So last night I surfed the channels on Cable and to my dismay I came across the reality TV show of Nelly's "Apple Bottom" contest.
Young women judged on the size and quality of their derriere by Nelly, some other brother and and a European sister. Reagardless of the panel's ethnic background their looks and judgements were reminiscent of one thing to me:
"Several prints dating from the early nineteenth century illustrate the sensation generated by the spectacle of "The Hottentot Venus." A French print entitled "La Belle Hottentot," for example, depicts the Khosian woman standing with her buttocks exposed on a box-like pedestal. Several figures bend straining for a better look, while a male figure at the far right of the image even holds his seeing-eye glass up to better behold the woman's body. The European observers remark on the woman's body: "Oh! God Damn what roast beef!" and "Ah! how comical is nature."
When the young women were selected on the TV program, they jumped for joy, screamed and ran. It was instant gratification and a validation (of sorts within this facet of American pop culture). They will model and sell jeans and other clothes for Nelly. Some careers may well be spawned ala 'J-Lo' from this beginning; however, as my mother and several of my old professors might say, "but at what price for the people?". Feel like folks are taking 2 steps back.
Sorry, had to vent and enlighten myself.
BBC News Story on the 'Hottentot Venus' from 2002