THE BLOG

The Bottom Line - How I and the World Learned to Love My Arse

03/10/2014 12:07 BST | Updated 03/12/2014 10:59 GMT

'Throw up your hands if you love a big booty' JLo is singing and Iggy Azalea my fave Ozzie Fauxmerican is joining her. Writhing around in their knickers, they are proudly displaying their butt cheeks to the world. I don't know when we became so obsessed with bums, but I can honestly say, it has changed my life.

Today, women get butt implants (cray cray), wear bottom-lifting shapewear and sign up to classes to help bubble out that booty. I wasted years hiding what people are paying thousands of pounds to achieve. Now, though, I have ditched the cover-up and embraced what my mamma gave me and always told me was beautiful.

When I was younger I hated my bottom, but as the beauty paradigm shifts, I have move acceptance of my skin, my body, my shape and my hair. Gone are the days where people made fun of my bum; now it's heralded as a phenomenon. I often walk into rooms backwards: my arse is my best feature.

My Jamaican Nan and Gran are in their 70's and their bums are outstanding; my greatest gift comes from them. Their wasp-like waists and pert derrieres are gifts I have gratefully received.

As a Fitness Instructor I spend a lot of time suggesting exercises to help women who didn't win the arse lottery. I am not the only one.

'Lunge, because no one ever wrote a song about a small arse.' appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. My Personal Trainer friend Mirella posted this encouraging mantra. I laughed, liked and shared. That mantra made me happy, because it's true. I am the proud owner of the kind of butt people write songs about. But this is a newish found love.

For years I aspired to a different culture's version of beauty which made me feel my hair was too short, my thighs were too thick, my body too athletic and my bum was too big. It wasn't too big, of course. It was what it was supposed to be: high firm, proud and comfortable to sit on.

As for the world falling in love with butts like mine... Who do I thank?

I hate to say hip-hop culture, especially as some of the mainstream hits are laden with misogyny, but... from the time Sir Mix-A-Lot first uttered 'I like big butts and I cannot lie', the influence of hip-hop culture on the concept of the body beautiful has been undeniably powerful.

It has been fetishizing and objectifying, yes, but an influence none-the-less. Songs about butts and the natural shape of black and Latina women featured prominently in hip-hop, but they were American and felt disconnected from the UK, so still didn't make me feel confident to embrace my natural shape. I don't remember exactly when I started to accept my body, but I remember noticing other people accepting it. I call it the 'JLo era'.

When JLo hit the scene warbling about love not costing a thing and proudly wearing her arse like a badge of honour she made having junk in your trunk a huge trend. Although, at the time, there were lots of black female celebrities doing this, they weren't famous in the UK and someone with brown skin having a fuller behind... well... it isn't news. Despite, Sisqo singing about thongs and R Kelly 'Feelin on yo booty', they did not possess the influence or clout of JLo's Versace emblazoned cheeks.

Thanks to JLo and other black female celebrities singing and acting their way onto the A-List, my butt became a crossover sensation transcending racial barriers. The guys who once made fun of it began to appreciate it.

The vision of beauty in the UK has changed dramatically in the last few decades. Queen Bey, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Rhianna and Jlo wouldn't have got a look-in in the media in the '80's. Today I am proud to love my butt. I treasure it, worship it and appreciate it. And I squat, lunge, walk, and run and try to keep it that way.

Here are my five fave exercises for firming your tush.

1. Squats

2. Lunges

3. Glute bridge

4. Stiff-leg deadlift

5. Step-up with kick back

Accept what you have, look after what you have and #werk at it.

I am. Why? Because as Sir Mix-A-Lot said 'Baby got back.'