Over the past couple of years, it seems like "booty worship" has reached a crescendo. You can thank Kim Kardashian for that — or, well, any other celeb with a large behind, which is all of them. These days nothing is trendier than a big ol' butt — and perhaps the person we shoud really be blaming is Sir Mix-a-Lot.
Today marks the 25th birthday of his hit "Baby Got Back" reaching No. 1 on the charts, opening the floodgates for trends that are still resonating in popular culture years later. Sure, the song began as a bit of a national punchline. The video did have Sir-Mix-a-Lot standing on a large golden butt, after all — a statue so shiny and big, he would later reveal in 2017 that it momentarily "blinded him" while he shot the music video.
But after everyone stopped laughing, the song had surprising longevity, and since its 1992 debut, it still hasn't left. Just in 2014, Nicki Minaj released "Anaconda," a song that was nothing but "Baby Got Back" samples. The song was accompanied by a very NSFW video of Nicki trying to regain the twerking crown from Miley Cyrus, a crown that Miley gave up voluntarily just a few years later when she realized she wasn't about that life.
But now, in 2017, sometimes it feels like the obsession with large posteriors has gone overboard. Women are so desperate for a booty as big as Kim's that they're flocking to plastic sugery clinics to get injections — some of them with disastrous results.
"The pain was unbearable," she said. "It was like pulling a tooth with no anesthesia. I really felt like I was going to die."
In the end, the obsession with big butts really starts to look as comedic and ridiculous as Sir-Mix-a-Lot's blindingly shiny rump statue. Just look at any article featuring Nicki or Kim and the general consenus in the comments is normally how "gross" and "fake" their behinds look. After all, there's only so big a booty can get before it just delves into "saggy diaper" territory.
This is just beyond ridiculous. How do you even sit on that?! / Getty Images
Even Amy Schumer had some fun with the trend in her parody video, "Milk Milk Lemonade," poking fun at hip hop videos' fascination with a body part that "poop comes out" of.
And yes, maybe there is some truth to that, considering rampant objectivation of any body part is kind of gross. But don't blame Sir-Mix-a-Lot. According to him, the original song was a serious ode to bodies that were underpresented in the media, particularly African-American bodies.
"It was like a blown-out, glorified version of what was actually being said at that time," he told NPR in 2017. "Basically, pop culture was waif-thin, heroin addict, big hair, fake boobs — you know, that was what they thought beautiful was. And because of the way it was discussed publicly, it made women who had naturally curvy bodies ... run around with sweaters wrapped around their waist."
Judging by our current crop of celebs and Instagram models, it's hard to remember a time when "lollipop bodies" were all the rage. But in case you need a reminder, take a look at exhibit A — Lara Flynn Boyle.
There's no way anyone could get away with this look today. / Getty Images
Not only did "Baby Got Back" make it OK for women to have different types of bodies, it also diversified the types we saw on TV. And so, even though pop culture took on the trend and went a little too far, like a college girl tasting alcohol for the first time, it still ignited the body positivity movement, as much as we don't want to admit it.
And speaking of Sir-Mix-a-Lot, does he take credit for creating all this? Yes. Yes he does.
"Now, do I think I deserve a royalty from every girl with a butt? No," he told Yahoo! Music. "But I do think that that song has something to do with mainstream’s acceptance of that figure, the ‘little in the middle, but got much back,’ and it getting accepted by society? I definitely do.”