Top of the bottoms

Winning looks: Jessica beat the Duchess to first place.
Winning looks: Jessica beat the Duchess to first place.
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She isn’t used to coming second at anything.

But in company as illustrious as Wiggo, the man who brought the Tour De France crown to Britain for the first time ever AND won Olympic gold, Sheffield’s finest, Jessica Ennis, was happy to concede SPOTY victory.

Plus she DID get one notable first. Hands down – hands DOWN, I say – she won Best Rear of the Year. That clingy red Victoria Beckham gown showed off Jessica’s butt to spectacular effect.

Bizarrely, it quite took us by surprise. It goes without saying that the world’s greatest female athlete is going to have gluteus maximus muscles honed to a pair of peaches.

And heckers, we’ve seen her bottom enough times. Those stretchy running knickers hide nowt.

Yet no one notices until you take the sporty SPOTY botty out of its natural habitat and sheath it in a glamorous, figure-hugging dress. Suddenly it’s having its Cinderella moment.

While men are drooling, though, there is actually very good reason for us women to be cheering about Jessica’s bum. And that’s because it seems to be having a hugely positively effect – on impressionable young women.

Debenhams have just reported that the desire to be the shape of catwalk-thin figures is now being overtaken by the desire for a curvy shape like bootilicious Beyonce’s.

And almost 20 per cent say it’s Jessica’s muscular physique they would like to have. Women are deciding they want shape; a proper bottom, not one resembling two flat whoopee cushions in the back of their skirt – like the DofC’s. The gorgeous, classy, ever elegant Kate barely has a bottom at all. Even at two months pregnant.

Hers is the figure the current generation have grown up thinking is the ideal. Yet she paled into insignificance next to Jess – even with that racy, thigh-high split in her skirt (wonder what the mother-in-law thought to that).

The heptathlete is genuinely dazed by all the comments. She hoped to be a role model for budding sportswomen, but clearly didn’t see the role of image-maker at her heels.

She knows exactly how girls feel, though. Like too many young women today, she fell for the lie that skinny, size six shapelessness is the most desirable way to look.

“When I first started doing weight training I didn’t want to be any good at it because I didn’t want to be all muscly. All the women I admired on telly were thin. The problem with non-sporting women in the media is that most of them are size zero,” she told a national newspaper.

It has to be said that, muscles and all, Jess is way smaller than the average British woman. If she once felt that kind of pressure, how hard is it for regular-sized girls to come through life with self-esteem in tact?

That survey proves things are changing. Women are realising being healthy and fit, having boobs (real) and a bottom, is far better than being skinny.

But the bottom line is we need more successful women like Jess to keep standing up and shouting about it.