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A Closer Look at the “Cosmo Butt Challenge”

Let’s face it, the perception of what a “beautiful woman” looks like changes as quickly as women try to change their body to fit that same mold. One example of this obsession is in the new butt craze. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj definitely redefined what “good looking” bodies are “supposed” to look like these days. The “skinny bitches” that Meghan Trainor hates on in her song “All About that Bass” have certainly lost their spot as the number one most detrimental body image expectation that is hurting young women today. Goodbye thin frame, hello wide hips and full butts. At first glance, this trend seems to be a step in the right direction for body image. Instead of telling girls to cut calories and start juice diets to drop weight fast (this of course is unfortunately not out of “style” by any means), they are told that thicker hips and stronger legs are “sexy.” Good, right? Looking a little closer at the butt frenzy, however, reveals a far more disturbing amount of body image trauma to young women of all ages. 

The worst thing that could have possibly been invented in lieu of the curve trend was the waist trainer belt. I have walked along the streets of the city and passed mothers, college students and, terrifyingly, young girls in high school and middle school participating in this trend. The trainer not only warps women’s perceptions of their own bodies, but also the actually measurements of an “hourglass figure.” These belts also defeat the purpose of being healthy and promoting a healthy lifestyle. 

In January, Cosmopolitan magazine began what they called, “28 Days to your Best Ass Ever.” I’m usually a full on junkie when it comes to fitness challenges, especially when they are designed for a specific part of the body. I like to think that these exercises are just to help me get healthier and stronger. Media surrounding this challenge, however, leads me to believe otherwise.

In the intro to this challenge, Cosmo claims that science has proven that men are statistically more attracted to the butt than any other part of the body. Right away, Cosmo obliterates any hope I have that this challenge is for one’s health. It takes away the only reason someone should exercise—for personal health—and makes it about image and acceptance. I like to think that this is merely a ploy to take advantage of women with lower self-esteem who try to reach a body shape that is “perfect.” I guess the real question is, if I do the challenge as well, am I feeding that system?

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Sure, everybody seems to be obsessed with butts lately, but that doesn’t mean I can’t like my own butt, and try to take care of it. The one good thing that came out of this body image “trend” is the emphasis of strengthening legs. Whether or not people do that to get the “body image” is their business, but I think it’s time to stop judging anyone and everyone who is partaking in some “butt love.” 

Stop posting booty pictures on Instagram and do the challenge for your spine, your cholesterol levels, your weak hamstrings and future pregnancy benefits. Not for the number of likes on Instagram or the number of Tinder dates. Come on, ladies! I think it’s time to love and appreciate our butts a little more than men. 

I am a Writing, literature, and Publishing Major. I love Netflix, food, and sleep. College lets me experience all 3 of my favorite things simultaneously.
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