January 10th, 2014
Beauty, Fashion News, Health, Instagram, Kim Kardashian
Beauty Discussion: Big Booties Are Big Business–Why Aren’t Black Women Reaping the Benefits?
By Faith

No one can deny the power of Instagram: the photo-sharing social medium now has the power to launch careers and create viral sensations with the post of a single picture.
One person reaping the insta-benefits is Jen Selter: a 20 year-old Long Island native. Selter isn’t unlike many women her age, documenting her daily musings for the website– well, except that she has 1.6 million followers (and counting) and only features photos of her round and toned derrière.

jen-selter-instagram

Ms. Selter isn’t just a glorified selfie queen. She is actually inking deals and getting campaigns–her own line of workout gear and sponsorships and offers from the likes of Lululemon, Nike, and New Balance among them. A single shot of her in the aforementioned brands can earn her thousands of dollars. Her posts often include video, showing fitness how-tos for getting the perfect glutes, like this one below:

Selter isn’t the only famous backside on Instagram, as Kim Kardashian has begun snapping pics of her glorious posterior for the world to see. In the past week, she posed alongside new bff Blac Chyna in just a sport bra and sweatpants.

kim-kardashian-instagram

That wasn’t her first showing of her gluteus more than maximus, as who could forget that image of Kim in a white one-piece maillot?

kim-kardashian-instagram-1

Kardashian’s health and fitness contracts include QuickTrim and Muscle Flex VATA Athletic Wear, but she has a whole host of other sponsorships and collaborations from Sears to Shoedazzle. There’s no doubt that Kim is beautiful and has an amazing figure that has surely taken her far, but why are she and Selter gaining popularity off of a trait that is historically inherent to black women? I thought about a fitness guru like Jeannette Jenkins, who has had an array of fitness videos (great ones might I add), but whose follower count pales in comparison to both of the aforementioned at just 210K.

jeannette-jenkins-instagram

Jenkins undoubtedly has built an amazing career outside of the ‘gram, but with a body and face to envy (and loads of personality), one has to wonder why she doesn’t have as many online admirers as Jen or Kim. Another notable face with an even more notable posterior is Draya Michele, who we featured this week. Her throng of admirers is almost neck and neck with Selter, but again, the fitness and health sponsorships are not as plentiful. Her reality TV start might make brands a bit hesitant, but how is she any different from Jen and her risqué snaps?

Draya michele work out gym body diet fitness

This really makes me upset. After last year’s twerking fiasco where all eyes were suddenly on the behinds of black women, I’d like to think that we should at least profit in the health business for a characteristic that is such a celebrated part of our culture (reference innumerable rap and hip hop songs singing the praises of women’s behinds. “Shawty got a big ol butt (oh yeah!)”). Compare that with mainstream glossy Harper’s Bazaar, which recently published an article titled “Is Spinning Making You Fat?”, where the writer frowns upon big butts. 90′s era rapper Sir Mix Alot hit this dichotomy on the head with his popular hit, “Baby Got Back,” from the beginning when white girlfriends look disdainfully upon a butt calling it, “Gross” and “So Black!” to Mixalot’s lyrics, “I like ‘em round and big…So Cosmo says you’re fat. Well, I ain’t down with that!”




In a matter of a little over a decade, butts are now “in.” But why aren’t we, the big butt arbiters, getting our fair share of the cash?

jen-selter-instagram-1

What’s your take ladies and gents?
If butts are now big business, why aren’t black women seeing the profits?

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86 Responses to “Beauty Discussion: Big Booties Are Big Business–Why Aren’t Black Women Reaping the Benefits?”

  1. @Alexislovesme says:

    Jen and Jennette are bomb and probably the only chicks with a natural bodies out of the group of girls…

  2. fly won says:

    I’m so confused by this post…
    1. Why would I care?
    2. Refer to No. 1

  3. Anonymous says:

    Western beauty trumps all. I have seen plenty of black fitness women on IG with a better body then Jen. But that’s not special to society we are supposed to have a big butt. Are features are desired big butts, tan skin, big lips and when a white girl has those features the are special or exotic. It’s really sad.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There’s a BIG difference between a TONED butt and a BIG Butt. Honestly, I would take Draya’s butt and the Jew chicks butt anyday over some fat sloppy butt I’m just saying. Black Chyna butt looks a hot ass mess!

  5. southern says:

    is this for real?

