One the ‘face’ of it, it’s a celebration of the well-rounded, healthy and youthful female form.
(Picture: Courtesy of Real Colored Girls Blog)
And there is the exploitation of the female form. Yes! you’re good to look at and clever too, but we’d rather just look at your arse. You don’t need to look far to find a silent army of producers, directors, publicists, designers, publishers who are quietly pocketing a tidy sum, as a result of publishing, merchandising or promoting these images. Sex sells. Always has, always will.
As someone who has been blessed with a large posterior, which I was always trying to slim down, because my body shape made me ‘stand out’ when the norm at the time was slim, barely there buttocks. Now it’s cool to have plenty of junk in the trunk. Celebrities have been using their assets to elevate their talent to stratospheric levels. Nikki Minaj, Beyonce, J-Lo – have all shaken what their mama gave them to tremendously good effect. And I do believe it may help them sell more stuff.
Geneticists and biologists will no doubt point to an enviable rear as a sign of extreme fertility and sexuality in women. And it’s true, however much I’ve complained, men really don’t seem to mind.
But what’s really happening here?
Saartjie Baartman, otherwise known as the Venus Hottentot, was regarded as a freak of nature by polite Georgian society, primarily because of her enlarged posterior. She came to London as a young woman and provided entertainment for those who wished to examine and gossip, attaining almost celebrity status because of her unusual shape. Her shape was unusual by English standards of the day, but this exaggerated feminine shape is actually rather common on parts of the African sub-continent. As a descendant of the Caribbean myself, it’s a well-known phenomenon that many women of colour, with a particular heritage, will share that small waist, large behind profile.
My conclusion is that how you regard Kim Kardashian’s bottom, or any other celebrities bottom for that matter depends firmly where you sit. Your view of a lush, feminine posterior will alter depending on whether you are: heterosexual male, homosexual male, single female, married female, white female, female of colour, slim female with no weight issues, large female with weight issues, a woman who has been harassed by men in the street for the size of her butt (yes, it does happen) a woman who has undergone cosmetic surgery to make her bottom larger, rounder or to achieve a personal, desired goal.
What is not in dispute is that overtly sexualised female anatomy continue to stimulate the strongest of human emotions:
Desire, lust, envy, jealousy and greed. As long as we are human and driven by basic impulses, there will always be well-endowed women who show off their bodies, evoking energised comment and debate. Kim Kardashian as a free woman with her own fortune can choose to show off her body, it’s her right and part of her lucrative repertoire of selling herself. It’s a reaction of biblical proportions.
Writing every word