Cast Blog: #RHOA

On Donkology

Phaedra gives us a lesson in all things donklicious.

Throughout the season, I have done things that some people considered bizarre, over-the-top, and downright "ReDICKulous." Just as our beloved Oprah has her favorite things, so do I; one of them being my love of round, full buttocks that I fondly refer to as the "donkey booty." As a self-proclaimed Ph.D in donkology, I dedicate this rant to all things donklicious.



In my journey as a distinguished donkologist this season, some people have questioned whether or not I have unnatural desires for women while others have enjoyed my donkey booty rhetoric and noted that they have a donkey stretching their 2% lycra jeans to the point of no return. My reason for celebrating the voluminous bottom is neither sexual nor deviant. Since my early childhood, people have always commented on my more than ample bottom. From the overused, "Can we get some fries with that shake," to, "Oh My God Becky!" from Sir Mix Alot's big booty anthem Baby Got Back, I have heard it all. In middle school, I remember boys slyly attempting to pinch or touch my butt on a regular basis, because it was just “so big.” I was often embarrassed because most girls my age did not have such a curvaceous figure. At times, I often felt very self-conscious. As I began to research in a quest for knowledge to determine what was normal I stumbled upon the epidemic of body dysmorphic disorder. In my reading, I learned that the feelings I had about my body were very normal. The studies revealed that in the United States, over half of young girls are unhappy with their bodies. This number grows to almost 80% by the time girls reach seventeen. While as a woman and mother I now know that the teen body is possibly our best body. During my teen years I wasn't that wise or secure. Instead of enjoying those wonderfully carefree years when you can truly indulge in delicacies without much worry about unwanted pounds, bloating, and all the other additives that stir the pot as we gracefully age into adulthood, I was worried about having the perfect body as depicted by the media. The more I looked, the more I noted nothing on the runways or in magazines remotely looked like me. Unfortunately, everything stamped perfect and beautiful looked more like a stick figure than a Coke bottle. I knew I would never be able to conform to these unrealistic body types short of a buttock amputation.

However, when I looked around I noticed most of my friends did not fit this perfect prototype either. While some of us cared less, many of us fell prey to extreme measures: bulimia and eating disorders. Many people do not realize the disturbing truth that one out of every four women in college has an eating disorder. While there is a fine line between a healthy weight and what some quickly label as "fat" women, we make it harder on each other by being each other's worst critics. Amongst women, criticism is more common than compliments. Throughout society, women have become obsessed with everything that is truly not normal; being rail thin, having stomachs as flat as a washboard, and hair longer and thicker than a horse’s tail. Everyone seems to want exactly what they cannot have. If we all looked the same, we would be fembots rather than women. Hence my celebration of the donkey booty is an ode to every woman who ever thought something about her body was imperfect. Being different can be beautiful. I love every woman who proudly embraces her curves and realizes six packs are for colas, not abdominal muscles. There is something to be said for being secure with who you are and celebrating what God gave you. None of us will ever be the prettiest, smartest, or thinnest at every moment in our lives but we can all be confident in our own space and body. Everybody knows only a dog wants a bone! So when I say, “Let me see your donkey,” I am really saying, “You go, girl, rock it! You're beautiful!"

In closing, I want to personally thank everyone who tuned in this season with an open mind and gave us the opportunity to share our lives with you. To my fellow Housewives, none of us are perfect, but we are all courageous in allowing the world to witness our personal triumphs and most vulnerable moments. God speed until next season!

Love,
Phaedra

Twitter: @PhaedraParks
Tumblr: http://everybodyknowsphaedra.com
Website: http://www.phaedraparks.com

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Claudia: I Felt Good About the Reunion

Claudia Jordan shares her thoughts on NeNe Leakes' breakdown and the reunion as a whole.

Bravotv.com: What was going through your mind when NeNe walked off?
Claudia Jordan: Well the reunion was quite an experience. When NeNe walked off, initially I wasn't sure what was going on to be honest. But I did notice she seemed to be trembling, so I knew she was definitely feeling something very real to her. I just didn't know what set her off at that point. So at first I was a little taken back. I had never seen her cry, but we are all human and everyone has their breaking point.

Bravotv.com: Do you think NeNe had a real breakthrough?
CJ: I honestly did think at that moment she really did. Her demeanor was different afterwards. And I even heard from her after the show. That to me was a good sign that perhaps we could all really move forward and start fresh. I know I'm always open to squash some beef, especially if it's nothing deep rooted and something surface. I don't see why not. But like I said on the show, we all have a story and things that we have had to deal with and overcome. I think we need to not think our problems are bigger than the next woman's and respect one another's struggles -- whether we think they are major or minor. One woman's problems are not more important than the rest. And I think if we can all learn to be sensitive to the next woman, then we are on our way. Hopefully that moment was the catalyst for change in NeNe and in others as well.

Bravotv.com: Do you feel like everyone ended the reunion in a better place?
CJ: I'd like to think so. I do think some will probably never be open for change and are just stuck in their own way, while others really took advantage of the opportunity to take something from it all. I'm not going to worry about those that do not wish to grow and move forward. I will just focus and give energy to likeminded individuals that want to get along, move forward, grow, learn, and progress. I know I felt good about the reunion. I know I didn't chime in a whole lot. And I think I had good reason. You don’t get to see everything, but I felt it was important to let the people who had real issues with each other hash it out with no outside opinions, just like I said in the Philippines. When people interject their opinions and thoughts when it’s not their issue, it just adds confusion to the situation. One of the cast members in particular is good for that. Always adding "well I think..." when it has absolutely nothing to do with her, and I feel those extra unnecessary comments can potentially add fuel to the fire and then there is no coming back. So if my silence was going to help the progress of the group moving forward, then I will take that "L."

Yes, it's "cute" to "read" and get in an epic one liner or rant, but sometimes you just need to shut the hell up and let folks deal with each other and let them do them. I have no problems with that. Plus my opinion on everyone’s situation doesn't need to always be heard -- I wish more of us felt the same way. I will say that this seemed to be a great starting point for folks to move forward and put their money where their mouths are when it comes to being a grown ass woman. I really hope everyone wants to. It'd be great to see how things could go if we spent less time fussing and more time co-existing peacefully. #ThatIsAll

 

As the season has come to an end for me, I just wanted to say wow! What a roller coaster ride it has been! I had no idea getting into this that any of it would happen. I thought I'd come on board, have a little fun, bring a little light-hearted fun, and make some new acquaintances. This show is huge and everywhere I go people come up to me and say such amazingly sweet things, and I am truly humbled when they tell me how they can relate to me and appreciate my realness. I was particularly touched when a teenage boy who was gay and biracial that had always felt like an outsider reached out to me talking about suicidal thoughts he had. We spoke and I was beyond moved when he told me that he could relate to some of the things I spoke about and that I somehow inspired and encouraged him to keep going. Those are the moments that make all the drama and fussing and fighting truly worth it. I want to continue to use this amazing platform for important issues. Again I thank Andy, Carlos, Joy, Lauren, Stephen, the entire cast and crew for this amazing opportunity. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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