Like lots of women, I’m aching for more body positivity in pop culture. Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” appears to be a great example of a body positive song with lyrics such as, “I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop / We know that shit ain’t real” and “‘Cause every inch of you is perfect / From the bottom to the top.”
But I’m not buying it.
This song’s approach to body positivity misses the mark in more than one way.
The song’s message tells listeners that girls and women should embrace their curves (“bass”) because that’s what boys like. Not because all bodies are good bodies. Not because the beauty standards we are held to are complete garbage. But because you will get attention from men.
Exhibit A: “Yeah, my mama she told me, ‘Don’t worry about your size’ / She says, ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.'”
Exhibit B: “‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase”.
When will we stop teaching women and girls that their worth is strictly tied to their ability to be attractive in the eyes of men?!
I’d like to say if those simple lyrics were excluded, that the song would be awesome, but I’ve got beef with these lyrics, too: “I’m bringing booty back / Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.”
It’s important to note that thin women don’t experience the world the way fat women do; it’s easier to be thin in a world that values thin bodies. But can we stop acting like the best way to counter fat shaming is by thin shaming?! All bodies are valuable and worthy of the same respect. Yes, even “stick figure Barbie dolls.”
C’mon, ladies. We can get more creative than that. We can celebrate our bodies without shaming anyone for their body shape or size.
Be about that bass. But be about that treble and everything in between as well. There are as many bodies as there are people in this world, and yours is just as worthy of love and admiration as the next.
Stacey is a bookworm who loves nature and making people happy. She enjoys utilizing the tools she gained from her Women and Gender Studies degree to critique media and the world around her from a feminist perspective.