The Café Society actress, 28, set off a firestorm of criticism earlier this week when she posted a photo of her curvaceous backside in a gorgeous golden Atelier Versace dress (which she wore at the Cannes Film Festival) on Instagram with the caption, “L.A. face with an Oakland booty.” The line, which was interpreted by many as racially insensitive, originated from Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”
The 52-year-old entertainer penned the editorial to remind critics why he wrote the 1992 hit and why Lively’s caption wasn’t a big deal.
“A friend of mine, he said, ‘Dude, I know Katy Perry did this, one of the Kardashians did this, but I don’t understand, what did this girl do to make everybody pissed off?’ So I checked it out, and looked at it and I was kind of … I liked it,” he wrote in the essay, which was published by The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, May 19. “You know, I like stuff like that, but I was a little surprised at the criticism.”
Mix-a-Lot continued by noting that the “African-American idea of what was beautiful was shunned” in the early 1990s, while “what was promoted as beautiful was kind of really waif-thin, borderline heroin addicts.”
“So I wrote ‘Baby Got Back,’ not to say which race is prettier — which is silly, because there were white women with the same curves that were told that they were fat, too,” he added. “There were people that were actually saying that Marilyn Monroe looked bad. They didn’t say that at her peak, obviously, they said it later on. So I wrote this song not as a battle between the races. I wrote the song because I wanted Cosmopolitan, I wanted all these big magazines to kind of open up a little bit and say, ‘Wait a minute, this may not be the only beautiful.’ I mean, I don’t look at Serena Williams as fat. I don’t think she has an ounce of fat anywhere on her.”
The rapper also explained that when he said “L.A.,” he was referring to the “makeup or whatever it took to make that face look good.”
“For [Lively] to look at her butt and that little waist and to say, ‘L.A. face with an Oakland booty,’ doesn’t that mean that the norm has changed, that the beautiful people have accepted our idea of beautiful? That’s the way I took it,” before adding, “I think now not only is it accepted, but it’s expected.”
Lively has yet to comment on the criticism.
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