Listening to (and belting out) Top 40 songs in the car is non-negotiable if you’re riding along with me. I love the bubble-gum-for-your-brain songs and gush over new pop tunes. However, I also identify as a feminist and am inclined to listen to these songs with critical ears, ready to pick up on any all-too-common sexist remarks. So, when the radio host proclaimed, “I’ll be playing a song from Meghan Trainor, called ‘All About That Bass’ – some call this catchy song the new pro-women song of the decade,” you could safely assume that I was beyond excited to hear it.
At this point, I was incredibly impressed with the song. “Finally!” I thought, “A pop song that calls out incredibly damaging societal practices… especially body shaming.” After a few more body-affirming lines, however, the song quickly took a turn for the worse. For me, it comes down to ten simple words. She mentions how her mother told her to not worry about her size, the reason being that “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” As the lyrics washed over me, I lowered the volume and sighed. Within that short refrain, the entire song’s message was tainted.
Although earlier Meghan preached body positivity and self-confidence regardless of one’s outer beauty and size, those ten words suggest that the only way a female can achieve complete body-acceptance is still through male validation. The only reason a girl should take pleasure in her body is because boys enjoy (and are entitled to) her more voluptuous features. This lyric merely reinforces deeply entrenched gender roles within our society, as well as excludes women/girls who are not interested in men/boys or any gender at all.
(Read the full article here)