Bonjour! How have you been? I was recently scrolling through my instagram feed and after clicking on a bunch of beautiful random pictures of French girls and Paris and African women in Paris, came across BOOTY THERAPY. And I am completely obsessed with it. From what I can gather from the page and the website (keep in mind, je parle’ francais un peu) it’s a class that meets weekly in Paris and teaches you how to twerk, pop your booty, make your ass cheeks clap, or however the young people are saying it these days. I have no idea how to say it in French.
Now… I’m sure there are a lot of things going on in your head right now. Yes, there are countless blog posts and essays on women and their bodies and dancing and finding empowerment and if ass shaking is feminist or not. Here is a video, from the dance teacher’s youtube page, featuring her and her students talking about what they like about “booty therapy” and why it’s important, in their own words.
And there’s a facebook page, also in French.
I’m still trying to articulate why this is so important. Here’s what I have so far.
1. An African/French woman founded this business and is teaching. As far as I can tell, there isn’t any cultural appropriation going on. But I could be wrong. (I would feel extremely angry if this was some white girl trying to lead a class on twerking and making money off of a culture that isn’t her own).
2. Women are coming together, appreciating and accepting their bodies and having a great time.
3. It takes away the “us” vs. “them” judgements. Like for instance, when women in music videos or just in real life are shaking their ass, other women are so quick to slut shame them, call them names, and make them feel inferior. (Think about what some women were saying after Nicki Minaj’s VMA performance, or notice the looks the Kardashian/Jenner girls and Rita Ora face were giving Nicki during her performance). I’m guessing a lot of those types of women would take classes like booty therapy and feel less threatened by other women’s bodies, revel in their own sexuality and create more of a culture of sisterhood, body positivity and acceptance.
The next time a good song comes on and you are tempted to start shaking your booty or judging another woman who is shaking her’s, remember this blog post, and feminism and “booty therapy” and Paris. All of it is really not that complex, but yet it actually kinda is.
Stay feminist and chic.