body-positivity via body shaming

Choosing a text to analyze always seems to be a difficulty for me although a heated debate I was a part of recently during a tutorial regarding feminism and body image in media had me immediately interested in this particular subject.

And so we begin the analysis of ‘All About That Bass’ a song by Meghan Trainor, with its catchy tune and bubbly sound this song easily became a No.1 hit single in America in the summer of 2014.

Mass media including magazines, TV, music and movies are all driving forces in what we deem as norms in todays society especially regarding the shaping of body image, so its good to here positive self

It was quickly seen as a body-positive anthem, preaching the acceptance of your body no matter your size and that is exactly what it does…up to a point.

“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”

This verse is a great start to the song and its message, it enforces what we all know about the images we see in magazines, they are always photoshoped, airbrushed and touched up and without fail even though we know this we constantly see the images as an unreachable goal of what is seen as todays idea of beauty in society. More importantly it’s a message to accept your body no matter your size or shape but this is where the positivity ends.

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

(Wasn’t aware booty went anywhere, what have Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj been doing all this time?)

It seems one way or another it is difficult to bring the image of one up without tearing another down in the process and this is exactly what this verse does. It seems the body-positive messages are laced with backhanded compliments throughout the song constantly.

While mentioning ‘skinny bitches’ as if they are at fault in order to bring larger women up is not productive at all in promoting positivity, what of those who are naturally skinny and petite? What about those who cannot put weight on no matter how hard they try?

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says boys like a little more booty to hold at night

What this verse tells me is that men will only desire you if you have ‘curves’, so does that mean all other body types are not what a real women should look like? So every inch of you in fact is not perfect from the bottom to the top unless you have said curves? Not only this but while the song preaches about not worrying about your size, forget about that as long as your meeting the approval by men its all good, if that’s the source of your self worth it’s a little flimsy in my opinion.

All in all while the song attempts to promote positive body image where it uplifts one side it tears down the other though that may not have been the intention. With media playing such a large role in the development of confidence and self-worth it will be a constant struggle to avoid offending one group or another

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2 thoughts on “body-positivity via body shaming

  1. heycaity says:

    This is a really interesting post! It’s true that Meghan Trainor does bring down people who are referred to or refer to themselves as ‘skinny’, and that’s not okay! I love your analysis and the Kim Kardashian comment, haha, keep it up! 🙂

  2. Roseanne Scott says:

    I loved this post! What a great text to analyse (particularly if you’re going to examine the representation of feminism on social media!). I agree, this song is definitely up there in my list of female anthems but Meghan has certainly created a stir, how can we promote curvy women without putting down those who are not? Your point about men’s approval reminds me of the latest Dove campaign where women were forced to choose whether they’re ‘beautiful’ or ‘average’. One of the biggest responses was, that if I thought I was ‘average’ then who cares?! Can we stop thinking about how we look for once? Do we need to be beautiful/curvy/skinny? And who for? For now I’m gonna listen to Firework by Katy Perry because that song could make anyone feel empowered. 😀

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