The human back, also called the dorsum, is the large posterior area of the human body, rising from the top of the buttocks to the back of the neck. It is the surface of the body opposite from the chest and the abdomen. The vertebral column runs the length of the back and creates a central area of recession. The breadth of the back is created by the shoulders at the top and the pelvis at the bottom.
The curvature of the female back is a frequent theme in paintings, because the sensibilities of many cultures permit the back to be shown nude - implying full nudity without actually displaying it. Indeed, the practice of showing explicitness on the lower back has been performed for centuries. Certain articles of clothing, such as the haltertop and the backless dress, are designed to expose the back in this manner. The lower back is typically exposed frequently by many types of shirts in woman's fashion, and even the more conservative shirts and blouses will reveal the lower back. This happens for a variety of reasons- the lower waist area is a pivot point for the body and lengthens and arches as a person sits or bends. Secondly, woman's fashion typically favors tops that are waist length, allowing the back to be left bare during slight movement, bending or sitting. The back also serves as the largest canvas for body art on the human body. Because of its size and the relative lack of hair, the back presents an ideal canvas on the human body for lower back tattoos, mostly among young women.