While my wife was in the gym locker room, she overheard an intriguing conversation between a mother and her teenage daughter. The daughter was trying on leggings and inquired, “Mom, do these make my butt look big?” The mother reassuringly replied, “Of course not, Honey!” However, the daughter expressed disappointment, revealing her desire for a larger butt, indicative of a rapid cultural shift toward aspiring to attain a big butt—a stark contrast to previous perceptions where having a big butt was not desirable.
This trend, labeled aspirational Kardashianism, signifies the contemporary pursuit of a large butt through various means like surgeries, fat injections, intense workout regimens, or altered dietary habits. The focus is on size rather than the aesthetics, symmetry, or quality of the buttocks, symbolizing a cultural shift where women aspire to emulate figures like Kim Kardashian, aiming for a prominent posterior as a symbol of beauty.
Surprisingly, research suggests potential health benefits for women with larger buttocks. Studies hint at a link between bigger buttocks and better health outcomes, indicating that the extra gluteal fat might offer protection against cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Factors influencing buttock size include the bone structure of the pelvis, the gluteal muscle’s origin and insertion points, muscle size, and the amount of fat in the glutes. Primarily, genetics determine the size of one’s buttocks, with factors such as bone structure and muscle attachment points being largely genetic. In sheep, a single mutated gene called “callipyge” has been identified to influence unusually large, muscular bottoms, but its existence or impact in humans remains uncertain.
Studies conducted on women revealed that thigh fat and a larger hip circumference, unlike abdominal fat, might promote health and serve as a protective factor against diseases. Abdominal fat tends to release inflammatory substances and is associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease, while thigh and buttock fat contribute to long-term fat storage and secrete beneficial hormones like leptin and adiponectin, linked to better health outcomes.
Women who naturally possess larger buttocks due to genetics appear to regulate their weight more effectively, potentially due to higher levels of leptin and adiponectin, which may contribute to their leanness in other body areas, particularly the waist. Conversely, individuals who attain larger buttocks through overeating or a sedentary lifestyle may not enjoy the same health benefits and might struggle with overall weight management.