A Story of Sir Mix-A-Lot & Karen Carpenter


      So maybe it's not completely lady like of me to mention that my favorite song then and possibly now is "Baby Got Back" from the incomparable, Sir Mix-A-Lot.

     This is how the song opens:

     "I like big butts and I cannot lie."

     Okay. Before you send your protests, let me share with you how exhilarating it was back in 1992. Yes. '92. For a young girl to hear an appreciation for her body type.

     I honestly didn't take it in fully at that age as a sexual song, but much more as a body affirmation song. This song came on the scene, in the midst of the drug addict waif model look being all the rage, and my African-American attributes of sorts being considered more of an inconvenience--hard to handle, simply tolerated rather than celebrated.

     Which leads me to my next point. I know, you weren't quite sure if I had one, but alas, I do.

      I'd like to break a myth that some of you may be believing about others or perhaps even yourself. The myth being:

Big girls, curvy girls, thick girls, girls with girth, don't get hit on, don't have boyfriends, and don't have husbands.

     Ummm. So yeah. Nope.  That's not even close to being true. Which in turn, makes it a lie. In fact, all of my 'more curvy' friends have had more dates, romances, and invitations to marriage than me...

     Yes, you may think these girls are desperate or in need of a complete overhaul before qualifying for romance, but while your concocting ways in which to help them change, they just finished having a dinner over looking the ocean with Rico. #hesjustsosmooth

     The stats are out. You curvy ladies are desirable. #realrealtalk

     Now look, get healthy. Be healthy. Whether you are big boned or not.  Love your body. And know, somebody, somewhere is ready to love your body too. #yesidid

     So there we had Sir Mix-A-Lot helping to shape my body image, and on the other side of the spectrum of influence for me was a woman by the name of Karen Carpenter...

    I'd like to think all of my readers know who Karen Carpenter was. But I'm afraid, probably only 3 of you do. #istillloveyou

     Quick introduction to this magnificent songbird. She wrote and played music in a band with her brother. They were known as "The Carpenters". Karen Carpenter had a voice like velvet and could also play the drums (My kind of girl!). To put it bluntly, this is what Paul McCartney, of The Beatles fame said about her voice:
"The best female voice in the world: melodic, tuneful and distinctive."
     Now you get the gist.

     But Karen's life was cut short at 32. Complications due to her long term struggle with anorexia. The eating disorder that evokes extreme fear of gaining weight and a distorted self image, thus leading one to starve themselves to death.

      I distinctly remember watching a docudrama detailing her life and struggle while I was in high school. I was never the same after that.

      I never realized how our bodies and our self image could be so detrimental. How powerful that was in both good and bad ways. And how we could sabotage our own destinies and impact the destinies of others.

     From that point, I viewed my body and my brain much differently.

     So if you don't do it already, you should talk to your body. Yeah. You laugh. But I'd rather encourage my body than tell it how stupid and gross it is. I'd rather state a future for my body that is hopeful and not full of despair and stress. So again, I say, encourage your bones like an old friend. Yes, you should be kind to yourself, more than you've been.

     So I've just told you a story about Sir Mix-A-Lot and Karen Carpenter, and how they played an influential part in my body image journey. And I guess, I simply wanted to say to the both of them, "Thank You."

     And to you dear reader, you are handsome, beautiful, and desirable. #youstillgotit

     Never forget that.

Wisdom's Knocking:

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

P.S. And if you are someone struggling with your worth, body image, etc. please do not hesitate to shoot me a quick email. I'd love to pray for a shift to occur in your thinking. You don't have to go at this alone! Getting this area of our lives under the dominion of love is key in the adventure that God has awaiting us!