damon, not Team Affleck.  And my husband’s way cuter than Marc Anthony.  I prefer a man I know I could accidentally roll over on in bed and not worry about crushing, even with my big butt.


I hope you enjoyed my stories and that you found my attempts at humor more than just half-assed.


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Ann is a stay-at-home mother of twin 10-year-old girls and a former high school English teacher.

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