Yeah. It's catchy. So damn catchy I find my self repeating it over and over all day. While making breakfast "I'm all about the bass, about the bass, no treble." In the shower "You know my mama she told me don't worry about your size." In the car "i'm no stick figure silicon barbie doll."
All freaking day. That song. I thought it was a guilty pleasure. The bubble gum pop I'm supposed to be "too sophisticated" to enjoy. And I'm not above that. Fuck. I can admit that I like Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" (although I do take exception to the whole hammer licking video.) At first I thought it was a woman boldly singing a body-positive message, encouraging larger women not to "worry about your size." Then I really listened to the lyrics, and I scratched my head. Then I watched the Video, and I got pissed.
This is not a song about all women embracing their size. No. This is just another form of body shamming , albeit the reverse of what we usually see in our weight-obsessed society. What may seem like the anthem for the full figured woman, still promotes a dangerous philosophy that one body type is better than another and that women are valued most for their sexuality, as defined by how many boys chase their "booty."
In case you are not familiar with the song, which means you probably don't listen to Alice 105 (guilty as charged,) it is performed by Meghan Trainor and here are the lyrics:
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
All the right junk in all the right places
I see the magazines working that Photoshop
We know that shit ain't real
Come on 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
Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size
She says, boys they 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's you're into then go ahead and move along
I'm sorry lady, but did you just call me a bitch? I have a problem with that. As far as I know my weight does not define my level of bitchiness. What if we changed the lyrics to "go ahead and tell them big bitches?" I think it would be seen as what it is, an insult based on weight. Yes. I understand that heavier women (and men) face more discrimination than their skinnier counterparts, yet, I don't think promoting disdain for either body type is healthy for our society, or for the young, developing girls listening.
The song, and the video in particular demonizes "skinny bitches" telling us that thin women aren't sexy, thin women cant "shake it" and thin women are fake (silicon barbie dolls.) The one skinny woman in the video is a caricature She is overly sexualized and foolish, looking on in amazement at the big booties she ain't got. The song tells us our bodies are perfect from the "bottom to the top" (as long as you aren't a skinny bitch, right?)
The whole concept that she isn't a size two, but she has the "boom boom" that the boys really want is disturbing on multiple levels. First, Meghan, are you trying to tell me that no boys want my "boom boom?" I beg to differ. Men and women like people of varying body types, including skinny asses and round ones too. Second, as a women are our bodies acceptable only because men find us sexually attractive? Because that is the message I am hearing. "Hey it's okay I'm not a size two, because what men really want is a little extra booty." This isn't a song about self-love or body acceptance, this is a song that tells us a woman's body is acceptable if men want to screw them. What I first interrupted as a song to empower women is really just another objectification of the female body.
And it is sad. This song could have been so much more. It could have been a sassy song about shaking what you got, whatever it is you got, because your perfect, from your bottom to your top, no matter what your size.
Someone needs to write that song.