“All About That Bass” begins with a boldface contradiction. “I’m all about that bass, ‘bout that bass, no treble.” Meghan Trainor condemns treble throughout the whole song, while singing the entire work in treble clef.
A song composed of only the lowest sounds could never stand on its own.
Apparently, Trainor thinks she is “bringing booty back,” but seriously? Booty hasn’t gone anywhere since Destiny’s Child’s “Bootylicious” hit the charts in 2001. Has she heard of Sir Mix-A- Lot?
Has she heard of Bubba Sparx? She follows this ludicrous remark with “go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that.”
Uh, whoa, “skinny bitches”? This is a hateful way to refer to women of a particular shape, especially for someone who seems to be after body acceptance.
Just as it’s unacceptable to shame women for being full-figured, it’s unacceptable to shame them for being thin. At one point in the lyrics, Trainor manages to get out a positive message. “I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop / We know that shit ain’t real / C’mon now, make it stop.” But is the heart of the song’s message about the atrocity of the fake digitally-altered images we see in the media every day?
Is it that beauty ideals are bogus, since everyone has his or her own opinion of what it means to be beautiful?
Is it that beauty is unimportant compared to the parts of ourselves that are deeper, more interesting and more worthy of our time? No.
The song’s argument is that men prefer curvy women, so if you happen to fit that particular beauty ideal, you’re golden.
The song’s hook states that Trainor is reassured about her looks based on the fact that men like women with her body type.
She sings, “Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size / She says, ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.’” In other words, Trainor is saying “I’m comfortable with how I look, because it’s attractive to men,” which is a shaky way to bolster self-esteem.
On Monday, Caroline Sullivan wrote on TheGuardian.com that “It’s the defiance of a woman who’s been made to feel she’s not the right size (later in the song she allows herself a dig at “skinny bitches”, and their “silicone Barbie doll” looks), but has decided to see her boom-boom as an asset rather than a flaw.”
If no one had a negative opinion of her body, this song wouldn’t exist in the first place.