Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My butt is like, so not big, but whatever.

I've been following the discussion about gurlesque and valley girls at Johannes Göransson's blog with extra interest, because here in north county San Diego I live closer to the origin of valley girls than I ever have. I kind of enjoy being mistaken for just another blonde local. People have been asking me if I'm from California my whole life.

Ironically reclaiming / using the valley girl stereotype in poetry could be interesting, but it also could be boring--I suppose for me it depends on how the poem does that and if it has any insight into the stereotypes it's performing. I suppose I'll have to read Minnis' book now.

In the mid 90s in Washington, DC, "baby got back " was something that men would say to me on the street, usually something like "Aw, yeahhh, baby got back" when I was walking home from a club early in the morning. Obviously it was unpleasant, but since I was (and still am) a very white girl who knew pretty much nothing about hip-hop, I figured it was a comment on my butt, but beyond that I didn't get it.

What a total idiot I was to be wandering around DC in club gear early in the morning.

Anyway, today, I realized that "baby got back" is a reference to a hip-hop song from the early 90s called, duh, "Baby Got Back." You've all heard it. The song begins with two valley girls talking, in valley-girl speak, about the size of a girl's butt and how her but makes her look black.

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