Meghan Trainor has been under the scope lately as to whether or not she’s the feminist she claims to be. While I definitely have my disagreements with her, I don’t always think she’s the devil-woman that some critics have written her to be.
Let’s start with Trainor’s attempt at body positivity in “All About That Bass.” Despite what the critics say, I think she does a decent job at promoting a healthy body image. Some argue that she chases after the idea of promoting obesity instead, and putting down those who are thin. But there is one pivotal line in the song that proves that point wrong: “Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that, no, I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat, but I’m here to tell you that, every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” Basically, Trainor is telling us that we may think that we’re fat, but really, we’re perfect just the way we are, regardless of whether or not we are skinny.
There will be those who argue that line doesn’t clear it up, so I have another counter-argument to offer. How many songs have we heard, despite the genre, romanticizing the perfectly-shaped-idolized-Hollywood body? And how many women do you think have heard that, looked in the mirror, immediately realized that their body did not match that description, and began to dislike their figure? I don’t have the numbers, but I can assure you they’re very high. Do you think any of those artists (who are mainly male) have received as much flack for their work as Trainor is for hers? Probably not.
Now let’s talk about Trainor as a feminist. Although I don’t believe “All About That Bass” was bad for body image, I don’t necessarily believe Trainor went about it the best way. “My Mama she told me don’t worry about your size, she says boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” Ok, sure, don’t worry about your size, but do we have to make this all about making ourselves feel comfortable with guys rather than in our own skin? Over the years, I’ve become more confident in my own skin, but I didn’t do it by convincing myself that boys would like me regardless of my size.
Then there’s her latest video for “Dear Future Husband.” The song itself really isn’t bad. She basically sings what she wishes for in a future husband; it’s the music video that’s hard to digest. The video is essentially Trainor portraying a bunch of ’50s housewife stereotypes cleaning the floor, baking, etc. It really makes the lyrics, “You got that 9-to-5, but baby so do I, so don’t be thinking I’ll be home baking apple pies” seem really contradictory. I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to be that cooking-and-cleaning type of wife, but if you’re trying to take a stand in the media as a strong and independent woman, maybe don’t go about it by spending half of your music video scrubbing a floor and making your lyrics as contradictory to your actions as possible.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about Meghan Trainor. I want to believe she’s that strong feminist role model she thinks she is, but I’m not entirely sure she knows how to go about portraying that role.