Who’s Afraid Of Mario’s Butt?

Clearly, the creators of The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

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For a time, it was all about that bass. Women’s magazines that once advised readers on how to “minimize” their rear ends instead touted products that sculpted, padded, and raised. BBLs were the surgery du jour. Nicki Minaj’s anaconda didn’t want none unless you got buns, hun.

Now, amid the Ozempic craze and ever-fluctuating fashion trends, America teeters on the edge of succumbing once again to the butt’s (maybe our world’s?) greatest foe: Fear of the Ass (FOTA). Rooted in racism, sexism, and a pearl-clutching prudishness, FOTA is a formidable beast. When unleashed, it’s capable of swallowing butt cheeks whole — taking silhouettes from Bratz to Barbie overnight.

The latest victim? Our very own Mario. Hero of the Nintendo pantheon and a quintessential everyman, Mario came from humble beginnings as a plumber after presumably emigrating from Chef Boyardee’s kingdom of Italy. Crucial to Mario’s appeal is that he looks like a man of the people: Even as he amassed fame and wealth, he never hired a personal trainer or sought the counsel of a celebrity dermatologist. Rather than a six-pack and a chiseled jawline, he has a giant schnoz and, crucially, an oh-so-juicy booty. His bright blue overalls cling to his sumptuous curves, whether he’s saddled astride a 50cc kart, or executing his signature “ground pound” — a maneuver that sees Mario crush his victim into the ground with his buns of steel.

And yet, as fans were shocked to learn, The Super Mario Bros. Movie expunges Mario’s derriere in its entirety, leaving his rear end almost concave. Through some surgical wizardry, Universal Pictures has extracted every ounce of his booty fat, leaving our mustachioed hero with nought but a sorry excuse for a butt, draped in poorly-tailored, bunched-up denim — and in doing so, they’ve also erased his charisma. Chris “Why Am I the Worst Chris?” Pratt, who voices Mario, whitewashes the character’s Italian ancestry, adding insult to injury. Gone is the spirited plumber who exclaims “Wahoo!” in the face of danger; he’s been replaced by a guy so generic that he might as well be Pratt himself. This isn’t Wario, or even Shadow Mario — morality judgements aside, at least those guys have personality. Whoever this new guy is, it’s not a-you, Mario.

We should have known all along: Mario’s butt was the seat of his power. Take his perky buns away, and you’ll also remove his plucky disposition. The curvy lines that made him friendly and fun, like a cuddly stuffed animal, are essential to his very self.

Rather than leave him like this, I propose a remedy — one I am prepared to petition for in court. (I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure I’m entitled to compensation for my grief.) I call on Universal Pictures to make a sequel to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, titled Super Mario Bros.: Call of Booty, which will see Mario defeat FOTA Bowser in an epic quest to be reunited with his booty. These are the stories our culture needs now: Ones where the bottoms come out on top.

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