Many women influenced by the mainstream media in Western civilization are under the illusion that having a bigger butt will improve their self esteem and confidence; as well as, making them more physically appealing and attractive to the opposite sex. Some women whose ideal body type image have been molded in the twenty-first-century believe that the media’s obsession with women with big butts started with Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardasian; but it actually began in the 19th century in Europe with an African slave by the name of Sarah Baartman. The Europeans referred to her as the Hottentot Venus that is now considered to be a derogatory term. She was a member of the Khoisan family also referred to as the Khoi tribe who resided in eastern South Africa.
Sarah Baartman was taken from her homeland and enslaved by Dutch farmers. Baartman’s slave master gave his brother, Hendrick Cezar, permission to take her to London, England in 1810. Sarah’s occupation is listed as a freak show entertainer. She was paraded around Europe in freak shows where she swiveled her large buttocks around while men and women watched her in awe. Europeans labeled Sarah’s immensely large buttocks as having a condition called steatopygia. Steatopygia in laymen’s term is basically defined as having a large amount a fat located in the area of the buttocks and thighs.
The big butt that some North American women are willing to pay around four thousand dollars for is actually a genetic physical characteristic of the women of the Khosian, Pygmies and many other black or negro women of African heritage. Some fashion historians believe that the bustle -- a skirt added to the back of a woman’s dress that makes her buttock appear bigger-- was modeled after the shape of Sarah Baartman’s large buttocks. The bustle became popular in the 19th century decades after Sarah Baartman’s death.
The historical rumor says that when Europeans were no longer intrigued by or fascinated with Sarah Baartman’s big butt in the various freak shows about town that she supported her addiction to alcohol by selling her body to men for money. She died on December 29, 1815. They made a cast of her body shape and kept her genitalia, skeleton and brains in a museum in Paris. March 6, 2002, France agreed to send Sarah’s corpse back to South Africa at the request of President Nelson Mandela.
Sarah Baartman was exploited because she had a bigger butt than the average woman. When society was finished looking at her they threw her away. The men stared her big butt, but they went home and made love to their wives and girlfriends. No one married her. No one protected her. No one cared for her.