Olympic photographers like big butts (and they cannot lie)

I can’t believe I’m going to say this — it goes against almost everything that I hold dear — but, my friends, there comes a point when too much of a good thing becomes too much of a bad thing. So here it goes: Hey, Olympic photographers, stop taking pictures of women’s butts.

Wow, that was a hard one to get out. I mean, who doesn’t like a finely formed derrière? And before an angry mob of badonkadonk-loving gay women chase me down the street with torches for suggesting Olympians show a little less skin, let me explain. While perusing photos from the Olympics this week I got (inexplicably) distracted by the women’s beach volleyball shots. Sand. Bikinis. Abs. Sweaty… I’m back, I’m back.

But the more I looked, the more I realized that while there were more than a dozen tightly-cropped, close-up shots of women players’ backsides, there was nary a single similar shot of the male players. This is as close to as it came with the fellas.

How many corresponding backviews were there of the ladies? Five, naturally.

Now, put down your torches, I am not petitioning for more gratuitous male booty shots. Banish the thought. But, hello, sexism much?

So then I got serious and went through pages (and pages and pages and pages — talk about your brutal research) of images on Getty to see the true extent of the disparity. Let me tell you, if a photo is worth a thousand words, you’d better find a comfortable chair because this post would be able to fill a complete set on encyclopedias.

Women were overwhelmingly more likely to be cropped so they were rendered faceless and in many cases totally headless. I’ve posted all these photos, un-manipulated (other than sizing) and framed as the photographer submitted them, to show how aesthetic dismemberment is commonplace when it comes to women.

But when looking for comparable headless shots of male players I came up with only three, yes, three: two of hands and one of feet.

The message these photos send is unmistakable. Men are the sum of their parts, women are just parts. Even the go-go dancing cheerleaders used during intermissions weren’t spared the virtual fate of Marie Antoinette.

Look, maybe it was only the ass men who volunteered to shoot women’s beach volleyball, which — now that I think about it — actually seems fairly likely. But the hips butts don’t lie. Heck, and we haven’t even touched on the great “Why do the women wear bikinis as uniforms when the men get tank tops and baggy shorts?” debate which has made all of these photos possible.

I can’t deny the fact that I’ve enjoyed (duh) all the pretty, pretty pictures. But shouldn’t someone like a photo editor look at all these images and say, “Hey, dude, stop sending me all these butt shots.” Besides, women are always more beautiful when every last inch is appreciated, from the tippy top of her head to the tiniest tip of her toes.

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