There’s been a lot of talk about Meghan Trainor’s “plus-size” figure. There’s no doubt she’s curvy, but according to Yareah magazine, at size 12 and weighing in at 175 pounds, that’s not really plus-size. Or at least, it’s very borderline. In fact, it’s about the size of the average American female, who wears a size 14 and is 166 pounds (maybe Meghan carries the weight differently — her bass, perhaps?)
Let us mention a few caveats. “Average” does not translate to “healthy” — it is simply a median figure that is composited from all adult American females. In fact, that weight would fall into a BMI of about 28 for a 5’4″ woman, which is considered overweight but not obese (which is defined as a BMI of 30 or more).
Why is any of this worth mentioning?
Meghan claims the song is “meant as a declarative statement that sexy doesn’t come in one size, and women of all shapes have a right to feel good about their bodies.”
“When writing the song, I was thinking about girls today … and the message of the song is to love your body no matter what.”
And that’s a wonderful sentiment, but what some have dubbed as the “anthem for big girls” others are calling thinly-veiled misogyny.
Blogger Jenny Trout wonders why the song is considered okay for a girl to sing, but would be considered misogynistic for a male to sing.
“Former X-Factor competitors Emblem3 have covered ‘All About That Bass.’ See how you feel about lines like, ‘Us guys like a little more booty to hold at night,’ and ‘It’s pretty clear she ain’t no size two/but she can shake it shake it/the way she’s supposed to do,’ when you’re listening to young men sing them … Are we supposed to applaud this? It’s positive to hear young men trash ‘skinny bitches,’ just so some women can feel better about not fulfilling a standard of beauty they’re longing for?”
While one ponders this, there’s the whole issue of the fact that Meghan, while pleasantly plump, isn’t actually obese, as is thirty-three percent of our society. So while her size 12 isn’t a size 2, it isn’t a 22, either. Is her message meant for all women, whether they are small, average, large, or very large? Her lyrics seem to point to a specific type of woman who men find attractive — and these women are not fat. They are, in fact, average.
“Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says boys like a little more booty to hold at night
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”
Which, inconveniently, seems to play back into a stereotype, as many feminists say.