When it comes to looking pert down below, there is nothing like a Brazilian - and we don't mean a wax job.
A Brazilian hottie has won a best bum contest held by German underwear brand sloggi.
The finals of the Show Me Your sloggi competition - for which heats were held around the world, including Singapore - were held in Paris earlier this month and Urban was there to enjoy the cheeky proceedings.
Forty-five male and female contestants from 26 countries shook their booties around the swimming pool of Club Quartier Latin, a historical landmark.
Taut and terrific Melanie Nunes Fronckowiak, 20, had most of the 100-plus journalists and guests calling out her name as the one with the hottest bod even before she bagged Best Bum in the women's section.
The male winner was 27-year-old Frenchman Saiba Bomboten.
Singapore's representative was dancer Rachel Sumati, 23 (right), who was chosen by four local judges, including TV host Jamie Yeo and Urban editor Tee Hun Ching, from a line-up of seven contestants in September.
In Paris, she was one of only three Asians who strutted on a stage dominated by perky European posteriors.
Singapore had no guy in the finals as sloggi's parent company, Triumph International, has yet to launch its men's line here.
Small steps are being made on this situation, says sloggi's global head of brand management, Thomas Herreiner.
While sloggi targets women, selected men's designs have been launched in Taiwan, China and Japan and launches in more cities are being planned. Herreiner says: 'Women buy underwear for their men, so we need to establish a good reputation with them first.'
sloggi was launched here in 1988 as a briefs-only brand and introduced bras in 2006.
To some who might give sloggi a bum rap over a contest that flashed lots of flesh, Herreiner points out it has forged a closer relationship between the company and its fans.
He says: 'The online portion of the contest has created a global community. We received proposals on design prints and shapes and other valuable feedback from our audiences.'
Some have been adapted for production, he adds.
But back to the butts. This was sloggi's second international butt competition and the winners each won 15,000 euros (S$30,900), a sloggi modelling contract and even bum insurance.
Contestants from each country entered by submitting pictures of themselves (and their derriere) online. Over 11,200 entries were received, with more than 31 million votes cast by the public to pick their favourite finalists.
The finals showcased regular people but the well-chiselled guys and hourglass gals showed that overall looks were not left behind either.
The eight judges included last year's winners, Andrei Andrei and Kristina Dimitrova, Slovakian model and actress Adriana Karembeu and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli.
Karembeu says that picking who packed the most in their trunks was a no-brainer: 'The two winners were unanimously chosen by all the judges.'
Fronckowiak, who was one of the few cellulite-free females, admits that her perfect tush comes with hard work.
'I go to the gym every week and I don't take sweet or fatty food,' she tells Urban after her win.
This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times on Nov 21, 2008.