Academic journal article Hecate

Jennifer Lopez's Bottom and the Mysterious Laughter

Academic journal article Hecate

Jennifer Lopez's Bottom and the Mysterious Laughter

Article excerpt

Jennifer Lopez's Bottom and the Mysterious Laughter

1

Lou had the body of an acrobat, the mind of a guru and the heart of a born trouble maker.

She'd often end her stories with the phrase: let that be a lesson to you, like she was some ancient oracle or at least somebody's goddamn grandmother.

Now don't get me wrong. Lou had a great body, but it was the body she was born with, she used to say, not necessarily the one she would have chosen.

Still, it was the object of lust, envy and admiration amongst those who'd never even spoken a word to her and even amongst those who had.

Those who knew her better knew that Lou's body was an instrument with which she transmitted her art. You may have seen her sometime flying the trapeze, walking the hiwire or abseiling down the Opera House in one of her troupe's daredevil aerial shows. You may have seen her spread in Australian Style, straddling that green vinyl chair, her two long white legs looking for all the world like insect appendages, a pair of gossamer wings attached to her back and the word fool written on her forehead.

Oh yeah. Lou loved taking the mickey out of everything.

I worked out, she'd say, how to have the audience eating out of the palm of your hand. Look like a goddess and think like a radical.

Which probably explains her rapid rise to prominence in the performance art world. If you're slim and beautiful, the Birdwoman would lament as her own weight went up and down like a yo-yo, people will forgive you anything.

It was true of course. Lou's audience seemed to accept any social theory she cared to include in her shows, as long as she wore nothing but a transparent piece of gauze wrapped around her hips. For instance, when she was going through her separatist phase she wrote the words All men are conditioned idiots across her breasts and back, while the parts of her body which were covered were wrapped tightly in cling wrap. She looked like a Michaelangelo statue packaged by Christo. Her shows were sellouts that year and although a large proportion of her audience were women, more than half were men who were prepared to be dazzled by Lou's body and sheer aura in return for their tacit submission to her reconstructionist theories.

She was the perfect postfeminist heroine. Part porn star, part gymnast, part goddess, part tank girl.

But that was before was she called her epiphany. Her illumination. Her seeing of the light.

Before she saw Jennifer Lopez's bottom.

At first I thought it must have been shadows I was seeing. Or a lighting mistake. I couldn't believe they let a woman with an arse like that turn sideways on film. But once I realized her bottom was real I just couldn't take my eyes off it. I mean I'd never seen anything more...mysterious or beautiful in my life. All I remember is this one word going round and round in my brain: WOW! Imagine that. A bottom big enough to make you go: WOW!

It was more than a psychological transformation. More than emotional. Or spiritual. It was something far more fundamental.

She realized what she'd been missing her entire life.

I have no weight, she secretly confided in Emerald Green. I have no bottom end.

And like all true artists, Lou set about creating one.

A big bottom that is.

A big big bottom.

2

Lou had never been on a diet. Blessed with a sympathetic metabolism and an abundance of physical energy, she had developed her sleek physique not by willpower but by girl power.

But now her priorities changed. And it wasn't some gradual change either. She shocked us all with her announcement that she was taking a break from training and stunned us even more when we asked her what she was going to do with herself and she replied: I'm going to sit on a couch, girls, and wait for my butt to grow.

There were those amongst us who seemed to know what she was up to. …

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