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Many people speculate that Mika wrote this song as a tribute to Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls
," but in promotional materials for Life In Cartoon Motion
, he states that this is not the case at all: "I was flying to Los Angeles the next day and I can never sleep because I hate flying so much. So I was watching trashy television, it was two o'clock in the morning, a Victoria Wood documentary on Channel 4. It was about fat people in the United States and she visited a club called the The Butterfly Lounge, which was the first place of its kind, a club for larger women to hang out in. Skinny women were not being allowed in. The women were amazing and I absolutely felt as if I had to write about them. I muted the television and wrote it straight away. I never expected it on the album, but a few weeks later we recorded it and it's now there. So it is one of my favourite tracks and brilliant to play live. Everyone sings along!"
In an interview on Australian Video Hits, Mika states that his mother is big, his aunties are quite big and as a kid, he was picked on, because he also used to be big, so he was touched by this documentary, and wrote the song in 15 minutes. (thanks, E.J - Townsville, Australia, for above 2)
Mika recorded a special version of this song for an episode of the TV show Ugly Betty, changing the chorus to "Hey Betty, you are beautiful." Mika explained to the Sun newspaper: "Betty is a real fashion icon and we should celebrate anyone like her - genuine individuals who stay true to their own identity. That's what 'Big Girl' is all about so it was the perfect fit to change the song for her. It was a huge honor to be asked to do it. I love the show."
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