The Big Business of Big Butts

February 16, 2011  |  

Sir Mix A-Lot’s notorious ode to women with a little more junk in the trunk not only help propel him from Seattle’s underground hip-hop scene to superstar status, but it also put the national spotlight on a part of the body that has long been ignored—the booty.

It used to be that a slim physique was considered the standard of beauty. As such, women would go to extreme measures, such as anorexia and bulimia, to look like Kate Moss. However, Sir Mix A-Lot, along with a host of other black and brown rappers who have penned numerous tributes to women with big butts, helped to usher in a new standard of beauty—one based around a much healthier and fuller derriere.

The days of slim, waif models have been replaced by the “Sista” with the thick curves. But not just any curves, we’re talking about curves in all the “right” places, such as in the breasts, thighs and of course, the behind. This new appreciation for a different type of femininity seems to fit nicely into the changing aesthetic of the country; since the late 80s through 90s, everyone seems to be living in excess and embracing the mantra of “the bigger, the better.”

But despite this change in preference, women are still going to extremes to increase their measurements, which seem impossible to attain outside of genetics. Women have begun to put their backsides in the hands of the local plastic surgeon’s office after months of squats and leg lifts at the gym failed to achieve the desired shapely bottom. At an average of $4,000 + per bun, many patients must take out loans for the surgery or pay it back in mortgage-like installments.

But sometimes, these desperate women end up paying a more serious price.

Take for instance the story of Claudia Aderotimi, an aspiring rapper/singer from the UK, who traveled to Philadelphia for implants to add the much-desired fullness to her rear-end.  She’d hoped that the injections would help boost her career in the music industry, but instead the botched procedure cost her her life.

Aderotimi is not the first woman to have died from a botched butt implant procedure.  In 2009, Solange Magnano, a 38-year-old married mother of twins and former Miss Argentina, died three days after checking herself in for a buttock lift at a Buenos Aires clinic. In 2010, two sisters were arrested for practicing medicine without a license for the death of a 22-year old mother, who also had her backside injected with silicone.

It may seem a little pathetic, if not downright ridiculous to the rest of us, the lengths in which some women will go just to fit into an image.  But in light of stars such as Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardishian and Beyoncé, who own a portion of their careers to the plumpness of their derriere, it should come as no surprise that big booties have become big business.

And there is no shortage of savvy entrepreneurs willing to capitalize off of the insecurities of others as illustrated by the success of butt pad purveyors such as Booty Pop and Love My Bubbles.  The big butt has taken on global appeal; in the UK, thousands of women are lining up for herbal booty growing supplements, which contain ingredients used by farmers to bulk up chickens.

Of course, most historians are quick to draw correlations between today’s booty-craze to the exploitation of Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman, the large buttock black woman who was kidnapped from South Africa in the 17th Century and paraded around American and parts of Europe as a side show carnival act under her stage name Hottentot Venus. But the difference is that modern women, although clearly influenced by the imagery instilled in our culture, have become willing participants in this objectification.

While I am a firm believer that we should learn to love the skin that God gave us, I’m also not naïve to the fact that we do live in a very image based culture, one that has placed more value on beauty than any other personal attribute. But the sad realization is that for thousands, if not millions of young women globally, our obsession with one or two body parts is sending a message that it is more important to develop the breast and the behind as opposed to the heart and the brain.

Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.

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  • I advice all the ladies who like these kindof butts to keep hard on the butt exercise.Some pills or implants or injections have got side effects.I know ladies like to use these as it requires not great effort,but it requires great cash plus it has got risks.Exercises i know they are hard and requires much period to attain such shape, but thats safe for you.You only should find a good instructer of butt exercises and give a bit of your time to this plus eat neccessary food for this.I urge you not to stop because one day you gonna walk with such nice behind.But people don’t trouble each other with such racial remarks.Keep the fire of love!!

  • Big butt ladies are so sexually threatening you all know that.A nice round behind on a girl is an added advantage.I like girls like that and the fancies of my mind play on such.Big butts on ladies plus full curvy thighs and nice legs are so wonderful.But i like real butts not fake implants.Don’t blame black people.Its a fact black girls have got wonderfull round butts.I like them.I know also there are white girls with these kind of butts or behinds.If there are ladies like that, please i really need your company feel free and contact me:

  • vince

    i know something about big asses because i am married too one of the famous BUTT SISTERS…

  • susieL

    real talk?And the bad thing is, we have to look good and treat you like a queen?the fine but relationships are about givin and receiving YOU HAVE TO LOOK GOOD TOO AND TREAT HER LIKE A QUEEN, thats how things work . And yeah you have resposibilities too it doesnt matter how much you work you both have to help cleaning doing laundry and w/ the kids too!. u read the good book and u want to be modern when u say man has to lead the woman? you have a relationship to share your life not to gain a father! ii respect the bible but i dnt take it to the heart this days are different and we all have common interests we all want to be succesful so woman cant stay home cleaning and cooking! at least that not me.

