As a woman of a certain size, I have a clever name for almost every single part of my body. I’m sure we all do.
The soft, fleshy roll around my midsection is my “muffin top” or my llanta (Spanish for “tire”). The extended lower belly is my FUPA—or, as my cousin and I lovingly call it, my BIF (booty in the front). The jiggly fat on my arms? My wings.
Like I said, all kinds of names for all kinds of parts, but one name or label I’ve never used is “hip cleavage.”
Sports Illustrated tweeted a picture of model Ashley Graham posed on a beach. She’s wearing a high-cut swimsuit, and her hip is extended in such a way that you can see a small roll of fat touching her upper thigh.
To be clear, her body looks beautiful. I saw the picture and thought, Wow, they put a thick girl out there!
But then I read the tweet and thought, What the hell is “hip cleavage”?
And then I wondered, Do they mean hip meat—like, rolls?
Yes, rolls. Let’s just call them what they are.
It’s OK. As I said, she looks good in that picture. I like it. I am sure a lot of other people liked it, too. It accomplished its mission in that regard.
But as we move forward toward the acceptance of more varied body types in the mainstream, we don’t have to tiptoe around the obvious.
In the accompanying article, SI reports that New York Post’s Page Six coined the term in reference to celebrities wearing swimsuits that show off large parts of their bare hips.
SI credits the look to the ’90s, calls it “summer’s hottest new trend,” and sets Ashley Graham out there because they know what’s up. That “hip cleavage” looks especially good when it’s got a little meat attached to it.
Hips have been exposed out here. Women like Pam Grier, Eartha Kitt and Jayne Kennedy walked so these newbies could run. They were running the hips game before “trend” was a thing.
Sports Illustrated and Page Six aren’t hipping you to a new trend. They are (at least in the case of Page Six) just catching up to what already was and feeling like they are so dope for doing so. Nah.
But buzz phrases are what’s in, so “hip cleavage” becomes a thing, and now here we are.
Thick girls just like Ashley Graham have been out here giving you hips and hip meat. Rolls. Jiggle. Cellulite. All that. And not just in swimsuits.
“Hip cleavage” ain’t nothing new, but we welcome the rest of y’all to the party.