By Ruchi Shah
Meghan Trainor may have succeeded in creating her first hit single, but her attempt at creating a body positive anthem falls flat on its (b)ass. Trainor takes a leaf out of Lily Allen’s “Hard Out Here” in regards to a lack of solidarity. She also takes a leaf out of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” in regards to defining self-worth via heterosexual male affirmation.
Don’t be fooled by the pleasant pastels of Trainor’s music video; it contains the same racist elements as Allen’s. Trainor also reduces her black backup dancers to mere props. Preaching about body acceptance while objectifying the bodies of your black dancers? Shame on you, Trainor. The only thing you’re preaching is #SolidatryIsForWhiteWomen. Trainor’s video further encourages the hypersexualization of black bodies without their consent. Check out 1:47 to see exactly this — a white woman grabbing a black woman’s ass without the slightest hesitation or regard for her permission. That ass has agency and don’t you dare take it away, Trainor.
Now let’s move past the video and onto the lyrics of “All About that Bass.” Trainor says, “Yeah my momma told me don’t worry about your size.” You go momma! Every girl should be told that. But then the song continues, “She says, ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.’” Out of all the overwhelming number of reasons why you shouldn’t worry about your size, Trainor managed to pick the single most invalid one.
This second line embodies precisely what was wrong with One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” When Golden Boys croon, “If only you saw what I could see/You’d understand why I want you so desperately,” they’re sending the same twisted message as Trainor — a woman’s worth is defined through a man’s assessment of her desirability. Polarization of certain bodies is literally the antithesis of what you want a body positive song to promote.
Lastly, Trainor’s tribute to “all” body types also perpetuates polarization of particular body types. Her lyrics are skinny-shaming and pass judgment on women who choose to undergo cosmetic surgery: “You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll.” These body types would be incorporated into a truly body-positive song. It’s a woman’s prerogative to do what she wants with her body (as long as it’s not harmful).
Enough with these pseudo-empowering songs. For some quality music, check out Mz 007’s “I’m Important.” This talented rapper’s lyrics are slayin’ and she’s most definitely licensed to kill.
P.S. For a ***FLAWLESS*** article that further explains everything that’s wrong with Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass,” check out this.