Some of you might have heard about Meghan Trainor, the 20 year old musician from Nantucket who has written songs for Rascal Flatts and Sabrina Carpenter (the girl who plays spunky best friend Riley on Girl Meets World), among others. If you haven’t heard of Trainor, well, you’re about to because her debut single, “All About That Bass” is too damn important for y’all to stay ignorant much longer.
“All About That Bass” is a bouncy, bubbly bubblegum bop of a song that perfectly blends 1950s soda fountain effervescence with a radio-ready 2014 pop sass. Oh, and did I mention that it’s lyrics are forward-thinking, body-positive affirmations for women of all shapes and sizes.
The video begins with a blonde Trainor against a pink background, juxtaposing stereotypically “girly” imagery with the lyrics that praise “that bass” [i.e.: dat ass!] The first verse makes a clear statement that Trainor is declaring her independence from the stick-thin models fetishized and praised by current pop culture standards.
Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I’m supposed to do
Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places
She’s making a bold statement: boys chase real women. It’s a refreshing departure from male-dominated songs that fantasize unrealistic body dimensions. She’s also calling out our cultures obsession with photoshop, saying what we all know, but can’t seem to get enough of regardless: that these airbrushed models aren’t the real deal, and that real-deal beauty comes from how we feel about ourselves, not by what magazines or TV shows or movies tell us it should be.
I see the magazines workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty beauty, just raise ’em up
Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
The video sees Trainor opposite a series of realistic women, of all colors and sizes (Spoiler: all of them are beautiful in their own way), and a Ken Doll-like man, equipped with a Hamptons-esque sweater tied around his neck. They’re sitting around a dinner table filled with cupcakes and other treats, and at one point, she touches his face, almost checking to see if he’s something more than just shiny hard plastic.
Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says boys like a little more booty to hold at night
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along
What I think is most brave about this song, and its accompanying music video, is that it’s unabashedly unafraid to call everyone out while simultaneously promoting a healthier body image:
I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
No I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top
By saying, “skinny bitches,” but following it up with “No I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat,” Trainor is doing two things:
- She’s declaring war on “Skinny”
- She’s saying that she knows that everyone of all body shapes can take issue with how they look, and that it’s not just limited to someone who might actually be overweight.
There are so many people, as evidenced by the comment section in Sam Smith and the Gay Male Body Archetype, who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder; what we need are more mainstream songs/videos/films/television shows that promote this kind of Christina Aguilerian way of thinking that we are beautiful, no matter what, and if others don’t think so, fuck ’em!
Just because you’re “all about that bass,” doesn’t mean you’re also not one hot piece of ass!
Brava, Meghan Trainor, for crafting an infectious pop jam that takes a bite out of a real issue regarding media perception and body image!