  6. lola says:

    I’m so over these pseudo-intellectual think pieces. This topic has been beaten to the ground with an iron rod but it magically continues to rear its ugly head every now and then.

    I’m over this poor long suffering black woman narrative, over it. Yes! black women are marginalized and yes, it is tougher for the dark-skinned women with African features but is that the only story we have to tell? It is almost as if the media wants to continually remind black women that they have it bad and all they should be doing is whining and complaining and filling their emotions with envy. Over it.

    Can we talk about the fierce black fit women on instagram also making money? Can we talk about the fact that dark girls like Lupita with natural hair are slaying the competition right now? Can we talk about black women who love themselves and are FIERCE AND FABULOUS.

    I can’t wot this stories, like just stop!

    Also, black women have been reaping the benefits of big booty. Ever heard of video vixens? No tea no shade. They have no one but themselves to blame if they could not transform that notoriety into $$$$ on a social media platform. And that my friends is the true tea #BLOOP

  7. Candice says:

    I’m with fly won, Southern and Lola.

    “I’m so over these pseudo-intellectual think pieces.” And there you have it folks.

  8. Soul Touch says:

    I’m with Lola on this one.

  9. BossLadyMeesh says:

    I think Black women aren’t praised because most have a big tummy to go with their big butts.

  10. Solodolo says:

    I hate to say it but there is a difference between being oppressed and acting oppressed. I feel like we are being brainwashed by our own people to feel as though we can’t do anything because the “power” structure and institutionalized racism says so. Like I’m sorry but if you want to live in a world where you don’t have individual power to make your own path don’t try to bring the rest of the group along for the ride. We are humans and yes negative messages pervade the media and invade your psyche but above all else we SHOULD be empowering people to think for themselves and not feel like nothing we do matters cause the world is against us. These days I feel like I can even enjoy a cup of tea and a good friends episode without someone relating it to race.

  11. Salem says:

    I understand the article and points being made. However, that does not make us who we are. We’re more than ass shaking and big butts. “Reaping benefits??”, you (author of the article) should focus on writing articles about black women “reaping benefits” in school and work such as jobs and degree programs. This doesn’t change the fact that I feel like other races rob us of what makes us beautiful (our features) and exploit it. Soon all we will have to call our own is the fact that age well due to our melanin since that can’t be bought.

  12. Tammy M. says:

    @LOLA, hit the nail on the head.

    I do however want to point out that Black folks historically, wait to late in the game to popularize capitialize off of their popularity.

    American history is rife with the caucisian-perusaion jocking and stealing our style. We have to be more on point with making them pay for a piece of the action.

    Shout-out to the new rap stars, that shun the 360 deals, and to the old school video vixens, (Melyssa Ford, Buffie the Body, and Bria Myles ) that tried to set a high price to have their behind in any video.

    Unforunately, it became more fesabile for any girl or stripper, 5’0-5’6, to dump oil on their back, and shake it for 300 bucks, that the market became over saturated with everyday-looking eye candy.

    We have to demand, more, for ourseleves no matter the industry. It is important to know your worth. Even if your business is your booty.

  13. Resa says:

    I’m 42 years old, with a 15 year old son and 25 year old daughter and I have been working out for years. Love this site because I’ve been into fashion. Want to do a “Fashion Bomb”, so I can show all.. that grannys got it going on too. I’m toned to the point of feminine body tones not muscular. Fit as well. It doesnt take counting calories or watching yo weight. It takes determination and sticking it out to keep yo body nice. So what if black women are featured, recognized, hated on, or paid for their curves; seems to me, we are imitated more than any other race. And when they do imitate us, its always considered “we had it first”, no they didn’t have it first. As mush as black women feel we are look down on, we should embrace eachother and everything that comes with us, then we wouldn’t be stereotyped so much. I love me some me!! And we all should.It’s laughable to think Mylie Cyrus invented twerking.. Child please!! I am from Jackson,Mississippi and next door to New Orleans and they been twerking over there forever. I feel having curves are womanly. So please stop complaining and frowning on being a woman.. Geesh!!

  14. Faith says:

    Thanks for your feedback everyone.

    Globally-renowned sites like ELLE, Daily Mail, and countless others have reported on Jen Selter’s popularity. I only sought to do the same, while making the news more relevant to women of color, as well as providing my personal POV.

    In the post, I highlighted Jeannette Jenkins, Girl Trek, and Black Girls Run, aiming to show lesser known women who are making a real impact in the fitness world. By no means is this a “woe is me” post.

