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NY times wonders will da "Era Of The Butt Ever End?"



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 2 months ago '20        #1
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NY times wonders will da "Era Of The Butt Ever End?"
 

 
Will the Era of Butts Ever End?
A new book takes a look back at the posterior’s cultural role throughout history.

Give this article

The author Heather Radke looks up at a marble statue of a butt catching the light.
Heather Radke, the author of “Butts: A Backstory,” touring the Metropolitan Museum of Art.Credit...Ye Fan for The New York Times
Marisa Meltzer


By Marisa Meltzer
Nov. 28, 2022


From the title of Heather Radke’s new book “Butts: A Backstory,” and its cover image of a ripe, callipygian peach, one might expect a book of provocative photos, or perhaps a chronicle of a personal fetish. But “Butts” is in fact a carefully researched and reported work of cultural history.

The blunt word choice for the title was intentional.

“You feel the sanitization in a word like ‘buttocks’,” said Ms. Radke, who has long, wavy dark hair and, on a Friday in October, was wearing a black linen jumpsuit and a black velvet blazer with Chelsea boots and blue socks.

She looked like a cool Brooklyn mom, which she is. Ms. Radke, 39, had a baby over the summer, and this was one of her first times venturing out without her child since giving birth. She had come to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in search of butts.

Ms. Radke walked from the Great Hall through the wings of Greek and Roman art. She almost immediately spotted a marble female figure from 4500 B.C. that resembled the voluptuous figure of the famed Venus of Willendorf. “We think of them as fertility sculptures, but we don’t really know — it’s tempting to see these things and use our contemporary lens about what they mean,” she said.

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The book, which will be published by Avid Reader Press on Tuesday, makes the case that rear ends can tell us a lot about society. “Talking about women’s butts,” she writes, “has, for at least two centuries, been a way to talk about, and around, questions of race, gender, and what bodies mean.”

Ms. Radke catalogs freak shows in 19th-century London, visits natural history museums in Paris and attends drag performances in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. She writes about the importance of famous derrières on stars of the past and present, such as Josephine Baker or Jennifer Lopez, arguing that the shape of their behinds influenced what men desired and what women aspired to. She also makes the case that the fascination with those women’s shapes reflected the changing demographics and culture of 1920s Paris and 1990s America.

Ms. Radke also profiles lesser-known but still important figures in the world of butts, like Lindsay Wagner, the most in-demand fit model for denim in the garment industry, and Greg Smithey, who created the “Buns of Steel” workouts in the 1980s.

image

Two women in workout leotards and white sneakers stand in a parallel lunge position.
“Buns of Steel” helped shape the ideal rear-end for an earlier generation.

image

A music video screenshot showing Nicki Minaj framed by four other women posing in a jungle setting.
Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” was released in 2014, the year that Ms. Radke says the mainstream media discovered how much cultural interest there was in butts.Credit...Young Money/Cash Money/Republic
Ms. Radke, who is a contributing editor at Radiolab, got the idea for the book in 2015, when she was in a nonfiction M.F.A. program at Columbia University, writing an essay on posteriors for a class taught by the writer Hilton Als.

As Ms. Radke went deeper into her research, she realized how vast the topic was. “The reaction I get a lot is, can you really write a whole book on that?” she said. “It feels like it’s not worth taking seriously, which suggests there’s something there worth exploring.”

Rear ends — larger ones in particular — have been a fixation in contemporary culture for more than a decade. Ms. Radke pinpoints 2014 as the peak of the mainstream media’s obsession, thanks to phenomena like “belfies” (a.k.a. butt selfies) and Nicki Minaj’s song “Anaconda.” The moment nonetheless persists, thanks to the enduring popularity of twerking, Brazilian butt lifts (or Brazilian Bum Bum Cream for those who don’t want to risk it, or can’t afford one), and the endless fascination with the changing sizes of the Kardashian-Jenner clan’s bottoms.

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Ms. Radke stopped at a Hellenistic male sculpture that looked like something from the opening credits of “Call Me By Your Name.”

“For Greek or ancient people,” she said, “a good butt was a*sociated with men.”

She largely grounds “Butts: A Backstory” in the female experience, however, including her own, and that of her mother, whom she interviewed. She writes of her mom’s “ample butt that filled out any pair of pants.” Her mother was ashamed of it, and as Ms. Radke became an adolescent, she wasn’t fond of her own either.

Ms. Radke, who is white, acknowledged that the cultural norms for rear ends varied by race and ethnicity and that the expectations around butts were fraught for different reasons. She was aware of her own limitations — “I only have the body and experience I have,” she said — so she sought input from many readers on the manuscript.

She also interviewed with women and nonbinary people from different backgrounds about their feelings about their own butts.

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“I spoke to women who loved their butts, and those who hated their butts, but one of the things I heard most often was how hard it is to find pants that fit, no matter what kind of body a person has,” she said.

And she dealt with race head on in her research.

“Eugenicists were obsessed with ordering bodies, and so I figured they probably had something to say about women’s butts,” she said.

image

A white marble statue of a woman.
Norma, the statue of the supposedly average women’s body type created in the mid-20th century, only used white women’s measurements. Credit...The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

image

A bustle, a contraption that sits around the waist with a wire contraption protruding, shown on a mannequin.
The bustle was the 19th century’s version of the Brazilian butt lift.Credit...Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This led her to Norma and Normman, two white marble statues created by a scientist and a gynecologist in the 1940s, “physical manifestations of what eugenicists thought the people of America should aspire to be,” she writes. Norma’s measurements were culled from a data set that was taken only from white women.

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After the Greeks and Romans, Ms. Radke headed for the European paintings galleries, in search of 19th-century art.

