The sartorial choices at the Cannes Film Festival are always the subject of heated discussions, but this controversy doesn't exactly stem from the fit of a dress: Blake Lively's Instagram post of her Atelier Versace gown, which she captioned with a Sir Mix-A-Lot lyric, received heavy backlash from online watchers of the red carpet.
While the Gossip Girl star hasn't commented on the outrage, the rapper himself came to her defense in an interview with Pret-A-Reporter, saying he was "surprised" at the reaction and attempting to clear up the meaning of his song "Baby Got Back," once and for all.
'L.A. Face With An Oakland Booty'
So what could trigger more rage than a celebrity mismatching her lipstick and her dress? Lively posted two pics of herself parading on the Cannes carpet, front and back, and commented with a short "L.A. face and Oakland booty." Granted, she didn't specify she was quoting a hit song of the '90s, but the response was swift and merciless.
For the angry Twittersphere, she was implying that her pretty face was white, and her curvy bottom a black attribute — intentionally or not, she was being racist.
'I Was A Little Surprised At The Criticism'
Following the uproar, Sir Mix-A-Lot took to the media to explain what he had in mind when writing the song, and why he was surprised that there'd be such hard criticism, especially from the black community. For him, "L.A. face with an Oakland booty" wasn't a matter of pitting white and black beauty ideals against each other — it was about pointing out that in a society that used to be ruled by Hollywood standards, the two could actually co-exist.
For her 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 went on to call the reference "a nod of approval."
I think she's saying, "I've got that Oakland booty," or "I'm trying to get it." 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.
He also pointed out that when Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian used the phrase a few years prior, they received little to none of the angry wave that hit Lively.
While Blake Lively hasn't addressed the backlash, let's just hope that this won't open the door to more intense scrutiny of her Instagram, because I've got a lot of questions about that pile of nail polish covered in whipped cream.
What do you think of Blake Lively's use of Sir Mix-A-Lot's lyrics?