Black Women & Booty Dancing…Why Did It Get a Bad Name?

Just mentioning “booty dancing,” conjures up all sorts of images of half dressed Black  women (or these days non-black) gyrating and grinding up against a man and degrading herself to no end. The image that society, in general,  has of booty dancing is one of the video vixen getting a credit card swiped down her cheeks, while the man stands around like a King in his harem. It seems like booty shaking, twerking, booty clapping and any other type of booty dance is such a taboo in society that some people don’t even want to acknowledge it as a valid type of movement or dance?..

We all know the stereotype that Black women are more likely to have rounder booties. There may be some truth in this stereotype, although this stereotype is obviously not true for everyone. As a Black woman who has always had a protruding booty, no matter how much weight I lose or gain, I feel I should speak in defense of booty dancing.

I have always struggled with my body image. It took me years to accept my natural body shape. As a Black girl in a predominately white school, I always felt like I was not pretty compared to my white classmates. Most of them were straight up and down thin with long silky hair. I, on the other hand, was a short girl with short kinky hair, brown skin and a big booty. I sincerely believed that if I dieted and worked out, my butt would get flat like my classmates and I wouldn’t stand out as much. I remember getting a lead role in the school musical and we had to wear a lavendar top and these black capri pants in one scene. Whenever I was on stage I was thinking about how I looked. It was my moment to shine and all I could think about was how big my booty probably looked with the lights shinning on me in those capris. When I joined weight watchers and lost 32 pounds, my stomach got flatter and my face and arms thinner, but my booty was still round and protruding. It took me years before I finally realized that I was built differently and that my body shape was actually not that uncommon for many Black women.

There are many black women who are built very similar to myself and they’re in GREAT SHAPE. Just LOOK at Serena Williams, Anika Noni Rose and Angela Bassett!

Which brings me to booty dancing…

Moving your hips, buttocks and gluts in a rhythmic way is actually very difficult. Not everyone can do it, additionally to get the full affect, you need to have a booty that protrudes out somewhat.

When I see Black women booty dancing, (in a non-degrading manner) I enjoy it because it reminds me that to many people, my body shape is a thing of beauty. For years I thought of myself as abnormal and fat just because of my body shape, but when I see traditional booty dancing, I recognize that my shape is actually a normal body type and that many women (particularly Black women) have it and it’s okay.

It’s okay to look the way I do.

Booty Dancing is a traditional dance, which originated in Africa. I’ve seen many different types of traditional African dances that involve booty dancing and guess what…it’s very beautiful, it’s not degrading at all. The women are dancing beautifully, shaking their booty and often wear waist beads…I LOVE IT!

I’ve  realized that the Booty Dancing that we see  in the west, is a corrupt version of the type of Booty Dancing that originated in Africa. So, it is not booty dancing ITSELF that is degrading, it’s the manner in which people choose to use booty dancing that makes it degrading.

Let’s be honest there’s quite a difference between having fun and just booty dancing while fully dressed and booty dancing in a thong with a man swiping a credit card down your azz. Big Difference. I believe that the only reason Booty Dancing has gotten a bad name is because it originated in Africa and it’s something that generally only Black women do. Not to mention, has anyone ever noticed that on the rare occasion that a non-black woman booty dances, people think it’s sexy, but when a Black woman does it…it’s trashy and ghetto…?

Very few people get up in arms when you talk about belly dancing, even though it involves moving the pelvis, hips and stomach in a suggestive way, but many people get offended when you mention booty dancing. Both CAN be just as suggestive as the other, but for some reason Booty dancing isn’t accepted, even though it’s been a part of traditional cultures all around the African continent for many years.

Since I’ve learned more about the history of Booty dancing and Black women’s sexuality, I’ve actually started booty dancing MORE. I do it in my room, I put on my waist beads and I just let loose so to speak. I dance the way I want to, I don’t film it or anything, but I enjoy doing it. If I was ever in a situation where I needed to booty dance, I would do it, as long as I was fully dressed and not doing it in a degrading manner. I won’t have a man standing over me when I do it, I won’t have someone slap or swipe a credit card down my azz, but just doing it for fun…what’s wrong with that?

I say, if it’s okay for other women to belly dance, then booty dancing should be no different. As long as you’re comfortable and you’re not degrading yourself, I feel there’s nothing wrong it.

If you can do it, go ahead, don’t be ashamed! DO YOU! AND BE PROUD of Your Body, It’s a thing of Beauty!

What do you all think about Booty Dancing?

Below are some videos of TRADITIONAL & BEAUTIFUL Booty Dancing:

Video- Congolese Soukous Dancers Booty Shaking/Dancing

Dutty Wine Booty Dance-


Black Women & Booty Dancing…Why Did It Get a Bad Name?