Meghan Trainor and her doo wop anthem “It’s all about the bass” is being praised for her catchy lyrics that seem to promote a positive body image for women who don’t sport the stick-thin runway look favored by Hollywood.
However, Trainor’s song is actually a skinny shaming tune in disguise, looking down on “skinny bitches” and sending them the message boys won’t find them attractive because men like “a little more booty to hold at night.”
Trainor isn’t the only one who has used skinny-shaming in her music. Nicki Minaj’s most recent release, “Anaconda,” debuted on Billboard’s Top 100 list at 10. After a racey video and and even racier MTV performance Anaconda, which boasts lyrics that say “Where my fat ass big bitches in the club at?” while repeatedly using the term “skinny bitch,” quickly rose to the top of the charts.
The music industry has long been associated with men scrutinizing women, painting pictures of sexual submissiveness and harsh ridicule of how they are “supposed” to attract men. As a result we have a society of young women who believe there is more value in their booties than their brains.
When women shame other women, and rise on top of the music charts as a result, it forces women into an unfair catch-22. You can’t be too fat, because men won’t want you, but you can’t be too thin, because other women will hate you.
Professors Barbara L. Fredrickson and Tomi-Ann Roberts of Duke University report that their studies on the effects of objectification of women in the media found “the habitual body monitoring encouraged by a sexually objectifying culture may reduce women’s quality of life.”
The popular non-profit organization DoSomething.Org also states that 58 percent of college age women are unhappy with their bodies.
In a world where men are already doing more than their fair share of body-shaming women, the last thing this society needs is for women to body-shame each other.
Body-shaming has sparked national conversation about the psychological damages it can cause, and has brought out famous advocates encouraging women of all sizes to accept their bodies.
There has not been enough accountability, if any at all, for full-figured women who put down other women for having a thinner body type. If the lyrics of Trainor or Minaj were reversed, and the term “skinny bitches” were swapped with “fat bitches,” the masses would be out with pitchforks and torches demanding their heads.
Accepting one body image while rejecting another is dangerous, irresponsible and wrong. Shaming another woman for her body to boost one’s own self-esteem, attract men or drive record sales is nothing less than classless. While fighting for equal stances in all media, government and education, there is no room for women body-shaming other women who are, fat, skinny or otherwise.