    We highlight the fashion choices of beautiful black women all day. We wanted to bring you something a bit out of the norm that would spark some discussion.

    Thanks for reading.

  15. Jasmine says:

    THANK YOU LOLA!! You deserve a standing ovation! I can’t believe this is even an article. You’re upset that more black women aren’t using their backsides to make a profit??? REALLY??!!! Can we please stop the “woe is me” tales of the suffering black woman? It’s getting old and I am sick of it.

  16. Miss Medusa says:

    the pale race…believe it or not…is diminishing. The earth is getting too close to the sun and they are deprived of excessive melanin, therefore, their skin can’t take it! Now, we know most melanin-rich/Moor/so-called black men SUFFER from the “Othello Complex” (I’m coining that BTW)and we do now that they love the posterior body part for whatever reason. So duh! Of course that want to now push other ethnicities, especially the pale woman with bigger glutes or bigger and faker glutes! That’s the so-called black man’s dream! So, now they need the so-called black man to mate with these women so their race can continue, even if the kids are bi-racial.Bi-racial people stick together 97.5% of the time. Therefore, they turn into the Jewish, Arab, and Hispanic race. This isn’t racism, just FACT!

    So, they want to act like big booty on other races of women is lucrative, and it is I guess, but the real agenda is for these women to capture the eyes of the “Othello’s” so they can have Moor blood in them again. Have you noticed how these Caucasian actresses are aging much faster now? Sally Field, Heather Locklear, and Julia Roberts looked young on screen for a long time! Cameron Diaz has been on the screen for probably less than 20 years and she’s starting to look like leather, so is Juila Roberts and many others now! back then, the sun was a nice distance, so it didn’t affect them as much, even though they age fast! lol

  17. Miss Medusa says:

    oh yeah…it first started with J.Lo in the 90′s, and I guess NASA was telling them that the earth was getting a little close, so they focused on her glutes instead of a melanated sistas. On the other hand, sistas don’t need noone lusting after out bodies anyway! Not only are we manafested in human form of the universe (our wombs are the milkyways for crying out loud) and a direct descendant of the Cosmic Mother (not all of us, unfortunately), but our bodies really are temples! if they want to show off the little bit of body they FINALLY got, then let that be so! who cares? we can profit off of the genius within ourselves…our minds, souls, spirit, and heart! you have no idea the magic and miracles we are capable of! all the things we thought were fairytales, were really all the things we were and are (some of us). Witches, sages, oracles, mermaids,Amazon warriors, jumoers, telepathics, flyers, fairies (which doesn’t mean a little person with wings), and much, much more! we have to get back to our natural selves ladies!

  18. Tia says:

    Because society values light skin over dark skin. White women with big butts get more attention because they have that butt wrapped in a delightful white package.

  19. iQgraphics says:

    @fly won
    –agreed

  20. Marsha D says:

    @Faith….well said. I get where you were going with this.

  21. heyyall says:

    Why do we always have to compare?!? We know that blk women are the 1st pick we’ve been knew this… Don’t you know articles like this only add fuel to the fire.

  22. Kimmie says:

    Half of the White women that go out and either buy big butts or have big booties can’t even take a black man home to meet the family. White men don’t go for the big booties.

  23. Amber says:

    This isn’t a “pseudo-think piece”, it’s a piece written about an aspect of pop culture that’s been in the news a lot lately (Vice is a releasing a mini-documentary on it, which mostly features women of color) and I think it garners some discussion. I don’t really pay attention to Kim’s or Draya’s media musings, but I think it’s obvious why mainstream media is obsessed with women like Kim and Jen Selter; they’re interested in people that have Black features that aren’t really Black. That’s why they go crazy over artists like Adele and play Miley’s music all over MTV. But this is nothing new, White people have been getting tans and getting their lips injected for decades, now their attention is fixated on another body part. They wanna be us, but don’t wanna be US.

  24. Rese C. says:

    Maybe I didn’t read the same article everyone else read; but I am very disheartened by these comments. All the writer was doing was commenting on a old age phenomenon as it pertains to us black women. What is wrong with making that an article. @Marsha D…I get it too.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I got it too…Faith was NOT saying why arent black women getting paid for having big butts, but more of why arent fit fierce beautiful black woman being offered the same big $$$$ deals as women like Jen S. Unfortunately the answer is pretty obvious…

  26. Anonymous says:

    @Faith. You are addressing a crowd that has popularized the likes of Kim Kardashian and Jen. Unfortunately, your poignant and well-written thoughts appear to have fallen on deaf ears. A board of readers who have become complacent with second-class citizenship type treatment from the majority race and undercompensation. Don’t waste you key strokes. Please know, however, there are readers including myself who understand and appreciate your efforts to create dialogue, as opposed to “ignoring” it; thinking that we live in a post-racial society. Please

  27. Anonymous says:

    @Lola usually gets my nerves… BUT MY DEAR!!! Standing Ovation.

