From the runways promoting urban clothing to the stages of strip clubs worldwide to the sets of music videos, big booties bring big “booty”. This phenomenon and fixation with big booties or as the old folk call it “behind”, a genetic trait encoded in Africans, but having spread throughout the world as African blood filled the veins of every race known for carrying the gene that means more booty in the jeans, began way before urban clothing, strip clubs and music videos. The first known exploitation of the booty phenom began with Sara Baartman, a Khoi Khoi woman taken in 1810 from her home in Cape Town, South Africa.
The brother to the her slave owner suggested that he allow him to take her to Great Britain and put her on exhibit. The governor of Cape Town granted permission for her to leave Cape Town, but later regretted the decision when he learned of her inhumane treatment. Sara was promised wealth and was given the impression that the trip would be brief and she would be returning home to Africa homeland. When she left, Sara did not know that she would never see her homeland, again. Sara was put on display throughout Britain and France.<img class=”aligncenter” src=”http://www.westminster.gov.uk/archives/images/celebrating16.jpg” alt=”" width=”451″ height=”600″ /> Her anatomy was put under much scientific scrutiny. Her actual genitalia was on display, until 1974 in France at the Musée de l’Homme. After which, molds of her organs were put on display. In 1994 when Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa, he fought with the French, until 2002 to have her remains returned home. There is a film on the Hottentot Venus, Sara or Saartje, her Afrikaans name, Baartman. Being made aware of the Hottentot Venus really makes me think twice how our desire to make money at the expense of our women can really leave us all so far “behind”. I guess we have not progressed far enough to not be consumed by what holds us…”behind”.