Friday, April 17, 2009

Remove the Stick from your Square Pants

This morning I got sucked into a piece on the Today Show about the new Burger King/Sponge Bob Square Pants/”I like square butts” commercial. I was slightly disturbed when I first saw that commercial air, but only because the butts were, well, square!

“Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix A Lot is undoubtedly one of my favorite songs of all time, which is why I became so annoyed at the recent “to do” over the new Burger King commercial. Even with the teasers I couldn’t figure out what the Today Show piece could possibly be about, so you’ll know that I was shocked to hear that women were outraged at the commercial’s “objectification of women to sell a product to little kids”. Really?

Now, let’s put aside the fact that this commercial is for a fast food restaurant and that it’s marketing a product to children, because the MAIN COMPLAINT I heard this morning was the objectification of women and the obscenity of the butts. Now maybe my point of view is just askew from the average American, but I would argue that ANY other ad you see on television or in print media (sans diet commercials) objectifies women in much worse ways than this Burger King commercial objectifies women. Why? Because being waif thin with no ass is what we as a culture want our women to look like, which is why the vast majority of women included in mass-media ads mimic that look. It’s sad to me that we’ve gotten to a place where our world is so warped that women in the media with big (or square) butts, like most of us have (or would have if we lived under the sea), are considered objects by other women, most of which also have big (or square) butts.

I have always loved “Baby Got Back”, because it’s a fun, popular song, and when it’s played my normally “fat ass” sheds it’s media-projected negative skin and is allowed to not only be accepted but also to be praised for its largeness during those 4 minutes and 22 seconds. The playing of this song actually changes the climate and values of everyone listening to it for under 5 minutes, and that certain something of mine that’s a flaw for those other 23 hours, 55 minutes and 38 seconds of each day turns into something to be celebrated. It’s quite a phenomenon.

On my car ride into work I decided to download “Baby Got Back” to my iPhone because I like it so much (shit, texting may be illegal now, but downloading ain’t). As I was scrolling through Sir Mix A Lot songs for 99 cents, I came across a song title that jumped out at me like woman with a square butt in a Burger King: “Buttermilk Biscuits” – a song to which I learned a dance routine with my fourth-grade dance troupe.

It couldn’t be, I thought… The song we danced to came from a demo tape of one of the friends of one of our high-school girl choreographers, and the guy responsible for the demo tape even came out to the high-school football game to watch us perform our dance routine to the song. It couldn’t have been, could it?

Once I got to work I had to search for biography info on Sir Mix A Lot, and I’ve got to tell you, there’s absolutely nothing that links him to the deep south or Louisiana, the place the guy with the demo tape supposedly lived at the time of my fourth-grade dance. I did, however, learn some interesting and unknown facts about Sir Mix A Lot, like the fact that he sampled David Bowie’s “Fame”, which almost blew my mind because I initially thought this was the same “Fame” from the dancing movie, which just last night we choreographed a dance to for our dance-off against Gotham Girls at tomorrow’s after party, but it turns out it’s not the same “Fame” after all…

Still, I got some satisfaction from knowing that those dance-choreographing high school girls who favored the thin and popular fourth-graders over me (and made me hate myself because my thighs touched when my knees were together) were the same high school girls who picked that song by the artist who would later be made famous for his love of big butts. Take that, bitches!

Really, we have nothing better to do than to make a stink over girls in a commercial with boxes in their pants? Over the glorification of something most of us have? Many, due to eating too much fast food? Complainers, don’t even front. Please, take pride in your back!

1 comment:

5-7-5 said...

May I say that the whole commercial kinda' freaked me out a bit? I watched it a few more times this morning to double check and yeah, dude, it just freaked me out again.

I do not understand with all the other BS that's out there how this commercial can be cited for objectification, the commercial is just ... odd.

We're having a discussion about it; so, kudos to the marketing folks who came up with one of the most different parings I've ever seen.

I just watched it again. I don't get it.

I kind of have a complex now. I wish my round rear were more of a square and that there was a BK close to the office.