There's nothing like a New York Times trend story to brighten your day. Whether highlighting a seemingly non-existent fad or coming very late to a party, the Times is reliably entertaining in its endless quest to capture "The Way We Live Now."
Thursday offered a Timesian classic, as the paper announced to its readers that it had uncovered a new thing called the "butt" that is all the rage these days.
The piece had all the hallmarks of a good Times trend story.
It was slightly out of date, coming after other publications had already declared 2014 the Year Of The Butt and been trashed for seemingly getting excited about this only now that some white people are into it.
It quoted professors and other butthropologists to lend it that intellectual air that any Thursday Styles piece needs:
Myra Mendible, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, has written extensively about the cultural significance of the female buttocks. Historically, she said, “a woman’s failure to rein in an unruly butt connoted her lack of self-control, and by association, her inferior moral character. It also marked her place in the social order: ‘high class’ women did not carry excess baggage in the trunk.” But now the voluptuous backside is, she said, “a sign of authenticity.” And one that can help sell a range of products, she added, noting Dove and Nike marketing campaigns.
It had the prim Times quality you want; since house style probably prevents the paper from using "butt" outside of quotes, we got all sorts of other fun terms like "rear" and "posterior" and, of course, the classic "buttocks."
Oh, and there was this:
“It’s interesting,” said Ms. Selter, who works out four or five days a week. “How a butt can make you.”
Indeed. Thanks, New York Times!