How are you, really? Things haven't been so great with me. I've struggled to keep a smile on my dial ever since the economist read Kindness and Lies in the bath and picked out all the mistakes. “Every one I find is a gift for you,” he said, “page 147!” but they didn't feel like presents. They felt like an invitation to hold him down until the bubbles stopped. “Academics are trained to find fault,” said my friend Stu. “I blame the publisher,” said Tania. I don't. A book contract generally includes an unspoken agreement the writer knows what to do with apostrophes. Before the S? After the S? Wear 'em on your head like a fascinator for all I care. Mine is a very raw talent.
Worse, much worse, any kind of brush with literature makes the economist come over all Poet Laureate. Yesterday he described a paddock full of sheep as looking “like maggots on a green blanket.” Which is actually very good. Still. I'll do the similes, Mate.
Having got so many things wrong lately, there's some comfort in knowing one thing about me is on trend: my bottom. I wouldn't call it humungous, however, neither is it small. And, let's face it, its very hard to see your bum without indulging in some weird calisthenics, so I'm really just guessing. More than a handful, anyway.
Luckily, round and peachy/pear-shaped/applish (pick your fruit) is very 'in' right now, 2014 being all about the bass: witness Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's feminist anthem Booty (“big big booty, you got a big booty”) praising the more ample derriere. Anaconda, Nicky Minaj's remix of Sir-Mix-a-lot's Baby Got Back, is very clear the protagonist “don't want none unless you've got buns, hon.” A strangely culinary image which always make me hungry, perhaps explaining why we are officially in the era of the big booty. As the Huffington Post's Nancy Redd points out, the rear is fast becoming the erogenous zone of choice, vying for eminence with abs, breasts, legs, or for those of us who came of age in the early '90s, Linda Hamilton's sinewy arms in Terminator 2.
Even that traditional home of skinny b*tches, Vogue magazine, had an about face recently, editor Patrica Garcia asserting, “it would appear that the big booty has officially become ubiquitous. In music videos, Instagram photos and on today's most popular celebrities, the measure of sex appeal is inextricably linked to the prominence of a woman's behind.” Filmmaker Kurt Williams, whose documentary Bottoms Up explores the phenomenal demand for gawk-worthy curves (dangerously supplied by aesthetic surgery), says this is simply a case of fashion crossing over what has always been a fetishistic favourite of black culture.
Although, maybe its not such a successful cross over. Pirate booty and Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls aside, big cheeks don't transition to white chicks. Round, firm and brown, yes. Large, wobbly and white? Um, no. Like blonde Rastas and Vanilla Ice, the sad truth is if you lack melanin, are pasty and freckled, I don't think anybody's ready for that jelly.
Bringing us to the other end of the spectrum – the tail end of marketing, if you will, late night infomercials – where insomniac Caucasian ladies with an overabundance of junk in the trunk are sold Hot Pants. Yes, while black girls are getting the message their ba dong da dong dongs should close cupboard doors on the other side of kitchen when they pop something in the toaster, white girls are being told to 'minimise their problem areas.'
The economist is fascinated by Hot Pants, shorts made of neoprene (a bit like wearing a diving suit from the waist down) designed to help you 'Sweat, sweat, sweat!' your way to smaller nethers. “Its just one of those ads I can't get enough of,” he says, but enough about the economist staying up watching ladies perspire. Too big? Too small? Its easy to feel left behind. Shame, because its all absolute rubbish. Booties come in a myriad of shapes and sizes. There's no right or wrong, no reason to feel bum. As Megan Trainor sings, “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” Even if your spelling is crap.