This week, quite a number of folks – both within and outside the feminist community – have been raving about Amy Schumer’s comedy single Milk Milk Lemonade. However, there is something about two white women poking fun at the booty aesthetic that makes my entire white body cringe.
To be clear, I am not by any means a spokesperson for women of color, for what they find offensive, or what they deem permissible. What I am though, is an ally advising other white women why they need (for the love of goddess!) to think twice before producing a music video like Schumer’s.
Other white women (*cough* Amy Schumer *cough*), please, let me explain something to you. The “booty” aesthetic is something that has been championed by black icons. It is not ours. From Destiny’s Child’s ‘Bootylicious’, to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda, we have heard black women artists reclaim ownership and reinstate pride of their derrieres.
This pride does not belong to us.
This reclamation comes after years of racist stereotypes serving to ridicule people of colour’s bodies, primarily that of women of colour.
Do you see how this history of oppression is not ours? And it not ours to repeat. Nor is ours to criticise how black women respond to it.
It is because of this historic mockery that women of colour reclaiming their bodies as beautiful, particularly their butts, is fundamentally important. You know what else is fundamentally important? White women LEAVING IT THE HELL ALONE!
What makes ‘Milk, Milk, Lemonade’ insidious is that it is not just mocking black women’s bodies; it is poking fun at the black uprising against this mockery. It is ridiculing the “booty positivity” movement where black women admirably stood up and said, “You know what? Screw this – my body is beautiful and my butt is deserving of worship!”
Admittedly, white women with gorgeous big bottoms can say this too. However, this video is rife with racial implications, from the use of black women as props, the appropriation of black hairstyles, and the channelling of hip-hop culture. For a mock video. That’s not OK.
What’s more, the ridicule of black derrieres in the context of juvenile toilet humour is nothing new. Demeaning black bodies and butts by associating them with poop has also been done before.
So, I am sorry, Amy, but racists last century got there way before you.
And race aside, we all KNOW that butts poop. We are adults; this is nothing new.
Also, let’s not gloss over the term “fudge-machine,” which is uncomfortably close to the homophobic slur “fudge-packer” and to be honest, I have a hard time believing this wasn’t thought of during the video’s production.
But then again, this is a cisgender white woman’s comedy. Its homophobic undertones match the racist ones.
The bottom lines (excuse the pun)? Butts can be sexy, and there’s never a need to slut-shame those who have ‘em and flaunt ‘em. Secondly, know your history: butts are something that black women have had to reclaim, and this reclamation doesn’t need white women shitting (again, no pun intended) all over it.
You are not a feminist if your feminism is not intersectional. So please, white women (*cough* Amy Schumer *cough*), stop and think, god damn it.