What’s driving the current global obsession for butt, culo, matako, patootie and whoopee cakes?… These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.
In recent years, booty – a strongly-curved bum – has bounced far beyond its traditional strongholds of hip-hop videos and communities in Africa and Latin America.
'Butts' have taken over 'breasts' as common search term. Butt implants are currently the mostly quickly growing form of plastic surgery worldwide. International fashion designers are developing bum-enhancing jeans.
Is this a sign of globalisation? Or is the world becoming less divided into penises and vaginas, and instead, more united by what we all have: a sitting cushion.
What’s the bottom line with this fascination with mahaga?
BUTT FOR BRAINS
“Researchers have discovered that the development of babies' brains depends on fat supplies that are located in their moms' posteriors and thighs, and the amount stored there might directly impact a kid's intelligence, according to ‘Curvy women can make smarter kids, study suggests’ (Jesse Ferreras, huffingtonpost.ca).
So perhaps “men might be attracted to curvier women because there's a chance of them having smarter kids,” a reproductive scientist suggests.
A previous study found that admiring a curvy women triggers the part of the brain associated with drugs and alcohol. So is our thirst for culo simply a hard-wired addiction?
A BUBBLE OF EVOLUTION?
“The reason we're so attracted to serious curves goes all the way back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors,” according to ‘Let’s not oversimplify Kim Kardashian’s butt appeal’ (, Jesse Singal, nymag.com).
Turkish researchers suggest that a big butt helped pre-civilized pregnant women maintain a better center of gravity. They are then able to forage longer into pregnancy without risking spinal injury.
An appealing idea. Unfortunately, we simply don’t know enough about our ancestors to make such conclusions. As one skeptical scientist pointed out: increased foraging could also increase one’s chance at being eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger.
In short, our response to Kim Kardashian’s patootie “resists any overly simple explanations”.
OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER TREND WITH A BIG BUT?
In his opinion piece ‘Kenya: the big booty obsession’ (allafrica.com), Oyunga Pala celebrates his country’s current “big butt pandemic” since beauty was previously defined by western standards – “reed thin models with malnourished looking bodies as dictated by the fashion gods.”
“Many urban bred African women grew up with serious body esteem issues, convinced that having an outstanding bottom made one undesirable. But ever since Serena Williams and Jennifer Lopez made their posteriors as prominent as their careers, the power of the booty has risen astronomically.”
But Pala has a big but: “The dark side of this body-part obsession is that women who are not naturally endowed will be labelled unattractive.”
In another words, whatever size you’re packing, you should just follow the immortal advice of funk legend George Clinton: “Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow”.