I’m not all about that bass or that anaconda
September 17, 2014
Recently released female-led hit songs “All About That Bass” and “Anaconda,” respectively by Meghan Trainor and Nicki Minaj, have won replays and acclaim all around the world for two very different reasons: One is a bubblegum pop song that features catchy lyrics and numerous puns, while the other is an almost raunchy, but very addicting hip-hop song with an obvious inclusion of swear words and twerking alike.
However, both songs have one thing in common: They include a body-positive message for young women.
Let me clarify; they both tried to include a body positive message for young women. While it may seem like both songs want to bring body positive ideas toward girls that are curvier, they also both bash on another body type, perpetuating the idea that one body type is better than another.
Yes, even “All About That Bass,” with its lyrics about how deceiving Photoshop is and its reminder that every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” The song is still problematic because it doesn’t stick to what the true idea of positive self-image is.
Body positivity involves boosting body image no matter what weight, size or dimension a person may be. Neither song does that.
Both songs seem to be very exclusive in what they deem worthy of loving about your body, and even worse, they get this message across by putting down other body sizes.
In “All About That Bass”, Trainor states, “I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.” Similarly, in “Anaconda”, Minaj repeatedly states, “f*ck the skinny bitches.”
At what point did body-positive become another way for us to police each other on how we look? If these songs truly wanted to encourage a more positive body image for women, they wouldn’t have to put down other sizes in the process.
While it is extremely true that women who are skinnier tend to be represented more in media, excluding a sector of women in order to achieve “body positivity” doesn’t stop the vicious cycle of young girls and boys hating their appearances.
Let’s look at this from a college student perspective.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders says that 58 percent of female students felt pressure to be a certain weight and 83 percent dieted for weight loss purposes, based on a survey of 185 female students on a college campus.
However, this problem is not exclusive to college females. According to Eating for Life Alliance, “research also suggests that just as many men are dissatisfied with their body as women,” and cited that at least 45 percent of college men exercise to lose weight.
We’re creating a society in which the laundry list for the ideal standard of “beautiful” is running too long to keep up with. The number of healthy girls and guys who diet in order to lose weight is an ever-growing number. Songs such as “Anaconda” and “All About That Bass” are not helping people see their bodies for what they truly are: normal — normal meaning that everyone has different body types — big, little and all else in between.
Even further, “All About That Bass” seems to set new standards of beauty by implying that the only reason to love your body is because it’s pleasurable to a man. Trainor states in her song, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” This is where singer Meghan Trainor crosses into extremely dangerous territory.
By allowing girls to think that a certain body type is “more attractive” to men, we’re teaching them to live up to the expectations of males in order to be considered beautiful rather than accepting their own figure no matter the standards others hold.
Let me repeat that: We’re teaching girls that their worth is dependent on what another group of individuals think of them.
Therefore, while these songs may not seem like a bad start to a supposed body-positive movement in media, we need to create music that encourages people of all shapes and sizes to feel comfortable in their own bodies — songs that empower without bashing on another group of people.
We should find a way to lay down our pitchforks and start appreciating all thin, thick and everything-in-between bodies.
Kaanan is a freshman in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected]