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Oxford University Study Reveals Health Benefits of Big Butts, Supporting Controversial 1986 Study by Sir Mix-A-Lot
By James Papoutsis
15 March 2017
New research conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford has validated the findings of Sir Mix-A-Lot, whose 1986 publication, "Baby Got Back," first challenged long-held views about the correlation between butt size and general health. Published in the journal Def American, the article’s findings were not widely accepted at the time of publication amidst allegations that personal bias had affected the research. The allegations were never denied by Sir Mix-A-Lot whose only response was “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”
Although an outlier in the scientific community for decades, Sir Mix-A-Lot’s work has slowly gained mainstream acceptance. The article is now considered ahead of its time, and supporters note that it was one of the first publications to discuss the role that media plays in changing public perceptions about healthy body sizes.
Sir Mix-A-Lot argued that “while Cosmo says your fat, well I ain’t down with that.”
His claims, controversial at the time, included the recommendation that those with big butts should not try to lose them through exercise. He discouraged the use of “workout tapes by Fonda” since “Fonda ain’t got a motor in the back of her Honda.” Not all forms of exercise were discouraged, however. He suggested that “you can do side bends or sit-ups, but please don’t lose that butt.”
Sir Mix-A-Lot also argued that butt-size affected more than just one’s own health. In a surprising claim, he wrote that even members of the animal kingdom could be affected, noting that anacondas “don’t want none, unless you’ve got buns hun.” The cryptic reference to the motivations of anacondas, which was not well understood at the time of the article’s publication, has resurfaced in scientific circles following the 2014 publication of Dr. Nicki Minaj’s article “Anaconda” which drew heavily on Sir Mix-A-Lot’s earlier research. Despite recent work on the subject, the claim remains a source of controversy in zoological research.
Medical science, however, has warmed to the key claims in Sir Mix-A-Lot’s work and most researchers now agree that big butts do not require medical intervention. Instead, more doctors are following Sir Mix-A-Lot’s recommendation and advising big butted patients to simply “shake it (shake it) shake it (shake it), shake that healthy butt.”
James Papoutsis is a Toronto-based writer and playwright whose work has received numerous arts grants including grants from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. His work has appeared in North American and International publications.