On The Changing Landscapes of Butt
In this current society of BBLs, where both men and women are photoshopping their Instagram pictures so as they show a larger gluteus maximus, you’d be surprised at just how recently it was that even proclaiming to like bigger butts was frowned upon.
Sir Mix-a-Lot & Baby Got Back
‘Baby got Back’ was the start of a revolution, right from the get-go the rapper held nothing back, the first verse being: “I like big butts and I cannot lie”, and as facetious as these lyrics seem at first glance forget about today’s views, back then the view of posterior beauty was a lot different.
As the story goes:
The song came from a meeting between Sir Mix-a-Lot and Amylia Dorsey who saw little representation of full figured women in media. The idea came from the 1980s Budweiser commercial featuring very thin, valley girl-esque models with different skin colors. They decided to dedicate a song to the very opposite, featuring curvy women of color. Mix and Dorsey sought to “Broaden the definition of beauty.” — Wikipedia
As Sir Mix-a-Lot goes on to say: “The song doesn’t just say I like large butts, you know? The song is talking about women who damn near kill themselves to try to look like these beanpole models that you see in Vogue magazine.”
It was an admirable effort and it sold well, the song debuted at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated April 11, 1992, and hit number one twelve weeks later, finally spending five weeks at the top of the chart.
As some women went on to say: “It was about time”. Unfortunately, that is untrue, it wasn’t time — yet, the world wasn’t quite ready for the big butt revolution, and by the 90s to early 2000s public perceptions had reverted, nay, gotten even more extreme.
There was as I remember a trope in just about every movie from that period; where if a woman were to be trying out clothes she would worriedly ask her boyfriend/husband: ‘Does my butt look big in this?’. And either their partner would adamantly deny that or would jokingly say yes and face hell.