"Les Fesses"| Bootylicious Big Business | Up Close and Personal

Updated July 22, 2010  When Bed Bath & Beyond and Walgreens start carrying Booty Pops, butts are back in business.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, reports nearly 5,000 butt lifts performed in the U.S. last year, a 37% increase over 2008. Such procedures can cost from $8,000 to $15,000.

Booty Pops are a lot cheaper than surgery, although like all uplifts — including the Victoria’s Secret Bombshell bra — there’s a moment of reckoning when women must come clean with their real self bodiy.

“It’s part of the whole outfit,” says Ms. Benson, a 25-year-old assistant to a music manager. Wearing the Booty Pop brand of underwear, which contain egg-shaped foam pads to plump up the posterior, “I look better, I feel better, and as a result, I act better,” she says. via Wall Street Journal

The French Effect

We wish American women would do squats for our posteriors, but we’re thrilled to see an important part of female anatomy be fashionable again. 

We featured ‘les fesses’ in winter 2009, as another example of French influence on female body imagery worldwide and the fact that the French government was undertaking a cultural study of “les fesses” and their role in society.

The French prefer a natural bosom, with a developed appreciation of female backsides.

Unless you are Karl Lagerfeld, of course. To win Karl’s heart, no bosom, hips or backside is allowed. You are — well — a boy, unless you’re Karl’s boy toy, in which case, your magnificent backside is revealed for all the world to see.

Unlike most Americans, I so adore the French— even if they are occasionally hypocritical. Bottom line, though, it’s easy to see why American women are confused about body image and sexuality.

The Latin American and African Effect

Americans can proudly claim some ownership of our new-found love of the derriere, thanks to Beyoncé’s group “Destiny’s Child” who sang in 2001 about the wonders of being “Bootylicious.”

Latin American and African cultures have celebrated backsides for years. Earlier in the week, we posted this article about beauty pageants in Colombia. (See also: For a Long, Healthy Life, Embrace an Hourglass Figure, with the science behind a healthy-shaped derriere.)

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira are also bootylicious. Shakira celebrated her own derriere and sensual respectability in her She-Wolf video.

Reebok featured Helena Christensen (Helena is naked) in Spring 2010 advertising, with sneakers that promise to perk up the posterior.

Offensive as many women might find these photos below of a Colombian beauty pagenat, the fact is that many Latin American women have a far superior self-image to American women on both aging and physcality.

As the NYTimes points out, the violence also drops 40% when one of Colombia’s pageants is in play. We’re not defending the cultural practices, just explaining the nuances.

Today’s WSJ points out:

In the 19th century, pronounced posteriors were associated “with having a smaller brain, less intellect, but being more sexually promiscuous,” according to Myra Mendible, a professor of English at the Florida Gulf Coast University and author of “From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture.”

Originally written Dec. 9, 2009 Bottoms, le derrière or “les fesses” we we see in the nearly infamous photo of the perfectly respectable Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (R) and Spain’s Princess Letizia (L) entering the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid this past summer continue to attract attention.

In a show that can only raise eyebrows in America, the French are studying the major contribution made to civilization by the “derrière”. We’re busy translating, but here’s a preview:

More reading: French obsession with the bottom revealed Telegraph UK