I must confess. I was totally unaware that butt competitions were sprouting up across the globe until China's Women's Beautiful Buttocks competition popped up on my feed. It seems that several publications are content with positioning China's competition as a knock off of Brazil's Miss BumBum competition, which began in 2011. Of course Brazil, the honorary Mecca of big bottoms was first. Still it is quite interesting that a global infatuation with the booty persists in countries that perhaps 15 years ago would have only celebrated pancake bums.
As a woman with a big butt I am thrilled that people are giving their assets praise, however, these competitions generally come across as another means for men to measure the worth of women. Beauty pageant critics argue that rather than empower women, competitions such as Miss America and Miss Universe reinforce the idea that a woman's only purpose is to look attractive. The booty competitions seem to ditch the education or scholarship facade and get straight to bottom line, the booty. And there in lies what feels like an age old conversation, the delicate line between willful participation and exploitation.
Consider this photo of contest #302 in full squat mode in the middle of a mall exuding strength and beauty with this dude behind her looks like a creep catching a quick snap of her ass. I think the female body is beautiful and worthy of exaltation but I think these butt contests completely miss the mark because they are fueled by trendy ideals of perfection and consumption.
Like Miss BumBum, the 2015 New York's Top Butt contest, sponsored by Lexington Plastic Surgeons, required contestants to have natural shapely butts. The winner received $2,000 and a gig as the featured model for A Lexington Plastic Surgeons ad. Which means these doctors are fine with using a natural butt to entice people to get plastic surgery. I'd rather them perform a flawless procedure and feature a woman who has successfully received a fat transfer or butt implants in the ad.
This is not a jab at women that choose to participate in these competitions a continued critique of the flawed beauty pageant industry. For those women who participate in these competitions, get your money and I hope you can flip the moment of fame to your benefit.