Catchy pastel pop music can sometimes be distracting and Meghan Tainor’s “All About That Bass” is no different. At first it’s a fabulous body positive song; but at a closer listen it seems to just be further policing women’s bodies. She’s not the only one that has “the junk in the right places,” and that her mumma said “boys like a little more booty to hold at night”. Another example is in Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, which claims “he don’t like them bony”. Not only is this just another tirade about how women ‘should’ look, but also insinuates that how we look should be directly in line with how men want us to look. I am all for body pride, but as a size 10 with no “booty”, I don’t find this empowering.
Understandably, girls who are bigger get a lot more stick. We see constant images in the media of skinny being better. Clothing stores don’t often make garments that accommodate larger sizes. There are real injustices that larger women face, but we have to be careful not to turn body positivity into further shaming and control. Especially when messages of body positivity become mixed with the idea that girls should care what boys like.
Trainor raises some good points: “you are perfect from head to toe”. But I don’t see anything wrong with being a stick-thin barbie doll too, if that’s your thing. I am proud of the size I am, and just because I don’t have the booty to go with the songs I’m shaking it to, doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to.
I think we should take a step back and remember what it’s really about. We currently live in a world obsessed by the wants of men. A world where women’s bodies are not ours, but displays to please others. By further perpetuating that certain body shapes are better than others because men prefer them, we are perpetrating these toxic ideas further. Whether it’s a man or a woman doing this policing is no different.
While both songs are catchy and are encouraging the fact that girls with booties are beautiful, I think we have to be careful not to shame any shape. Take a page out of Beyoncé’s book and remind yourself everyday that regardless of size, shape, sexual preference or culture, you are flawless.▼
- Evolution: Hummus
- Inspiration: Jane Goodall