by Morgan Hunt
“You know I’m all about that bass, about that bass. No treble.”
If you’ve heard Meghan Trainor’s summer anthem then there’s a chance the catchy tune stuck in your head just by reading that one sentence.
While on the surface the song just seems to be about loving deep bass and not liking flat notes, when you actually listen to the lyrics, “All About That Bass” is a body acceptance ballad that frankly, I am not all about.
Hearing the song for the first time, it was accompanied by video and I was totally against the anthem from the start. I’m not against body acceptance at all. As someone who grew up being mocked for their size, I feel it’s important to encourage girls to feel comfortable in their body but not in the way this song does.
Trainor blatantly shames girls for being thin and not having the assets that she thinks she has. “Skinny shaming” isn’t the way to get society to accept larger figures. People are built in all different ways and aspire to be all different sizes. I believe as long as these weights in a healthful way, it’s fine to be, or aspire to be, any size you please.
Another major flaw with the lyrics that Trainor seems to cast shade on girls considered society’s idea of skinny and beautiful while pointing out that she has all the things that she believes men find attractive. She claims her mother told her that “boys like a little more booty to hold at night” and she has “that boom boom that all the boys chase. All the junk in all the right places”. This is comical for several reasons:
First, saying that it’s not right to be a Barbie doll idea of perfect but it’s great to be the bootylicious figure that men crave is condescending. If it’s wrong to fit one standard then why is it right to fit another? This is teaching young girls that they have to live up to the expectations of men in order to be considered beautiful while we should be teaching them they should be accepting of their own body no matter what other people think.
Second, it goes without saying that people find attraction in different things in different ways. Not all men want a big booty to sleep next to at night. That’s just life. Everyone has a type and for some that’s a model thin girl while for others it’s bigger girls but just because someone has a big butt doesn’t mean guys will be flocking all over them, especially not for all the right reasons.
I mentioned that I first heard the song accompanied by the video and I did so to make this point: Trainor is not a plus sized girl. I would even argue that Trainor is not as bootylicious as she believes she is, but maybe I am not the one to decide that.
She states in the song that she’s not a size two and by watching the video, that’s pretty clear, but it’s still obvious that she probably doesn’t have to shop at any specialty stores to purchase clothing of her size. She has the same marketability as stars like J-Lo, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé: she’s thick.
Being healthy and thick is becoming more and more accepted in the mainstream and even in places like high fashion, as seen through Chromat’s use of plus size models during their New York Fashion Week show. There’s now an increasing pressure being placed on people to be fit and less pressure to be model thin, especially during this body acceptance movement. TV shows and magazines are featuring bigger people and everyone is totally fine with this.
As a society, we are obsessed with vanity but also with body acceptance, especially when it comes to young girls. Some people grow up to be five foot nine inches and weigh 130 pounds naturally while others end up with a stocky, shorter frame.
Guess what? That’s okay.
To build a better future for our children, we need to push the ideas of fitness and happiness more than being someone else’s vision of beautiful. Trainor is receiving so much praise for singing a song about being thick, but I truly believe she missed the mark.