Leah Driscoll lays out the reasons to take the mic off Meghan Trainor
I wasn’t always aware of how much I disliked Meghan Trainor. Until recently, she was just a slightly larger-sized version of most female artists, who was responsible for irritating but catchy music.
Sure, I had heard about the whole skinny-shaming controversy regarding All About that Bass, where she calls thinner girls “skinny bitches.”
People were not happy with the fact that instead of creating truly body positive messages by encouraging an acceptance of all body types, she instead marginalized a different group of people while glorifying those who are overweight. I certainly didn’t condone what she was doing, but it didn’t really bother me at the same time.
That same year, Nicki Minaj released a song that literally yells “fuck you skinny bitches,” and so, if anything, talking about a bit of bass was pretty PG. The newest pop princess created a mere blip on my radar of moral wrongdoings.
What made Trainor become my newest celebrity voodoo doll were the lyrics of her second single Dear Future Husband. For those of you who have not yet examined this piece of rhyming idiocy, it lists the attributes of the singer’s perfect man.
This seems like a fair, somewhat overdone topic for a song: the Spice Girls said you gotta get with their friends, and poor Destiny’s Child just wanted you to say their name.
On the other hand, Meghan Trainor’s list of demands is offensive and worryingly petty. Let’s look at some of the lowlights of the song, shall we?
“After every fight
And maybe then I’ll let you try and rock my body right
Even if I was wrong
You know I’m never wrong
“’Cause if you’ll treat me right
I’ll be the perfect wife
Buy-buying what you need”
Perhaps most inexplicably, Trainor produces this whopper of a line:
“And know we’ll never see your family more than mine.”
Have I quoted enough to disgust you?
If not, feel free to read all of the lyrics yourself, I’m sure you’ll find something in there that sets every fibre of your being ablaze with anger.
In one short song, Meghan Trainor has achieved the rare feat of being sexist towards both men and women at the same time. She wants her man to hold doors open for her, to always agree with everything she says and bizarrely, to almost sever ties with his family. She will repay him in sexual favours, do the shopping and take care of the housework.
Her video reinforces this notion: in one shot, she flails about on a wet kitchen floor, attempting to scrub the tiles in a supposedly sexy manner. Trainor generalizes and underestimates both men and women, implying that being a gentleman and passively agreeing with a woman is the key to finding love and a pathetic dependence on male approval is what will bring women happiness.
You might be asking yourself what the big deal is here. It’s just a song, right? Yeah, it is just a song, but it’s a song that kids are singing along to and some adorable three year old is inevitably going to tap dance to on some reality talent show in the near future.
Even then, maybe they won’t listen to the message of her music. However, they certainly will pay attention to their new favourite singer’s interviews and unfortunately, what she says outside of a catchy rhyming scheme is even more insensitive. When asked about being curvy on Entertainment Tonight, she responded:
“I wasn’t strong enough to have an eating disorder…I tried to go anorexic for a good three hours. I ate ice and celery, but that’s not even anorexic. And I quit. I was like, ‘Ma, can you make me a sandwich? Like, immediately”
While All About that Bass was somewhat offensive to slimmer girls and women, her attitude towards eating disorders shows a complete ignorance and lack of respect for those who have had a first-hand experience with anorexia.
What’s more is that the interviewer she was speaking to in this quote had just informed Trainor of her own struggles with eating disorders. Trainor’s words came as an unintentional but direct slap in the face to the very woman she was speaking to. If the singer can’t understand the impact of her words in a face-to-face situation, how can she possibly present herself to the masses as a supposedly positive role model?
Meghan Trainor promotes a “positive body image” based on male validation. Her message screams that it doesn’t matter if you’re fat, as long as guys think it looks good. Trainor doesn’t consider herself a feminist, and that is entirely accurate, because nothing about her promotes the idea of equality between the sexes.
Trainors latest single Title shows no change in attitude. “You gotta treat me like a trophy / Put me on the shelf.”
If this is how she plans to continue her career, I would rather put her in a soundproof room.