  28. Ola says:

    Great post extremely informative =)

  29. heyyall says:

    Um no one said that they didn’t understand. You ladies are putting words in our mouths.. Just b/c we disagree doesn’t mean that we don’t/didn’t understand. What we’re saying is we already know so why keep making stories comparing and wondering… I hope you all understand that… Get it got it good.. @Faith u keep doing you, I’m not knocking you for this..

  30. Ola says:

    I was also going to say getting appreciated and known for your ass shouldn’t be something to aspire to.

    If it happens then great but black woman should not want or seek to be known only because of their behind. Am not saying its all about brains because that gets boring too.

    Rather be known for what you can do, your mind, your business. Am a black girl and this really bother me, well not much its life things like this happen.

  31. MAJOR says:

    I know sex sells but geez….let’s drop the booty topics. If anything, instead of glorifying, we need to educate! People are dying over wanting big butts! Sad!

  32. Dominique says:

    The features of black women have always been more desirable to society once you place those features on a white woman. (like angelina Jolie’s lips for example, etc). It’s sad.

  33. Rafiqa says:

    Thanks Faith! We do need these POV’s of yours, because, if we don’t discuss then we began to fall in the “Out of sight out of mind” thinking! Keep up the great work!!

  34. Asa says:

    IBlack people dont know ho

  35. Asa says:

    IBlack people dont know how to do business we only know how to make others rich. Liquid money – we spend as soon as we have and give to everyone else

  36. So, now even our own websites are trying to capitalize in on the “woe it’s me, the victimized black women” agenda. STOP IT! We are so much more. I’m so fearful for the young, black girls growing up in this generation. Everywhere they turn they are being fed lies about their self worth. I won’t stop reading the fashion bomb because I hold you all in a higher regard. Yet, I need you to know even though we come to this website for fashion and beauty tips we are WAY smarter than you’re giving us credit for. Please don’t discount your readership with these types of articles, ever again. As a journalist, I understand the angle you were attempting to take, but please spare us.

    I love Clutch magazine but when I went on their website two days, thirteen out of fifth-teen articles were articles about how black women need to do this, and do that. Just let me be a great woman, black woman in particular. We get enough grief from society, and ever our men. We don’t need to start tearing down one another on the very platforms used to build us up. Thank you…I’m off my soapbox now.

  37. simplyjess says:

    I’m with Fly Won and Lola on this one. Just FYI, the round posterior is not just reserved for “Black” women. There are plenty of other ethnicities that have butts that many of us black women would love to have and theirs are actually real.

    This story is a joke and can’t believe someone even took the time to write it and to further shine light on the ones who use their rears as their claim to fame!

    Over this topic! SMH! NEXT!

  38. POW says:

    @Amber “They want to be us, but don’t want to be US.” Probably the best, most concise statement I’ve ever read on the subject.

    I appreciate all of the points of view in the comments. We do need to stop the tide of “woe is me” thinking and we do need to stop using white people as a baseline for all comparisons.

    I think we just need to stop being bitter about certain things. They will change. They are changing. They will change faster if we can just swallow our bitterness, steel our hearts and pay attention to the things that really matter.

  39. jeda says:

    I don’t know why everyone is so upset about this article. I think its a very relevant piece especially at a time where black features are more appreciated on fair skin. Its like the world is telling us, no, you’re not ugly, but your skin is what ruins you. Disgusting! Everyone else who thinks this is a “woe is me” article fails to recognize that we have to discuss these things in order to advance. These have to be addressed. The whole site is dedicated to black beauty, but part of black beauty is recognizing when our beautiful features are being marginalized, exploited, and marketed. If we fail to recognize this, then our beauty becomes less significant, even to ourselves, and we become complacent and easily manipulated.
    Blessings

  40. K says:

    The real question is why are black women upset that they’re NOT being overly sexualized? After all that talk about wanting respect and not being objectified we’re mad because big butts are in and we’re left out? Really women? Get your priorities in check.

