Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Why "I'm All About that Bass," no apologies
It's not surprising that Meghan Trainor's anthem, written on a whim and performed by the songwriter herself because other pop stars didn't want to touch it, has become a big hit. It's fun, it has a totally different sound than anything else on the radio right now, and the bubble-gum-retro video is hilarious.
It's also not surprising that it is taking some criticism for being anti-feminist because it talks about attractiveness in terms of men's preferences, or for not celebrating all body types equally because it uses the phrase "skinny bitches" (even if she says she's "just playing" and wants all women to think they're perfect).
I agree that it would be nice if someone wrote a pop song saying that all women are beautiful, that beauty isn't the only thing that matters anyway, and that women have more important things to do than be decorative. Go ahead, write it. I will buy the single on iTunes.
In the meantime, go ahead and Google "promoting obesity." Then Google "Meghan Trainor promoting obesity." In a world where perfectly lovely (and quite thin, by human standards if not by Hollywood standards) women like Jennifer Lawrence (or Meghan Trainor herself) are expected to defend themselves for appearing in public without apologizing for not losing 20 more pounds, I think an anthem celebrating a curvy body type is okay. It's interesting that Trainor recorded it herself because other artists wouldn't want it. Just recently it made #1 on the Billboard list.
It didn't strike a nerve and serve a need, it wouldn't be such a breakaway hit. I think that songs like this take flack because they are swimming upstream in a world where it really is not okay to admit you like your body if it doesn't fit a narrow "ideal."
"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07