The history of embracing your butt: Here are 12 things you NEED to know

“I like big butts and I cannot lie” is a lyric that instantly captivated the world when Sir Mix A Lot released his song “Baby Got Back” in 1992. Since then – and even before then – butts have had an interesting history, one that has at times encouraged people to show their rear, and other times to hide it. It all depended on what was popular, or even necessary, at the time. Let’s take a look back (pun intended) and review…

1. In the beginning of time, cavemen were attracted to larger behinds because they represented fertility.


2. Sheep with large buttocks are known as “callipyge.” They’re named after Venus Callipyge (an Ancient Roman marble statue created during the 1st or 2nd century BC), whose last name translates to “beautiful buttocks.”

3. Artist Peter Paul Rubens was famous for painting women with large bottoms during the 17th century, making his viewers more comfortable with body diversity in art.

4. During the mid to late 19th-century, the bustle (a framework used to support the fullness of a woman’s dress) was in fashion and was used to make one’s butt look bigger. Interestingly enough, many were made out of horse hair.


5. Dancer, singer, and civil rights activist Josephine Baker was known for creating Jazz Age performances that revolved around her butt. She also refused to perform in front of crowds that were segregated in the 1920s. 

6. In 1946, Micheline Bernardini modeled the very first bikini, which was named after Bikini Atoll: a series of islands used by the United States for nuclear tests.

7. Marilyn Monroe came on the scene during the mid 20th-century and prompted the shapely, pin-up figure to become sought-after.


8. During the 1960s, slender figures and mini skirts were popularized thanks to supermodels like Twiggy.

9. The 1970s saw women’s school uniforms being altered to include pants, which thus covered (and emphasized) their behinds.

10. Jane Fonda made the toned, aerobic butt popular during the 1980s, which also caused women to start wearing contrasting leotards and tights (so they could show off their hard work).


11. Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back” was released in 1992 and led the multitudes to embrace a bigger butt. On the other hand, there were also supermodels like Kate Moss, who made a “waif”-like figure desirable.

12. Last butt not least (sorry!), we have Jennifer Lopez. In 1999, it was rumored that she had her butt insured for millions (and maybe even billions of dollars). However, she later confirmed that this wasn’t true.

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