Sunday, April 19, 2015

Michael Buble Gets Too Cheeky

by Melissa Scott

Known for writing and singing adoring songs about the beauty and charm of women, Michael Buble’s latest praise of female attributes arguably crossed a line. While vacationing in Miami with his wife Luisana Lopilato last week, Buble posted a classic “bubble butt” example on Instagram a little too zealously. The “sexist”-laced backlash he received as a result overstretched the issue.

Buble posted a photo including the oblivious woman’s butt, while he smirked in the foreground. The girl wore decently tight black shorts; nearly one-third of her bottom hung out. Buble captioned his post, “There was something about this photo Lu took that seemed worthy of Instagram.” He adjoined a list of hash-tags saying: “#myhumps #babygotback #hungryshorts  #beautifulbum.” 

Following his post, social media exploded with criticism of body-shaming. Commenters fervently accused, “did you ask her permission to post that?” and “would you say what you hashtagged to her face?” One commenter even remarked “that’s something I would never imagine him doing!” Refinery29’s Elizabeth Kiefer posted an angry retort, scorning Buble’s objectification, especially from the standpoint of a celebrity:

Snapping a clandestine photo of a woman you don’t know in a public place and sharing it with the million people tuned into your Instagram account—even if you are being complimentary—is messed up. It boils a person down to their most diminished and least important form: what they look like. It’s sexist and creepy. And, women of the world, including the ones with ample bottoms in bike shorts, deserve better than that.

Buble quickly responded apologetically, posting a statement admitting his error.

Anybody who knows me would never misinterpret the message of the photo my wife took in Miami that seems to have caused unexpected rage by some people. I do not court controversy. But I realize that a photo that was meant to be complimentary and lighthearted has turned into a questionable issue. For the record, It hurts me deeply that anyone would think that I would disrespect women or be insulting to any human being. I was not brought up that way and it is not in my character. I regret that there are people out there who found the photo offensive. That was not and is not my intention. Women are to be celebrated, loved, respected, honored and revered. I’ve spent my life believing that and will continue to do so.

Poor Buble. Yes—posing with an unaware woman’s voluptuous backside and dispatching that picture to over a million followers may not have earned top judgment awards. Especially since he's known for singing exaltations of women on bended knee.  But the fact is . . . the girl had a great rump.

Buble admired every angle, albeit via social media. If “Lu” had posted the picture, maybe the issue wouldn't have been so shocking. The girl clearly knew her butt looked good. There’s no way she wore those spandex otherwise. And personally, had Michael Buble noticed my butt, and felt the need to take a selfie with it, I say “Buble, knock yourself out.”  

If any other ordinary person had posted that same picture—especially a male—I would guess his “likes” would be through the roof. The “People of Wal-mart” site doesn't exist for nothing--sometimes sharing documented amusement is necessary. Unfortunately, Buble, with his four Grammys, is barred from the fun. There are in fact some things that celebrities aren't allowed to do, and that includes posting pictures of random girls’ butts on Instagram and captioning them “beautifulbum.”

In fact, while people criticized Buble for his indecency, a similar crowd condemned Pink after her appearance at the John Wayne 30th Annual Odyssey Ball in Beverly Hills, honoring Maggie DiNome for her contributions fighting cancer. The very same body-shaming slams made against Buble were thrown at Pink. The media pounced viciously on Pink’s physical weight gain and apparently unflattering dress choice. Pink quickly slammed back. She tweeted, “I can see that some of you are concerned about me from your comments about my weight.” After scorning the media’s greater interest in her appearance than the cancer benefit cause, she tastefully concluded, “While I admit that the dress didn't photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful.”

In light of both situations, I think the slams made against Pink were much more substantial and worthy of notice. Buble make a stupid mistake; there’s no need to charge him with making sexist slurs. But when body image becomes more news-worthy than receiving an award for saving lives, Buble isn't the primary one who should be ashamed.
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