Booty Be Gone

Nov08-3My body and I are having a personal struggle with each other.  I grew up always appreciating the fact that I had a ‘big butt and a smile’.  I might not have had much up top as a member of the A Team, but I knew I was okay since I was packing in the back.
Trips to the dressing room at department stores were always the same.  I’d be excited for a dress I would find and my mother would quickly say, “Michelle, turn around so I can see the back.”  It was a killer every time.  I ended up avoiding jeans all together because they just didn’t fit right.  My derrière had been described as the perfect half of a basketball, easily held with the palm of your hand.
At a friend’s house I recently discovered a magazine called Smooth.  Ladies, this magazine features the large bootylicious views of many women of color.  Most of the pictures were from behind.  It looked like the Hooters (in reverse) for Black men.  I knew that I would never be of the status to ‘grace’ those pages.  However, my romp and I were fine to exist in our own world – until this year and the fitness competitions.
The gluteus maximus is made up of fat.  In the fitness world, this just isn’t acceptable.  If you look at the pictures of tushes of professional athletes (which I hope to be next year), you’ll notice there is no major hump-age (yeah, I made up that word!) -between their rump and their hamstring.  It’s just one straight line.  Click here for a picture.
So I’m bringing sexy back in a whole new way.  I’ll be squatting, lunging, and leg pressing my way to a rock solid posterior.   The days when my female friends and I inquired if it were really possible to make out booties clap will still remain a mystery.  The second glances as I walk past may be decrease in number.   Instead, I can yearn to have a spread or the cover of the latest fitness magazine.   I can hope to inspire women around the world to work out and care for their bodies.  I can show that sacrifices can make a difference.  Hopefully I learn that sometimes you have to give up one thing in order to appreciate the other blessings God wants to place in your life.

M.Y. November 2008

Nobody Nose

“Nobody ‘Nose’ the…..”

If you’ve ever met me in person, by now you’ve noticed that I have a pretty distinct feature on my face.  It’s my nose. It’s not your typical ‘black nose’.  The first time I met a former boyfriend’s mother, she walked off the airplane and the first thing she said was “you have one of those white people’s noses”.  Gee thanks, nice meeting you too!

Growing up, my nose was an easy target for various names.  Pinocchio was an easy one for the less creative.  Back in the old school days I was told I have a smurf nose.  Hmm, maybe I can see it.  Just like grandmother’s love to squeeze cute cheeks, people love to flick my nose (and I hate it!)  It feels like a personal violation of my space and prized possession.

While many in Hollywood and other parts of the nation feel a need to get a nose job, I wouldn’t change my nose for the world.  It’s me and makes me the person I am today.  A friend came to an event recently.  He said he was looking at this girl from across the room admiring her style.  He started walking toward her and then saw her profile and realized (by the nose) that it was me.  My nose is my nose and its uniqueness remains a constant.

Over the years I have been compared to several famous people.  Most recently (when my hair was curled) I was compared to one of the ATL housewives.  Who’s your guess?  They say Sheree.  I think if you squint one eye and quickly blink the other, then you could possibly see that resemblance, but not really.  More than once, but not really often, when my hair was wavy, I had comparisons to Stacy Dash.  To me that’s the utmost compliment because Ms. Dash is beautiful.  However, we really don’t look alike. Her nose is sloped and mine as well – that’s where the similarities stop.

There is one celebrity, though, that I hear often that I resemble.  It’s interesting because right before I started writing this column, one of her movies came one.  I first heard the comment in high school while someone was watching House Party.  Then, my freshman year in college they showed the premiere of the movie The Inkwell.  As we walked out of the theatre everyone told me I was the married lady.  Even at the gym this week, someone mentioned the movie Baby Boy and asked me if he could be my Ving Rhames (yeah, no!).  The actress’ name is Adrienne Joi (AJ) Johnson.  She’s a dark skinned sista with a pronounced nose.  I personally think she’s fabulous. After researching her, I found out she’s now a personal trainer.  Good stuff. If you’re not familiar with her, click photo for a Youtube clip.
Regardless of whom we may (or may not) favor, we need to learn to appreciate our differences.  We need to quit trying to be like someone else, and instead embrace the uniqueness we each have in ourselves.  If you think about it, the people that have made the largest differences in our world are those that sought to do something a little different.

M.Y.  December 2008

A Drop in Self Esteem

“A Drop In Self Esteem”

Tis the season to be jolly.  Tis the season to be fully of joy.  Tis should be the season to be merry, gay and full of cheer.  BUT NO!!!  Not in Yeager’s neighborhood.  I made a huge mistake.  One that I’ve made before, yet I said I would never do again. I’ve written about this subject before and thought I could avoid it.  But, I did it anyway! I went shopping for a new pair of jeans!

If anyone ever, ever, ever needs something to lower their spirits – just travel to any store and look at the rack of jeans.  Uggg!  I decide to start with House of Denim.  It’s in the name, that’s all they sell.  Surely something has to fit.  I walk in and say “I hate jeans.  I love dresses.  I need a pair of jeans.  HELP”!  The lady laughs and says most people say similar things.  She asks my size.   I have no clue.  Jeans don’t come in simple sizes like a 2,4,6.  Instead they are 25, 27, 32.  Then there’s the cut of jeans.  Huh?  I want the style that fits my body perfectly!  Is that too much to ask?

She magically decides that I am a size 27 and picks out various styles of jeans.  I am sent into the dressing room with 10 different pair.  I become excited because I just know that the ‘right size jeans fairy’ has blessed me with the perfect pair.  So, we start with pair one.  The cut is cute, the color is nice.  My five toes slip through the leg hole, I slide the jeans up my thigh and – stop.  They don’t go any higher.  (straight leg jeans don’t like muscular thighs).  I try on three more pair to only have the same problem.  Why! Why! Why!

With each pair that you try on, you get more and more frustrated.  How does Beyonce rock the cute tight jeans and work it out on the stage and in her videos?  What about all the nice jeans I see out at the parties?  Why not me?  I sigh internally and hope the lady behind the counter doesn’t come and ask how I’m doing.  (the response at this time wouldn’t be pleasant).

On to the next round.  Now, these jeans fit over my thighs and on top of my butt.  However, we now have a major problem.  The back of the jeans stick WAY OUT.  It actually looks like a pitcher.  In my mind I sang, “I’m a little tea pot short and stout.  Here is my handle, here is my spout.  When I get all steamed up hear me shout.  Tip me over and pour me out”.  I didn’t know how to solve this problem so I walked out into the store and pleaded for guidance.  “Ah, yes” she said, “That’s what happens when you have such a small waist.”   She continues to tell me that she doesn’t want to go up a size since the waist would just get larger.  In other words, ‘best of luck to ya sista!’

I visited several more store only to have about the same about of luck.  I have yet to see the fun in searching for the perfect pair of jeans.  I’m not sure if they exist.  I did eventually end up getting a pair of jeans.  The thing that made them even more sexy was that they rang up cheaper than the label read (yeah baby!).  However, I’m not completely sold on them and think my heart is genuinely dedicated to dresses.

I think jeans may be like men.  There are a lot of them around.  Some look good, but aren’t good for you.  Some may be good for you, but are just too smothering.  Some may seem like a great bargain, but quickly fall apart.  Others are just plain ridiculous.  And just like men, every once in awhile you’ll find that perfect one – that you cherish and don’t want to let go!

M.Y.  December 2008