Everyone has a butt, and most everyone accords them more thought and meaning than they do many other parts of their body. But why do we pay them so much attention? How have they come to be so fraught with connotation?
I remember seeing this book on NetGalley ages back, but forgot that I wanted to read it until I read Travis_J_Smith’s review last week. This proves I have a terrible memory, because who could forget that cover? I’ve been feeling like reading a micro-history recently, so it popped back up at the right time.
Radke weaves together pop culture, history, and her own experiences to tell the story of the butt and how it came to acquire such cachet in the public conscienceness. While I’d known bits and pieces of the story, it was fascinating to see it all laid out in an interconnected manner, fashion and science and race and feminism all cross-pollinating each other to produce the current state of affairs. It was strange and cool to see vague notions I’d had before brought into the light and expanded upon.
I did think focus wandered a little in the later part of the book though, as we came to modern times. By narrowing her focus to the butt in dance by the end, I thought Radke made some interesting points but missed other perspectives that contributed to the so-called Year of the Butt. I would have liked to see her touch upon a wider array of factors and therefore clarified better the current state of the butt in society.
(I wonder how many times I’ve said ‘butt’ in this review?)