30 Photos Of Unretouched Butts, In Case You Forgot What They Really Look Like

This story was originally published on September 16th, 2014.
Butts have been having a moment. Such a moment, in fact, that even the staff over at Vogue caught wind of the trend. Last week, as the mag triumphantly ushered us into the "official era of the big booty," Twitter responded incredulously, informing the publication that big butts did, in fact, exist pre-2014 New York Fashion Week.
Previously, Vice — a publication that's certainly familiar with all things T&A — opted for whimsically attired (and oddly shiny) bottoms in their recent shoot, reminding us that butts like to dress up, too.
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Here at R29, we support and cherish all butts — from the au courant round booty to the pancake-ier shape that has fallen by the cultural wayside. From cellulite, stretch marks, and age spots to the perkiest of young butts, we believe they all deserve to have an "official era." And, that era should be all the time.
To that end, we photographed the butts of 30 women. And, we asked how they feel about their backsides — what they love, what they think is funny, and whether or not Vogue's "radical" acceptance of bodies larger than a sample size has affected their lives. Ahead, 30 butts of all shapes and sizes, both bare and festively adorned. No Photoshop.

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1 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I'm okay with my butt. It's kinda floppy and lumpy in places. I think I feel generally better about my body as a whole than I did when I was younger, and that includes my butt. Other people don't really talk about my butt very often. My S.O. likes it a lot, though, and makes frequent comments, and sometimes tries to take a bite out of it, which is always shocking."
2 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I've always been really small: short, tiny waist. Except for my behind, which is big — very big. It's always been that way. In seventh grade, I was sent to the principal's office for wearing a pair of Juicy Couture sweatpants that read 'Juicy' across the behind. When my mother was notified that my bottoms were deemed inappropriate, she fought back, questioning why someone was staring at her 12-year-old daughter's butt."
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3 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"My butt and I had a bit of an aggressive relationship in my adolescence and 20s, but now, I kind of like it. I like that it is there, and it exists, and while it may not be anaconda-ing anytime soon, I don't want it to leave me."
4 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I used to have a flat butt, like a pancake. It looked like I was sitting on an iron. Then, I started working out. Now, I can do a booty dance — and I'm obsessed with my butt!"
5 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I have a tattoo of my lips on my butt. When I was 16 years old, my two friends and I all kissed a piece of paper and then tattooed our lips on each other's asses. I guess that's what you do at 16 years old. So, now I have my good friend's lips on my butt. That’s what happens in Georgia."
6 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I remember the first time someone made me feel uncomfortable about it... My older sister's friend made some comment about how I was starting to get a 'little booty' on me. I don't know if she meant it to make me uncomfortable, but (obviously) it made an impression. I started doing this eight-minute buns VHS (yeah, I was 13)...because I thought I was getting fat.

"I've had to come to terms with the fact that no matter what I do, I'm going to have cellulite (and, a little birdy called R29 told me something like 80% of women do). That doesn't make my butt gross. It just makes it real. And, part of my goal in doing this photo shoot was to embrace my butt in all its beautiful imperfection."
7 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"My favorite thing about it is that it's a big booty."
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8 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"My S.O. keeps saying that my butt was the first thing he noticed about me when we first met. My derrière was never something I was ashamed of. It's actually the one body part I like about myself! One problem — I can never wear short, flowy skirts. Having junk in the trunk plus a gust of wind means that skirt is not staying down. I tried to wear one out once, and let's just say I gave everyone a free show."
9 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"When I was in my early 20s, I used to throw a weekly Panty Party at a bar in the East Village. It was there, with my butt out for all the world to see — in a sea of all different kinds of butts — that I really got comfortable with my derrière. I've pretty much carried that confidence and the good feelings about my butt through to my 30s, and I work to keep my butt in good shape. Squats and butt-busting moves of all kinds are my friend.

"I also once went through a phase in my 20s where I split three consecutive pairs of pants on the dance floor — although I'm not sure if it was my butt or my moves that were responsible."
10 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
" I do squats. I work out. I've always loved it. It's part of my beauty; it's part of who I am. Embrace the butt."
11 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I think it's my best feature. Growing up, I played sports, and I always thought it was a negative to have a butt, but I've kind of come into my own with it."
12 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I feel pretty good about my butt. I have a small chest — and a small upper body in general — but in spite of some weight fluctuations over the years, I've always had a nice set of Polish hips and a solid booty to go along with them. One boyfriend impressed upon me the importance of having 'something to hold onto' and teasingly warned me that I'd better not lose my butt. I'm an avid marathon runner now, and my butt is smaller than it once was, but it's still very much there."
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13 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I like my butt. I feel like it could be a little rounder. I've been working on my tan lines this summer, and I feel like it makes it look a lot sexier to have the tan lines."
14 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"My butt and I have a pretty healthy relationship. I've dealt with my fair share of body-image issues, and don’t even get me started on weight fluctuations. But, to be honest, my rear isn't currently at the root of my emotional unrest. So, when the opportunity to show it off came up, I felt compelled to do it.

"Growing up, I was a dancer. I remember my ballet instructor’s most frequent criticism was my protruding derrière. No matter how hard I tried to finagle a smaller-looking tush, its prominence remained.

