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Why Do Some Men Have Such Big Butts?

An examination of presidential booty that rocked the world.

by Samantha Cole
Jan 29 2017, 5:00pm

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Trump boarded the Marine 1 helicopter on Thursday, and on his way in, a photographer snapped the photo that shook the world:

That, I'm sure you'll agree, is a fairly thicc booty, which is not something I see on a man often. As Select/All noted, the photo took the internet by storm, with the viral joke eliciting a mix of disgust and delight.

Why? We live in a culture that fetishizes women with big butts in music videos that proclaim that we love them and cannot lie about it. There are entire exercise regimens aimed at giving women bigger butts. For men, however, the standards are different. We appreciate a man's butt when it is firm or sculpted, but rarely do we see or celebrate a man's butt for being big.

As a result of it being more rare in men, and perhaps more culturally associated with an effeminate shape, the internet is full of dudes who are stressed out about the size of their butts. They band together for support on bodybuilding forums and Quora, asking one another about hormonal imbalances and the size of their pelvic bones.

Is this purely a social construction, or are large butts on men truly more rare than they are on women? How is a booty born?

Let us examine some of the possible reasons for why a man might have a big butt.

Maybe he's born with it

The shape of a butt is defined by the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus muscles, as well as the fat surrounding these muscles. Women tend to store fat in their hips and lower body thanks to hormones and evolution, preparing females for childbearing. Higher levels of oestrogen make fat storage efficient in preparation for pregnancy, as women carry 6 to 11 percent more body fat than men. Because of these differences in where the sexes store fat, a man is more likely to be overweight with a flat ass and round stomach, while a woman might see it all go to her hips. But even this is dependent on each person's individual genetics.

Hormones and genetics play the biggest roles in the natural size of one's booty. Broadly investigated the "sex makes your butt bigger" myth (which was debunked, so we can rule this cause out), and found that estrogen is what would stimulate your butt to increase in size or change your body composition. There's not a ton of literature out there about why some men have bigger butts than others. It's most likely the reason why some women do: Everyone's body shape is different.

Maybe he does a lot of squats

Strength training can make a butt more defined, but fitness trainer Tony Gentilcore told me that yes, it's most likely genetic.

"Some people picked the right parents with regards to having well developed areas of the body without having to work for them," he said, when presented with the photo above. Fitness coach Kellie Davis recommends a full glute-training program to build a better butt, including deadlifts, glute bridges, hip thrusts and of course the trusty squat. These might highlight, but ultimately can't fundamentally alter the butt you're working with.

Maybe his posture sucks

Certain postures can minimize or accentuate a person's butt. As noted by user tpt on the Bodybuilding.com message board, and as you can see in the image below, the Anterior Pelvic Tilt, with the butt jutting out and chest puffed forward, will definitely make a butt look bigger than it naturally is.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Some photos and videos of Trump make it look like he doesn't have the best posture in the world, but there are many posture problems that are just as likely to make one's butt tuck in as opposed to pop out. Also, this would still not tell us how much butt one is working with in a resting position.

Maybe it's the angles

Gentilcore's skeptical of the way this photo was shot. He calls it "a perfect storm scenario," where the camera position, fit of the pants, and lighting collided to create a butt that seems bigger than it actually is. There's another photo of Trump golfing that would contradict this theory, but unfortunately, there aren't many more photos of Trump's butt that we are aware of. With limited evidence, we can't prove that POTUS is thicc, but haven't found compelling evidence that he isn't.

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His butt could be the result of any combination of the explanations above, but common sense says he was just born with it, and that it caught everyone's eye because it is actually more rare in men than women for evolutionary reasons.

To be absolutely clear, Motherboard is pro butts, in all their shapes and sizes. There's no such thing as a wrong, bad, or ugly butt. The only thing that matters is that you're not an asshole.