Written by Eric Shulman
It’s almost like Blake Lively had no idea how insensitive she was being when quoting Sir Mix A Lot’s classic 90s hit “Baby Got Back” on Instagram last week. If you don’t follow pop culture events or live under a rock, you may have missed the news surrounding the post. Lively stated she had “an LA face and an Oakland booty” when posting a picture of herself. This, a direct quote from the aforementioned song, is in reference to her larger than average caboose. (In an effort to avoid offending anyone who may be of mild sensitivity, I will continue to call the female backside a caboose.) The impeding backlash was, obviously, immediate and harsh. Scores of people commented on Lively’s page about how she was appropriating a lyric meant only to describe African American cabooses and about how she was describing her body as a commodity.
The stunning and shocking turn of events? That some, surely in the minority and unaware of how ignorant they truly are, believe there was nothing wrong with Lively’s post. They found it humorous and were supportive of the actress, giving her 692 thousand likes. 692 thousand?!? How can this many people not see the intolerance of her post? Comments ranged from the idea that “Baby Got Back” is just a song to calling Lively a winner and perfect. JUST a song? For shame. Perfect? Despicable.
What gets me going the most though? The fact that even Sir Mix A Lot seems to miss the point. He actually supports Lively, stating “It sounds like to me like she was giving the line props. I think we have to be careful what we wish for as African-Americans, because if you say she doesn't have the right to say that, then how do you expect her at the same time to embrace your beauty? I mean, I don't get it. I think it's almost a nod of approval, and that was what I wanted. I wanted our idea of beautiful to be accepted.”(1)
Can you believe it? The man thinks we should all accept different standards of beauty. He’s fine with Lively using revolutionary lyrics meant only for one type of woman to describe her caboose. Absurd. The moron must not know a thing about the song he came up with. We, the people, are the ones more apt to say how he truly meant the song to be taken after all, not some silly rapper who merely created it.
No way this thought process could lead to a more connected America. In a time of poor communication with differences between races becoming more polarized, how could accepting each other and wanting to share something as small as pop culture references help unite us? Isn’t it clear that we need to make the internet a safer place and crack down on comments like this? We need to take out our pitchforks and storm the castle immediately. Now is the time to act, and if taking down Blake Lively’s post and Instagram profile, followed by tar and feathering her publicly isn't the place to start, I don't know where we should.