Bum, bottom, butt, ass, booty, derriere, rear end, backside, tush, buns……….
What ever you call you bum, many of us are infatuated with it; is it too big? is it too small? does my bum look big in this?
There seem to be two distinct camps; those that sit in the ‘we would love a smaller bum’ camp and the ‘bigger the bum the better’ camp.
Very big buttocks, now I mean VERY BIG, have been popular in hip-hop videos for years. This post is not about the history of hip hop since Sir Mix-a-Lot did ‘Baby Got Back‘ in the 1990’s (although that is now going round me head……..I like big butts and I cannot lie………..) and there will be no twerking please. It’s about the health implications of big buts………
Now from my point of view, big bums are better but I read in the news this morning this is not always the case.
It is refreshing to read about cultures that are not obsessed with thinness. Many countries embrace curves; in South Africa, Fiji and Jamaica the drive is not for stick-like figures. Instead, curves are a positive sign of health (thinness is associated with illness), of wealth and it is much more socially acceptable / preferable. Now there are extremes to this side of the coin too; the story in the news today reports the obsession with big buttocks in Venezuela; mostly driven by the desire to be like a Barbie Doll due to the popularity of beauty pageants.
So Western influences are still creeping in whereby women will go to any extreme to help them achieve ‘perfection’. Here, women are injecting themselves with silicon fillers. Now this is not an implant, the silicon is injected freely into the desired area. The problem with this is that it migrates to other parts of the body (legs, back, genitals) causing severe pain and disability. Banned in 2012, this procedure is still obviously available on the black market and as a result people are having limbs amputated or a dying as a result of unregulated practice. Scary stuff!
Apples vs Pears
So as I said, big bums (that are natural!) are best – the shape of your bum (and your body for that matter) is a very good indicator of your overall health status. A bigger bum and hips combined with a smaller waist gives you the lowest health risk profile:
Generally, people can be classified into 2 groups – apples or pears.
Apples describe people who tend to carry fat around their middle (thinking of the portly body shape, beer belly / belly overhang). Typically men tend to be in this group (sorry guys). Unfortunately, this fat deposition is not so healthy as the fat also tends to be deposited around some of the main organs (liver, heart etc) and this increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Women tend to be more pear-shaped; carrying fat around the hips, bum and thighs the fat is deposited in more peripheral parts of the body and away from the main core organs. This is good for 2 reasons:
- Fat around your hips, bum and thighs is good for fertility and reproductive function
- You are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes or heart disease as the fat does not get deposited around your middle.
Don’t get me wrong there are always going to be exceptions to the rule (women can be apple-shaped, men can be pears) but much of the shape is determined by the release of male / female hormones.
How can I check my body shape?
- Look in the mirror (Oh God!)
- Measure your waist
- Measure you height
- Check against the Ashwell Shape Chart:
If the picture’s a bit blurred and small, have a look here for more info and how to read your score.
Also, just your waist circumference on its own will tell you a lot about your risk of diabetes – you can test yourself here on Diabetes UK website.
You have a higher risk of health problems if your waist size is (taken from NHS Choices)
- more than 94cm (37 inches) if you’re a man
- more than 80cm (31.5 inches) if you’re a woman
Your risk of health problems is even higher if your waist size is:
- more than 102cm (40 inches) if you’re a man
- more than 88cm (34.5 inches) if you’re a woman
Sorry if you are just reading this after eating the last of your chocolate Easter eggs, I realise this is bad timing but hey ho 😉
Just in case you can’t remember Baby Got Back, or never watched that episode of Friends………here it is…………Now it can get stuck in your head too!
p.s. not many pictures today – I got too disturbed looking for example big bum / tummy images 😮