If you’ve recently heard Meghan Trainor’s hit single “All About That Bass,” you’d know it’s a ridiculously captivating and upbeat song. Its infectious beat and killer vocals steal everyone’s attention, but the message about body acceptance fueled the song’s quick rise to the top of the charts. In her song, Trainor sings about accepting people whose body types aren’t exactly “size two.” This song is meant to be an uplifting, feel-good song about loving your body, no matter what size you are. However, the song’s fumbling attempt at promoting body acceptance hits some major snags along the way.
“I see the magazines workin’ that Photoshop/We know that s**t ain’t real, C’mon now, make it stop/If you got beauty beauty, just raise ‘em up/
Cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”
This verse is perfect.
It conveys the message that no one needs to do anything to hide their true bodies and faces because everyone is perfect “from the bottom to the top.” Had Trainor just stopped there, there would have been no errors of which one could complain about. However, she bravely, or foolishly, plows on..
These days in music and pop culture, women are often judged based on their “desirability” to men, rather than their personality or character. “All About That Bass” also gets dangerously close to this. Trainor says:
“Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase/And all the right junk in all the right places.”
These lyrics already approach that deep abyss of judging women based on their sex appeal that many songs before it have fallen into. The lyrics imply that the “boom boom” or extra fat of these women are more desirable towards men, as if that’s all the value this extra fat has. The next lyrics shine an even clearer light on it:
“Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size/She says boys like a little more booty to hold tonight.”
Trainor sings about how heavier women don’t need to worry about being too fat, and that is a very honorable message. However, she goes on to say that “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” This is once again devaluing women and judging them solely based on their appeal to men. She is saying that the reason girls don’t have to worry about their size is because men like a little extra plumpness to hold at night. These lyrics make it seem like all that matters about women’s sizes are whether or not men are attracted to them, and it objectifies women.
However, the main issue with this song is that Trainor attempts to boost the confidence of overweight people, but in doing so, she lowers the confidence of thin people. What she should have been doing was getting the message across that everyone should embrace people of all sizes, be it svelte, or curvaceous.
“You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll/So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along”
“I’m bringing booty back/Go ahead and tell them skinny b**ches that.”
These two verses clearly attack thin people. They give the impression that not only are overweight people equal to skinnier people, but what’s more, overweight people are superior. Although her intent was honest and lucid, Trainor puts thin people down in order to lift up heavier people. If she wanted the world to understand that people shouldn’t judge women based on their physique, she has succeeded in doing so for overweight people, but not for the people who are of the “size two”. That is highly hypocritical, and the main reason this song doesn’t get the unanimous support it deserves.
Although clearly Meghan Trainor attemptedto stick up for overweight women, and allow them to feel comfortable with themselves, it was an awkward attempt that caused more problems than it solved. It was like plucking a weed only to have two more grow in its place. “All About That Bass” is a catchy song that gained a lot of popularity very quickly, but the song wasn’t very inspiring on a deeper level. If we stay in the shallow end, the song was spectacular. However, it’s when we delve deeper into the meaning behind the upbeat song, that the true message is shown. And behind the pretty little bows and myriad of fun beats and melodies is an ugly theme that objectifies women and discriminates body types.