Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2000- 2009- The Decade of the Future Was All About the Behind

With this decade coming to a close, magazines, news shows and websites have been featuring countdown lists of the best and the worst of seemingly everything. Many people will remember these years in terms of politics. Others will think of the rise of irritating publicity-seekers with no discernible talent being given television shows (thanks Paris for exploiting this trend and causing everyone from real housewives to squabbling parents of preschool multiples to follow in your reckless path). I'll think of these, too, but I can't help but think this decade will be remembered for something else. There's no buts about it, the early oo's was all about the booty.

I guess I should've seen it coming. Back in 1999, after the whole big boob bonanza that flourished in the early to mid-90's thanks to "Baywatch" had faded, but dead smack in the middle of the nation's love affair with midriffs, a la Britney, the butt started getting some action. Rappers have long waxed poetic about the beauty of the backside (think Sir Mix A Lot's "Baby Got Back"), but it seemed that year, their love was spread all over the place, thanks to some cross-over success on the pop charts. Juvenile's "Back That Thang Up" had plenty of girls... backing that thang up (although I still don't know how one can walk that thang like a dog). Many other hip-hop artists began showing (too) revealing shots of derrieres in their videos, too. Maybe behinds would've remained confined longer in the realm of BET if not for one former "In Living Color" Flygirl's foray into the world of music. That's right, when Jennifer Lopez released "On the Six" in the summer of '99, there was no turning back. The new millennium's body part of choice had been made.

Even laser beams could not match J. Lo's buns of steel!

In 2000, Sisqo topped the charts with the unclassy but very catchy "Thong Song". And suddenly, the string panties were everywhere. Sticking up over sweatpants, skirts and especially jeans. Thongs saw a spike in sales, but (thankfully) bottomed out so to speak by mid-decade. Britney Spears (still flaunting that midriff) wore a pair over her lowrider jeans in her video for "I'm A Slave 4 U." And speaking of lowriders (which are cut very low on the hip), everyone and their momma squeezed into them, revealing plenty of unflattering butt crack.

Wow. I don't even need to write a sarcastic comment under this pic. The bad taste speaks for itself.

Fashion continued it's march into whoredom thanks to ever more tush-revealing styles. Celebrities from Toni Braxton to Rose McGowan showed up to awards' shows baring so much booty they looked like they were ready to hit the pole. Daisy Dukes came back, thanks in part to Jessica Simpson's role in "The Dukes of Hazard" movie, ladies walked around with words printed across the back of their fitted sweatpants and the most daring wore lower back exposing dresses that revealed butt cleavage (which is really just the aforementioned crack dressed up).

The word "Bootylicious" made it into the dictionary thanks to the ladies of Destiny's Child, and it's lead star, Beyonce, came to personify the newly minted word. Those not as blessed as B sought help through exercise and butt lifting jeans. Others went under the knife and got implants (!), a procedure that has become ever more common.

Today, the behind has become common. Girls with more to grab can pull on a pair of J. Lo jeans or Nelly's Applebottoms. Suburban moms have joined strip classes at their local gyms to learn how to shake their money makers. The nation as a whole has been dropping it like it's hot for so long, it's pretty much cold now. One need only to flip on just about any channel to check out how commercialized the butt is:

In my case, this kind of commonality brings contempt. When I first saw the commercial, despite my full knowledge of the recent history of the behind (You'd think someone with a degree in English would be well-versed in Shakespeare. Sadly no. However, I can recall off-hand at least 5 different songs about booties), I still felt like this commercial had taken it one cheek too far. As I watched it, I quickly looked over to my husband to see if he was watching. He was. "Can you believe this? Augh!" I kept watching his eyes to see if he was checking out the Reebok girl. He had already moved on. "It's really too much," he mumbled, unimpressed. "Yeah, it is!," I said, relieved that he didn't care. I closed with a "I'm so sick of it!" Now looking back at the past decade as it's coming to a close, I hope the American public is, too. You know, I do believe the hand is a really underrated body part...


Don said...

dead @ the camera man steady focused on her butt. and i honestly cannot believe reebok have the nerves to promote that type of video.

ugh @ the lady in the pic.

i agree - j lo's butt became a marketing machine. beyonce don't have any booty?

Alisha De Freitas said...

LOL, yeah @ that lady, aren't u glad that trend is over? Gross.

Of course B has booty. That's why I wrote she's come to personify the word bootylicious! And personally, I look at her as an example of how I should be physically as far as fitness (only I'm shorter, lol). But we're both pear-shaped.

Joseph said...

Great article, hopefully we can get that Behind us. Great recap of the last decade...hmm starting to feel old.... Happy New Year!!!

Alisha De Freitas said...

Joe, you're so punny. Really.

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