From Lizzo to Meghan Trainor, music celebrating bigger women has become big business in the era of big people. Perhaps if the 1970s rock band Queen had been led by a woman, particularly a bigger woman, they too would join the hall of fame of body-positive musicians.
Except on Saturday, the Daily Mail reported the band’s blockbuster track, “Fat Bottomed Girls,” was left off the group’s Greatest Hits collection.
Written by guitarist Brian May, the legendary 1978 record served generations as an anthem to male admiration of women with larger-than-average bodies.
“But 45 years later, it appears that lyrics such as ‘left alone with big fat Fanny, she was such a naughty nanny, big woman, you made a bad boy out of me’ and ‘fat bottomed girls, you make the rockin’ world go round’ have been hit by the woke cancel culture,” the Mail reported. “It was such a popular hit for Queen that it appeared fourth on the band’s original 1981 greatest hits album along with Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now and We Will Rock You.”
Last week, however, “Fat Bottomed Girls” was absent from a list of songs put out by Universal Records highlighting Queen’s greatest hits.
While the exact circumstances of the song’s omission from the label remain unclear, an industry insider told the Daily Mail the song was inappropriately singled out.
“It is the talk of the music industry, nobody can work out why such a good-natured fun song can’t be acceptable in today’s society.”
If the song was omitted for its male appreciation for big women, the cancellation is not only ironic under the shadow of Lizzo’s star power but signals a threat to music by other artists who express reverence for women of a larger size. Coincidentally, Lizzo’s stardom has been recently dimmed by accusations of sexual misconduct and more frivolous charges of “fat shaming.”
Queen’s 1978 release of “Fat Bottomed Girls” was a precursor to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s number-one hit to follow 14 years later, “Baby Got Back.” The lyrics were far more explicit, as is typical with rap music. The 1992 song’s opening narrator even characterized a big-bootied black woman as a “prostitute.”
“I mean, her butt, it’s just so big,” an unnamed woman tells her friend named Becky.
The contemporary pro-fat movement operating under the banner of “body positivity” might celebrate music about male adoration for female bodies. But the ensuing cancellation of one of Queen’s most defining songs is a reminder that the movement’s imposition of “health at every size” often only goes one way.