Friday, September 19, 2014

The Fat Acceptance Song of the Summer

The song of the summer. Every year has one. This year it seems a battle between terrible pop songs. There is one entry that intrigued me, "All About That Bass". It might not be the song of the summer, but it is the Fat Acceptance Song of the Year. It is performed by heavyweight Meghan Trainor from Massachusetts. She looks wicked Mass, right down to the jawline and facial bone structure. She's a bigger girl, and not by 10 pounds. The song is annoying, repetitive, kind of a '50s echo (10s-90s-70s-50s nostalgia cycle), and has very few words, so it is easy to put under the microscope. Check the video out too as you read along, kind of a wider set in the video. Side note: The key is that the singer always has to be the thinnest woman on the screen so if she's a bit bigger, her back up dancers have to be even bigger.

The "all about the bass" section is gibberish. It is annoying and meant to get in your head and not leave.

The first verse is her declaration that she ain't a size 2, but she got junk in the trunk where it doesn't fake the funk. She also shakes it like she is suppose to do. Cool endorsement of self objectification you got there. Good message. Empowerment! She smears photoshop as awful and unreal (true), and that "every inch of you is beautiful from the bottom to the top". She switched from declaring herself chunky but a shaking big girl in the right places to affirming the listener that you are beautiful no matter what. Did you start the video? She's just chunky. She is not curvy.

We then hear the "Que Sera Sera" styled refrain where tubbs talks to momma, and momma says you gotta be packing a booty for the men as they like it. mom affirms her being chunky. That then is followed by Meghan switching the refrain up to be about herself again that she will not be a stick figure silicone Barbie doll (Sir Mix-A-Lot, call your lawyer). So if you don't like it boy, get out. Once again, a woman can do no wrong no matter what she does and what she looks like. You the unreasonable world must adjust to her. She will not change, even if it leads to greater risk for breast cancer, heart disease and shorten her life span.

The next verse starts off with "I'm bringing booty back". First, this is a booty. You are just chunky. Second, bitch where have you been? Booty has basically entered the mainstream with the arrival of Jennifer Lopez and has not left since. While there were women known for their rear ends throughout Hollywood or the music industry, the steady focus arrived with J-Lo. This line must be to rip off Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback". At this point just copy and paste a pop song. The next line tells skinny bitches to step back, but then oh nope, she is just joking because she then mocks how thin girls still think they're fat. This is the great irony in America: skinny women get skinny shamed and have lower self esteem than the tubbahs. Is it all a front by the tubbahs? Somewhat. The verse ends with her repeating the beautiful from bottom tot he top line. In verse one, she affirms fatties; verse two self doubting skinny women.

The song ends with the annoying "Que Sera" and "all about that bass" bits. This song is terrible and part of the fat acceptance push. The Mindy Show, Mike and Molly, American Horror Story Season 2, and other pop culture bits. I actually wish Hollywood would cast TV and commercials that reflected our weight WITHOUT the fat acceptance. If Americans regularly saw 1/3 of people on television as obese and another 1/3 as overweight, it might shake some people up. Just don't tell me it's healthy.


kreitzer said...

now we know what Robin William was watching that night

Anonymous said...

I think you're missing the point here. this is a very normal song for african american culture. the shift is that this song is coming from a dumpy-looking white chick who grew up in nantucket. i highly doubt her mom shared any of these values, it's just appropriation of black culture. she couldn't lose weight and wanted a recording career = "all that bass."

2014 is the year that rap always feared would come, where white people are comfortable taking over the genre.

Eminem had to work hard for it, crazy what he went through in contrast. macklemore won a grammy by rejecting rap culture and praising gay marriage, and now iggy azalea and trainor are dancing on rap's grave.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Very true anon. 2014 = the year rap became white. Let me have my fun though.

nikcrit said...

i agree wtht anonymous too; the whole macklemore thing is very, very irritating to me.

i notice through being in a black teen environment again that the whole 'song of summer' concept------ the idea in which a certain group like a certain song for a few months then pick another, is very true in black pop culture.

for instance, you'll have a, say, 'T-payne song one summer, and everyone from kids to school aides to even the younger administrators aware of the song, and bumpin' in step with the kids when they hear it in the hallways; then, next summer, it'll be another ubiquitous hit by, say, Lil' Boosie, i.e., complete with its title becoming that summer's informal hip phrase, i.e. Boosie's "Wipe Me Down.'

I love that aspect of black folk culture ------ that you can get everyone from ten-year-old kids to grandparents sharing some common reference for a period, then moving on to the next one.

nikcrit said...


btw, what do you mean exactly by the phrase 'she looks wicked Mass?' Is that a east-coast colloqualism for "Massachusettes prole' or something?

Son of Brock Landers said...

Yes. It's also a joke on new england slang by using wicked for very. Wicked mass meaning her face is almost stock Massachusetts white girl. Wicked generic.

"Semi charmed life" was the song of summer 1997 seems right. One of my faves from high school days

tonsplace said...

this right here is why I never miss anything but my bike, bluegrass and my dog when I'm down range.

gmikailovich said...

Great stuff. This pasty porker would be a real treat in parts of Africa.

With the thoughts you'd be thinkin said...

Funnily enough she plagiarized the song from a Korean.

Chris said...

Honestly, I don't think she's that fat, but I'd actually like to see her mom to see what she's gonna look like in 20 years. My guess is it's gonna be a train wreck.

Also, if a girl is gonna be that, uh, thick, at least have some tiggo bitties, you know what I mean?

peterike said...

Well be grateful for small favors: the video doesn't show her with a black guy as a love interest. Though it seems her sister married a black from Trinidad and she's got little mocha nieces and nephews. One sincerely hopes she doesn't show up romantically connected to some rap singer in the near future, though one suspects that's a very real possibility.

Her recent boyfriend cheated on her and they broke up, but I can't find a picture or name for him. She's available, gentlemen!

Meanwhile, you have to admire how craftily calculated her song and image are to ride the fat acceptance wave. A basically not really fat and pretty girl going on about how proud she is to be fat. I suspect a cunning Svengali behind the scenes.

Predictably, Slate wets the bed all about how that feminist song you are all so into is really ANTI-feminist, says this feminist.

peterike said...

So right now, the top five Billboard songs are by women. And seven of the top ten are by women.

Seriously, when oh when will we finally stamp out the Patriarchy?

Anonymous said...

Anon here again - if there's one consolation prize keeping hip hop from being totally white-ified, apparently the rumor is that Azaelea got all her raps from TI. Payment was to sleep with him.

not that far-fetched:

Although - I'm probably wrong about the sole issue is rap being white-ified. I think the prole-ification of white america is also a huge factor. after all - we have a generation of kids raised on pop-rap values now.

peterike said...

Wouldn't it be great if there were a Jewish parody version of this song? Well umm....