Bubbe Got Back

Ethnic identity and body image through the rearview mirror

| November/December 2000

I'm a Jewish chick with a big booty.

There. I said it.

Not that you can really keep something like that a secret. Disengage from a face-to-face conversation, turn at a slight angle, and wham, the curve hits their vision and shatters the flat lines of space. Some appreciate the interruption from monotony. Others shift uncomfortably, unnerved by the sudden disappearance of order and control.

Thanks to two decades of hip-hop and the (literal) overexposure of Jennifer Lopez, big butts have now settled comfortably into public discourse. Yet Jews have not embraced the cultural acceptance of thick chicks with round behinds--despite the fact that there are many among our ranks. Sure, we may dance to hip-hop tracks like 'Back That Thang Up' or 'Baby Got Back.' But is the average Jewish guy reallysincere when he raises a beer and shouts along, 'You's a big fine woman / won't you back that thang up.'Methinks no.

'You're a white girl shaped like a black girl,' my friend Anika put it bluntly. 'And the African American men in my family love a healthy woman.' We devolved into a Jimmy the Greek-style postulation of my booty's origins. Was it courtesy of my Middle Eastern father, a dark-complexioned Israeli with a notable 'bump' himself? Or did it stretch back to ancient days, when, according to some speculators, the original Hebrews were black?

'I mean, look at those tomb paintings of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt,' offered my friend Dyann, a churchy Pentecostal girl who was raised to believe that the Jews were God's chosen people, and was eager to make the connection. 'They're shown as brown and black! And where do you think those full lips, and those springy curls come from? From us, that's who.'

Grateful that somebody supported me for draggin' this wagon, I didn't protest. She had a point. Indeed, my butt has been a cultural ambassador, a passport to insta-credibility in many a multiracial setting. 'Look, it's Heavy Chevy,' I was habitually greeted at the door of my favorite Latin music club. 'How much junk you got in that trunk tonight?'

3/26/2014 1:54:08 AM

you are right on the money!! Black guys do love some curves, and yes Jewish women with curves get a special bonus!!!

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