The butt of all jokes

Kitty Knorr, Writer

Historians and stylists alike agree, we are living in the modern era of the booty.

For decades, celebrities have prided themselves in obtaining slim figures and fit physiques. Parisian runways showcase model figures, while actresses flaunt ideal body mass (aka, non-existent body mass). And, the exercise industry began to cater towards women, with the opening of Jazzercise in 1969 and Curves in 1992.

Womanly self-confidence was being sculpted and flattened. Well it was –until a couple large keisters took over the pop music industry. Thanks to Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child and Kim Kardashian, women all over the world are looking back –at their backside. It may seem that these women are daring and baring a lot for the public eye. However, our pop culture icons are simply reinforcing a new body image incentive: large behinds.

The 1960’s are attributed with the creation of leggings, however in the past few years teens made leggings inter changeable with pants. High schools have since reinforced dress codes, warning against wearing leggings on school property. The material was deemed too provocative for the learning environment. All across America school administrations attempted to crack down on yoga pants, skinny jeans and leggings alike. Many educators agreed that the trends are teaching young women wrong values. While school staff members are reinforcing an appropriate image, the media continues to share a different message.

It all started in 1992 with Sir-Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”. The rapper reaped success at the 1993 Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap Solo Performance. Actually many award shows act as a platform for the latest pop culture trend. Twenty years after “Baby Got Back” claimed a Grammy, at the 2013 Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus shook her butt with Robin Thicke and brought twerking to the forefront of our television screens. Yes, America the home of the brave and the behind? While many adults dealt with the long term side effects of watching Cyrus’s performance, few people realized that Cyrus was simply ahead of her time.

Rapper Nicki Minaj took a note from Sir-Mix-a-Lot. Well actually, she took several notes (and lyrics). Minaj’s 2014 hit “Anaconda” was a chart topper and reinforced modern society’s obsession with backsides.  However, it was Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicous” that paved the way for big-bottomed females. Ever since then, the public eye (and ears) have meet a new wave of entertainers from Meghan Trainor, being “All About That Bass,” to Iggy Azeala teaming up with Jennifer Lopez, producing “Booty.”

Nowadays, gym classes that promise a plump posterior are in high demand. A surgery that pumps fat into the buttocks is gaining popularity. And padded panties that give the appearance of a rounder rump are selling out. The U.S. booty business is getting a big bump. Companies are cashing in on the growing demand from women seeking the more curvaceous figures of their favorite stars, who flaunt their fuller rear ends.

In November, Kim Kardashian unleashed yet another talent. Kardashian posed nude for a cover of a paper magazine in an attempt to “Break the Internet”. However, while the country still might be hung up on big butts (and they can not lie), there are several reasons why Kardashian didn’t receive the reaction she desired. First of all, unlike the booty-driven musicians before her, Kardashian did not provide the public with a catchy tune. Kardashian’s cover didn’t possess the same staying power as a 90’s mix tape. Even though our society is pretty jaded, we still like a sense of mystery. So even though she’s not used to it, Kardashian should keep it covered. And lastly, there is a pretty good chance that hard-working citizens don’t want to contribute to the Kardashian empire.

However, there is something we can learn from leggings and twerking and Jazzercise. While we might be a little bum crazy, it’s so important to realize that society is continuously evolving. And even though large rumps have been prevalent in the past few years, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this body image trend is here to stay. Nothing lasts forever. And while it’s comfortable to follow pop culture and trends, it’s even more comfortable to love one’s own body type. So while the next generation of magazine covers and rap music dances onto the scene, never let the latest trends effect your self confidence. Own your look, own your image and feel free to acknowledge the era of the booty.