Maybe you’ve heard, there’s a new number one song in town. Leapfrogging over Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” to score the number-one slot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart this week is Nashville newcomer Meghan Trainor with her 1960s-girl-group-with-a-2014-R&B-beat earworm “All About That Bass.” Not only is “All About That Bass” INSANELY catchy (every time it comes on the radio I take my hands off the wheel for .00001 seconds to cheer), and not only does it have the raddest music video of the summer, it’s also a song about body positivity.
So, it might be time to tell you that “All About That Bass” doesn’t refer to a dude’s super-low-singing voice. “You know how the bass guitar in a song is like its ‘thickness,’ the ‘bottom’? I kind of related a body to that,” Trainor told Billboard.
“Okay, so it’s a song about big butts, what else is new?” you grouchily tell me. “Do you NOT dance to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” basically every time you go to a wedding?” Yes, of course I do, but the thing about Sir Mix-A-Lot celebrating booty (and the way most of his musical predecessors and followers have jammed about THE BUTT), is that they SUPER sexualize the area. And yes, even though Trainor acknowledges that her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard (“I got that boom boom that all the boys chase,” she sings, and then later adds, “Boys like a little more booty to hold tonight”), she doesn’t stop there. This is a song about a girl who has an awesome female role model (“My mama she told me don’t worry about your size”), has made her feel super confident about her body (“I’m bringing booty back,”), loves herself, and if you don’t love her, she doesn’t really care (“You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll, so if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along”), and wants you to feel awesome about yourself too (“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”).
And have you SEEN the music video?
The significance of a song about loving your body hitting #1 on the charts cannot be underestimated. It’s a sign that pop music may finally be skewing more towards female empowerment. (More proof: Bey’s VMA performance, and the fact that female musicians are responsible for the top five songs on Billboard pop chart right now.) Trainor’s success is a testament to her catchy beats, but also to the power of a positive message.
“My producer and I wanted to write a fun song for the world,” Trainor explains in her “Behind the Scenes” video for “All About That Bass.” “We thought ‘Why not do a song about loving yourself and loving your body? Because I don’t think girls love themselves as much as they really should.”
Infinity plus one points for you, Miss Trainor. Can’t wait for your next chart-topper.