Meghan Trainor’s message of self-acceptance is awesome. The words she’s using to spread her message? Not so much.
Trainor’s hit song, “All About That Bass,” has become an anthem for many women (and men) who don’t fit into a size 2 or meet the standards of how the media feels we should look, which, let’s face it, is pretty much all of us.
On most accounts, the song and it’s video are awesome. Trainor has an amazing and unique voice, she tells people to not worry about their size and she cast the video with super-talented people of all sizes. The problem? At one point, Trainor sings, “I’m bringing booty back/Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that,” and she also has a thin actress in the video who is continually pushed around and is depicted overall in a negative light.
Is it possible to be all about that bass and still love skinny girls? Absolutely. Is it possible to love skinny girls and then refer to them with a derogatory term? I don’t think so.
I also take issue with the fact that Trainor used the term “thigh gap” to describe Ariana Grande in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan magazine. “I like Ariana’s nice thigh-gap. She’s got good legs,” the songstress said to Cosmo. I think it’s great that Trainor chose to compliment a woman who is all about the treble, so to speak, but there is something wrong with her statement: It totally negates the message of her song, which is about self-acceptance, but mostly only if you aren’t skinny. If Trainor truly feels so strongly that not being skinny is more acceptable than being thin, to the point that she felt it necessary to throw the B-word around, she shouldn’t waver in her theory. The term “thigh gap,” in itself, is hugely controversial and often associated with the pro-ana movement know as “thinspiration.” Trainor is not only contradicting herself, but she’s utilizing a term that for most people represents something that cannot be obtained, even though society makes them feel like they should be able to.
The fact that Trainor, in essence, name-calls skinny women in her song and then backpedals by saying that she admires another woman’s skinny legs makes the singer seem petty. I’m not saying that she is, by any means, but the usage of the not-so-nice words detracts from her self-acceptance credo and that’s exactly what society doesn’t need right now.
Trainor has defended her “skinny bitches line” by saying that it was a joke. But, the truth is, words have power and, to most women who are struggling to accept themselves for who they are or what they look like, something as seemingly small as a simple song lyric can have a real effect. It doesn’t matter if the woman is big or small.
The bottom line is, as long as we keep bringing attention to who is too skinny or who is too fat, or whether it’s better to have “more booty to love at night” versus being “fit,” we’re taking away from what all of our intentions should be: Accept everybody, no matter what their appearance.