Year of the Rear: We're All About that Booty

You have definitely seen it. Perhaps it was in the form of five boys hovering over a laptop in O’Neil library. Or maybe it was streamed directly to your television from the MTV Video Music Awards. It more than likely was a Vevo advertisement that interrupted your homework procrastination on Youtube. In one-way or another, big booty has been pervasive--flooding all aspects of your social media world. 2014, to be quite forthright, is the Year of the Rear.

Shockingly, I am not far-flung in this claim. Even Vogue, my highly credible fashion source, has officially declared mankind’s entrance into a new epoch: the “era of the big booty.” While this statement follows the release of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and J-Lo’s “Booty” videos, the craze neither begins nor stops there.

Since the 1960s, American culture has been fixed on slender body ideals of beauty. Beginning in the late 90s and early 2000s, however, voluptuous female bodies started to headline Hollywood. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and songs like “Bootylicious,” just to name a few, arguably paved the way for the booty crusade.

Fast-forward to 2014. Kim Kardashian, who people argue got famous for no reason, is largely famous for one reason.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

Miley Cyrus used her booty to twerk away from Disney star days. Rihanna courageously bared her entire body in a sheer dress at the CFDA Awards this past June. And Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” climbed to first place on the Billboard Hot 100. From reality stars to pop singers, the petition for physical and cultural space sanctioning big booties only continues to grow.

Though some spectators claim this celebration of new female body types in Hollywood may promote a healthier, positive body image among consumers, it is not the perfect campaign. The big booty is often accompanied with a skinny waist and a European standard of beauty. In addition, this physical characteristic is arguably used to display sex appeal designed for heterosexual men. Female celebrities today are paradoxically empowered by displaying their sexuality in a manner once deemed demeaning by society.

So here is the real question: Are big butts temporary? Will booties inevitably end like all other fads? The answer to this will only come with time. While ponchos and Ring Pops may have come and gone, butts are not leaving anytime soon. The era has only just commenced.

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Gemma Wilson