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Nudity aside, when did flashing buttocks become fashionable?

Radhika Bhalla
Radhika BhallaDec 04, 2015 | 16:35

Nudity aside, when did flashing buttocks become fashionable?

Blushes, behind, bottom — "le derrière" has had quite an outing of late, leaving onlookers slightly baffled but mostly jaded. The ennui is fast setting in, as one starlet after the next tries to break/quake/fake the internet with racy pictures of the posterior on display. Yes, it has been a year since Kim Kardashian tried to copy the "Champagne Incident" by Jean-Paul Goude (a sexist but clever shot of a naked woman popping a bottle, the bubbly landing perfectly into the glass balanced on her behind).

Now Kim’s youngest sister, 18-year-old Kylie Jenner has posed for the Interview magazine dressed as an S&M-inspired "plastic doll". Keeping up with the soon-to-be-mum, the teenager’s pictures show her rear in full display, dressed in a tight, cut out patent leather jumpsuit. She holds a silver tray with a glass of red wine in one shot, and bends over a large trunk with shoes in her hands in another.

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In the accompanying interview, she reveals — not surprisingly, “I feel like I’ve already lost parts of me, like, my youth.” The teenager also adds that she wakes up every morning with severe anxiety, is afraid that she’ll wish one day “that I could’ve just been a kid and done normal teenage stuff that my friends get to do”. Posing as a sex-doll for an international community is perhaps not what most 18-year-olds do, and even momager Kris Jenner shared her surprise with Maria Menounos of SiriusXM radio by stating, “I think she could have covered her bum a little bit more right there.”

Ouch! Bet Kylie didn’t see that one coming, especially since her sisters have gotten away with so much more. But could it be a case of mom-was-right?

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Truly, it’s getting less eye-grabbing and more amusing in the way the ’90s are so desperately being revived to sell everything from socks to water.

Take American shoe brand Stuart Weitzman for example, that has released its spring/summer 2016 ad campaign, with three models — Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge, and Joan Smalls — in nothing but their birthday suits and strappy block heels on their feet. The snap is something like the iconic photograph of supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz that was shot by Herb Ritts way back in 1989. Or like our Indian version of Milind Soman and Madhu Sapre wearing Tuffs shoes and a python snake between them, clicked by the legendary Prabuddha Dasgupta in 1995.

In contrast, the Weitzman shot doesn’t create the same stir as these images did in the last century.

One can’t help but yawn in the back, sorry face of it. But when has rehashing old ideas ever stopped anyone? Even Paris Hilton has joined the ranks this month with a "cheeky" shoot for Paper magazine, despite evoking memories of her former frenemy, Kim Kardashian’s attempts in the same publication last year.

Putting things in perspective, we’re not living in an age where nudity shocks and awes the audience such as paintings like The Rokeby Venus by Diego Velázquez did, in the 16th century, or Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe by Édouard Manet in the 19th century.

Neither do we live under staunch Victorian morals or stuffy values that need shaking out of with a barrage of nudes. Even artistically speaking, the concept isn’t so novel that celebrity derrières be celebrated in everyone’s face. Perhaps, it’s time to turn our backs on the idea altogether.

Last updated: December 04, 2015 | 16:35
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