Refinery29’s Un-Photoshopped Images of Male Butts Remind Us That All Bodies Are Awesome
In September, Refinery29 embarked on a project photographing and showcasing real bodies belonging to real people, posting the un-retouched images in galleries along with their subject’s stories. After its first two, female-focused series — one featuring 30 women’s un-Photoshopped butts, the other depicting 25 real women’s breasts — they’ve brought men into the picture, too: The latest entry in the project depicts 30 un-retouched butts of real men — and it’s just as worthy of your time as the previous series.
Shortly after the debut of the women’s butts series in September, Refinery29’s commenters began clamoring for a version of the same project featuring men’s butts. The site listened, and now it's definitely delivered, expanding the larger conversation about body image and body positivity in the process. As Refinery29 notes in its introduction to the slideshow, “Men’s butts may not always undergo the same scrutiny or Photoshopping that women’s butts do, but unrealistic physical standards affect dudes, too.” We tend to talk less about how those unrealistic standards affect guys, as well — so now’s the chance to fix that problem.
As was the case with the women, not every guy feels the same way about his butt. Some of them love them; some of them have complicated relationships with them; and some of them don’t really think about them very much. Interestingly, a lot of them compared themselves to Kim Kardashian: One guy said, “I will always be in the shadow of Kim Kardashian’s butt, no matter what I do. So I guess I just need to accept what the good Lord gave me”; another, meanwhile, commented, “We can't all have a butt like Kim Kardashian. Not even Kim Kardashian. So the next time you feel self-conscious about your butt, or any part of your body, just remember that some guy put his un-Photoshopped one on the Internet and was still loved in the morning.”
I think my favorite comments, however, came from the dudes in slides 5, 13, and 20. Dude No. 5 said, “If we’re at the point where you’re seeing my butt, then you’ve landed the deal, so no need to fret about that”; dude No. 13 noted, “I feel like my butt is golden. I feel that it illuminates energy”; and dude No. 20 put it simply, “I find it confusing that anyone can disparage a butt — all butts are good in my book.” Ayyyyyyyy-men.
It seems kind of like a “no duh” observation to say that the butts come in all shapes, sizes, colors, volumes, and so on — but not only is it true, it’s quite possibly the most important thing about the series. When the only bodies or body parts you see regularly are butts in magazines, on television, in movies, or in advertisements, you start to forget that most peoples’ behinds don’t look like those ones do; even if you understand it intellectually, you stop registering it on some level. As such, a dose of reality is not only refreshing, but also necessary.
No one should ever be reduced to a single body part, but bodies of all types definitely deserve to be celebrated. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a little booty-shaking to do — who’s with me?
Head on over to Refinery29 to see the whole series.
Images: Courtesy Refinery29; photographed by Jonathan Schoonover