  41. Liya says:

    Ah, but this is pseudo-intellectual dribble. Like we don’t know why white women are getting lucrative deals that black women aren’t privy to. This obvious mess is little other than an excuse to run another ass shot of Kim K under the guise of a “think piece.” Gotta meet that Kartrash quota, you know. The irony of FBD’s hand-wringing over white women getting shine for stereotypically, black attributes is that this site is part of the problem. Apparently those particular white women are so appealing that even sites run by and supposedly geared toward black women can’t stop devoting copy and bandwith to them on a near daily basis.

  42. C. says:

    This is hands down the dumbest article I’ve ever seen on here. It’s brought out some dumb responses too-Caucasians want Moor blood, Othello complex?!? What are you talking about Miss Ugly (I mean Miss Medusa)? Medusa was a goddess famed for her scariness, and your response was scary AF. And as for you, Tammy M-this is the US. All cultures here “jock and steal” each others styles. It’s a beautiful thing and you sound racist AF.

    I’m with Lola. I wonder what Clare thinks of this pseudo intellectual article on how not being degraded and known for a body part is OPPRESSION? If that is oppression, PLEASE sign me up. Why would ANYONE want to be known for a body part or make $ off it? Enough with stripper culture. It’s completely degrading and trashy and women who want to be known for a body part are the same. Does anyone respect or look up to Kim K? She has good marketing tactics, but she is a disgrace. I am so appalled by this article.

  43. marguerite says:

    i thought this article was a great think piece. so kim with her semi-porn preludes and oversized buttocks can shoot her into stardom, but Draya can’t get a fitness deal and her body is 10 times better. while our culture and aesthetics are emulated and admired, the powers that be just think it looks better coming from someone who is NOT BLACK. Racism at it’s finest.

  44. Gigi Young says:

    Because big butts aren’t sexualized (in a negative, degrading manner) on non-black women. From the day a young black girl starts getting curvy, she is shamed and objectified by her own people. Why wouldn’t the mainstream take their cues from black people? If we’re online calling black women whores and sluts, the mainstream knows they don’t need to give a carrot to said black woman because we–sad to say–will gladly ooh and ahh over a white woman with the same features and (sexual) background. Best believe that Jen Seltzer was probably a “fast tailed girl” growing up (I don’t believe she’s only 20!!), but white supremacy makes her pure as the driven snow…even beside a nerdy, quiet black girl with a big butt. Yet, who’ll be objectified? The black girl, because her body is considered accessible to anyone who believes black women’s bodies do not belong to a woman (because woman=white).So maybe black women should bite their tongues when their mouth starts to say “slut” or “hoe” when it comes to another black woman. You’re using the master’s tools to oppress and degrade your own sisters, and then pass those tools to black men, which in turn passes them right back to white folks…who gladly pinch from us now that we’ve destroyed one another and can’t rise up.

  45. The Answer is simple... says:

    She is white. White women are considered the standard of beauty by white people, who make and purchase these products. No dissertation necessary.

  46. Dominique says:

    @ “C” – Medusa actually wasn’t famed for being “scary” actually. She was a regular woman who was turned into a monster by a jealous goddess (Athena) over a man (Poisiden). Not to take away from your point, but your interpretation is off. Sorry, I am a bit of a mythology geek!

  47. tonto says:

    whoever wrote this article is stupid. period.

  48. lucy says:

    oh please stop it, stop it. You want your butt to make you money then go make your money and shut up about we poor black women noone want us. The world doesnt work that way. Work hard, get your success. No excuses shhhh. Most idiotic article i have ever seen and the writer to even say im upset. Check yourself

  49. Mari says:

    I’m here for Lola…

    .monetizing our female body parts ..Let’s use our minds …who cares if white girl is making money because she post a picture of her ass on instagram. What else does she do? Think about it ,this girl is forever going to be known as that girl who post pics of her ass on instagram. Oh how inspiring..let’s not me ignorant and say black girls are the only ones who are born with a big ass..smh Beauty fades….the brain stays. I rather earn a living without selling sex. This goes for all the races. Woman it’s 2014 wake up. Let’s talk about when are we going to see a female president.

  50. Alli says:

    Some of you commenting need to hang around more black people(even if you are black)cause I don’t know how in the world you would criticize this piece and tell the author to basically stop whining. Asking questions like she did in this post is how we prosper. Acting like these things don’t exist is dumb.

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