Butts: A Backstory (Compact Disc)

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Butts: A Backstory By Heather Radke, Heather Radke (Introduction by), Emily Tremaine (Read by) Cover Image
By Heather Radke, Heather Radke (Introduction by), Emily Tremaine (Read by)
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Staff Reviews

Never trust a big butt and smile...on Instagram. From bustles to bum-fies, Baartman to Baby Got Back, it's the cultural history you didn't know you needed. Radke gives us a thorough, entertaining, at times, personal, and pleasantly surprisingly...well-rounded, look at the body part that has been central to so much shame and fame throughout the modern world.

— Genay

There’s no ifs ands or buts — it’s a fact that our butts have played an important part in history. This close examination by Radke already has you curious from the start with this peach emoji as a cover and once you open the book, it gives you much more: the legacy, the context, and the progress made that you need to understand how much butts continue to play a part in our culture today.

— Pedro


A fascinating journey into the scientific and cultural history of the female butt, for fans of Mary Roach and Leslie Jamison.Whether we love them or hate them, think they're sexy, think they're strange, consider them too big, too small, or anywhere in between, humans have a complicated relationship with butts. It is a body part unique to humans, critical to our evolution and survival, and yet it has come to signify so much more: sex, desire, comedy, shame. A woman's butt, in particular, is forever being assessed, criticized, and objectified, from anxious self-examinations trying on jeans in department store dressing rooms to enduring crass remarks while walking down a street or high school hallways. But why? In Butts: A Backstory, reporter, essayist, and RadioLab contributing editor Heather Radke is determined to find out. Spanning nearly two centuries, this vivid cultural history takes us from the performance halls of 19th-century London to the aerobics studios of the 1980s, the music video set of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" and the mountains of Arizona, where every year humans and horses race in a feat of gluteal endurance. Along the way, she meets evolutionary biologists who study how butts first developed; models whose measurements have defined jean sizing for millions of women; and the fitness gurus who created fads like "Buns of Steel." She also examines the central importance of race through figures like Sarah Bartmann, once known as the "Venus Hottentot," Josephine Baker, Jennifer Lopez, and other women of color whose butts have been idolized, envied, and despised. Part deep dive reportage, part personal journey, part cabinet of curiosities, Butts is an entertaining, illuminating, and thoughtful examination of why certain silhouettes come in and out of fashion--and how larger ideas about race, control, liberation, and power affect our most private feelings about ourselves and others.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781797147307
ISBN-10: 1797147307
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: November 29th, 2022
Language: English