Girl Talk: Entering The American Apparel Butt Competition Was Empowering

I laughed (like I’m sure many of us did) when I heard about American Apparel’s “Search for the Best Bottom in the World” competition. I found myself aggravated by the douchebaggerous lengths that Dov Charney would go to violate and objectify women. And then I visited the site and was totally taken in by looking at all of the bum entries. They were kind of hot and not in an underfed, underage model kind of way. There was something kind of awesome about all these women photographing their real butts, privately and (mostly) respectfully. I couldn’t help but think, “What would happen if I photographed my donk?” My curiosity outweighed my feminist rage and the next thing I knew, I was slipping on my AA lace body suit, bending over for my camera, and actually kind of enjoying it.I’ve always struggled with body image issues. (I wonder what woman hasn’t?) But being an overweight child really affected my confidence about my body. It’s sad that the two boys who called me “lard ass” in fifth grade still have an impact on my psyche. I don’t even remember their names, but every time I strip down to my skivvies, I fight against the now automated script of unkind things that I say to myself. Should it really be such a struggle to love and accept my size eight body? I have smaller breasts, big hips, and an even bigger bum. In short, I will never be a perfectly proportionate size two. And this is not about pleasing the men folk. I’ve noticed that men always seem to really enjoy my curves even if I don’t. I’ve never had a complaint, just positive feedback about my body. The thoughts begin and end with me. Even though I do all that I can to maintain a healthy body image –exercise, eat healthy, and try to keep negative body thoughts at bay — it’s still a challenge.

When I snapped the first round of photos I was scared to look at my naked bum. Will there be cellulite showing? Do my thighs look fat? Is my ass too round? Does this make me a bad feminist? But as soon as I saw my pics, all of my concerns melted away. Does that hot donk belong to me? I was so pleasantly surprised by the beauty of my own behind I decided I had to enter my bum in the AA competition. It would be the ultimate act of defiance against my fifth grade tormentors. “I will no longer be ashamed of my body because of you!” My butt is currently ranked number 489 out of 901 entries and my overall rating is 2.51 out of 5.0. Not too shabby for a former butt hater. Yes, Dov Charney is still a perv, but seeing my naked butt up there on the entry site makes me proud in some weird way. Not just proud … empowered.

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