3 Reasons Why Meghan Trainer's "All About that Bass" is the WORST Kind of "Empowering"

by - Saturday, October 25, 2014

So I wrote the majority of this blog a few weeks ago, and a day later my Dad and his wife both proclaimed their love for this song, so I didn't post it, because I didn't want it to seem like I was calling them out specifically (Pagmanda, I love you both, but your taste in trashy pop music really is the worst, which is weird because you have great taste in non-trashy msic). This piece of ear garbage has inexplicably picked up steam, and now I can't avoid it, so I went from hating it to REALLY hating it. It's attempts at body positivity are really ridiculous and the worst this sort of pseuo-feminist positivity has to offer. The ugly isn't even all that hidden. And here's why:

1. "Yeah, my mama she told me don't worry about your size
She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."

 Liking parts of your body because that's what boys like is a fool's game- You know what kinds of girls bodies heteronormative boys seem to like? All kinds, because every person has their own taste and attractions. I have seen in my 28 years that they mostly like bodies that will have sex with them best. Male approval of your looks is one of the cheapest and least valuable things in the world; if their desire based on your looks was all you needed to feel good about yourself, we would all feel amazing all the time. Look elsewhere.

2. "I'm bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that"

Being nasty about skinny girls isn't being "body positive" it's being a jerk- I said it and I mean it. I get it that photoshop and magazines and all that nonsense aggrandize a body ideal no one can reach. That being said, antagonizing people with a body- type you feel antagonized by doesn't help anyone. They aren't an image, they are a person- just like you. Rather than feel angry at people who get high grades on some perceived social aesthetic scale shouldn't make you mad at them- be pissed that the scale exists at all (and stop buying those magazines!). You are perpetuating all sorts o assumptions about our visual presence defining our value as women, when really our body type has very little to do with our value as people. And while we are at it, though I can't blame Meghan for this one, a curvier body is no more "real" than a skinny or small one. You know whose body isn't real? Ghosts. Hallucinations. Mannequins.

3. "Yeah, it's pretty clear, I ain't no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I'm supposed to do" 

"You know I won't be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll"

Comparing yourself to someone else, no matter how you feel you stack up, will never really empower you. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, and choosing to play that game means you have already lost- You know, for as secure as Trainer says she feels about her body, she spends most of her time talking about another shape (ok technically she mostly talks about that bass, but I am trying to scrape that stupid metaphor off my brain). Why can she only feel good about herself when she is putting someone else down? We as girls are prepped and trained to gauge our own success and value against others, and honestly, has that ever served you well? Has it lasted? Has it helped your bonds with other women or helped you get to know someone new? So why do we do it? This song isn't about the glory of loving yourself, it's about trying to feel better by putting down what we are not. It's the mean middle school girl of pop songs, in that passive agressie bitchiness that is many women at their worst. Plus, it really is unrelenting on the radio, only being topped by Taylor Swift's rapping. We can do better, for goodness sakes.

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