Remember The Days, Big Butt?

I remember the days when they called me Big Butt, imitated my walk, and stared.

“Do you walk like that on purpose?”

Today, they hold the titles for the biggest butts in show business, Australia, the world.

The day they smelled chocolate. I said it was cocoa butter and they exclaimed,

“Why would you put butter on your skin?!”

Then palmers hit Priceline in a weaker version of the cakes we used,
and now, mango, shea, pear, almond, everyone wears some sort of butter.

When our fathers and brothers had big hair and used horizontal combs constantly to maintain shape,
they laughed at the ends sticking out.

“Mummy all day they kept asking me, can I touch your hair? I got tired of saying noooo”

When we used to come to school, scalps exposed and shiny with moisturiser, smelling of coconut and bergamot,
the neat rows we couldn’t describe, the ones that gave us “Chinese eyes”, longing to pull them off till our
hair flowed like the lady on the VO5* ad.
But it remained frizzy, soft, stiff.

Then Dark and Lovely was available and Just for Kids! became our monthly staple.
Pink oil was the one!

When you longed to bring rice and stew to school, but opted for chicken sandwiches
because of the unnecessary attention, eyes on your red oily stew.

Now everyone eats rice.

and couscous, injera. Fooo foooo.


When at multicultural day, you wore your colourful Kaba and Slit from Ghana,
and the teacher said you represented South Africa.

Because surely it is all one country.

Now “tribal print” is everywhere with no origin displayed.
Boho the tag.

Ah, to be young and Ghanaian

Young and ethnic
Young and Black.
I remember the days…


*VO5 is the name of a popular shampoo in Australia in the 80ies and 90ies.

[Courtesy of the author]

Link to the Italian translation

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