All about the body positivity?

By Chloe Kenyon


Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Bass’ crashed into the U.K charts a number of weeks ago now and is still played on radio stations and music channels all over the country. The hit single is everywhere, chances are even your grandparents have heard it. And while some describe the song as empowering, many others disagree.

On the surface, the song simply seems to involve a woman singing about loving her body. But deeper scrutiny of the lyrics suggests that the song is not quite as innocent as it seems.

Lyrics such as “boys like a little more booty to hold at night” and “all the right junk in all the right places” appear to promote one body type over another.

These words have left some people outraged, especially those that are women of a smaller size. A number of references are made to smaller girls throughout the song such as “stick figure, silicone, Barbie doll” and most shockingly of all “I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.” Of course, after the latter statement, Meghan then goes on to say that she is “just playing.” However, the point is still made.

The song is also guilty of promoting the “big butt trend” that is currently rampant in the media. And while celebrating curves is a good thing, it can also have a negative impact on women that do not necessarily have the attributes that female artists everywhere are raving about.

‘All About That Bass’ does reinforce the idea that not being thin is not a bad thing, which indeed should be celebrated. But it also reintroduces the media’s fixation on the size of the female body and this time suggests that the ideal body type is one with curves.

Music that empowers women is becoming more and more popular and rightly so, but can Trainor’s hit actually be described as such?

The song frequently makes statements about a curvier body type being superior, especially because, as the song claims, men favour this body type the most. But is a piece of music truly empowering to women if it focuses on the opinions that men have of the female body? Or if it promotes one particular body type above another, suggesting one is better? Surely loving what you’ve got simply because men like it is not the best and most empowering message to be delivering to the world.

It is certain that the single can portray a great message to women who meet the criteria that Meghan sings about, but lyrics in the song can certainly alienate those women who might be the “size two” Trainor speaks of, or those that do not have “a little more booty.”

Meghan Trainor can certainly be congratulated for reminding us that the use of Photoshop in the media is inexcusable, portraying false images of women with altered bodies and claiming that this unattainable appearance is “perfect.” But promoting women with curves over those without them is far from the best way of tackling the problem.

It’s obvious that the song in question had good intentions, but unfortunately, is not as empowering as it claims to be. Now then, let’s move off the topic of how our bodies look and what men think of them, shall we?

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