“Wow, Your Butt Has Been Getting Bigger…What Have You Been Up To?”

“Wow, Your Butt Has Been Getting Bigger…What Have You Been Up To?”

A Letter To Those Who Enjoy Asking Dumb Questions

Thank God I rarely get this question, being slim and all, but I feel for the girls that do. It is a notion that is prevalent among the Black population, and we know I don’t have to explain why. I am so sick and tired of people coming up with the dumbest ideas and this is one of them, especially when we have such amazing inventions like Google in this day and age. This question is not only embarrassing and an invasion of privacy of the askee (one of my newest words; please bear with me), but it is scientifically and biologically unsound. And as a Biochemistry major, I take pride in research and the distribution of reliable information. So I naturally get irritated whenever I’m being asked this rude question or hear someone saying it to someone else.

This notion is degrading to women everywhere and yet I know people who are ready to swear on their grandmother’s false dentures that it is the truth, and that they’ve seen it happen to their sister or daughter or niece.

“Noo…my cousin Tay-Tay had a flat booty last year! She started doing that guy down the street and now she has hips and a big butt!”

Well the truth is, I don’t care what you think happened to your Cousin Tay-Tay. And apparently, neither does biology.

First of all, before disproving this annoying notion, I am going to state said notion so we know exactly what is implied.

SAID NO TION: This theory states that once a(n) teenage/adult female starts to show signs of hip and gluteus maximus enlargement, she is automatically assumed to be sexually active. Period. End of story. No questions asked. Her misdemeanors are instantaneously concluded and her fate sealed. She is going to hell.

Now that we know the notion, let me give some reasons why people may have this idea, although it’s obviously wrong

  • Some studies say that women do gain weight on their hips and breasts the minute they start making love. According to some researchers, this may be due to the hormone prolactin which stimulates fatherly love and milk production. Especially when orgasm is reached after sex, there is an increase in the blood levels of the hormone. And with the inclusion of humans who suffer hyperprolactinemia (a condition where one has chronically high levels of prolactin), increased blood level of prolactin has been associated with weight gain in some species.
  • A more popular thought is that women get fat after being sexually active for a while because their body parts, for example the hips, butt and breasts, become “disfigured” and loosen up. This is biologically illogical (excuse the alliteration), because having sex involves physical exercise and actually aids in burning off calories, not adding calories.

The publisher went on to disprove this by saying:

"The thing with this research is that the level of prolactin in the blood or prolactin release after sex is a short-term surge and cannot be used o compare a medical condition such as hyperprolactinemia."

So basically speaking, the hormone prolactin that is released during sexual intercourse has only a short-term lifespan and does not account for weight gain in human females.

Scientists argue that due to the fact that during sex, some calories are burned, sex may even tip to favor weight loss by minimal amounts (as already covered) and not weight gain. They also argue that there are no possible means for ejaculated semen to be digested and assimilated into the bloodstream during normal sex and that if it even happened, the number of calories contained in the average ejaculation, which is two to three ml, is 15 calories which in itself is not enough.

So there are the possible reasons as to why some people would still hang on to "Said Notion" and answers disproving them. Now it is a noticeable thing that girls and women who are sexually active and do have sex frequently generally may start to actually put on weight all around. Having cleared the fact that it is as a result of the sex itself, I will give possible reasons why it occurs.

  • First of all, it is good to note that the fact that many people do gain weight after marriage is true both for men and women. This weight gain has nothing to do with sex for men or women but a lot to do with the associated sense of security and the comfort of being in a relationship. Some studies have shown that single people are less likely to eat more than people in a relationship.
  • Another good reason may be that when a woman moves in with a man, since men often require more calories per day and therefore, often eat more, when they eat meals together, she may end up eating the same things with the man in comparable quantities. Together with the security of being in a happy relationship may come a bigger appetite that she may not notice, so you may be eating more than she normally does. This will of course cause her to gain some weight.1
  • A reason for some women to consider may be that they are adding weight because of the birth control pills they are taking. This sure is not for every woman to consider, just those who may be on these pills. Some of the common side effects of these birth control pills are headache, nausea and breast tenderness. But for a few women, the side effect of the pill may include weight gain as a result of fluid retention. This is usually not in significant amounts though and as stated already, not for the majority of women.1 (I thought about this possibility before I looked this up and it is plausible because taking pills and digesting them involves chemical processes which do affect the hormonal balance in a woman’s body. However, effects are said to last only a few months)
  • Some people argue that some certain sex positions can influence the growth of hips and gluts, such as the girl being on top of the guy because she would imitate doing the squat exercise. But think about it. This is, once again, an exercise, hello? It does not increase the size of the fatty cells and tissues in your backside, rather it tones your hips and gluts, making them muscular, not fatter. And for it to even show to the point of being noticeable, the girl would have to be on top for a very long period of time and rather frequently. This all boils down to just using common sense.

There you have it, folks. A complete rundown on why Said Notion should stop being a notion. It is no one’s business what someone else does in their spare time and to have to be openly questioned about it, even as a joke, is pathetic. Boys see younger girls with natural large hips as loose or wayward and feel it’s okay to harass them because they think she’s used to it. I got all this information from Google. If you don’t ow how to use Google, please ask someone to teach you. It isn’t rocket science.

