Sir Mix-A-Lot Says "Baby Got Back" Is Really A Subversive, Body Positive Anthem

Photo: Broadimage/REX.
When Sir Mix-a-Lot released "Baby Got Back" in 1992, he was serious about it being a "word to thick soul sistas." In an interview on Oprah: Where Are They Now, the iconic MC said the hit was written for Black women who didn't see their curves reflected in mainstream media.

"There's another [type of] beautiful that, for some reason, is not being talked about much," Mix-a-Lot said in the interview. "I wanted to talk about it."

The rapper said his goal was to enable Black, curvy women — whose bodies rarely made it onto runways or in commercials — to see themselves as beautiful.

"It was kind of an empowering song by accident," he said. "Every line in that song was written with that in mind. Pick at the establishment — not too much, not too over the top — and lift the sistas up. Constantly elevate them, even at the risk of dissing yourself."

Ever the media critic, Mix-a-Lot said the song was inspired by images of women he saw on TV and in movies. There were thin, blonde models in Budweiser commercials, the rapper explained, and Black actresses who were only ever cast as maids or servants, with little in between. "Baby Got Back" was written to remind women that there was more to offer than these limiting stereotypes.

"I didn’t want women to look at Cosmo as the goal," Mix-a-Lot said. "Don’t look at Cosmo and say, 'I've got to get that physique so they'll put me in pictures.' Don’t worry about them! Baby, you are beautiful, you are gorgeous, you can do what you want to do. The hell with them."

More from Music