Here’s a random topic for a Wednesday night – the evolution of the backside. Because WHY NOT, eh, why the hell not. The history of fashion has come up loads in my textiles research lately, and I couldn’t help but notice just how much body shape trends have changed too. Specifically bums. What was perceived as desirable ‘then’ and now are sooo different. Just thought it was interesting.
I was chatting to my mum about it (as you do) and she described how when she was my age, a small, tight behind was probably the ideal. None of that ‘how to grow your glutes’ business! The Jane Fonda high-cut leotard look with the neat perky bum was #goals. Having a big bum wasn’t particularly a good thing. Pretty big contrast to the likes of Jen Selter – how many millions of followers appreciate that one? Her butt would’ve been seen as comedy 15 years ago.
Whether it’s the ever growing and every changing power of social media, Kim K and Beyonce or what, #goals have changed. Along with the campaigns to promote positive body image at any shape and size came the rise of ‘appreciating your curves’ and hence the rise of big bum = good. ‘Strong is the new skinny’ brought #fitspo as an alternative to #thinspo, and as an 18-year-old girl whose younger teen years coincided with the surge in social media, I can probably admit to seeing thousands of shapely backsides.
I’m only commenting very generally on trends here ofc, I know everyone’s a different shape and nobody should feel pressured to look a certain way or change something they’re born with, that’s a given. I’m talking about the motivational media we’re exposed to, and you can’t deny that big bums crop up pretty often these days.
The evolution towards a bigger ass started with J-Lo (and wow has she kept it up since). Her dress for the London premiere of Maid in Manhattan was a major one I do believe – even against the curvy athletic Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer in the 90s. Shakira came soon after, same again!
I can’t help thinking that in 5 years time we’ll have sacked the millions of squats and be going for a sixties slimline look. Things tend to go full circle, and much more quickly now too, thanks to social media. Trends come (and go) at speed – no matter how empowering the strength and determination message that #fitspo sends, maybe we’ll get sick of bums in years to come. What are your predictions?
lily kate x