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‘Does This Make My Butt Look Big?’ Is Not the Question It Used to Be

Pro-ass attitudes are a major win for the body positivity movement

It’s astounding that on his seminal 1992 hit “Baby Got Back,” rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot not only professes his love for big butts as somehow novel, but exhorts other men to confess the same attraction: “You other brothers can’t deny…” Three decades later, who would think to deny it?

Yes, we now live in the age of BBL surgery and the 10-megaton booty. It would be a scandal for anyone with a platform to announce that they prefer smaller derrières. One byproduct of this cultural shift — or consensus agreement with Sir Mix-a-Lot — is a sharp reversal to how we hear a question that used to haunt the heterosexual world: “Does this make my ass look fat?”  

It’s impossible to say how many wives and girlfriends really asked their male partners “Does this make my butt look big?” in years past, trapping them in a terrible choice between flattery (“Of course not!”) and honesty (“Just a little, maybe?”). It’s hard to believe, however, that the Hollywood cliché of such a confrontation came from nowhere. Historically, some women must have feared having too ample a backside — at least until popular music and celebrities instilled the value of these proportions. Today, the answer to the query must be a resounding “Hell yes.”      

The successes and shortcomings of the body-positivity movement are up for debate, but it seems as if here we have an undisputed win: the near-total eradication of big butt anxiety. Pro-dump-truck sentiment has even filtered down into the wholesome territory of animated Pixar films, and why not? May as well indoctrinate the children. And when we tell them women once fretted over being double cheeked up, they won’t believe us — what a blessing for them. They may never know the dissonance of wanting that which is the clear opposite of greatness.

Congratulations. We did it, folks. Well not me — I was just sitting here on my own bony ass. It must be my turn to be self-conscious because I’d give anything for slightly more padding.