People these days are increasingly characterizing pop culture as having entered the “age of the booty”. Read a couple think pieces and you’d think twerking was a special magic only revealed to us a couple years ago. Talk to a black girl anywhere in the world, however, and they’ll tell you that’s nonsense. There hasn’t been a time when black women haven’t celebrated our bodies, even when we’re told not to. But since our lived experiences seem to be irrelevant, much analysis has emerged to make sense of why we might love this part of ourselves.
One such article, published recently in The Atlantic, analyzes the videos for Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Booty” through the lens of same-sex female desire. The author, using examples dating back to the Victorian age, places this new fascination with booties and twerking beyond the male gaze, and argues that artists are alternatively winking at or outright exploiting female desire in their work. It’s an interesting lens of analysis, and I can’t argue that it’s not sometimes at play.
Read the rest here.