Today’s hit songs promote a negative body image

Gillian Allen, Writer

Meghan Trainor might have “all the right junk in all the right places,” but the only junk worth noticing is her offensive message targeted towards anyone with a non-curvy body type.

For anyone who has heard Trainor’s hit single “All About That Bass,” the idea that the song spreads offensive messages may be confusing. What’s offensive about expressing confidence in your body-type, even if it’s not the traditional “skinny” that the media presents as perfect? Nothing. However, the way in which this confidence is expressed is offensive.

More and more women are beginning to fight back against society’s image of the “perfect” body-type: skinny.  Female mega-stars like Nicki Minaj and Trainor have defined “skinny” in their self-love anthems “All About That Bass” and “Anaconda” as someone smaller than a size two, a stick-figure Barbie doll.  Expressing confidence in their pear-shaped figures is all fun and games until a “skinny b****” gets hurt.

Minaj and Trainor do a great job of letting curvy girls know that they are beautiful, but manage to degrade and offend “skinny” girls at the same time.  People are simply getting sick of the media’s beauty rules.  Trainor and Minajs’ songs are their way of fighting back against what they don’t approve of but instead of doing it in a healthy way, they use obscenities directly aimed at those who happen to be skinny.

Generations of kids are starting to listen to the radio at younger and younger ages, and this exposes them to all the messages mainstream songs promote, whether good or bad.  Messages they hear at young ages shape the way they see themselves and others for the rest of their lives.  A ten-year-old girl listening to Trainor’s hit single as the radio plays it nonstop will listen to the lyrics and, regardless of her body type, think that it’s acceptable to express confidence in herself at the expense of putting down other girls.  Nonetheless, a twenty-year-old girl may also listen to Minaj’s anthem and feel empowered by it while she goes on to spread the message that “skinny b******” do not deserve to feel beautiful, too.

These artists are contradicting the very thing they are promoting:  self-love.  The term “b****” is one of the most derogatory towards women, and if women themselves are using it to refer to other women, how will society ever progress? Instead of relying on crass language to get their points across, artists like Minaj and Trainor should use their lyrics to talk about all the reasons why curvy is beautiful but not why skinny isn’t.

“Anaconda” and “All About That Bass” are popular songs.  Maybe it’s because of their up-beat rhythms, or maybe it’s because of the way Minaj and Trainor leave us all wishing we were a little better at shaking what our mamas gave us.  Whatever the reason, society needs to listen to these songs with precaution.  Promoting self-love regardless of what society defines as beautiful is something everyone should strive for, as long as doing so doesn’t promote offending people with different body types at the same time.