But the latest, and probably the most pathetic, addition to this list is 39-year-old Natasha Stewart. Also known as Pebbelz da Model, she and another woman, Shannetria Newberry, were arrested recently in Memphis in connection with the death of a Mississippi woman who had concrete injected in her backside.
If nothing else, Stewart is a poster child for the damage that occurs when someone is ignorant of history and devoid of personal pride.
In one interview, Stewart, who also has a freakishly large, likely fake backside, profanely brags about how all the men want to have sex with her because of her large posterior, how anyone who criticizes her is jealous, and how she likes men to slap her buttocks. She also talks about how black men, and not white men, are “hating on her.”
Newsflash Natasha: White men didn’t hate on Bartmann either – because they saw her as an oddity more than they saw her as attractive.
Stewart also makes a point of having the interviewer feel her butt, and she makes a really big deal of sitting in his lap and rubbing it up against him.
When I saw all that, I thought of how Bartmann probably would have given anything to not have her behind inspected – or otherwise be treated like an object.
I thought of how, at a time when black women’s curves are being appreciated as healthy and natural, caricatured women like Stewart cause us to be seen as curiosities.
And I thought of how things have gone horribly wrong when black women who are obviously too poor to afford a real plastic surgeon, women who know nothing of the pain of Saartjie Bartmann, are willing to pay to turn themselves into a freak show.
Even if it kills them.
Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her at tonyaajw@twitter. Or visit her webpage and blog, “Tonyaa’s Take,” at www.tonyaajweathersbee.com.