"I Like Big Butts. And I Cannot Lie." Says Science


I don't know exactly when it happened. I suspect it occurred sometime during the second semester of my freshman year in high school, but I don't know why then or what caused it. What I do know, though, is that butts came out of nowhere. I never paid much attention to girl's butts before then. Faces and boobs were the only things that mattered. (Oh, and if she liked basketball and guys with Georgetown Starter jackets. Those things mattered too.) But then butts just…happened. One day they weren't a thing, and then they were everything. It was like I discovered a new element or flavor of Kool-Aid or something, albeit one that had been literally right in front of my face the entire time. I went from giving so little damns about butts that I never ever did the face scrunch ("the face scrunch" = the primal facial reaction to a big booty woman walking past) to adjusting my table and seat arrangement in the cafeteria at lunch just to make my butt-watching more efficient. (And yes. I know that sounds creepy. But welcome to the world of a 14-year-old boy.)


As years passed, the ass appreciation went from affinity to obsession. Although I still don't know how to heel-toe, the dancehall/soca set at college parties quickly became my favorite, for reasons I don't have to explain to anyone who's ever attended a dance party where dancehall/soca music is playing. I once put a number in my phone under "SIFTF" (short for "See It From The Front"). And I still own a pair of Evisu sneakers I bought just because a Bria Myles doppelganger worked at a shoe store I'd frequent just because a Bria Myles doppelganger worked there.

Of course, I am a Black man, so I'm contractually obligated to feel this way about ass. But, according to a recent study, my Blackness is trumped by…science.


From "Science Explains Why Men Like Women With Curvy Booties"

"Over the course of human history, women faced the adaptive problem of a forwarded-shifted center of mass during pregnancy," study co-author Eric Russell, a graduate student in psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, told The Huffington Post in an email. "Women with a greater degree of lumbar curvature … were able to redistribute this center of mass to reduce the strain of pregnancy. Thus, we hypothesized that men should have a psychological adaptation to prefer these women as mating partners."

In short, male preference for this specific anatomical form likely evolved because it enabled women to sustain multiple pregnancies without injury and to forage productively during pregnancy.

For the study, more than 300 men rated the attractiveness of female silhouettes that had lumbar curvatures ranging from 26 to 61 degrees.

The men found a moderate curvature — about 45.5 degrees — to be just right. Such a curvature would have conferred evolutionary advantages without presenting health problems like back pain and slipped disks, the researchers said.

The researchers also found the structure of the spine itself, rather than just the buttocks' fat and muscle, is key.

Basically, it's not just ass. It's spine. Which sounds much less cool —- "Lemme see that spine shake" just doesn't have the same punch — but makes sense. So fellas (and ladies), the next time someone catches you looking at their ass and asks "Were you looking at my ass?" just tell her you're interested in her lumbar curvature. And she'll think you're a chiropractor and ask you to inspect her back because she's been having some issues. And this'll be the best day of your life.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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