Too big? Too small?
Who hasn’t made comments about another woman’s buttocks, either stating that it’s huge, droopy, full of cellulite, too skinny, or flat . . . we’ve all done it.
Most women I know are unhappy with their bodies, but especially with their buttocks. I’ve promised you that, in time, once I’ve shared with you interesting facts from a book titled, The Naked Woman by Desmond Morris—that you will have a different understanding and appreciation for your body. Truthfully, when I reached the buttocks chapter I thought that in no way will I change my mind about how I feel about my own bottom, but I was wrong.
Morris has divided his chapter about the buttocks into three sections: the buttocks as a vulgar part of the body, the sexuality of the buttocks, and submission. The buttocks are usually two protruding gluteal muscles, which enable us to stand upright and remain that way. However, the buttocks are the one body part that have been made fun of consistently, instead of admired for that which they have enabled us to do—to walk erect as opposed to the rest of the animal kingdom. They’ve been treated as a vulgar part of the human body, because in between the buttocks is where all of our waste passes through daily; it’s also where we emit gas of course. Generally, it’s a part of the body that produces an uncomfortable association with unpleasant things.
In ancient Greece, however, the buttocks were regarded as the most beautiful body part, Aphrodite Kallipygos was literally known as the “Goddess with Beautiful Buttocks.” Her buttocks were admired by all, there was even a temple built in their honor. The roundness of the human buttocks was seen as a clear distinguishing mark between humans and beasts, and the reason the Devil, in ancient carvings and pictures, was portrayed as a bottomless creature. His inability to replicate the human buttocks was seen as his weakness, and in order to combat the Devil one had to flash their buttocks before him, the Devil would immediately turn his head away. Thus, the human buttocks were used as a repellant against the Devil. Early churches featured carvings of women’s buttocks’ in order to drive the Devil away. People used to believe that the Devil had two faces, the second face was on his bottom, and witches had to kiss his second face as part of the Sabbath ritual. And so “arse kissing” became associated with Satan followers; over time the connection to the Devil was lost, but the phrase has survived as an insult.
In Germany women would flash their bare bottoms in front of the entrance to their homes on a stormy night, in order to ward off the evil spirits heading their way. These days when someone flashes their bare bottom at a football or soccer game, they have no idea that they are actually carrying on with an ancient custom, the Devil being the last thing on their minds, they are comfortably engaged in upsetting people by exposing a body part regarded as obscene and taboo.
There’s no missing this colorful butt.
The sexy buttocks—the females of many apes and monkeys have bright colored behinds, when ovulating this part of their body becomes very conspicuous, enabling the males to know that they are receptive to mating. With humans it’s different, there is no swelling of the buttocks and women remain sexually responsive at any time, even when unable to conceive; human mating is not purely for breeding purposes, but used for keeping the family unit together. As such, women must continuously transmit erotic signals throughout their lives.
A Victoria Secret model, accentuating her arched back.
The female buttocks have been gender-linked, and regarded as a prominent sex signal; they are not there merely to help women stand up straight. The protruding female buttocks are relatively larger to the rest of her body parts, certainly larger than most males’ behinds. The female body (not including athletes,) has an arched back, more so than the male’s, and sticks out more. When walking, the different female leg and hip designs cause a greater undulation in that region, so when there is more fat, more protrusion and undulation—it’s a powerful erotic signal to the male.
Iranian terracotta female figure, early 1st millennium B.B. with exaggerated broad hips and bottom.
It’s interesting to note that our early ancestors had even bigger behinds than we have today, and this can be seen in stone paintings and sculptures where the buttocks looked much larger. There is much speculation regarding the “Super Buttocks,” some believe that our primeval ancestors mated from behind, therefore sexual signals came from the buttocks as with the rest of the species. Gradually, with time, when we became more erect and the buttocks were formed, the roundness of the buttocks was still seen as a sex signal. Beautiful females exhibited the larger buttocks, thus sending a stronger sexual signal, ironically though, the bigger the buttocks the more difficult the sexual act from behind, so males solved the problem by switching to the front. As a result of this the breasts became permanently swollen, mimicking the buttocks. So now the breast as well as the buttocks could send a sexual message. If this theory is true, there is even a little bit of evidence to support it; in the southwestern desert of Africa female Bushman still have the “Super Buttocks” as depicted in the Stone-Age figures. They were one of the most dominant forms of our species, so the Stone-Age artists based their figures on reality rather than erotic fantasy.
No need for caption.
Even after the Super Buttocks transformed into a more slender design, it did not completely disappear from the scene. In Victorian times women wore the big hoops and padding to recreate the fatty buttocks. In the twentieth century, the use of the high heel exaggerated the buttocks, balancing on those kinds of shoes forces women to thrust their buttocks upward. Today, the buttocks region is often emphasized by wearing clingy designs. Here and there you hear of celebrities who embrace their big buttocks; the names that come to mind are: Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce’, and Kim Kardashian of course. Naturally, when celebrities sport a certain look, and there is enough media attention and literature supporting their beauty trend, then come the surgeons who profit from all the women who want to recreate the same exact look. Surgery to create voluptuous bottoms by use of fat injections or silicone implants has been on the rise; Brazil is the leading country for this type of surgery with approximately 1,600 surgeons offering this treatment. Once again, we’ve gone back to our primeval focus on the buttocks as an erotic region of our bodies.
Dedicated to butt lift exercises.
The third way to describe the buttocks is by submissiveness and whether you like it or not, humans and animals exhibit similar behavior when the female offers herself to the male. Subordinate monkeys, for example, offer their rump to a dominant monkey; the dominant monkey will not attack but rather mount the other monkey—making its point with a few pelvis thrusts. There are still a few tribal societies where a bow is performed as part of a greeting ceremony, but the person doing the bowing faces the opposite direction—in a way resembling the “rump presentation” of monkeys, says Morris.
Morris goes on to talk about the taboo implications of tapping women on their behinds outside the framework of a loving relationship; in Italy for example, a country notorious for butt pinching practices, the author of How to be an Italian talks about three types of pinches: the Pizzicato—a pinch using the thump and middle finger, the Vivace—a multi-fingered pinch, and the Sostenuto the heavy-handed pinch. This immediately brings to mind my own adventures in Italy while visiting the town of Verona. When walking past the amphitheater on a main street in Verona, a random passerby stuck his head between my thighs. I remember screaming, my friend hitting him from behind and trying to pull him off me, while people walked by without intervening. He thought it was rather funny because when he let go of me and a stream of Italian words came pouring out of his equally fast moving lips, he did so with a grin. Obviously happy that he had spent a good minute with his head stuck between my thighs, going over and beyond the normal Italian practice of pinching the butt.
These days I am not as consumed with body image as I used to be. Mostly, I’m grateful that my buttocks do not resemble that of my husband’s which are flat, white, and hairy.
If you’ve enjoyed my writing and interpretation of ideas, then be sure to check out my books, especially those written about similar subject matter. The Diary of a wrinkle and Age Schmage can be found on Amazon.com. For those of you who enjoy historical novels, I recommend East End Dreams, also on Amazon.com.
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