Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What "Sissy That Walk" Means (with video examples)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents a definition of and information about the saying "Sissy that walk!" This post also includes six video examples of people "sissying their walk".

The content of this post is provided for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured on these videos and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post.

"Sissy that walk" is a saying that means "to walk with a very noticeable or an exaggerated switch or strut".

The word "sissy" is a diminutive form of the word "sister". In its capitalized form it has been used as a nickname for a female sibling - i.e. American actress "Sissy Spacek".

The word "sissy" has also been used as a taunting referent to a male who some believe acts feminine. While that switching style of walking is most closely associated with female catwalk fashion models, the saying "Sissy that walk" is probably most closely associated with drag queens. In that sense, "Sissy that walk" means to walk like a female, but not just any female- a self-confident female catwalk model who isn't afraid of strutting her stuff.

"Sissy that walk!" may be voiced as an imperative sentence (a command) or as a statement of approval for the way that the person being addressed is already walking.

The saying "sissy that walk" is being popularized in 2014 by recording artist, producer, and enteprenuer, RuPaul Charles in his American television show RuPaul's Drag Race, in his recorded song "Sissy That Walk" and elsewhere. Click for a link to the official music video of that song. (Warning: That song includes mild profanity and some comments on that discussion thread also contain profanity.)

Here are two comments from that YouTube discussion thread:
Suzy Hernandez, May 2014
"I haven't loved a new pop song in a very long time... I hear this in my head when walking around town and it makes me Sissy That Walk. Gotta love trends being set by a 53 year old man dressing up in women's clothing."
Arnold S, May 2014
"That is now my daily affirmation "If I fly or if I fall, I gave it my all. Now, SISSY THAT WALK!""
Here's information about how RuPaul came to use that saying:
RuPaul, 'Sissy That Walk': Exclusive Video Premiere By Keith Caulfield | May 12, 2014 2:15 PM EDT
“Fun fact: the phrase "Sissy That Walk" came to RuPaul by way of his friend, writer Rich Juzwiak, who heard a parent screaming the line at their kid in a child beauty pageant.”
Given the fact that most of the children who compete in beauty pageants are female, it's likely that the parent who screamed "Sissy that walk" directed that comment to his daughter because he wanted her to walk "harder" (with more verve).
Here's a brief clip of RuPaul on the Queen Latifah talk show using that "Sissy that walk" saying:

"Sissy That Walk" With RuPaul and Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah Published on Mar 31, 2014

RuPaul notices a fierce pair of shoes in the audience and tells her to "sissy that walk.".
RuPaul incorporates some voguing hand movements when he demonstrates how to "sissy that walk". Cleo, the audience member with the sylish shoes does that hand movement while seated. Click for Part II of a pancocojams series on voguing.

The word "sissy" has long been a pejorative referent for males who are gay or males who are said to "act gay". However, when it is used by drag queens, the "sissy that walk" saying is a positive command or encouragement that means that that the person is "strutting" his (or her) stuff" . In other words, a person who is "sissying that walk" is really "walking that walk", "working it ("werking it"), "shaking his or her thing- with "thing" meaning "butt". In that sense, the saying "sissy that walk" may be an indication that - at least to some extent - members of the gay community are reclaiming the word "sissy", removing the pejorative connotations from that word. That said, I believe that it is still usually very hurtful for boys to be called a sissy.

These videos are posted in chronological order based on their posting date on YouTube with the oldest dated videos presented first.

Example #1: Briannet Borrego'model,niña modelando,modelaje,hna actriz Liannet Borrego

montana1664 Uploaded on Mar 10, 2009

La graduacion del primer curso de modelaje de Briannet Borrego(4 añitos)
I think the English translation for this Italian sentence is "The graduation for the first class [course?} of Briannet Borrego school of modeling (children age four years).

Example #2: Diva Davanna walk at the "So you think you can walk modeling competition"


Joe Clarke, Uploaded on May 18, 2010

Diva Davanna struts her stuff at this modeling competition. The models her needed to take some real lessons from this Diva as she delivers the cutting edge moves needed to represent any brand.


ORPHEUSS100, Uploaded on Mar 23, 2011

Example #4: Raja Runway Season 3

art pop, Published on Sep 23, 2012
Raja is the winner of RuPaul Drag Race, Season #3.
Warning: One of the songs played in this compilation contains mild profanity.

Example #5: Rupaul's Drag Race Season 6 looks - Sissy That Walk

locoreptilectric, Published on Apr 28, 2014

UPDATE: June 4, 2014
Click for a recent video of RuPaul showing how he "sissies that walk" on the ABC television show "Sing Your Face Off". Rupaul was serving as a celebrity judge for that competition.

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1 comment:

  1. In my post I mentioned that the word "sissy" is a diminutive form of the word "sister" and that "Sissy" is sometimes used as a nickname for a female sibling. An example of that use is the African American children's singing game "Sissy In The Barn". Click for a pancocojams post on that song.

    Comparable nicknames for "brother" are "Bubby" and "Bubba" .