The buttocks (singular: buttock) refer to the fleshy parts of the human body located on the posterior or the back side. They comprise the pelvis (bones), butt muscles (gluteal muscles), fatty deposits laid over the muscles and the skin that is holding everything in place. The gluteal muscles cover the back of each pelvic bone and span the hip joint to be attached to the thigh bone.
But why do human beings and especially women have such sizeable butt cheeks. What purpose do they serve? Research has revealed EIGHT major reasons as to why human beings have buttocks.
1) They Aid Movement and Propel the Body Forward
As stated earlier, the gluteal muscles cover the back of each pelvic bone and span the hip joint to be attached to the thigh bone. These muscles are purposively designed that way to aid in body movement and also to stabilize the hip joint. The gluteus maximus helps to maintain your balance as you move. It is also used when generation of force is required for example when running or when lifting your body from a squatted position. The gluteus medius plays an important role in pelvic stabilization. Weakness in this muscle causes an abnormal walking pattern called the Trendelenburg gait. When this occurs, the upper body leans over the leg you are standing on to shift your center of gravity over that leg to keep you balanced. Weakness in the gluteus medius will also shorten the length of your steps, making your walking less efficient. The Gluteus Minimus can move your thigh forward, move it out to the side or rotate it inward or outward depending on which muscle is active.
2)They Help You to Maintain an Upright Posture
Thomas Greiner, a physical anthropologist at New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, argues that our large posteriors are a by-product of being able to walk on two legs (bipedal). Research has also shown that buttocks allow primates to sit upright without needing to rest their weight on their feet as four-legged animals do. Compared to primates, the powerful gluteus maximus in human beings attaches higher up the ilium (the broad, flat upper bone of the hip). This higher attachment gives the gluteal muscles more leverage and helps keep people stable while sitting, walking or standing. The muscle can’t keep apes in an upright position for long periods of time and therefore apes quickly tire of standing.
3) They Generate Sexual Attraction
In the animal kingdom, female baboons of certain species have red buttocks that blush to attract males. This observation is not different in the human kingdom where men are very visual creatures attracted by the visible exterior anatomy of a female. As such, women tend to have proportionally wider and thicker buttocks due to higher subcutaneous fat and a proportionally wider pelvis to attract men.
Throughout history, the erotic beauty of the female buttocks was important to the ancient Greeks, thought to have built such statues as Venus Kallipygos that emphasize the buttocks. Bare buttocks were also considered erotic in Ming China, where they were often compared to the bright full moon. Also, during the 19th Century, Europeans sought to make money from this unique feature of African women through objectification & exploitation by placing Saartjie Baartman on display in a Human zoo. Saartjie Baartman also known as Sarah Baartman was the most well known of at least two Khoikhoi women who, due to their large buttocks, were exhibited as freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus.
Erotic spanking was popular in Victorian Britain, perhaps due to the buttocks’ fetishization and eroticization. In modern days, buttocks are often emphasized in pornography. A buttocks’ fetish or buttocks partialism refers to a condition wherein the buttocks becomes a primary focus of sexual attention. Pygophilia refers to sexual arousal caused by the buttocks.
4) They are a Symbol of Fertility
The female buttocks have been a symbol of fertility and beauty since early human history. Statues created as early as 24,000 BC, such as the Venus of Willendorf, have exaggerated buttocks, hips, and thighs. The pelvis has always been seen as the most prominent secondary sexual characteristic and the buttocks were read as the pelvis’ visible sign. The buttocks became the visual sign of the reproductive system.
Scientific explanations allude that perky buttocks are a good sign of future child bearing potential of the woman. The wider the hips or the pelvis, the easier it is to give birth. As such, child birth to women with perky buttocks is less deadly. Men are subconsciously attracted to the bigger buttocks for reproductive purposes. Even though this may be the case, we have seen women with smaller buttocks fairing very well in the child birth department. So again, this scientific theory leaves a lot to be unearthed.
5)They Allow You to Sit Comfortably
The buttocks are comprised of fatty deposits laid over the gluteal muscles. Therefore, it means that human beings are able to sit for long periods and with adequate padding experiencing less discomfort. The butt cheeks act as a cushion around the fulcrum of our body. If we didn’t have butts, we would easily injure our bones around the hip, pelvic region and spine. The gluteal muscles together with the fatty deposits protect the spine when you sit down and also they keep your pelvis in one piece.
6)They are a Good Location for Fat Storage
The buttocks are a very ideal place to store fat. Recent research has shown that having junk in your trunk is healthier than a spare tire around the gut. The extra padding on the backside and thighs could even help to protect against disease. Fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs represent a safe storage space to help humans survive episodes of food shortage, which were probably regular for our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
The San people of South Africa (commonly called the Bushmen) have very pronounced derrieres as that is where a lot of their body fat is stored. In addition, since breastfeeding is very demanding in terms of energy consumption, the extra fat is important for women to ensure both their survival and that of their vulnerable infants during the first few years of life. In the warmer tropical regions, the inhabitants do not need fat insulation around the body. The fat is stored in the buttocks, thighs and core like fat in the hump of a desert camel.
7) Corporal Punishment
Many cultures have also used the buttocks as a primary target for corporal punishment. This is because, hitting out the butt has lesser chances of long-term physical harm compared with the dangers of applying it to other parts of the body, such as the hands, which could easily be damaged. The buttocks have often been described as “the place provided by nature” for this purpose.
8) To Give You a Career
The current pop culture has glorified butts by constantly tossing butt images onto people’s faces. You have probably seen the Kim Kardashian West “break the internet butt photo” that exposed her big naked butt for all to see. Magazines, popular music, billboard charts are all about the big ass. The message in pop culture right now is that your backside can be your greatest asset. Beyoncé, Kardashian West, Vera Sidika, Coco Austin, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Azalea, Amber Rose just to mention but a few are earning a living partly due to their derrieres.
Sadly, this phenomenon has got so many women with small butts undergo extreme measures to have something close to Nicky Minaj and Beyonces’s derriere. Brazillian buttlifts, butt injections, waist training and butt pills are the order of the day. This is just a trend and like all trends, it will come to pass. With the advancement of plastic surgery, it is now possible to completely change the shape and size of your butt.