Boobs to Booty: How beauty ideals are shifting

Big boobs are passe and a big booty is the new hotness.Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.09.45 PM (2).jpg

 

Turn on the radio and you’re likely to be bombarded by songs celebrating a big, juicy derrier; from Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” – a remix of Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back” – to Meghan Trainor’s 50’s-esque riff big booty in “All About That Bass” and basically all music videos by Iggy Azalea. These songs ridicule “skinny bitches” and these and other rappers praise “fat asses” in pretty much every.single.song. The ever illustrious female objectification bible, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, celebrated the shift to butts with their cover photo celebrating three models’ derriers instead of the usual cleavage.

Perhaps this is a good sign for women’s health. Butts are arguably a more reliable indicator of health than boobs. All those high and tight booties are basically flashing signs signalling youth and fertility. Big butts are fat stores demonstrating a woman can sustain pregnancy and lactation. And they’re a sign of femininity, as women have more rounded buttocks than men due to estrogen that causes the body to store fat in buttocks, hips and thighs. Plus, University of Oxford study in 2010 found women with larger than average butts are more intelligent and resistant to chronic illnesses than the norm. Par-tay!

victorian-era

Victorian-era bustles and corsets tightened waists in order to emphasize hips and buttocks.

While the buttocks have almost always been sexualized and fetishized across cultures from ancient history (Greek statues exaggerated women’s hips, butt and thighs, Victorians created buttock-centric spanking porn) to recent years, the current emphasis on huge booty appears to be derived from African culture and associated porn.  A study of buttock augmentation  surgery patients found that African Americans desired thighs buttocks to be as full as possible. Hispanics generally wanted full buttocks, Caucasians wanted full but not large buttocks, and Asians wanted them shapely but small to moderate.

However, there will likely be a clash of beauty ideals as expanding African American and Latin cultural influence meets up with expanding Asian cultural influence. For example, while Brazilians consider bubble-shaped buttocks attractive, Japan sees the same as vulgar. Asian women instead put a premium on slender frames and minimal curves.

So…celebrate the good booty times while they last? At least for now, Americans can’t get enough of that booty.

….before we all become Kim Kardashian surgically-altered sexbots….

 

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