Meat for the girls

Leonardo DiCaprio has denied being a “piece of cute meat”. Someone should tell this conceited young man to wait for the compliment before pretending to reject it. It seems that Hollywood celebrities have been desperate to play down their sex appeal ever since Steven Spielberg narrowly escaped being sodomised by a stalker. But if DiCaprio is really the ugly duckling he claims to be, how is he able to command a fee of $10 million per movie? No film studio would pay that kind of money for an actor with a face like Porky Pig.

In fairness to Leo, he may not have been talking about his face. I wouldn’t blame him for trying to postpone the fateful day when he is asked to bare his buttocks for the camera. His fans will certainly feel cheated if he hasn’t done so by the age of 35, and perhaps start to wonder whether his derrière is not disfigured by some great bulbous wart. It’s curious how these fashions creep into the movie industry. No one ever expected Humphrey Bogart or Spencer Tracey to show his backside to his fans, but nowadays it is more or less de rigueur for the leading man.

I suspect the fad for rear-exposure was kick-started by the narcissistic mooning of Richard Gere in American Gigolo. Gere also exposed himself frontally in that movie, but mercifully this precedent never caught on in Hollywood. The reason, I should imagine, is that few women derive any pleasure from ogling a man’s “meat-and-two-veg”, as the English housewife calls it. For the lady of good taste, HMS Winkie is a gunboat to be felt rather than seen. The hindquarters, however, are an entirely different cut of beef. Many are the times I have witnessed women peering at the well-packed posterior of a strutting young buck. Female gorillas, I should add, are just the same.

Of course, there was a time when mooning was a tactic used by heterosexual men to shock or humiliate their rivals. The Scotch reputedly did it to the English before their famous victory at the Bannockburn. In my circus days, I was asked to umpire a tennis match between the ringmaster and the senior clown. Believing that the ringmaster had served long, the clown caught the ball in his hand and threw it back over the net. The ringmaster, infuriated by this presumption, was having none of it.

“If that was a fault, I’ll show you my arse!” he bellowed, glaring at the clown before looking in my direction.

I adjudicated in the ringmaster’s favour.

Given that it is now socially acceptable for women to admire the male rump, they ought to come clean and say what they look for in a bottom. The film industry deserves no less from its enthusiastic patrons. Which of the following would be their ideal?

(a) an enormous billowy pumpkin, rough and cratered like the lunar surface;

(b) a smooth, tight, boyish pair of buns;

(c) a muscular pair of upper thighs, suggestive of the pelvic power of a rampaging stallion.

My guess is that the human female, being a complex and subtle creature, would like a combination of all three to suit her changing moods and evolving preferences. Such versatility, alas, is surely beyond the ingenuity of Mother Nature.

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