Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
I’ve decided that I really dislike the song “All About That Bass”.
The first thing I find objectionable about that song is the bit about boys liking “a little more booty to hold at night.” First of all, that statement is heteronormative; not all women desire a male partner, or any partner at all. Secondly, even a woman who does want a male partner shouldn’t care what men might think when she makes decisions about her own body– just as I, as a gay woman, shouldn’t base decisions about my body on what a potential female partner might prefer. Our bodies are our own.
My second and much larger bone of contention has to do with the way the song talks about women who are not overweight.
Now let me be clear: there’s nothing wrong with telling bigger women that we can be beautiful too. That’s a great message, and one that needs to be expressed more loudly and often in a culture that tends to be hostile toward larger bodies.
But is it really necessary to use terms like “stick figure”, “Barbie doll”, and especially “skinny bitches” to describe women with other body types?
I understand that the song is meant to be a statement of self-confidence and self-love. In reality, though, the songwriter’s need to call smaller women names because of their bodies reeks of insecurity and overcompensation.
As a considerably overweight woman myself– much larger than Meghan Trainor– I don’t think it’s okay to talk about other women the way Meghan does in “I’m All About That Bass”.
I wouldn’t dream of calling my little sister, who’s a naturally petite person, a “barbie doll” even in the heat of a terrible argument. If someone told my best friend she was a “stick figure” because of her size, I would be furious. And when I imagine using the term “skinny bitches” to refer to women who are smaller than me, it doesn’t make me feel beautiful. It makes me feel ugly on the inside. As someone who has experienced body shaming my entire adult life and is all too familiar with the damage it can do, the idea of inflicting that kind of shame on another person makes me sick to my stomach.
I’ve struggled with various and sundry issues related to body image all my life. It’s something I still struggle with. I don’t feel beautiful most of the time, and my weight has a lot to do with it. Women my size are systematically shamed by society, by the media, and often our families and friends as well. Fat shaming is a huge problem, and something needs to be done about it.
I’m not a hundred percent sure what that “something” is, but I can tell you as a Christian that it has to include seeking and serving Christ in all persons, regardless of their body type, and loving our neighbors– our fat neighbors, our thin neighbors, and everyone in between– as ourselves.
What part of “skinny bitches” sounds like “love thy neighbor” to you?
We’ve got to stop shaming women for their bodies, no matter what that body looks like, because we were all created in the image of God.
Can’t women of every size celebrate our own beauty without having to be ugly to women of other sizes?
And– on a level that goes much deeper than weight, body image, or one offensive song– can’t we affirm God’s image within ourselves without needing to deny it in others?
I believe we can– and, in fact, I believe that our calling as Christians requires that we do– and that’s why I’m not all about that bass.