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The Et Cetera

Negatives in Trainor's 'body positive' anthem

By Sidney Murillo

I am all about being body positive. I love the idea of men and woman feeling good about themselves. Not just about the way their bodies look, but rather what kind of person they are.
I kind of have to be.
I am a short, chubby Hispanic girl, and I can’t turn on the TV, read a magazine or drive through Dallas without being bombarded by shows and advertisements that suggest the ideal beauty and body for women is tall and thin. And for men, the ideal body is a strong, chiseled chest and lean muscle tone.
When I heard Meghan Trainor’s song “All About That Bass,” I should have been excited and proud. It’s being called a “body-positive” anthem because she talks about loving your body “from the bottom to the top.”
But its message isn’t very positive at all.
With lines such as “I got that boom boom that all the boys chase and all the right junk in all the right places,” this song actually promotes body-shaming.
I’m a size 14, but according to this song, unless you have the “right junk in all the right places,” the boys aren’t going to want to hold you at night.
This is my first major problem with this song, and it’s a personal one.
What if you are like me – not exactly thin and no big booty?
Where do I fall in this weird “curvy vs. skinny” war of body image?
The song is giving out the idea that you need to be the “right kind” of fat in order to be beautiful or even feel good about yourself. To be the right kind is to have large perky breasts, a curved waist, thick thighs and a big booty. Basically, an hourglass shape is ideal.
This is just as toxic as telling you that you need to be model-thin in order to be beautiful.
My second major problem is that Trainor bases the celebration of her body on how attractive she is to men. Trainor suggests men favor a full figure, thus a full-figured woman is more beautiful and more desirable.
“I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that-,”
This isn’t body positive at all.
Trainor isn’t the only female artist to rely on her level of appeal to men to make a body image statement.
Nicki Minaj sings, “He keep telling me it’s real, that he love my sex appeal, because he don’t like ‘em boney, he want something he can grab” in her new single “Anaconda,” which came out this summer.
It’s concerning how both of these songs single out and alienate thin woman and refer to them as “skinny bitches.”
I understand the media, fashion and entertainment industry have been using the tall and thin form to represent beauty, but a positive-body image should not be promoted by bashing and putting down someone else’s body.
That isn’t what being bodypositive is about. Instead of tearing others down and excluding people because of their appearance, we should build people up.
So you could be tall, short, skinny, fat, fit, size 2 through 22, have a big booty or no booty. Being body-positive means teaching that all bodies are good bodies.

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