When Kim Kardashian launched her latest magazine covers on an unsuspecting world she had one wish - to break the internet.

Read more: Kim Kardashian reveals her most famous asset

We'd reason that she's not far off. Not only have the two images of her taken for Paper magazine gone completely viral, one of them had over half a million Instagram likes in just nine hours.

The image was instantly compared to the iconic Grace Jones Island Life cover, and memes of her bum and lists written of things her bum looks like soon followed.

Advertisement

Even Kim's husband Kanye West couldn't resist sharing the new pictures of his wife.

Indeed, if this reaction is anything to go by it's safe to say we're all pretty bottom crazy.
But Kim's isn't the only behind we're obsessed with. Ever since the 90s there has been explosion of love for shapely bottoms.

From Kylie Minogue's extremely pert glutes in THOSE gold hotpants in the Spinning Around video to J-Lo's most famous ass-et we just can't get enough.

Such big business are these bums that Kim K is rumoured to have insured hers for more than NZ$25 million. Although that doesn't mean she knows what all the fuss is about.

She once said, "I don't get the fact, like, why it's talked about. I don't get it. Sometimes I get bored of talking about it... Most women have one."

And when Pippa Middleton played bridesmaid to her sister Kate in 2012, her bum was nearly more talked about than the Royal wedding itself.


Pippa Middleton at the Royal Wedding. Photo / Getty Images

At the time Debenhams reported that they had seen a massive surge in shaping underwear with women seeking enhance their bottoms.

Stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea are all also known for showing off there buttocks.

Advertisement

And people like Beyonce aren't afraid to admit they put the hard work in, "I guess my butt is natural. But I go through stages like every woman. I like being curvy but sometimes I get curvy in the wrong places," she once said.

"After New Year I do stairs - they are the best thing for butt cheeks. Every January I'll start working out. I'll do that for three months and then stop again!"

Bums, a back story: we've always been obsessed with buttocks

According to the history books our obsession with all things derriere was going on long before Kim K and her perfectly rounded, perfectly oiled posterior showed up.

In fact it dates all the way back to 24000BC when statues such as the Venus de Villendorf were created with large shapely bottoms and thick thighs.

It is thought the fascination stems from our inbuilt need to procreate; a rounder bottom indicates a wider pelvic area which is recognised as a sign of good fertility.

Although we're not sure that anyone looking at Kim K's bottom today is thinking about how big her pelvis is...

From then on images of the buttocks could be seen and revered throughout history.

The Venus Callipyge, which literally translates to, 'Venus of the beautiful buttocks,' is thought to be of Greek origin, created in the 1st of 2nd century BC.

It depicts a woman lifting her gown to show off her shapely bottom, furthermore Michelangelo's David is said to have one of the most recognisable bums in the world.


Left-right: Venus Callipyge, Michelangelo's David and Venus de Villendorf. Photos / Flickr Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons

Similarly French painters throughout the ages have focused their work on bottoms.

Francis Boucher painted, 'L'Odalisque Brune,' or 'Brown Odalisk,' in 1745 showing a woman reclining on a bed with a sheet only covering the top part of her body.

In around 1895 Edgar Degas similarly focused on the bottom in a series of paintings of dancers drying themselves off after bathing including one called, 'After the bath, woman drying herself.' In all of the pictures the artist focused on the back of the women rather than the front.

The popularity of the bottom went on throughout the 20th century with film stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Bridgette Bardot setting hearts racing with their curvy figures.


Left-right: Bridgette Bardot, Marilyn Monroe and Athena Tennis Girl. Photos / Getty Images, Flickr Creative Commons

Then in the 1970's the Athena Tennis Girl poster which showed a young woman on a tennis court lifting up her skirt to reveal her bottom to the camera sold a massive two million copies.

The photograph starred Fiona Butler, who was 18 at the time, the picture had been taken by her then boyfriend Martin Elliot who had sold the photo to the poster company.

- Daily Mail