So there’s this song that’s being played much more than it should be on radio stations around the world. It’s called All About That Bass and it’s written by Meghan Trainor, a 20-year-old singer singer/song-writer from the US who has been who has been writing songs since she was 11.
You’ve probably definitely heard it. But in case you need a refresher…
When the song was first released, the Mamamia team was cheering. A song about body positivity! A catchy tune! How refreshing! And with lyrics that tell women to embrace their bodies and to call out Photoshop, how could we not?
I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit 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
But our office dance parties were quickly brought to a halt when the social commentary running alongside the song became less about a celebration and more of a critique. According to some commenters, the song is basically just a piece of anti-feminist rubbish.
The lyrics in Meghan Trainor’s song aren’t limited to telling girls they’re perfect. To get her message across, Trainor also makes some mention of “boys who like a little more booty to hold at night” and ‘telling skinny bitches that she’s bringing booty back’.
This from a Slate article called ‘Megan Trainor’s new song is just as anti-feminist as “All About That Bass”:
Hold up. I’m confused.
While the earworm is ostensibly about body positivity, Trainor disses “skinny bitches” and “stick figure[s]”—suggesting that not all bodies are worthy of pride. Trainor assures the adolescent girls who are presumably her target audience, “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top,” but her support for this claim is that “boys like a little more booty”—perfection apparently depends on male approval.
Despite the girl-power packaging, “All About That Bass” reinforces the idea that female bodies exist for men’s pleasure, and that being desired by a man is crucial to a woman’s self-worth. It says it’s all about that bass, but it seems it’s really all about the boys.
Someone FINALLY writes a song empowering your girls and encouraging body positivity and we’re going to take her down for it? Seriously? Have we completely forgotten about the end game here?
What’s wrong with a step in the right direction? There’s nothing like being told you’re ‘doing feminism wrong’ to stop young people from ever trying to do it right.
More from that article:
Regardless of whether Trainor ever makes it to the top of the Billboard charts, it’s time to strip her of the title she’s already been awarded again and again: “role model.”
I don’t know Meghan Trainor and I don’t necessarily condone the use of words like “skinny bitches”. (I did meet a skinny girl once and she was DELIGHTFUL).
But I can only imagine that when she wrote a song dissing the aforementioned “bitches,” she was merely trying to make a point: That a girl should never be made to feel inferior, no matter what her size.
What I hear here is a song telling young girls (or all women for that matter) that the right person will love you for exactly who you. The sentiment is there, and that’s more than we get from most songs released by 20-year-old pop stars.
So isn’t that something worth dancing about?