Love it or hate it, your big butt isn’t a bad thing.
While your butt size is largely determined by genetics, which dictate where you store fat, science provides plenty of reasons to L-O-V-E every inch of whatever your Momma gave you, according to Pamela M. Peeke, M.D., a physician and spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine. (And if you’re on Team Tiny Tush? You can always strengthen your glutes to reap some of the benefits.)
1. Butt fat is relatively harmless, health-wise. Unlike excess white fat in the gut, which surrounds organs and can lead to inflammation, high blood pressure, and disease, big butts are full of subcutaneous yellow fat, which is benign in that area, Dr. Peeke explains.
2. It makes you biologically more attractive. Some evolutionary psychologists believe that men prefer women with fuller butts because it enhances the appearance of the curvature of the spine, according to a recent study published in Evolution and Human Behavior. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is a Very Desirable Trait: A curved spine can alleviate spinal pressure and related injury during pregnancy, which supports mobility to forage food for yourself until the baby arrives.
3. You’re more intuitive than women with smaller butts. Studies suggest that women, who are generally more empathetic than men, become especially attuned to people’s feelings around the same time they develop curves at puberty. Evolutionary theorists think there could be some connection between emotional intelligence and butt size. Because shapely women who have the largest butts and smallest waists appeal to so many men, they needed to develop superior social skills to assess and select potential mates.
4. You can climb steps like a boss. Scaling a staircase requires an orchestrated effort involving most muscles below the waist — including the gluteus maximus, which is the biggest one. That makes climbing steps a total bitch for anyone with a flat, weak backside (unless they have super strong legs).
5. Hunger doesn’t seriously faze you. Yes, big-bottomed women can reserve the right to be hangry. But if you’re too sick to eat, too busy at work to break for lunch, or even stuck on a desert island, the extra fat stored in a big butt can serve as fuel. It’s like a backup meal that can help you survive emergencies.
6. It can protect your lower back. When your butt is too weak to propel your legs forward as you walk, smaller muscles end up kicking in to help, Dr. Peeke explains. This can lead to strains in your back, hips, knees, and other places.