The actress came under fire this week when she used a lyric from Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” to caption an Instagram post of herself wearing a curve-hugging dress at Cannes Film Festival. “L.A. face with an Oakland booty,” the caption read, drawing criticism from people who promptly accused Lively of racism and cultural insensitivity (check here for more on that).
Sir Mix-a-Lot, for his part, says he was “surprised” by the criticism and believes the blowback was uncalled for.
“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,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“If what Blake Lively meant by that comment was, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve gained weight, I look horrible,’ if that’s what she meant -- and I doubt that she did -- then I’m with the critics,” he continued. “But no one in the world is gonna tell me that a woman that wears that dress is thinking that she’s fat. No, I’m sorry, it just doesn’t happen. It sounds like to me like she was giving the line props.”
The rapper continued by explaining his song was never about race, but merely about his desire for different standards of beauty to be acknowledged and accepted. With that thought in mind, he called Lively's use of the lyric a "nod of approval."
“I think she’s saying, ‘I’ve got that Oakland booty,’ or ‘I’m trying to get it,’” he said. “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. I think now not only is it accepted, but it’s expected.”