The Top PornHub Search Term of 2014 Proves Why Women Never Win When It Comes to Porn

The Top PornHub Search Term of 2014 Proves Why Women Never Win When It Comes to Porn
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

America's ass obsession has reared its NSFW head again.

As pop culture's fascination with butts continued to blossom in 2014 — thanks in part to certain celebrity derrières, Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj being notable butt ambassadors, and songs praising the backside, so apparently did porn viewers'. According to PornHub's 2014 Year in Review, "big booty" was the year's top gaining U.S. search term, touting a 486% increase in popularity. But is this butt boon indicative of a shift in beauty standards or affirming the more troubling "trend" of fetishizing body parts?

What's in a trend? By their very nature, trends are dynamic. What was considered sexy 10 or even five years ago might very well be irrelevant by today's beauty standards, and the same holds true for what's hot today. No trend is set in stone.

On the one hand, that's a good thing; never forget the whale tail. Our attention deficit often serves us well when it comes to fashion crazes. But when the corporeal becomes trendy, harmful stereotypes and fetishes abound.

Body types are not trends — they house individuals with complex emotions, thoughts, desires and personalities. Believing otherwise reduces human beings, especially females, to a summation of their body parts, which is neither healthy nor acceptable. 

And it has dangerous implications. As Mic previously noted, "As society continues to dissect women into tits, legs and asses, it's no wonder there has been a 471% increase in plastic surgeries for women since 1997." 

Is bigger better? While some may laud the "big booty" trend as a harbinger of progress and body acceptance, that's not necessarily the case. 

As Mic's Jessica Schreindl wrote, "the reality is [that] fetishizing a big booty is just as harmful as fetishizing someone ultra-skinny. A closer look at pop culture's ass obsession highlights a culture steeped in policing women's bodies under the guise of celebrating them." 

This is especially true when the indicators of these so-called trends are reflected in porn, an institution that thrives on the extreme objectification of women's bodies. Here, women are distilled into labels and body parts, as evidenced by PornHub's search terms. Women's derrières, breasts and vaginas are the main attractions, not the women themselves. 

What's more, treating "big booties" as a trend at all overlooks the myriad women, many of whom are women of color, who have touted bigger butts — defying the typical (read: skinny) "standard" of beauty — long before mainstream (read: white) culture started to notice. "Black women have been carrying around the weight of the world for some time," the Root's Yesha Callahan noted. "We're appropriated but never appreciated, even down to our asses."

No matter how you cut it, body trends are damaging. Whether it's en vogue to be waif-like or endowed posteriorly, the end result is the same: a proliferation of labels, unattainable beauty standards and the sexualization of women — not for their own benefits but for the pleasure of the male perspective.      

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Maureen Shaw

Maureen is a contributor to Identities Mic and the founder of sherights.com. Her writing has appeared on the Huffington Post, Feministing, Jezebel, Fem2.0 and more. Follow Maureen on Twitter at @MaureenShaw.

MORE FROM

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”