In response to a societal movement to reclaim women’s self image from objectivity, popular radio has seen a surge in songs promoting body positivity in thicker girls. Hit songs like “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor or “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj try to accomplish this, but do this at the expense of thinner body types. In addition, these songs also emphasize the importance of male approval, that a woman’s confidence should stem from having what men want.
Despite the unrealistic images girls see daily, Trainor in “All About That Bass” sings about the fabrication in magazines caused by Photoshop and image-enhancing software. As the songs goes on it becomes disappointing because she sings lyrics like, “I’m bringing booty back. Go ahead and tell them skinny (derogatory name for females) that…”. Trainor’s song helps the “bigger” girl feel good about herself, but in the same verse she puts down the thinner girls and covers her tracks by blowing it off as a light joke.
“Yeah my mama she told me don’t worry about your size. She says, ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night’” which contradicts the original message and alludes to the fact that girls’ self-worth should come from a man’s approval. She essentially says a man’s gaze is more important than her own self image. In reality a person’s size does not affect relationships, friendships or romances, but rather his or her identity. We tend to forget this in the hype of songs like these.
Our generation knows the lyrics which resurfaced in Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, which talks about how women should have the assets a man wants. Minaj also repeatedly insults skinnier women, calling them derogatory names and pinning “skinny” women as not good enough.
Society in the past portrayed an adamant view on the thin look, but after realizing the problems it created, society shifted from one extreme to the other, concentrating on having a booty and not being a skinny-mini and instead puts down girls. We need to get to the point where we do not have a concern about weight, but what type of morals someone has. Everyone should strive as a culture to lift up positive attitudes and actions and not a body type.
Everyone can view their body however they wish through their own definition of self-worth, which can create a positive outlook and encourage others to do the same.