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Mixed messages from Meghan Trainor

Allison Galbreath

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Illustration by Miles Huffman

I love body-positive messages, those messages that promote loving one’s body at any size. But there’s honestly a lack of them.

At least, a lack of true “body-positive” messages. Especially in music.

What concerns me is that some messages appear to be “body positive” but actually are not as positive as they might seem. In fact, many are still negative and therefore more dangerous in some respects because they are perceived as positive.

One singer in particular comes to mind: Meghan Trainor.

Many have heard of the song “All About that Bass.”

My problem is that many have seen this video as an example of being “body positive” but really is only positive towards one certain type of body. Namely, those that have a big butt.

I’ve touched on this topic before, on the danger of overvaluing beauty. And this song is no different.

Some lyrics that concern me are: “I got that boom boom that all the boys chase and all the right junk in all the right places.” And what about those that don’t have it in all the right places? Are they just out of luck?

As well as “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” That seems like quite the generalization about what boys want.

Or even, “I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do.” I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m “supposed” to do anything with my body.

These lines don’t seem particularly “positive” to me. For certain bodies, yes. But not all.

There are a few good lines, like “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top” but honestly after the majority of the song idealizing big butts I think its safe to say there are some serious mixed messages being sent.

I think the only way to really get out of the cycle of idealizing a certain body type is to promote all bodies, all types of people, all kinds of beauty.

Allison Galbreath can be reached at [email protected] or @agalbreath19 on twitter.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Mixed messages from Meghan Trainor”

  1. Eduardo Gomez on April 8th, 2016 1:23 pm

    I agree with you on the fact that this song sends mixed messages about being body positive, but not solely with the same examples you’ve provided. In addition with the lines you gave as examples, I also think the lines “I won’t be no stick figure, silicone barbie doll,” and “I’m bringing booty back, go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches that,” give a mixed message on the topic of being body positive. These lines are suggesting that any skinny person is fake or a bitch which is not what being body positive means. Being body positive means that you should encourage anyone, regardless of their body type, to be happy with the way their body looks. Meghan Trainer is attempting this but at the same time she criticizes other women who have a slimmer body size.

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Mixed messages from Meghan Trainor