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No one can deny the power of Instagram: the photo-sharing social medium now has the power to launch careers and create viral sensations with the post of a single picture.
One person reaping the insta-benefits is Jen Selter: a 20 year-old Long Island native. Selter isn’t unlike many women her age, documenting her daily musings for the website– well, except that she has 1.6 million followers (and counting) and only features photos of her round and toned derrière.
Ms. Selter isn’t just a glorified selfie queen. She is actually inking deals and getting campaigns–her own line of workout gear and sponsorships and offers from the likes of Lululemon, Nike, and New Balance among them. A single shot of her in the aforementioned brands can earn her thousands of dollars. Her posts often include video, showing fitness how-tos for getting the perfect glutes, like this one below:
Selter isn’t the only famous backside on Instagram, as Kim Kardashian has begun snapping pics of her glorious posterior for the world to see. In the past week, she posed alongside new bff Blac Chyna in just a sport bra and sweatpants.
That wasn’t her first showing of her gluteus more than maximus, as who could forget that image of Kim in a white one-piece maillot?
Kardashian’s health and fitness contracts include QuickTrim and Muscle Flex VATA Athletic Wear, but she has a whole host of other sponsorships and collaborations from Sears to Shoedazzle. There’s no doubt that Kim is beautiful and has an amazing figure that has surely taken her far, but why are she and Selter gaining popularity off of a trait that is historically inherent to black women? I thought about a fitness guru like Jeannette Jenkins, who has had an array of fitness videos (great ones might I add), but whose follower count pales in comparison to both of the aforementioned at just 210K.
Jenkins undoubtedly has built an amazing career outside of the ‘gram, but with a body and face to envy (and loads of personality), one has to wonder why she doesn’t have as many online admirers as Jen or Kim. Another notable face with an even more notable posterior is Draya Michele, who we featured this week. Her throng of admirers is almost neck and neck with Selter, but again, the fitness and health sponsorships are not as plentiful. Her reality TV start might make brands a bit hesitant, but how is she any different from Jen and her risqué snaps?
This really makes me upset. After last year’s twerking fiasco where all eyes were suddenly on the behinds of black women, I’d like to think that we should at least profit in the health business for a characteristic that is such a celebrated part of our culture (reference innumerable rap and hip hop songs singing the praises of women’s behinds. “Shawty got a big ol butt (oh yeah!)”). Compare that with mainstream glossy Harper’s Bazaar, which recently published an article titled “Is Spinning Making You Fat?”, where the writer frowns upon big butts. 90’s era rapper Sir Mix Alot hit this dichotomy on the head with his popular hit, “Baby Got Back,” from the beginning when white girlfriends look disdainfully upon a butt calling it, “Gross” and “So Black!” to Mixalot’s lyrics, “I like ‘em round and big…So Cosmo says you’re fat. Well, I ain’t down with that!”
What’s your take ladies and gents?
If butts are now big business, why aren’t black women seeing the profits?