O the joys of pop music. It is either really annoying or really good. It can also be middle of the road, where it has some great things going for it but it falls a bit short in some areas. Now I don’t listen to much pop music/mainstream music, I only started back because I now have a car that has a working radio. Lately, I have noticed a movement in music that is attempting to be body positive. Which is a great thing! I love that. But, at the same time, most of the songs that seem to be body positive are falling a bit short. A prime example is the song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor.
I have a love-hate relationship with this song. I still don’t know if I like it, but it is a good pop song because it is catchy and I always listen to it (it is like Britney Spears, but Britney Spears reminds me of my childhood….). “All About That Bass” has some great body positive energy and lyrics but it does give some backhanded compliments to skinny girls and to males themselves. There is also the whole argument about the video and black women being used as props but I am not going to address that. I want to dissect the pros and cons of this song. I still cannot decide if I like it or not, but, I want to show that while people are wanting to show more body diversity and positivity, we are still have a long way to go….
On a side note, when I first heard this song I actually thought it was gonna be about bass as in the form of dubstep or electronic music, not bass as in a booty…..
1) She is happy about her size
This comes out right at the first of the song, “Yeah, it’s pretty clear I ain’t no size two, but I can shake it like I’m supposed to do”. We all should love our size. Each and every one of us is completely different and made by God so we should learn to love how he made us and be happy with our shape.
2) She sings that we are perfect
The lyrics, “every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”. Is sweet. It is a great reminder to the pro up above. We are perfect in our shape because God made us. When this song does get stuck in my head that lyric is sung over and over and over and over again in my brain jukebox.
3) Her mom gave great advice!
If her mom really said to her, “Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size”. That is something all mom’s need to be relaying to their children. It isn’t about the size of our bodies…it is about the size of our hearts, our laughter, our soul, our personality etc…Children learn body image habits and acceptance from their parents and family. This is no different than the other things parents teach their kids like love, kindness, selflessness, etc…
4) Photoshop is bogus
“I see the magazines working that photoshop. We know that shit ain’t real, come on now and make it stop. If you got beauty beauty then raise it up because every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”.
Everyone will agree that photoshop has definitely impacted body image in a negative light. You can take one person and change everything about them with a few simple swipes of a computer program. There you can take what was made specifically for you and no one else and then change it to someone else’s ideal. The beauty ideal is what companies want you to think and feel so you will buy their products. It is made up. Also, an ideal, just like a norm, is made by others put on you. Not your own experiences or own thoughts. So each and every one of us needs to think about our own beliefs and look inside our hearts to define for ourselves what beauty is and not rely on photoshop and big business.
1) Just because you don’t have a booty doesn’t mean you can’t shake it shake it
I know plenty of slender, what people would call “bootyless”, individuals who can shake it shake it with the best of them. It isn’t about how big it is, really it is more about how you can manipulate your spine, low back, hips, and muscles. I can’t shake it. I can move my hips in a Latin ballroom way, but ask me to shake my rump and it doesn’t go. But, I have been in dance classes where girls can shake their tailfeather’s but do not know how to do ballroom hips. It is ok. Really, are we suppose to shake it shake it? I have no desire to shake my butt. If you do then great! Also, last time I checked, there is no dance syllabus on how to properly shake it shake it.
Skinny Bitch. That is phrase used a lot, not just in this song but in everyday life. In movies, in media, in TV, it is equated that if you are skinny then you are a bitch. Just like people think that fat people are lazy. These are ideals/images/stereotypes that have been pushed into our brains by society. I know skinny people who are lazy. I know fat people who are hard workers. I know skinny people who don’t take care of themselves. I know fat people who are very health conscious. So honestly these stereotypes are wrong. It is up to us to stand up, change the stereotypes, or not give in to what they are. We make a choice. We can make a change.
3) All guys like bigger women
“Boys like a little more booty to hold at night”, “Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase”.
If this were true, then I would have never ever been on a date, yet alone married. A lot of dancers would not be married. Models would not be married. Athletes would not be married. Sure, there is some anthropological evidence that guys look at hips and breasts to decide if a mate can have a child but things are changing. I definitely do not send signals out via my body that I am ready to have your child (good thing my hubby and I are DINKS). That doesn’t make me any less of a woman or less attractive. Guys will find attractive whatever they find attractive. Be it a beautiful big woman or a petite, looks like they are 12 years old woman. You cannot pigeon hold men, this classification is no different than saying only real women have curves.
4) If we don’t have a booty then we want one
This is something that is in the video. A white, slender, female model seems to long for a booty of an African-American female. That alone seems sort of stereotypical, as well as wrong. I do not have a booty and I don’t want one. I am sure I am not the only one. I am sure there are those that want a bigger butt. But why do they want one? Could it be because society is saying that you aren’t a woman without a big butt? Wait, let us call it, “curves”.Or do they want one for themselves? Also, African-American women are not the only women that have booty. All races have females with booties and all races have those without (even though technically we all have booty, because the butt is made up of 3 muscles and everyone on earth has those 3 muscles).
What are your thoughts?