Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle Measuring Your Assets

By Marion Winik

FEBRUARY 15, 1999:  While factors such as personality, intelligence, education, and work experience are all important to a woman's self-esteem and prospects, these indicators are secondary compared to the importance of her butt size. Even the most brilliant, kindly, accomplished, and beautiful woman can find herself living in the Seventh Circle of Hell if her butt is too big. And how do you know? I mean, once in a while you end up in a department store dressing room with fluorescent lights and the three-way mirror and you see to your shock that a hideous alien life form is now posing as one of your body parts. Fortunately, this is rare. Most of the time, your butt is in your head, and that is why psychologists have at last provided an assessment tool in this critical area.

While a written test like the BAT cannot determine the actual, i.e. "physical," size of your butt, studies have shown that physical reality is far less important than delusional projections when evaluating the effect of BBS (Big Butt Syndrome) on a woman's daily life. The BAT is designed to measure how big you think your butt is, and how neurotic you have become about it. And it's fun!

Multiple Choice Section

1. The best thing about my butt is
a. it looks so good in a thong.
b. guys are crazy for it.
c. it is comfortable to sit on.
d. it is in a place where I rarely see it.

2. When I was a child, people made fun of my
a. little sister.
b. lunch box.
c. beautiful red hair.
d. butt.

3. The most serious obstacle to my personal happiness is
a. my boring job.
b. my abusive partner.
c. my drug and/or alcohol addiction.
d. my butt.

4. It is said that some men prefer women with big butts. This is
a. irrelevant.
b. a pipe dream.
c. true only in Third World countries.
d. proof of the existence of a benevolent God.

5. Which of the following is best for
minimizing the appearance of your butt at the beach?
a. a bathing suit with a French-cut leg.
b. a striped suit with a belt at the waist.
c. a frilly skirt over the hips.
d. no one will know if you don't take off the giant T-shirt.

illustration by Jason Stout
6. The best exercise for your butt is
a. leg lifts.
b. StairMaster.
c. arm circles.
d. stuffing it into jeans that are too small.

7. A large butt has been directly linked to
a. a highly sensual nature.
b. ease of childbirth.
c. unusual intelligence.
d. Pop-Tart consumption.

8.Liposuction is
a. dangerous.
b. expensive.
c. vain.
d. always a possibility.

9. One of the most unfair aspects of the disparity between the sexes is
a. men are paid more for the same work.
b. men don't menstruate or bear children.
c. men control virtually all aspects of government and business.
d. even totally out-of-shape men rarely have big butts.

10. I absolutely hate women who
a. sleep with other women's husbands.
b. sell our national secrets to enemy countries.
c. cut in line at the grocery store.
d. have high, well-muscled, cellulite-free butts.

Analogy Section

11. Good:Evil :: Claudia Schiffer's butt:
a. O.J. Simpson's glove
b. Bob Dole's neck
c. Medusa's hair
d. my butt

True and False Section

12. At least my butt is smooth and unblemished.

13. At least my butt looks good in a pair of jeans.

14. At least my butt is not the size of a Chevy Suburban.

15. At least my butt is not responsible for the many problems of the world.


Score one point for each "d" and each "False" answer you chose.

0-5 points:
Okay, so your butt is fine. What about your thighs? Your stomach? Surely there is some unsightly part of your anatomy you can obsess on!

6-10 points:
Your butt-image is something of a problem. Have a friend take a Polaroid shot of you from the back naked. This will either put your fears to rest or send you to the bathtub with a razor blade.

11+ points:
Your gargantuan butt is ruining your life. But you knew that already.

Regular Chronicle contributor and NPR commentator Marion Winik is involved in an intensive training program to learn to love her butt. She reports limited success.

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