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Flashback Friday: ‘Bootylicious’ by Destiny’s Child

Photo: EW
Photo: EW

Birthing the era of the booty, ‘Bootylicious’ was the second single of the Destiny’s Child’s album, ‘Survivor’. A song about being confident about the curves God gave you, this self-love and confidence driven message was deliverT via gold teeth, big chains and loud colors. Inspiring women of all shapes and sizes to wear both zebra and leopard prints, and top it off with a 27-piece.

Visuals for this video was trashy and dare I say the phrase that irritates my soul, ghetto fabulous. Yet, I digress, because not only was this song a huge hit, it was a pivotal moment for Beyoncé, for not only celebrating confidence in one’s body image. Opening up with wacky dancers dressed in bright colors, gold chains and fur boats in between the crazy was the supreme woman who rocks, Stevie Nicks playing her infamous 16th note guitar riff of her 1981 single ‘Edge of Seventeen’. Quickly after, you see the young girls of Destiny’s Child dressed in a yellow mama Knowles design, pushing one another for their chance to be in front of the camera to say their unique line. First, a long-feathered purple pimp hat-wearing Beyoncé sings, “Kelly, can you handle this?”, a short red-streaked asymmetrical Kelley scoots to the front and sings, “Michelle can you handle this?” Finally, a dainty Michelle sings, “Beyoncé can you handle this?” Each of them flicking their tongues across their false gold on their teeth, and all three sing in unison “I don’t think you can handle this.” The rest of the video is an updated dance version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, and the rest of girls (mainly Beyoncé) gyrating their booties and popping their pelvises while ad-libbing a high pitched, “Ah”.

It kind of makes me wonder if Destiny’s Child knew how powerful the message was at the time. A song about loving all of your curves mashed up with Nick’s strumming guitar riff caused people from all different races to identify women with round butts to be the “Highest of Class” — in my Kanye West voice. Did Destiny’s Child realize that their song would ignite a fire that would light up the hearts of girls, like myself, who always had something round and right? Probably.

Well, after seeing this video, I skipped school and went to Fairlane Mall and got some sequin tight leopard / zebra print pants and a belly-button ring to boot. Shit I was inspired. Let’s face it, the world needed Bootylicious.


Written by Manny King John

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