But years later I began to notice that the shape of my butt was different, disfigured — there was a deep indentation that spanned the width of it, creating four quadrants, if you will. I finally went to see a doctor who told me that scar tissue had formed under the skin to protect the area when I injured it.
That made sense to me. So, I asked how it could be removed. I wanted my round ass back ASAP. Apparently, it can’t. I was upset, but not deterred.
My next stop was to see a plastic surgeon. I explained the problem to him and he began to tell me about all the other things that were “wrong” with my body. And he too, said there was no way to get my ass back to it’s former loveliness. I was humiliated and defeated.
In the years that followed, I visited massage therapists that specialized in myofascial release. But the treatments were painful and yielded no results. Just more pain and more shame.
In addition to the shame I felt about my ass, the scar tissue was also painful and had begun to impact the function of other parts of my body. I was truly devastated.
I think the other part of the shame is cultural. In our society, Black women are often expected to have round, shapely asses, which are supposed to somehow validate their Blackness and attractiveness. Which is why I feel like an anomaly. My mom and sister both have amazing asses (and my mom is 72). In truth, I have girlfriends of all colors and ethnicities who have amazing bootys, and I secretly wish I had one too.
A few years ago I began seeing a chiropractor to help me with my back, and I shared with her my “ass story.” She reiterated what the other doctors had said, but was hopeful that she could help decrease the pain for me. I visit her once a week and my pain has been reduced significantly.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the pain relief. But I still struggle with accepting the shape of my highly irregular, 38-year old, dented ass! No amount of stair-stepping or squats will ever make the scar tissue disappear. This is the ass I have and I need to find a way to love it.
Wearing fitted clothing on the lower party of my body is difficult for me without feeling insecure. In the last year or so, I’ve tried to love my ass for what it is. I’m simply not there yet.
I know I’m not unique in struggling to love parts of my body. My hope is that having the courage to share my story with you, will allow you to do the same thing. And perhaps even inspire me to accept myself more fully.
My healing will be a journey that will last my whole lifetime. However, I vow to all of you that I will be more consistent in speaking kindly of my body, because she deserves it. I will caress my ass, look at her in the mirror, and declare her perfect!