Pages

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Problems I Have With Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass"

For those of you unfamiliar with the song:





I normally don't dissect catchy songs trying to send a good message on the internet, but this one has been on my mind (and I admit, stuck in my head) for a while now--enough so that I decided to share what about the song bothers me, despite Trainor's good intentions.

1.) "Every inch of you is perfect" . . . unless you're a skinny girl.

One of the best lines of the song--"'Cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top," is negated in later verses. Case and point:

You know I won't be no stick figure

and

I'm bringing booty back. Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that

So apparently "every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top," unless you're a skinny girl. Because we all know that underweight women have no reason to feel self-conscious about their bodies, right?

The point of the song is that we should feel beautiful regardless of what society's standard of beauty is, but unfortunately "All About That Bass" attempts to achieve this by elevating one body type over another, which just repeats the same problem we have with women and media image in the first place.

2.) Women shouldn't have to measure their personal worth based off what a man wants.

I know I know, sites like BeautyRedefined.org have turned me into somewhat of a feminist. But women and girls alike should feel good about themselves and about how they look because they're comfortable in their own skin. Because they've realized the standards society has placed on them are ridiculous. Because they've striven to build up their own confidence.

However, lyrics such as "boys like a little more booty to hold at night" and "I've got the boom boom that all the boys chase" is encouraging us to measure our beauty by what men want us to look like. Go ahead and tell me I'm stretching things, but those lines do encourage female objectification, however subtly.

Beauty is in the eye of the [male] beholder.

3.) Don't worry about your size. Except you should?

Trainor sings:

My mama she told me don't worry about your size
She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."

So your mother told you don't worry about your size... unless you've got a flat butt? Because if boys like a woman with a grab-able booty (see point #2), then girls who don't have one now have to worry about putting weight on. So really, your mama was lying to you. (Don't worry about your size, but better not lose weight or you won't have any more cuddle-buddies!) (Not to mention the lines are more or less referencing that "more booty" is beneficial only in a sexual context.)


So, there you have it. While I think "All About That Bass" is catchy, and Meghan Trainor is a very talented and well-meaning individual, the song rubs me in too many wrong ways. /feminism

7 comments:

  1. "...have turned me into somewhat of a feminist."

    Heh. You say that like that's a bad thing. (Only 'somewhat'?)

    Anyways. I agree. I also have a silly problem with this song lying in the fact that there were way too many butt anthems this year.

    But this one does bother me too, particularly with the "like I'm supposed to do" line. You're...not 'supposed' to do anything that you don't want to do with your body.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved this song and somewhat blindly never noticed the points you've put across. Although I now agree that the song is very contradictory I can't help but love it.
    The way I see it is as long as her intentions were good what does it really matter. Just enjoy it for what it is, a catchy song, with a good beat. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You make some pretty intriguing points, particularly noting the objectification that is used. That is one thing I hadn't noticed (I'm probably not the best judge in that regards since I only recognize it as a pop ditty instead of something to really grab my attention).

    There's one lyric mentioned here I interpret in a slightly different way, honestly colored by my own perspective as a thickly built girl growing up (think compact runner build with a belly I just knew was the fattest thing in the world until I reached the place of being the overweight woman I am now). This line "I'm bringing booty back. Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that" makes me laugh and shake my head at the same time. Having a big booty was the norm for me growing up, but the magazine covers and the models on the fashion runways didn't have the generous helping on top of their slimmer curves. Having a narrow figure, with the exception of big breasts, was the perfect look so many friends yo-yo dieted and starved to achieve. Buying and wearing jeans was a nightmare (still is lol!) because the "big booty" pushed the backside out quite a bit so a belt was very necessary. Not to keep them up but to keep my undies from being seen in case my shirt rose up in the back (like when sitting down on a chair wth a partly open back). So this line, to me, says this "Hey you chicks that have already been defined as perfect by society's standards, I'm here to let you know that this big booty is perfect, too." Unfortuntely, aligning the possession of generous curves with attracting a man (and as you said so well, putting beauty in the eye of the [male] beholder) does nothing to encourage a woman to simply love herself.

    Things that make think...

    ReplyDelete
  4. So... does this mean you'll write your own version +ukelele? :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You have to go a few lines after the "tell them skinny bitches that" line. The song is really more of an accepting yourself as you are song, and I also wouldn't chide a Mother's reassuring words to her daughter to make her feel better.
    The full lyrics to that section
    "I'm bringing booty back
    Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
    No, I'm just playing. I know you think you're fat
    But I'm here to tell ya
    Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top"

    She goes on to say that every inch of you is perfect to the skinny girls too, however, yes this is a more pro junk in the trunk song, but over all, I believe its a pro love yourself song with some catchy lyrics and bass (pun intended). :p

    Removed and then reposted to fix some typos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But is she kidding? Not really if you look at the rest of the song. Also Skinny girls obviously only have body issues if they think they're fat.

      Still a catchy song

      Delete