Is Anyone Surprised That Blake Lively Is This #Problematic?
Blake Lively is at Cannes promoting her pregnancy, supporting her husband and doing whatever else it is celebrities do at Cannes. Much digital ink has been blogged about her new pregnancy and her baby bump and how #brave and #powerful and #beautiful she looks as a pregnant woman daring to dress on the red carpet in couture instead of a bed sheet belted at the waist with an extension cord. But despite everyone flapping their jaw over how radiant she looks in couture with a visibly pregnant belly, she’s having a really great time at Cannes, guys!
Here she is wishing a bird would poop on her head.
Here she is admiring(?) la tour Eiffel made out of lipsticks and nail polish. Cool, cool.
A photo posted by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on
And, here she is showing off a red carpet shot from the front and the back and quoting Sir Mix-A-Lot while she’s at it.
On the problematic scale, with 1 being “no longer alive” and 10 being Rachel Dolezal, this charts around an eight. But, is anyone actualy surprised? Blake Lively is best known for wearing low-cut sweaters on a teen drama that was a season too long and marrying Deadpool. She also started – and then quickly shuttered – Preserve, a lifestyle site that drew most of its inspiration from a glorious time in America’s history: the Antebellum South! That, my friends, is the reason why this twist in Lively’s story is less of surprise and more of a shrug.
For the three people in the world who don’t get this reference and have never heard “Baby Got Back,” please go away, listen to the song, contextualize it for yourself and return. For the rest of you: Blake Ellender Lively is from Tarzana, a city in the Valley in Southern California that is 70% white. Blake Lively has most likely never set foot in Oakland, unless it was in Piedmont, by accident. Maybe Rockridge, but that’s it. Blake Lively’s listening comprehension skills are lacking beause, as Ira Madison III at MTV writes,
You know who writes this type of caption? Some soccer mom on her way to read The Da Vinci Code for the third time in book club, because “it’s just full of so many twists and oh, did I forget to buy brie at Trader Joe’s? I should text Karen to buy some.”
The “L.A. face” Lively refers to is not her face; it’s not a white face to begin with. This song and its message aren’t really for her. “But wait!” you say. “A song is a song! It’s for everyone! Everything is for everyone!”If you don’t believe me, let Sir Mix-a-lot tell it like it is. On a podcast with the Huffington Post, he clarified his intent behind the song:
“The black, female body was not accepted as the norm anywhere. For years, all you saw on television was overweight black maids or black women who would assimilate to white culture, as far as the look is concerned… I wanted to do something that was tongue-in-cheek but, at the same time, making a real point.”
If you squint and think about it really hard, this is exactly some shit that you’d expect Serena van der Woodsen to do. Lively is the soccer mom; she’s the girl you’ve known since college who loves, loves loves Beyoncé but clutches her purse closer to her body when she walks by a black man on a street at night. She got married on a plantation, for Christ’s sake. It’s not surprising in the slightest that this is what she’d do, but it’s annoying just the same.