Hands off my lovely lady lumps

Opinions Columnist

It is never OK for anyone to put their hands on a woman’s body, no matter her size. My body is not a commodity for mass consumption.

While there may be an influx of women who work in politics, own their own businesses or support their families by themselves, what everyone around these ladies seems to be concerned with is bra size or how big their butt appears in shorts.

Women who have bodies conventionally described as curvy or full-figured seem to be the new focal point for current social media trends. Songs such as “Bubblegum” by Jason Derulo and “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj sexualize women with big butts and a larger bust. While these songs could come across as a step toward positive body image, they degrade women who are then further objectified by the society they live in.

When popular artists sing songs about women with extra cushion in the back, they legitimize the objectification of these women’s bodies. Not only is our victimization justified, but we are then expected to be fine with someone putting their hands on our bodies.

As a member of the bold, curvy crowd, I speak from personal experience. People perceive a woman and her availability differently depending on the size of her body.

In Austin, I was outside not five minutes before a group of guys across the street started yelling for me to twerk. At parties, the girls most likely to be handled roughly by people are those who have a larger butt compared to more petite girls who are usually approached less aggressively.

That I’m expected to be fine with guys staring at my chest longer than they should and grabbing me from behind is just disgusting. Unless a woman gives permission to be touched, no one has the right to put their hands on her body.

A woman’s body is not a toy to be played with. It does not matter what she is wearing or if she is showing more than usual—it is never an invitation to be touched inappropriately.

Even more peculiar, this trend of objectification is not exclusive to straight men. I have noticed even women, regardless of sexuality, like to put their hands on curvy ladies and act in a relatively aggressive manner. The fact that acceptance of this behavior has even melded into the minds of other women as a form of internalized objectification is unsettling.

I cannot stress this sentiment enough: having a bigger bra or a plus size bottom does not mean women’s bodies are open for exploitation.

Pop culture and the media need to break the stereotypes portraying full-figured females as nothing more than mindless sex objects. Of course I recognize all women are subject to being exploited, no matter what their body size. But I am referring to a specific group that is often overlooked.

The stereotype of how one can dance and how aggressively they should be touched based on their body type needs to end immediately. If it is someone else’s body, it is theirs. It is solely up to that person to decide whether they want to be touched or not. Hands off, folks—I am not for sale.

Follow Mariana Castillo on Twitter at @mar9cast.