New York is a very special kinda place, and unique in the sense that so much travel occurs by foot. Having recently moved to the city myself, I’m still adjusting to constantly being outside, exposed to the elements. Nah, I’m not talking about earth, wind, and fire. Rather, these bothersome men on every block, ready and waiting to serenade any innocently bypassing female with their unwarranted “Hey Ma”s, “Hi Sexy”s and “God Bless You, Gorgeous”s. A quick but kind smile and thank you are usually my best defense, but nevertheless, when I walk past, I’m put to the test.
You know the test. The “yea, she’s kinda cute and all, but what the ass lookin like?” test. Don’t front like you don’t know what I’m talking about, either. Now of course, these specific words are never uttered, but as a woman, you can just feel the intense and anxious glares piercing through your defenseless skin every time you walk past a group of men. Nope, it never fails. Shaking. My. Damn. Head. Why me? Ladies, why us?
Granted, at least three days out of the week, I’m pretty much guaranteed to pass the test. My Zara leggings, for example, will have the cakes sitting up just right. But what about those days when my backside is humble and, well, more soft spoken? Should I feel bad that nature (and perhaps the wrong pair of boy shorts – it’s laundry day) has kept me from meeting some standard that I didn’t even know I wanted to achieve? Does my averagely sized behind negate all my other more notable physical and mental characteristics? God forbid they take notice of my glowing complexion, perfectly arched brows, or the six dimples in my insincere and uncomfortable smile. They’d never ask what I was reading as I walked by, which artists were blasting through my headphones to tune them out, or where I was rushing to in the first place. Nope, none of that even matters. All they wanna know is if I’m gonna walk past with a honeyglazed ham or a plate of cold flapjacks without the syrup. Fml.
What’s the big deal about big butts on a stranger, anyway? I mean, don’t get me wrong, in the grand scheme of things I can certainly appreciate the idea of voluptuous curves to fill out the silhouettes of my favorite garments. You know, something for me to take pride in, that sways when I walk and bounces when I dance. Something for my boo to enjoy. But as far as me walking past a grown man that I’ve never seen before and never plan to see again – what difference does it make? Do they win some kind of prize when they say hello to the seemingly frail, narrow hipped girl who walks by and ends up being stacked like a video vixen? Or does the game end and bets fly out the window when you see a chick like me who has rather deceiving hips and thighs that scream “Hey y’all!”, but just a regular butt that whispers “Oh, hi.”? All I know is that I wanna opt out. I don’t wanna play this game anymore.
I don’t know, I guess the test is just one of those inevitable traditions that comes along with city-living. It’s unfortunate, but it seems as though men feel entitled to scrutinizing our every inch the exact moment our toes hit the pavement of this so-called concrete jungle. Nobody has time for that kind of attention first thing in the morning while rushing to class, on a hurried coffee break from internship, or at the end of a ten-hour work day. But what’s a gal to do? At this point, I’m almost scared to see what these lunges and squats at the gym will get me. If, by some fluke of gravity I were to sprout a little Erykah Badu action in the back, I’d be forced to wear a trench coat all summer! I don’t want them to take notice of it. What’s a gal to do…
Tomorrow, I think I’ll hit one of those cat-callers with a dose of his own medicine. “Hey Sexy!” “Hi. How tall are you?!” “Umm, 5’11?” “Tuh! Such a shame. Shoulda said 6’4″ or better. God Bless You…” Ha! That’ll teach ‘em. Suckas. -