From Kim Kardashian to Coppertone: A History of the Butt as a Marketing Tool

Our own fascination with backsides is not new, even if Vogue would love you to believe it is.
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Our own fascination with backsides is not new, even if Vogue would love you to believe it is.

Kim Kardashian is less famous for her outfits than she is for her posterior. We wish we didn’t focus so much on the fact that she has one, but let’s face facts. It’s a defining voice in fashion, and LOVE magazine just teased a comical photo of Kim Kardashian inviting you to get a good look at what you’d see if she dropped body wash in the shower.

Our own fascination with backsides is not new, even if Vogue would love you to believe it is. This particular portion of the human body has long been a powerful marketing tool. Bare or just highly visible, it is one effective way to push an agenda. Whether it’s featured with a person attached to it or not, it works. Some major moments stand out. Here are the truly memorable times artists and fashion embraced the natural asset.

2014: Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue
The confident group shot butt.

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2014: Cara Delevingne’s Tom Ford fragrance ad
Underwater butt.

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2014: Paper magazine’s Kim Kardashian cover
The oil-slicked high-concept butt.

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2014: Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda album cover
The throwback butt.

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2014: J. Lo and Iggy Azalea’s "Booty" cover
The butt that was possibly cryogenically frozen in time in 1999.

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2013: American Apparel Leggings Ad
The “I’m waiting for Liam Neeson to save me from this basement” butt.

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2004: American Apparel whatever Dov is attempting to do with this
The no one asked for this butt.

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2001: The Strokes Is This It album cover

The slick butt.

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1993: Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle album cover
The dog butt.

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1992: Sir-Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back album cover
The body-positive anthem butt.

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1984: Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA album cover
The American butt.

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1959: The Coppertone Girl
The protected butt.

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Reprinted with permission from Styleite. Want more? Here are some related stories:

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