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 womens hindquarters. It seems like
everywhere you go you can catch a glimpse of a womans
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 Youve 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 saythat 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 dont 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 dont 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 womens 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.

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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 have the time that
work out all the time, are considered lazy because of there
appearance. The author also seems to disagree with the word
cellulite, saying that a women who has it will be
dismissed as slothful and lacking moral fiber (Douglas
182) Who question seems to be, what does a tight butt say
about the women and her character. She believes, and I
tend to agree, nothing at all. She states in her article
Females buns of steel mark a woman as a desirable piece of
ass, yet someone who can actually kick ass when necessary.
(Douglas 183) In this statement she in insinuated that a
strong but doesnt actually add to physical strength.


The actual point of Douglas article seems to be that
so much emphasis should not be put on tight buns, and more
on the accomplishments of the women. Personally, I have
known many girls that were so consumed with their weight
and the size of their butt it became an obsession. I think
Douglas is right about the media and the influence, but I
also feel she is reading to much into the matter. Physical
attractiveness whether it is buttocks, breast, thighs or
legs will always be around for men or for women. I think
the general public just has to remember that the women you
see on TV are one in a million and it can not be expected
for all of them to look like that.
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Works Cited
Doouglas, Susan J. Flex Appeal, Buns of Steel, and the
Body in Question. Complements. Anna Katsavos ; Elizabeth
Wheeler, McGrw – Hill inc. Paris, 1930