"My butt really hasn't changed since then, but I have, and I've come to appreciate my posterior. It's actually my butt that makes me feel best these days — whether I’m hanging out in boyfriend jeans or scantily clad in lace."
15 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"My butt takes up almost no space in my daily thoughts, but I am glad it's there!"
16 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I never really thought about my butt until this one time in 8th grade when my friend told me that a boy thought I had 'a nice backside.' I got home and looked in the mirror, and there it was. I guess all those years of gymnastics — and my favorite pair of Abercrombie jeans — really paid off for me in middle school. Now, since I'm still sort of lacking on the front-side, it's nice to know I have my butt to fall back on. I don't try to flaunt it day-to-day, but my boyfriend's never shy about reminding me it's there. And, there's nothing like that feeling of trying on a cheeky bikini or a great pair of pants and being like, 'Yup — my butt looks freakin' awesome right now.'"
17 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I was devastated when the boy I loved in 7th grade made fun of me for having too small a butt. As cruel irony would have it, four years later, a small child I was babysitting at the pool would point at my bikini-clad ass and scream 'Why do you have stripes on your butt?!' in alarm — a result of my too-small booty suddenly amassing some heft and gaining stretch marks in the process. That said, while I've always worried about my butt being too small, I really think it's perfect: kinda little, juicily round, and mine."
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18 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"When I was younger, I was a string bean. My butt was pretty flat (which is fine).

"I recently had three job interviews and meetings in New York City. I wore my favorite black skinny jeans and nailed all three. I felt great! Until, of course, I looked down — my jeans had a massive tear, right in the crotch. I was briefly mortified, but then mildly proud. I had ripped my first pair of jeans! With my curves! It was a strange and liberating feeling."
19 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting; prop styled by Priscilla Jeong.
"I'm skinny, but I do have a few curves and I like to celebrate them. I've always been an athlete and a runner. So, I've got that marathoner butt. That's what you need to get you through a marathon, believe it or not. Your butt is where a lot of your strength and power come from in endurance running."
20 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"My mom used to be a model (not the size-zero runway kind) and is pretty curvy — boobs and butt and hips and a tiny waist and all that. So, when I was growing up it was kind of a running joke that I inherited my dad's straight-down frame, flat chest, and 'concave' butt. I HATED it. Being a nerdy, super-tall toothpick of a teenager was awkward, and I would have given my AP/Honors kingdom for a nice ass and a B cup. But, then came college and the Freshman 15 — which, for me, was actually the Freshman 30. Yep, I learned the wonders of those mysterious things known as 'exercise' and 'real-people food' and went from 120 lbs to 150 (I'm 5'11" so this was not upsetting) and my butt was born.

"Now, I'm almost 30, and although my A cup remains (and I certainly don't have the Beyoncé butt of my teenage dreams) I've grown to love my tiny boobs and small-but-mighty butt. And, I'm pretty sure my booty no longer qualifies as 'concave' — take THAT, Ma."
21 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"In junior high school, I would tie a sweater around my waist to hide my butt, because it was so much bigger than all the other girls'! Now, looking back, I am so happy I have the booty and body I do. My butt is one of my best assets."
22 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"When I was growing up, my dad used to have a nickname for me; he used to call me Bubble Butt... It was all in fun, but I was at that age where I was getting a little self-conscious. So, I would wear a sweatshirt around my waist all the time."
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23 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"When I was younger, I had a very flat physique; the word 'plancha' comes to mind. It's Spanish for 'iron' — as in an iron for your clothes. Let's just say I heard this word a lot during my grammar-school and high-school days. It's funny now to look back and realize that it was only one stage in my life.

"Today, I would like to say my butt is one of the best physical assets I have. I'm proud of it. Culturally, I've always been surrounded by women who embrace their butts. I grew up with this mentality, and over the years I started to feel lucky that I have a butt I actually feel very comfortable with. It may not be perfect, but as a woman I think it's very important to always feel confident about your body."
24 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I was a late bloomer surrounded by very early, very quick bloomers. For a while, I felt as though I was stuck in an adolescent limbo because my body as a whole didn't seem to match my increasing age. As much as I love my small boobs, it wasn't until I began to take notice of my butt and hips that I really began to feel like a woman."
25 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I have a love/hate relationship with my bum. Some days I like it...others, not so much. I feel it's on the longer side, but it has potential to have a better shape...if only I could commit to more squats, dammit. Maybe it's due to the culture in which I grew up, but I've always preferred having a plumper, apple bottom... I'd love for it to be fuller and a bit perkier, but I'd say I'm pretty pleased. I'm not always happy with how it looks in jeans, but it's proportional with the rest of my body.

"Most people think I'm pretty curvy and seem to admire my bootay when I wear clothes that are a bit more snug. My best gal pals sometimes joke about how I'm going to have a long, grandma booty when I get old, though — and they're probably right."
26 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I didn't get a butt until I left for college. Suddenly, I was plagued with stretch marks from its sudden onset — and at first, I was resentful. After a few years, though, the stretch marks faded, and I realized that my butt was actually the direct result of my Brazilian heritage. It's something to be proud of. To this day, my butt is one of my favorite features on my body, and an asset that I show off with pride."
27 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"Back in the '80s, when I was a little girl, everyone was wearing leggings. I remember wearing leggings and always wanting to put my shirt over my butt to hide it... But, now, I kind of just embrace it and go with it. I think that with 'belfies' there are so many different butt Instagrams now — people like putting it out there! Other people have inspired me to embrace my butt."
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28 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I have no comment about my butt."
29 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"Some days, I’m like, 'Oh, I have a nice bottom.' Others, I'm like, 'Girl, why are you so big?!' I do get attention for being a round-bottomed girl. I have always had body-image issues...but as I grow older and wiser I just hope to have a healthier relationship with myself and my body/butt."
30 of 31
Photographed by David Brandon Geeting.
"I don't ever want my butt to change. I think having an hourglass figure is really empowering for a woman."
31 of 31
Watch the video for more butts IRL.
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