A lot of people do not know the story of Saartjie (pronounced Shar key) Baartman. Therefore, it is my responsibility to share (just as it is all of our responsibility to share what we know with our community "educate the masses"). Baartman is also known as Venus Hottentot, hence the title of this post. Have you ever been referred to as a "hottentot" or heard someone else be referred to as such? Since Ive been familiar, I have used the term (used negatively). I recently subconsciously used the term at work speaking to a coworker. Speaking with him reminded me that I needed to share this story.
Introducing to some, and presenting to others, the life of Venus Hottentot. Born in 1789, in the country of South Africa, Baartman was a slave of Dutch Farmers. At the age of 11, Baartman was given the suggestion to travel to England to become a part of an exhibit. With the promise of money in her head, Baartman left for London in 1810. She along with one other lady, were exhibited through Britain throughout the 19th century.
Baartman was on display due to her physical features. In the nude, Baartman was made to.....
- gyrate her huge buttocks
- display her huge breasts
- display her elongated labia (inner lips)
Later, Baartman traveled to France for a 15 month exhibition. She became the subject of scientific paintings. Keep in mind that her features were considered "highly unusual" and she was also subject to physical and mental abuse during these exhibitions. She was not viewed as "sexy" or "beautiful".
Once the general public grew tired of her images and she was no longer the entertainment of exhibits, Baartman turned to drinking and prostitution for money. She died at the tender age of 26. It is uncertain if she died from smallpox, syphilis, or pneumonia. At death her body, once again, became the center of attraction. Her skeleton, genitals, and brain were placed on display in Paris.
It took years of petitioning to get Baartman's body back to South Africa, where she now formerly lays. She is now a South African Icon. the Saartje Baartman Centre for Women and Children, for survivors of domestic violence, was open in Cape Cod the year 1999.
What do you think of the story of Venus Hottentot, that dates back to the early 19th century? History sure does repeat itself doesn't it? Ya know the new infatuation with having a "big booty"......
Im not even knocking your hustle, if the shoe fits. Some chicks just naturally, have it. For those that dont, the video below will even help you out, if your feeling kinda down on yourself for lacking in that department.
The moral of the story is, history repeats itself. Don't let your infatuation or your view of self image lead you down a path of self-hate. And if you're not trying to hear that, at least cover yourself up and dont give the show away for free. (hint the new popular trend of booty crack hanging out the top of your jeans).
Just my opinion......Comments!