  • susieL

    i think theres woman that do it to get man and thats stupid.[im not talkin about races im talkin in general] but some others do it cuz they want more meat (or silicone or w/e) to fill the jeans cuz even i like big butts and im a girl.that looks good. i wudnt pay for that but ok.

  • UCantBeSerious

    Big assess and nice fat juicy lips are now accepted as "beautiful" now…….perhaps mafuccas will start getting nose enhancments to enlarge them in the future instead of doing the LaToya Jackson.

  • ATLien

    have fun dying of diabetes at age 40… black girls dont seem to understand that a round ass is nice, not a round gut hanging over your belt


    Everyone says this and that but i am a black woman with a not so full but I have been riduculed by black men that tell me that if your ass was bigger you would be all that so that lets me know how much black men are so attracted to ass and I want a black man so what does a woman do that wants her own race but they just want a big ass regardless of what it looks like comments are welcome

  • Nasty & Brown

    Black people are just over the top with everything- too loud, too much attitude, too race conscious, too flashy. Very little is done with class. ‘Sir Mix a Lot didn’t help’ either.

    BTW, I’m a brown male (Indian) who has lived with blacks, whites, Orientals, Middle Easterners, etc. They can all be bad- but blacks are just too much with everything. Look, we all like a nice curvy butt- however, with blacks it’s like they gotta obsess with it (write songs about it, make videos about it, grab women in public, make loud comments…. No wonder you guys don’t succeed, no self control! Plus, you are a bad influence on others!!!!!

    • We don't want you

      You know, I was actually gonna sit here at 2:41am and write a lengthy response to you, giving you a different perspective, maybe address the discrepancies in the "wisdom" you just shared-Who doesn't love a good debate. Then I realized…you're not worth it. It'd be like Tyson punching a kitten.

      Good luck with all that hatred you're holding. Goodnight!!

    • ATLien

      well said

  • People just need to be happy with what they have. Having a ‘big booty’ will not EVER replace your mind and neither will anyone receive your respect if you solely focus your behind

  • Lyn

    Exactly what is the percentage of African American's getting this done. Most likely less than 1%. Here we go again, taking a few people in our community & acting as if it is a large significant number of African American women getting fake butt implants. In the Black community there are millions of women with nice looking butts and those who have big Ghetto booties & some with big sloppy booties. Nothing new. And they can be skinny w/ a huge butt, or skinny w/no butt & huge boobs I have seen every shape w/in our community. This subject has been popularized by blogs & we all know how credible they are. Maybe with White Women & Hispanic women this is all the craze but I am in my community 24/7, and AINT never heard of Black women talking about getting no butt implants, I talk to my family on the regular, in MO, NY, MISS, TX, PA, OR, CA & no ever heard of Black women in masses getting Butt implants. Now Black women with natural big butts (mines is medium-fits my body) are being accused of fake butts, gtfoh! You can go to any website and see their statistics, just like YouTube. And the state with the highest rate of butt implants is Florida & even that number is not really a huge number. I expect this dumb a&& topic to be on bossip but not on Atlanta post.

  • goldengreyce

    When was thin ever in for black people? Since when are big butts in for white people? Clearly these are culture differences and not indicative of some big change

  • @nymphis.. i wont be texting thats for sure.. all eyes on nymphis.. what last guy? you my cyber boo.. no other and while you rest your head .. you will feel the fluffiness of a real butt!

    • Charing Ball

      Oh Gheez you two (Rose and Nymphis). Get a room! 😉

  • I am glad my booty is 100 genetic and there will be plastic sillicone for this brown sugar beauty! back when they teased black women.. they should look back at that because the same ones are paYING FOE FAKE BOOTYS,, I FAULT KIM KARDASHIAN OLE FAKE BUTT!

  • shawna

    My thing is woman is so jealous of other woman that they feel it's better to look like this person or be shaped like this person when you should love yourself.Jesus did say people will become lovers of themselves.

  • sbs

    Jesus did say people will become lovers of themselves,so this here is prime example.But my question to these woman Who?Are you doing this for MEN! Because if so well get prepared to be paying for and AZZ for the rest of your life because the next big booty that looks better than yours thoses same men will be after her.