A Donk By Any Other Name

Opinions may vary about the message and merit of Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” video, but men and women alike seem to have reached consensus on one thing: Badu has an impressive ass.

Badu’s behind has inspired love, lust and envy among many, including the hilarious blogger Luvvie, who wrote rhapsodically about Badu’s “onion.”

But all this has got me to wondering: what exactly is an onion, anyway?

Not having done (or wanted to do) an exhaustive study, I’m guessing it’s a booty that’s shaped like the winner of the American Apparel Best Bottoms contest:

And that leads me to ask this question: is just having a big booty no longer enough?

I’ve had a big behind all my life.  (No, I’m not posting pictures of it.)  Thanks to my mother, I used to hate it.  My mother made all of my clothes until I went to middle school, and she would complain endlessly about my “high behind” and how she had to adjust skirt and dress patterns so the hemline would fall even all the way around, instead of being uplifted in the back by my butt.

Around the time I went to high school, I discovered that the size of my butt was actually not the problem I’d been led to believe it was.  I found out that people — and by people, I mean men — liked my big chest, small waist and big butt.

My butt has inspired some amusingly stupid commentary from men over the years, like the guy who used to tell me how much he loved my “black woman’s body,” although he apparently didn’t love it enough to leave his white girlfriend for me.  Or the guy who told me I was “fat,” and then explained he didn’t mean F-A-T but P-H-A-T, which stood for “plenty hips, ass and titties.”

And no, I didn’t smack him, or put on my clothes and leave.  I giggled and held that as a treasured memory, until my sister told me, “If I were you, I wouldn’t tell people that story anymore.  Makes you look stupid.”


Anyway, now it seems that just having an ass isn’t enough.  It has to be the right-shaped ass.  This onion preference seems unfair to the legions of black women who have been proud of their watermelons or pears or apples.  Mine is more like a honeydew, I think.  I don’t know.  It’s a butt.  And while it may not be the current state-of-the-art, it has served me well over the years.

So, admire the onions out there, including Badu’s.  Those of us possessing other fruits and vegetables will just rest easy in the knowledge that our shapes have their admirers, too.


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