Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt.

A recent study from scholars at the University of Nebraska concluded that both men and women gazed more at women’s chests and waists and less on their faces.  Women with bigger breasts and smaller waists (the typical “hourglass” shape that represents a feminine  “ideal”) received longer looks.  Essentially Gervais and colleagues have confirmed something that the infamous Sir Mix A Lot proposed in his 1992 prologue to the iconic music video Baby Got Back: women and men check out women’s bodies.  In case you’ve been blessed to forget that particular part of the 1990’s, I present you with the lyrics:

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt.
It is so big. She looks like,
one of those rap guys’ girlfriends.
But, you know, who understands those rap guys?
They only talk to her, because,
she looks like a total prostitute, ‘kay?
I mean, her butt, is just so big.
I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s like,
out there, I mean – gross. Look!
She’s just so … black!

So, this basically changes everything!! We all objectify!!

But before you get all

I ask that you hold your collective horses.  Gervais suggests that this finding might represent an evolutionary response to the dynamic between scarce resources and fertility, where men associate shapely women with childbearing and women see shapeliness as competition.  Interestingly, men tended to rate women’s personality on their looks, where more curvy women tended to be rated as having better personalities.”That’s weird, right?” Said no slightly chubby, friend-zoned girl ever.

In case you got a bit nostalgic reading the poetically elegant genius of Sir Mix A Lot, I present to you his famed video.  Afterall, I shouldn’t be the only one walking around with this particular ear worm today:
You’re welcome.

Author: Jessica Bishop-Royse

Jessica Bishop-Royse is the SSRC’s Senior Research Methodologist. Her areas of interest include: health disparities, demography, crime, methods, and statistics. She often finds herself navigating the fields of sociology, demography, epidemiology, medicine, public health, and policy. She was broadly trained in data collection, Stata, quantitative research methodology, as well as statistics. She has experience with multi-level analyses, survival analyses, and multivariate regression. Outside of the work context, Jessi is interested in writing, reading, travel, photography, and sport.

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