Kim Kardashian’s bum shot is the one to end them all.

Image: Paper Magazine

Ladies and gentlemen: The Year of the Bum has finally reached its very high, very pert apex.

In case you’re not aware, the past 11 months have been noticeably bottom-heavy. Kylie Minogue flashed hers on the cover of GQ Italia, Nicki Minaj’s made a front-and-centre appearance on the cover of her single Anaconda, and the video for J-Lo and Iggy Azalea’s song Booty well and truly lived up to its title. You can see all of these instances – and a sample of the ‘butt selfies’ filling Instagram these days – in this gallery:

But it’s Kim Kardashian West – well, her bum to be more specific – who has swooped in and stolen the limelight. The reality TV star has outdone even herself with her latest magazine cover, starring on the front of Paper wearing nothing but an unzipped sequinned gown and a thick layer of baby oil.

Obviously, the image you’re about to see is very much NSFW (i.e. be careful if your boss is likely to walk in the room).

Are you ready? Let’s do this…

Kim Kardashian on Paper magazine

The image, released earlier today, is already making good on its promise to break to internet. Consider the internet broken, Kim K.

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An alternate cover of the magazine - see top of page - features Kim actually wearing the gown, this time balancing a cocktail glass on her derriere and shooting a stream of champagne into it. Even Kim's pleased with herself for that effort.

"And they say I didn't have a talent...try balancing a champagne glass on your ass LOL," she Tweeted earlier today. Well, it does make for a good party trick...

We previously reported:

You’ve seen it spinning around in gold hot pants, doing the Locomotion, writhing on an exercise ball and now in all its pale bare bum glory.

But Kylie Minogue’s untanned posterior on the cover of GQ Italia magazine isn’t even the most butt-tastic celebrity rear we’ve seen this week.

Sorry Kyles, but that honour goes to Nicki Minaj.

You might’ve seen her heavily Photoshopped derrière filling up your Facebook feed? The singer released the cover for her latest single, ‘Anaconda,’ where she is wearing nothing but a pink g-string. Her perky, exceptionally smooth, round buttocks instantly became an internet meme.

 

While female breasts have been at the forefront of objectification for decades now, it seems the tides are turning. Friends, we’re witnessing the dawning of the Ass Age.

It started earlier this year when Kim Kardashian had to issue a statement of behalf of her ass, telling people once again that "No, she didn’t get butt implants" and asking the question, "Can we all, please stop talking about my ass now?"

Then Sports Illustrated featured not one but three bums - attached to Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen - on the cover of their Swimsuit Issue. In the magazine’s 50-year history, three arses have never happened before. Since the magazine's Swimsuit Issue is instrumental as a launch pad for models, this one small step for butts is significant moment.

American Apparel then took things up a notch by featuring bumholes in their advertising. Yes, you read that correctly, actual bumholes. I just...I can't even...

You don't have to have an Instagram account to know that celebrity bum selfies are now de rigueur. Lea Michele’s done it, as has Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Ke$ha. Even Beyonce’s bum has been freeze-framed and ricocheted around the world thanks to the g-string-leotard contraption she wore while performing ‘Drunk in Love’ with Jay-Z at the Grammys.

But the most famous Instagram bum of all time doesn’t belong to a celebrity. Jen Selter has more followers than US Vogue and Australian Vogue combined. The ‘belfie’ (bum selfie) queen now has 3.9 million followers on Instagram alone. To put that in perspective, she’s about to overtake Lady Gaga, who has just over 4 million followers.

This is her and her magnificent booty watching the sunset:

Selter and her celebrity belfie loving counterparts have spawned a new type of fitspiration: arse-spiration. A quick look on the #YeahSheSquats hashtag will have you questioning your faith in humanity. To spare you from Googling it, it's basically just a bunch of female arses in teeny tiny g-strings. Think of it as porn masquerading as exercise inspiration.

Scientists have long debunked the myth that you can spot reduce one area of your body but you can add muscle tone, so squat related memes are almost as common as their supposed by-product: the bubble butt.

Maybe this why 2014 is turning out not to be the Year of the Horse but the Year of the Butt, because aside from surgery we can't do much about our tiny or large boobs but with squats we can change what junk we have in our trunk. Big or small, no boobs look their best in a sports bra, but tight and toned cheeks in yoga pants or bikini bottoms? Take another look at that gallery up top and decide for yourself.

How do you feel about the new butt obsession? 

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