Back in the day, I did a bit of modeling. That's how I found out that I had an hourglass shape. But, in comparison to my mom and a few of the other women in my family, although my breasts are big, waist is relatively small (especially when I exercise) and my hips are wide, my butt isn't exactly huge. It's a pretty nice size, but if I were a body-obsessed kind of person (or even if I had social media accounts), I could see why getting a butt enhancement would at least cross my mind.
I'll tell y'all what, though. After watching a roughly 18-minute BBC documentary about a 23-year-old Black woman who wanted to get a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift), hearing about all of the risks (did you know that it's the deadliest cosmetic procedure, period?) and also hearing a Black female doctor say, "Black women are becoming a modern-day caricature of themselves"—I'm glad that I am at peace with my shape. It's not all I want it to be but it's healthy, it's mine and it's just what God gave me.
Besides, it's not like we're all supposed to look like human Barbie dolls (which are totally anatomically incorrect) or that we're even supposed to be the same body type (there are around 12 different kinds, by the way). Also, on the days when I want my butt to have a little extra "umph" to it, it's not like there aren't some cosmetic-free tricks that I can pull out of my bag.
If a bigger (or rounder or fuller) butt is something you struggle with having, before shelling out $5,000—or worse, putting your life at risk—how about testing some of these suggestions? See if they can give you (at least a little bit more of) the kind of butt that you want.
Make Sure the Fabric Stretches
Some of my favorite pants have spandex in them. No, they're not biker shorts (I've never owned a pair of those) but my yoga pants, some of my Old Navy jeans and faux pleather pants from Fashion Nova are all made up of at least 30-40 percent spandex. They're what make my pants comfortably fit and hug all of my curves. And yes, that automatically makes my butt appear fuller.
Watch Back Pocket PlacementGiphy
There's an ex-boyfriend of mine who used to say that a lot of white women have "tricky booties". What the heck is that? According to him, some of them appear to have bigger butts than they actually do, thanks to the placement of the back pockets on their jeans. He's actually on to something. Small pockets with high placements can provide the illusion that there's more going on "back there" than there might actually be.
Rock a Thong
I hate panty lines. Full stop. But if you're someone who never really cared about what your underwear looks like underneath your clothing, here's some food for thought. The lines that your panties provide draw attention to the look and size of your derriere. If you wear a thong (at least on the days when you're wearing something tight), no lines will show. It keeps outfits from looking tacky or cheap. It can make your butt look bigger too.
Try Horizontal Color-Blocking
Color-blocking continues to be a pretty big trend. But have you ever paid close attention to how the blocks can make your body look? If you want to appear thinner, vertical blocking tends to do the trick. But if you want your butt to look fuller, the last thing you should do is wear vertical lines in the back. You're much better off by putting on a skirt or dress that has one color from the thigh up and a different color—one that is positioned horizontally—from the thigh down.
Go with Light at the Top and Dark at the Bottom
If color-blocking isn't particularly your thing, another way to give an optical illusion when it comes to your lower half is to wear lightly colored clothing at the top and darker hues on the bottom. Another way to make this work is to wear solid colors up top and patterns down at the bottom.
Pay Attention to Waist-to-Hip Ratio
Something that I'm personally not the biggest fan of is pants that have a high waist. They just don't feel very comfortable to me. But if you want to make your hips and butt appear bigger, that's exactly what you need to be looking for because high-waisted clothing pulls your waist in so that more of a focus is put on your lower half. Another benefit that comes with going this route is when a pair of pants or a skirt has a high waist, that makes it possible for people to see the entire shape and curve of your butt when they are walking behind you.
Buy a Couple of Light Blue Jeans
Speaking of slimming yourself down, you probably know that dark hues are what can help to take a couple of pounds off. That's why it should make total sense that if you wanted your butt to look smaller, dark blue (or black) jeans can make that happen. If you want your butt to look bigger, light blue jeans are your better bet (I can totally vouch for this).
Put on a Pair of Yoga Pants
There used to be a time when yoga pants were only for working out. Whatever. I've got about six pairs at this point that I rock about as much as my jeans. They're cute. They're comfortable. They smooth out any small bumps or dimples and they're really good at toning your body. If you don't own a pair, do your butt—and the rest of your body—a favor and cop at least two or three. You won't regret it. I promise you that.
Tote a Smaller PurseGiphy
My absolute favorite purse is an oversized khaki green hobo bag that I got on Etsy. I adore it so much that I'll take the smaller-looking butt in exchange for lugging it around any day of the week. But I did read, a few times, that another way to appear to have a bigger butt is if you carry a smaller purse. I guess I get it. If the purse has a strap, it's gonna probably hang right around the hips and if we're holding a clutch, our hands are oftentimes in the same place. So, if the purse is small, it'll make the region that it's around seem larger.
When you look at the chicks that are on Fashion Nova ads and modeling on IG, when they want to draw attention to their backside (and you can always tell when that's the case), what do they usually have on? Yep. A pair of heels!
There are a few reasons why heels work in your favor in this way. First, just by putting them on, your posture automatically improves. The second thing is heels are able to elongate your legs. Another benefit is heels have a way of causing us to push our breasts up and our butt out. Heels can work even more to your advantage if you're wearing them with something pleated, an A-line or flared skirt or anything that is above the knee.
Try at least three of these tips and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Then turn around and look at how your butt looks. I'd be shocked if you didn't notice a semi-major improvement. And the best thing about them is, they were cheap and pain-free. Oh, and you didn't have to put your life in jeopardy in the process. A major win, if you ask me.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
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Feature image by JD Mason/ Unsplash