Cover Image Credit: kennethkuykendall

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No, I Don’t Need To Be Told How Or Why I Need To Get In Shape For Summer

Because you shouldn't feel like you have to look a certain way for a season that lasts two to three months out of the year.

As the school year is coming to a close, summer is rapidly upon us. For most, summer means long days spent by the pool and no more strenuous hours spent at the library cramming useless knowledge of limits and integrals into your mind the night before your Calc exam. However, for some, summer is the most dreaded time of the year.

Crazy, right? It’s hard to imagine that there’s a group of people actually dreading the most wonderful season of all.

For this group, summer turns into a season of dread and insecurities — bikini season.

Unfortunately, I used to belong to this group of people. While summer was a still a season of relaxation and freedom for me, it became clouded with the anticipation of bikini season.

In today’s society, so much emphasis is placed on getting the perfect ‘beach bod’ or getting in shape for summer that it pressures girls and boys alike to reach unattainable and unhealthy body types in honor of this season.

Articles and advertisements stressing the importance of shaping up for summer fill the pages of every health, fitness, and fashion magazine. Social media feeds become cluttered with toned, double-zero models sporting the latest string bikinis. Workout regimens increase and diets intensify.

How can one season bring about so much stress surrounding body image?

It’s one season. Merely two to three months out of the year. Two to three months that people feel the need to transform their bodies for. Is it really worth it? To sacrifice your happiness, health, and well-being to look a certain way in a bathing suit?

No, it’s not worth it.

Coming from someone who’s dealt with an eating disorder first hand, it is not worth it.

What seems to be a “simple diet” can turn into something much more dangerous. What seems to be insignificant frequent thoughts surrounding food may not be so insignificant. The habit of constantly comparing yourself to the models seen sporting those string bikinis in magazines or social media is not a little habit.

These behaviors have the potential to transform into something much worse.

And this is what happened in my case. My “simple diet” turned into consuming less than 600 calories a day. My frequent thoughts surrounding food turned into constant thoughts about every calorie consumed and every calorie burned. The habit of constantly comparing myself to the models I saw in magazines and social media turned into self-hate and feelings of inadequacy.

Those behaviors managed to turn into a full-blown eating disorder, just in time for summer. So instead of sporting my ‘beach bod’ poolside, I spent my summer days at doctors appointments trying to restore the body I had neglected for so long— just to look a certain way in a bathing suit.

Yes, my case was extreme. Not all diets are bad and not everyone who tries to ‘get in shape’ for summer is going to develop an eating disorder. However, people need to be cautious of the messages seen in magazines and social media regarding body image, particularly surrounding summer.

If you want to get in shape, get in shape because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. Especially don’t feel like you have to for a season that lasts two to three months out of the year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love working out. Working out makes me feel great and serves as a therapeutic outlet for me, however, I workout because I want to, not because magazines are prompting me to.

So no, I don’t need to be told how or why I need to get in shape for summer. We don’t need to be told how or why we need to get in shape for summer.
Cover Image Credit: Hayden Mitzlaff

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To The Girl In Front Of The Mirror

You are more than meets the eye.

Dear Beautiful,

I know that you avoid the sight of yourself. You run from your image as if you are afraid of your own reflection. But that's what it is isn't it? The sight of yourself is too real. Too uncensored.

The truth is, I know you pull at your skin when no one is looking. I know you imagine a miniature version of yourself in unreasonable proportions. I know you hold your breath just looking at yourself, hoping to be satisfied. I know all of this because I too have pinched and prodded my body trying to become content with the sight of myself.

I remember the day I saw the cuts on your legs in the cafeteria. I couldn't process how someone so artfully made could be so cruel to herself. I remember wanting to hold you. You were so young and full of light. I feared what happened when you shut out the light once the sun went down. My heart broke for you that day.

You have always been enough. Why lessen yourself? I wish I could create for you a mural of your worth, it would be endless.

I had always compared myself to you. I wanted what you had. How didn't you see it? Would that even be of benefit to you? Is there any way for me to convince you that you are much more than your external beauty?

I still wonder what dark deserted place your mind can wander off to. I worry about you everyday.

As much as I want you to see the flawless nature you have, I know it is hypocritical of me. Nevertheless, I want the best for you. A home for your lonely and aching. I wish I could take it all away and bandage up your broken heart. I would replace all of your painful incisions with chains of small flowers so you could see the beauty on your own skin.

I know you are on the way to loving yourself. You change your own mind when stepping away from ignorant bliss and into reality. You stand in front of the mirror and repeat phrases that you do not necessarily believe yet.

"I am beautiful."

"I am worth it."

"I am more than this."

You repeat these things until they become true in your own eyes.

There is no running from yourself. You are all reality and nothing artificial. All blood stricken and bones, no plastic or metal.

I hope one day you will see what I see. All I want you to know is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are made with the greatest care and you should be treated as such. If you cannot find it in you to love yourself know that I and many others do.

Stay your strongest for yourself.


A Friend.

"Your body is not a temple.
Your body is the house you grew up in.
How dare you try to burn it to the ground."

-Sierra DeMulder

Cover Image Credit: Nora Handelman

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