“Our culture is shallow because we don’t respect the elderly,” said Maher. “We venerate the young and let them rule everything. We let them run everything. How else would you explain the cultural moment that is now being enjoyed by the human buttocks? It’s an ass. It’s been around for centuries. Half of our music and all of our dancing is just about worshiping, praising, staring at and waxing poetic about the human ass. Millennials should be called ‘Generation Ass.” B. Maher
I don’t always agree with Bill Maher but I have to say he is spot on about this phenom. As the latest pictures of a greased up, photo shopped Kim Kardashian hit my news feed Wednesday (Jean-Paul Goude known for photo shopped pics took her photos) I laid my head in my hands and thought really? Another hyper focused media frenzy over someone’s assets? Anaconda videos, twerking, belfies…singers and stars vying for attention by shoving their butts in our collective faces….I’m “exhassted” by the constant imagery.
It’s no surprise I marvel at our society’s fascination with Kim Kardashian, I have just never understood why someone as vacuous and wearisome as she, her sisters, her mother, etc continue to hold American’s gripped by the pop culture juggler. Now instead of seeing her shoved into some poorly fitted dress on the front row of a fashion show, my eyes are burning by her ass creating its own 4th dimension on a magazine cover and yet another hashtag #breaktheinternet..which quite frankly I wish her pics had accomplished because my head hurts. In the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter that KK has only one way to culturally define herself, and full frontal or not the point is that the constant obsession we now have with buttocks is saying something.
I get it that body parts are culturally targets of desire, adoration and speculation. We have coveted big breasts, tiny waists, small feet, big butts, small breasts, size 0’s, size “more to love”…and the list goes on but when did an entire generation decide that the ass should be honored and held up as something to covet, a sacred relic dipped in gold dust, vaseline and tanning spray? Perhaps we should blame Sir Mix A Lot..a catchy tune became an ear worm and more than two decades later a generation is putting new meaning into hump day.
Either way, it’s not like it was just invented, hell the bustle of the 1800s was not about pure fashion….so why all of the focus? Is it just titillation? Have we gotten to the point that face to face interaction is so boring that it makes more sense to just throw our ass up in the air, shake it, twirl it, spank it and glorify it? It’s in music videos, instagrams, re-grams, twitter and whether you are a celebrity or not it seems that the measure of a woman’s sex appeal has now become unmistakably linked to the size of her ass and if you can balance a champagne glass on it it’s that just that much more bootylicious.
Beyonce is telling us she’s going to “sit this ass on you”, Miley is attacking groins across the nation, Shakira and Rihanna are doing butt challenges and through it all, the lesson is that ladies, you better get your squats going on because your sexual worth is about packing much back.. Maybe it’s all much ado about nothing and our civilization will survive this buttpoclypse however this onslaught is exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the female form is beautiful and I also think women have a right to celebrate whatever they feel is unique about them, men too…however when women are celebrating being known ONLY for their derrieres rather than their talent, their intelligence, or even their faces it worries me especially since icons are so on board with it. The result is a continuation of a misogynistic culture that I have fought against most of my adult life and the stars that are happily going down the yellow brick road paved with whoopie cakes are sending a strong message—get on board ladies..if you want to get noticed forget about changing the world, changing your mind or being sexy ..strap on a thong and twerk it.
It’s banal and it makes us all look like asses.