One of the most revered and controversial parts of our bodies, the butt is more interesting than you think. Our largest muscle group, the butt help us do simple things such as walking, climbing stairs, and sitting. Going by many names – from booty to rear-end to posterior and more – the butt has been a focus of cultures around the world since the dawn of time. It has also been the focus of our primate relatives who often use it to determine a mate’s fertility and desirability (as we also do).
It’s time to give your butt the credit it deserves. From the annual “Rear of the Year” award recognizing the best bum in show business to the origin of twerking and the reason some of us have big butts, this list will satisfy your secret desire to learn more about one of our most popular muscles. If you’ve ever wanted a list of facts to cheekily drop as a pick-up line at your next cocktail party, this is the perfect list for you. (Spoiler: There’s actually a word to describe a person who likes looking at or touching a butt.) Get jiggy with this list of 25 Cheeky Butt Facts to Make You LYAO.
25. The term “callipygian” describes a person with an attractive butt. “Callimammapygian” is for someone with attractive breasts and butt.
24. Men and women normally have different sized butts due to hormones. Estrogen causes the body to store fat in the butt, hips, and thighs.
23. On an evolutionary level, some psychologists believe round butts developed because they visually showed a woman was youthful and fertile, carrying enough fat for a healthy pregnancy then lactation.
22. Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) has her butt insured. If anything tragic happens to it, she’ll get a $27 million payout. Kylie Minogue’s rear-end is insured for an impressive $5 million.
21. Saartjie Baartman was a Khoikhoi woman from southwestern Africa with steatopygia: high levels of tissue on the buttocks and thighs. In the early 1800’s, she was paraded as a freak show around Europe under the name Hottentot Venus.
20. It became quite fashionable in the 1880’s to have a big booty – best seen through the bustle fashion trend. Noticeable in the Disney version of Cinderella (check out her step-sisters’ ball gowns), the bustle was a framework which extended a woman’s dress in the rear.
19. It’s often common to ask someone if they prefer the breasts or buttocks in a potential partner. Some sociobiologists believe the butt is the first place of sexual presentation in our primate brethren (as well as humans) and people who prefer breasts do so because of their similarity to the butt.
18. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery report 2,446 butt augmentation surgeries to lift or boost the butt in 2014. Men accounted for 10% of the overall butt implants.
17. While some celebrities have become known for certain parts of their body – for example, Pamela Anderson for her breasts and Tina Turner for her legs – others are well known for their rear ends. Some of the best butts in showbiz include Nicki Minaj, Tom Cruise, and Beyoncé.
16. Our posteriors play an important physiological role, taking weight away from our feet while sitting.
15. Despite the common knowledge of the Victorian era being a prudish and conservative era, erotic spanking was very popular in Great Britain at the time. Some popular spanking erotica of the time included a book entitled “Lady Bumtickler’s Revels”.
Enjoyed learning about butts? The you might enjoy learning about farts…seriously.
14. Physically, our butts are composed of the gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus) over which a layer of fat is deposited. The butt crack is scientifically known as the intergluteal cleft.
13. Sitting for too long can cause your glutes to atrophy (lose muscle mass), often leading to back pain and difficulty in climbing stairs. Make sure to spend time off the couch or work chair and do some squats or lunges!
12. Pygophilia is the term for being sexually excited by seeing or touching a butt.
11. Twerking is reputed to have originated from the Mapoukaa dance of southeastern Côte d’Ivoire. Also called the “dance of the behind”, dancers turn away from the audience, bend over, and shake their bums from side-to-side. Sounds like twerking to us!
10. In a 2008 study, women with bigger booties were found to be smarter. The joint research between the University of Pittsburgh and University of California found the women with larger rear ends did better on cognitive tests, likely because omega-3 fatty acids – critical for brain health – are stored in the bum.
9. Since the buttocks have a layer of fat protecting the body, cultures around the world have used them for punishment since the fat lessens injury but still causes pain.
8. Booty lovers in Ming China viewed a bare butt as erotic, often comparing the spheres to a luminous full moon.
7. Some primates such as baboons and gibbons have hairless bums. Known as ischial callosities, these thickened pieces of skin help the monkeys sleep upright on branches without falling over.
6. Some species of female baboons sport an iconic red butt. This posterior can actually swell and even blush to attract mates.
5. With 9.2 million Instagram followers, Jen Selter is known for her workout pictures and a word we hope won’t ever enter mainstream language – belfies (butt selfies).
4. While we’ve sung songs about sumptuous booties for years, the amount of songs about the butt has increased since the early 21st century, especially in hip-hop and dancehall. Some example include “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Baby Got Back”, and “Bubble Butt”.
3. Out of any body part, women prefer being complimented for their booties.
2. The Metropolitan Museum of Butts is a tour offered by Museum Hack which covers over 6,000 years of butts and butt history, taking groups around the Met museum’s collection with a focus on its plentiful butts (and wine).
1. Great Britain gives out the “Rear of the Year” award each year to the celebrity with the best butt. Kym Marsh (Coronation Street) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) won for best female and male butt in 2015.