John Darcey Darcey 1



Professor Garber



Hm 46



March 5th



Buns of Steel and Sex Appeal



It seems in the past decade more and more attention



has been put on firm buttocks and thighs on women. Susan



J.Douglas wrote an article called ? Flex Appeal, Buns of



Steel, and the Body in Question?. It addresses this fad in



a woman's point of view. Douglas, who was a teacher and



free lance writer has had many of her article appear in The



Village Voice. It seems from the tone of this article that



Douglas is disgusted by the emphasis put on the female body



and has probably had struggles with weight herself, as many



women these days have had.



Douglas points out in her article all of the publicity



that has been put on women?s hindquarters. It seems like



everywhere you go you can catch a glimpse of a woman?s



tight rear end or firm thighs. On billboards, magazine



covers, articles, television, just about anywhere you can



put a butt you will see one. Douglas says ? ?not just in



Vogue or Cosmo, either: even in the Village Voice,? has ads



for products such as the videotape called Buns of Steel.?



(Douglas 181) There is also an enormity of exercise



videos making claims like ? Now you can have the Buns you



always wanted?. The author also points out two ads that

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show perfect bottoms with slogans like ? You?ve worked



hard? and ?If you work it shows?. (Douglas 182) Douglas



seems offended by this rebutting ?meaning if you have been



slacking off, that will show too?. (Douglas 182) I



personally think that if it were actually that easy, we



would all have ?buns of steel?.



Douglas brings up something that most of us have never



thought of before. She seems to think that expected woman



to have tight behinds is trying to make them more like men.



She claims that this is a ?distortion of feminism? (Douglas



182) She then goes onto say ? ?that ambitious women want,



or should want, to be just like men, especially those men



committed to the most competitive, inhumane, macho aspects



of patriarchy. I don?t really see the connection, being



that I am sure woman like firm buns on men too.



It seems that Douglas is ashamed of her own body as



you can see in the statement ?They insist that the rest of



us should feel only one thing when we put on a bathing





suit: profound mortification.? (Douglas 181) I don?t think



that any women should feel ashamed of her body in a bathing



suit or anything else for that matter. Douglas explains



how women naturally have more fat than men do, in order to



carry babies. This is another reason she came to the



theory of the public wanting women to be more like men.



She also make a sarcastic statement ?A real women, of any

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age, will get off her butt and, by overcoming her sloth,



not just get in shape, but conquer genetics and history.?



(Douglas 182)



According to the article this buttock and thigh craze



started in the eighties. It seems, according to Douglas,



that the popularity of thighs and buttocks much overrode



the popularity of breast. The reason, she explains, it



that even flat - chested women can have a goal of ?buns of



steel?. I feel that part of this is that sexual -



oriented matters where becoming more public on television



in ads. It was probably the first decade that it was



acceptable to blatantly display women?s rear - ends. When



all of the regular women saw this, and how the media



connected it to sexuality and wealthiness it became a



craze. In addition to that men came to think that is what



to expect from a women, and therefore put more pressure on



their own girlfriends and wives to look like the models.



Douglas says ?The key to huge profits was to emphasize



beauty over health, sexuality over fitness, and to equate



thin thighs with wealth and status?. (Douglas 182)



Douglas says this is Reaganism, which means that



appearances are just as important as character.



Another controversy of this topic is that all these



ads show a nice figure as a sign of discipline. The author



seems upset with this, because women with desk jobs that



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work harder than the one who happen to