One of the main narrative threads of Ms. Radke’s book is the brief and brutal life of Sarah Baartman, the so-called Hottentot Venus, a woman from the Khoikhoi tribe in rural southwestern Africa who was born in the 1770s, captured by the Dutch at age 10, and later sold to a free Black man in Cape Town. She was forced to perform for sailors, showing off her pronounced butt, and was eventually taken to England and then France and exhibited as part of a freak show and in cartoons until her death in 1815, at just 26. Ms. Baartman’s figure implied a kind of racialized hypers*xuality to 19th-century gawkers.

Ms. Radke walked briskly to the pointillist painter Georges Seurat’s most famous work, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” from the late 1880s. It prominently features a white woman standing in silhouette, with a bustle. In her book, Ms. Radke explores whether the popularity of the bustle in 19th-century women’s garments could have had something to do with the influence of Ms. Baartman. “It was a way for a Victorian woman to make her butt look like Sarah Baartman’s,” Ms. Radke said.

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On her way past the American Wing, she stopped at an exhibit called “Kimono Style.” Ms. Radke pointed to a dress inspired by the kimono’s shape from the French couturier Madeleine Vionnet from 1917. That was when the bustle was coming out of fashion, “but there was another form of constraint starting in the ’20s — a much larger emphasis on diet and weight,” Ms. Radke said, and a slender figure.

The ideal size for a bottom is always changing, Ms. Radke pointed out, adding that the thinner frames of Kim Kardashian and other celebrities right now may foretell a return to a smaller butt in fashion.

She walked past Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings of late 19th-century s*x workers and his naturalistic renderings of their butts and thighs. She read aloud the description: “Lautrec does not flatter a woman’s nekkid figure.” She interjected her own commentary: “Way harsh!”

visit this link https://www.nytimes.com/2 .. eInSection_AMP
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95 comments
 

 2 months ago '20        #2
Ninjahood  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5 OP
Props total: 15284 15 K  Slaps total: 2216 2 K


+63   

 2 months ago '16        #3
BobbiHeadRagTop  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15
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Weak a*s visuals
+94   

 2 months ago '20        #4
Lebrown james 
Props total: 6345 6 K  Slaps total: 383 383

+28   

 2 months ago '19        #5
Will Cain 
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Im addicted to eating a*s , its just something about having a nice a*s in my face

+24   

 2 months ago '04        #6
ItAlY2BkLyN 
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 BobbiHeadRagTop said



Weak a*s visuals
big a*s wall of italicized text on a dark background



cliffs would have made this thread 8/10
+25   

 2 months ago '16        #7
Ghostface Killa  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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If white women had Dominican doctors back then sh*t woulda been outta control



+52   

 2 months ago '16        #8
Ghostface Killa  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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Duplicate
-1   

 2 months ago '19        #9
unit321  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x31
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Must have been a slow news day.



The New York Times.... is behind the times.


+40   

 2 months ago '20        #10
Ninjahood  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5 OP
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 BobbiHeadRagTop said



Weak a*s visuals
Im into da 80's era jane fonda slim goodies in leotards
+11   

 2 months ago '20        #11
Ninjahood  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5 OP
Props total: 15284 15 K  Slaps total: 2216 2 K
 Will Cain said
Im addicted to eating a*s , its just something about having a nice a*s in my face

I just like eating puss from da...u get da nice a*s angle without going doo doo diving....

+14   

Top 10 most slapped recently  2 months ago '14        #12
strungout  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x8
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im more of a brea*t guy , but i do think the a*s era has run its course ...


its gone tooo far
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Top 10 most propped recently  2 months ago '22        #13
BreakkerSzn  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x46
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+29   

 2 months ago '14        #14
yungpizzle82 
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 BreakkerSzn said



I always give a



when you post these joints but I'll admit in that pic she does look seductive af

When I imagine a s*xy NY Dominican siren that shot of her tootin it up would be in the dictionary, fake body parts/BBL or not
+4   

 2 months ago '05        #15
JohnnyCage202  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x16
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^ will show us who really listens to music or just skims thru it…
+4   

 2 months ago '18        #16
Most Palone  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Sir mix a lot was spot on with the baby got back video

That’s all ima say because I would get banned if I elaborate
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 2 months ago '22        #17
BReNDon 
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A white bi*ch with no a*s wrote that article
+41   

 2 months ago '17        #18
Naga Sadow  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x27
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I never trust a longbacula's opinion on booty. They'll call broad shaped like Plank thick.



Last edited by Naga Sadow; 11-30-2022 at 08:57 AM..
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 2 months ago '22        #19
Tirade 
Props total: 1541 1 K  Slaps total: 795 795
Wyte folks always want to do history of some sh*t.

Bound to have reset and all these bbl bi*ches gonna look stupid as fu*k when that 90s model look come back
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 2 months ago '17        #20
DaQCKing  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x14
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 2 months ago '15        #21
screwhead501  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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A skinny white girl with a decent face is still highly desired no matter what we see on the gram etc
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 2 months ago '21        #22
Tlatoani  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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What are the conclusions? What did she learn?
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 2 months ago '06        #23
authenic 
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 screwhead501 said
A skinny white girl with a decent face is still highly desired no matter what we see on the gram etc
Lol this guy loves the snow
+21   

 2 months ago '21        #24
SHAMPOOO  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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Ph@t-@sses used to be a Deformity until JLo came on the scene...

The Black Tastemakers literally put her on a Pedestal which sparked a Phenomenon that transcended on till this Day!
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 2 months ago '21        #25
SHAMPOOO  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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 screwhead501 said
A skinny white girl with a decent face is still highly desired no matter what we see on the gram etc
It's the Salt of the Earth...

Literally the reason us as a Species even became Civilized!

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