I woke up this morning with this song running through my head…
It might be guilt… due to the fact I did not partake on my planned run last night and I definitely ate two dinners last night. When I first heard this song, I didn’t really think anything of it except for how annoyingly bad, yet catchy it was.
Then I watched the video and saw that it’s picked up a little controversy and I decided to write a post on the cliché but ever relevant weight issue.
Thinking over my own weight …a few episodes come to mind.
But as the song is still in my head… I’ll explain with some help from those oh so catchy lyrics.
Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
Where do we get our ideas about healthy eating and bodies from? Yes the media certainly has a role and we all know how that goes… But I do think a lot of the issues start at home. I have always had a pretty healthy body image and I owe that in part to my parents. During an angst filled, teenage moment of grabbing my tummy fat, I remember my dad looking up and saying “if you didn’t have that you wouldn’t be able to stand up”. A reassuring statement which has become something of a mantra over the years, on those occasions where I have finished the entire chocolate box or polished off the cheddar after a night out.
As for boys liking the booty… they may drool over Beyonce but a lot of the time for girls, men are the problem.
I always remember having just travelled 7 hours or so to see my (ex) boyfriend and buying some mini eggs in the station, as I proceeded to munch through the pack (travelling makes me tired, I needed the sugar rush) and he gives me the most disdainful look and says “Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” I shocked and stubborn, plough on through until my teeth hurt. A throwaway comment perhaps but the fact I still remember that, over our three years together, makes me think that it did have an impact.
Another ex, poked my stomach once and said “You could be really fit, if you exercised more…” (Well, duhhh?)
The less said about him the better
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I’m supposed to do
The big debate this song has seemed to initiate, is whether its message is about empowering women. As this quote suggests there is nothing wrong with being a curvier woman. That seems the right message that we should be promoting. At this point it should be mentioned that none of the women on the video are obese and they do all, shake it, shake it, throughout the video, suggesting healthy levels of fitness.
I feel it may be the next quote that has got some peoples’ backs up…
“I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that”
It’s been criticised for promoting an unhealthy body image and the skinny bitch comment has caused some controversy.
Trainor also refers to the media portrayal and it seems impossible nowadays to read an article about weight without that P-word, no not Pilates or Peas…
I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
Photoshop, that magic software that slims, thins, distorts and so forth… Again, nothing wrong with being against that. Having done A-level photography, I know I was distorting and slimming like the best of them for my Fashion project and if an amateur can do that, who knows the perfection the experts are capable of. The media has clearly done a lot of damage with its unrealistic pictures and promotion of the ridiculous, not to mention their backlash when any celebrity puts on a little weight or is seen eating anything that isn’t green or air based.
I spoke to my best friend about this and her main concern with this song is how it is promoting another unattainable ideal. Not all of us naturally have curves, just like not all of us fit the slim body shapes we see on TV all the time. I must admit, during my teaching, I have seen the girls using magazines and comments from their peers (girls and boys are equally guilty of this) to give themselves a negative view of their own bodies for whatever reason. Having lost count of the amount of times I have had to refer concerns about girls not eating their lunch, I do think the media has a lot to answer for. Size zero or thereabouts has been the ideal for such a while now….
Perhaps we should have been expecting this…
We’ve gone from Kate Moss to Kim Kardashian
So it used to be skinny, size zero, role models…
Kate Moss famously said “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels…” She has clearly never tried the Oreo cookie ice cream. Nevertheless a pretty horrific thing to say and one that I am sure did a lot more damage than Trainor bouncing around on Youtube, talking about her booty.
Nicki Minaj is another of the butt-lash front runners with her Anaconda song…
“OH MY GOSH. LOOK AT HER BUTT.”
Again, shameless promotion of the fuller figure, with its own debatable lyrics such as;
“He can tell I ain’t missing no meals”
Now was that line slamming anorexics, a serious psychological illness, or did it just rhyme with her next lyric, something Minaj seems to struggle with.
I do sometimes wonder if we look too far into these celebrities and songs. As a young child in the 90’s, I feel we were lucky to have some good role models particularly,
My idea of good body image role models regardless of terrible fashion sense. Good old girl power and normal sized girls. The pre-cursors to Destiny’s Child Independent Women and a generation of girls who did not sing about their butt sizes…
But then you find out that Mel C was suffering from an eating disorder during most of their career and Baby Spice was dogged by the Media for her “baby fat” and Posh well… Isn’t enough, enough?
To sum up…
As my mum said, it’s unlikely that Kate Moss is going to be panicking because her flat stomach and svelte frame isn’t this season’s look and go and get herself some derrière implants. As for the butt-lash, Nicki Minaj is singing about her natural shape and that’s what Trainor is doing too, we are not all meant to be the same and they should get some kudos for embracing that.
Body types shouldn’t be interchangeable like this season’s skirt.
As the irritating BOOM BOOM song also suggests,
“‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top”
And if you are going to read too far into lyrics, this is the one we should be listening to. Celebrating all body types should be what we strive for… being healthy not obsessive, happy, nice to each other rather than basing someone’s worth on what they look like or their waist size.
Too much? Another blog on weight loss? I am inclined to agree with a male friend who said “Weight is such an overly PC minefield”
When you consider everything else that is going on in the news at this moment (Ebola, ISIS, China etc…) it doesn’t really seem such an issue. If you really do feel empowered by watching Nicki Minaj’s derriere wobble about on the screen, good for you.
Personally, the worst thing for me about this music video is the amount of pastel colours… BLARGH.
Bring on the black and NOT because it’s slimming.