All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor is a song which has dominated the UK music charts, preciously perching at number one and hailing the big and beautiful girls of the world for bringing ‘booty back’. It has it all, ladies in tight outfits with plenty of limbs on show, rolling on the floor, bending over suggestively and pouting at the camera to an upbeat soundtrack and girl-power lyrics, and they’re all refreshingly voluptuous and proud of it. When I hear it on the radio I can’t help but smile as I crank up the volume and dance to it embarrassingly like my dad for the entire three minutes! And that’s the power of music.
I am a huge fan of body confidence in men and women alike. I believe that no matter your age, race, weight, shape or size we should all be allowed to live the way that we choose. We shouldn’t be made to feel peer pressure over how we dress or the way we do our hair and makeup, as we are all individuals and unique in our own right. There is no set mould or recipe to create beauty, as it comes in many different forms and is inevitably in the eye of the beholder. I feel that we shouldn’t put people into a box because of how they look, as what you see on the outside is only skin deep. And more often than not, the most loving, sweetest and kindest people in life are the ones who don’t have a bold and outrageous exterior.
There is also the fact of time to consider when deciding what is beautiful, as a pert bosom and peachy bottom will no doubt be tomorrows droopy draws and ankle warmers. Faces wrinkle, hair falls out and waistlines expand, but a good heart, strong mind and kind nature will last a lifetime at least. Generally if you can remove it with a wetwipe then it’s safe to say that it isn’t beauty, as each and every one of us have been blessed with a body and the ability to nourish and grow as we please. If you workout and eat healthily you can build muscles whilst gaining definition, but if you prefer to relax and enjoy your treats then you can cosy up with some love handles and cute dimples. Size doesn’t matter, it’s all in the way that you wear it and how you feel about yourself.
There is no ideal weight, there is no perfect body and I seriously doubt that anybody will ever fully accept and be happy with the way that they look. Personally I’ve had two children and as a result I have stretchmarks, my hair is fine and flat, my forehead is huge and my breasts are fake because I didn’t develop naturally. I can see my flaws and weaknesses and instead of crying over them and wanting to be different, I’ve accepted them instead and don’t stress myself over wanting to be something that I’m not. I’m me and always will be, and I plan on making the most of what I have whilst I still have it without the need of gaffa-tape and matchsticks as old age sets in. I bodybuild to keep up my health, strength and stamina, and I’m incredibly proud to have put in so much hard work and dedication to shift my pregnancy weight and maintain an athletic physique which certainly isn’t easy.
So as I’m caterwauling along to All About That Bass in the kitchen elbow deep in bubbles whilst doing the dishes, it suddenly dawns on me exactly what I’m singing along to and I’m more than a little shocked and offended. There’s a part that goes:
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
And I think good for you girl, you don’t have to be anorexic to be hot, so shake what your momma gave you and love your body. Saying she’s got the “boom-boom” that all the boys chase, she gets male attention and knows just how to turn heads, filled with confidence and sexuality and I’m mentally high-fiving her sassy body confidence. With “all the right junk in all the right places” indicating a cracking cleavage and hourglass hips, this is the pinnacle of femininity, fabulous, sexual and an honest body. But then it sadly takes a turn:
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
As she sings how “boys like a little more booty to hold at night” to me this feels like she’s saying larger girls are more attractive to boys than skinny girls. I look at this as personal preference, as I said before there’s no perfect size as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s a little unkind to big-up curvy girls at the expense of skinny girls, boasting that her specific body type is better than another’s. As a gym-bunny, I would never dare suggest that I am any more attractive than a non-active or larger girl than I, because that’s disgustingly shallow and close-minded. She then takes another twist of the knife with:
I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
Excuse me love!? “Tell them skinny bitches that” oh hell no! Put the shoe on the other foot for a second please, if Nicole Sherzinger sang “You know I’m a goddess, go ahead and cry you fat bitches” the entire world would be up in arms over a skinny gorgeous woman putting others down, coming across as a reckless, heartless and self-obsessed bully. It’s childish and ugly behaviour that you would expect to see on a school playground, rather than hear on the airwaves. Finally:
I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
The way magazines have been made to change their approach to promoting a healthy body image has been a very public transition. Television adverts are now transparent with their products, indicating actual results for beauty products instead of simulated and impossible CGI, clothing stores use a variety of different sized models to showcase their collections, and magazines no longer change women’s body shapes or erase flaws. As a model myself I do not have my images airbrushed or edited in any way to change my body shape or appearance. The only time my images are touched is to balance the light or remove or add backgrounds. Photoshopped images are very fake looking and obvious to spot and as a result they are no longer dominate magazines, as more and more front covers now celebrate gaps in teeth, fine lines and wrinkles as a sign of maturity and wisdom in both men and women alike. So to be singing about magazines photoshopping “shit that ain’t real, c’mon now make it stop” is ridiculous and several years out of date. And I see this as yet another dig at skinny girls, suggesting that they’re fake and unreal for how they look. I have to therefore question that if a plus-size model was on the front of a mens magazine in a bikini would women shake their heads with disgust and accuse her of being airbrushed to deliberately appear larger than she really is?
As a “skinny” female working out six days a week to maintain a strong and healthy body, I find it incredibly sad and hurtful that a song such as this should promote larger girls by hating on those that carry less weight than them. It’s a form of skinny shaming and segregating a certain type of woman to put her down simply for how she looks, which is surely the opposite of what this song set out to do, and that’s to promote body confidence. When will people realise that appearance doesn’t matter, as putting us into boxes to be classified as fat, thin, old, young, pretty, ugly, cool or a loser is nothing more than putrid ignorance.
I would therefore like to say to Meghan Trainor that I am all for the promotion of body confidence in curvy ladies, but not at the expense of those who are slim. You should never put your foot on another’s head in order to boost yourself up, lend them your hand instead and help each other to grow together. And to show my thoughts on this I have created a video to All About That Base with the addition of my own creation of cleverly alliterated junk food animals whilst dancing along in my pants and vest with vegetables to lift the skinny bashing mood a bit. Why? Because animals don’t give two hoots about body size, and as a vegetarian my fridge is filled with vegetables for props, and food being a major factor in body size and weight. I can’t dance to save my life and am more of a “muscular bitch” than skinny per se, but the sentiment is there and I hope that it encourages others to accept people for who they are inside, and not to judge them for the exterior factors that will inevitably change. Trolling is ugly. Peace, love and body confidence to all.