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Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Bringing Beauty Back | Re-Writing "All About That Bass"

I'm Bringing Beauty Back | Re-Writing "All About That Bass"

OK. So, I'm late "weighing" in on this one, and I know it.

The thing is, I haven't been able to stop thinking about this song because, well, it's everywhere! On the radio, when I'm out shopping, topping Taylor Swift in the charts! And, unfortunately, stuck in my fiance's head, which completely enraged him and made me laugh.

People obviously like the song, because it's hugely popular at the moment. When it first came out, so many dear friends messaged me to share it with me. It was sweet that they thought of me when they heard it, and the association was well intended. However, upon my first listen all the way through, I was pretty perturbed by the lyrics. I also didn't care so much for the fact that it seemed as if Trainor was "accessorizing" with black people. If you haven't heard the song yet, check it out. The lyrics are seemingly innoccous until you get into the first verse, where Trainor begins to drop little notions that don't exactly resonate well with me. 

As many others before me have noted, the song seems to suggest that women should frame their ideas around their physical worth based on what men like...but then it gets worse. Trainor calls out the "skinny bitches" in a passive-aggressive voice, but recants a moment later when she claims all of us are "perfect".  We know this isn't helping women out there--I mean, it makes sense that we would validate all bodies and shapes. You can't possibly succeed at raising the confidence of a particular set of women by tearing another set down. This is only creating unrest and feelings of inadequacy amongst people who really DO need to embrace their perfection.

Some people claimed that listeners should "just have a sense of humor about it", when folks like me expressed concern. Against all good judgment, I made the mistake of reading the comment section from an article regarding Trainor's recent chart-topping, only to find this comment from Bill, who wrote on 9/11/14 at

"I think it's fun. It's obvious she's not a bombshell and she knows that. It's obvious that this type of song is an uphill battle for someone like her, and she knows it. So, she put all that aside and made the song anyways just for fun to see what would happen."


I'm sorry, but why is Meghan Trainor not a bombshell? And how is her song like an uphill battle? Please do explain. Because her entire physical persona is presented for your evaluation. So enlighten us, Bill, on all of the "obvious" shortcomings that she has.

But I digress.

We (women of all shapes) have worked long and hard to appreciate our bodies. We simply can't tear eachother down, and though it may seem that a "thin" girl couldn't possibly be offended by the lyrics to this song (a possible perception of a world thought to be dominated by some sort of elite perfection), we have to consider the message we're sending.

Though there have been so many interesting commentaries on this matter, I thought it might be thought-provoking to simply flip the script. 

Here are selective passages from "All About That Bass", rewritten from the opposing perspective:

Yeah it's pretty clear, I ain't no size fourteen
But I can shake it, shake it like I'm a beauty queen
'Cause I got that perfect shape that all the boys chase
All the right gaps in all the right places

Yeah, my momma she told me don't worry about your size
She says, boys they like little flat tummies to hold at night
You know I won't be no thick-figured, plus size or big and tall,
So, if that's what's you're into
Then go ahead and move along

I'm bringing skinny back
Go ahead and tell them chubby bitches “Hey!”
No, I'm just playing I know you think you're fat,
But I'm here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top


It's pretty clear how upset people would be if these lyrics were in a hit song. Perhaps outraged might be a better explanation! I have a feeling that, deep down inside, the intent for "All About That Bass" was positive. Yet, when a song is so catchy, and really gets gets in to your head, that's even more opportunity for the same message or mantra to be sent, over and over again, to your sub-conscious mind. It becomes a subliminal meditation!

When it comes to messages about self-acceptance, we can only hope that more high-profile artists will begin incorporating lyrics that empower and compliment ALL body types, and more importantly, encourage self-love that goes beyond the reflection in the mirror.

In closing, I've re-written just a small portion of "All About That Bass" with a message that I feel is more important than booty--which, by the way, NEVER LEFT THE BUILDING (so we didn't need to bring it back).

(Re-written Thrift Trick Style):

I'm bringing beauty back

Of all varieties and cultures that

Women belong to--we’ll define it as

Your soul and spirit. 

Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top!

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