Buttock cleavage

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Photograph by Julien Vallou de Villeneuve (1854)
Male buttocks cleavage

Buttock cleavage is minor exposure of the buttocks and the intergluteal cleft between them, often because of low-rise pants. The crena is a formal term for the cleft between the buttocks.


When faced with indecency issues back in the 1930s, W. G. Cassidy explained in an essay titled "Private Parts: A Judicial View" that exposure of a buttock cleavage may come under "other private parts" in Australian law, though indecency generally involves exposure of the genital area.[1]

In the early 2000s, it became fashionable for young women and men to expose their buttocks this way, often in tandem with low rise jeans.[2][3] The Cincinnati Enquirer called it the "new cleavage", and expressed views that "It's virtually impossible to find jeans to cover your hipbone".[4] In August 2001, The Sun celebrated a "bum cleavage week" claiming that "bums are the new tits".[5] In reaction to this trend, Saturday Night Live aired a parody advertisement in their April 16, 2006 episode for a product called Neutrogena Coin Slot Cream, in which host Lindsay Lohan appeared.[6]

British designer Alexander McQueen was particularly mentioned as the originator of buttock cleavage-revealing jeans, known as the "bumster", in cultural critique Sheila Jeffreys' Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West.[7] United States Patent 6473908 from 2002 registers a design for trousers with a removable buttock cleavage-revealing portion.[8] In the mid-2000s, Good Morning America reported on a rise of popularity of the buttock cleavage among celebrities.[9] In a 2002 interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com, pop singer Avril Lavigne was quoted as saying: "My buttcrack showing is like my trademark.".[10]

In 2010s, media reported rise in popularity among females of ultra-short miniskirts and shorts, which publicly exposed "underbuns" (i.e. lower part of buttocks – also referred as underbutts or "reverse buttock cleavage"), due to endorsement by celebrities such as Lady Gaga.[11][12]


The terms plumber butt or plumber's crack (Canadian, Australian, and American English) and builder's bum (British English) refer to the exposure of male buttock cleavage, especially on occasions of careless bending over. The expression "builder's bum" was first recorded in 1988. The terms are based on the popular impression that work in these professions frequently involves bending over in locations where bystanders are observing from the rear.[13]

In the Netherlands the term bouwvakkersdecolleté and in Germany Maurerdekolleté and in Poland dekolt hydraulika is used, which can be translated as "builder's/mason's/plumber's cleavage". In France, it is usually referred to as le sourire du plombier, which translates to "the plumber's smile".[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cassidy, W. G. (September 1974). "Private parts: A judicial view". Southerly (Vol. 34, No. 3). pp. 315-319.
  2. ^ Brown, Janelle (2002-05-28). "Here come the buns". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 2006-02-19. Retrieved 2006-03-12.
  3. ^ D'Angelo, Jennifer (December 5, 2001). "Cleavage Fashion Flips Upside Down". FOXNews.com. Archived from the original on 2011-02-05. Retrieved 12 March 2006.
  4. ^ Daugherty, Gina (May 29, 2003). "Thong spotting gets easier". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  5. ^ Davies, Anna (August 26, 2001). "Bum deal: Suddenly, women's bottoms are everywhere. It might seem like jolly, harmless fun, but actually there's nothing innocent about it". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 10, 2021. Retrieved February 19, 2008. Last week was bum cleavage week at The Sun.
  6. ^ "Saturday Night Live Skit - Neutrogena Coin Slot Cream". Youtube.com. Archived from the original on 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2012-08-01.[unreliable source?]
  7. ^ Jeffreys, Sheila (2005). Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West. Routledge. p. 98. ISBN 0-415-35183-9.
  8. ^ "Garment having a buttocks cleavage revealing feature". Patent Storm. Archived from the original on 2008-02-02.
  9. ^ "Celebrities Are Showing Off Butt Cleavage". Good Morning America. 2006-01-06. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  10. ^ Miller, Andrew (January 30, 2003). "Under Avril's Hood". Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  11. ^ "WHAT is the underbun? THIS is the latest sexy body trend taking over the web (May 4, 2017)". Express Newspapers. Retrieved 26 Jan 2018.
  12. ^ "HIGH ALERT: We're All Helpless Onlookers To The Summer of Butt Cleavage (July 17, 2013)". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 26 Jan 2018.
  13. ^ Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable, by John Ayto, Ian Crofton (2006), ISBN 0-304-36809-1, p. 121
  14. ^ "French Expression of the Day". The Local.

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