Ms. Trainor’s body image-affirming lyrics have won her widespread acclaim. And for good reason. I mean, who doesn’t want someone to bring booty back? And that’s right every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top! And I most definitely echo her cries regarding photoshop. This is a jam I have turned up more than once, and sang along loud and proud with my girls in the backseat. Maybe it was singing along that really got me thinking about the lyrics…
After establishing that she ain’t no size two, she reassures us that she can still shake it shake it like she’s supposed to do. She also let’s us know that she has that boom boom that all the boys chase. And that her momma told her not to worry about her size because boys like a little more booty to hold at night. So, as a momma, what I’m hearing is that the worth of this girl’s body lies in the fact that it is desirable to the fellas. And that she can shake it.
I love love love just about every other bit of the song, I really do. But I can’t help but cringe a bit at those few lines. Because ladies, your body is so much more that what some boy likes to squeeze at night. I can’t help but feel like those few lines just reinforce the sexualization and objectification of the female form that we have all been trying so hard to fight against for so long. She seems to be saying that it’s ok that she isn’t a size two because boys like that. She should be saying that it’s ok that she isn’t a size two because it’s ok that she isn’t a size two.
Instead of putting so much focus on what our bodies look like, let’s focus on what our bodies can do, shall we? The human body is amazing, and I have a special affinity for the female version. I went through that period of body image issues we all go through, and I still get stuck in that difficult place sometimes. Especially when I see another lady with those legs I have always wished I had (mine are riddled with spider veins) or a nice smooth mole-free back (thanks, dad). It wasn’t until after I had my first daughter that I realized, my body rocks! I was able to nurture life inside of me! And not only that, I could sustain that life outside of my body for months! My body could feed my baby, pick her up, get down on the floor and play with her, and get me just about anywhere. Nowadays, I try to be active and healthy so my body can continue to move with some measure of ease as the years go on. If my girls chose to have kiddos of their own, I want my body to be able to get down on the floor and play with them, too. I was never a runner, but I got that Couch to 5K app and I am becoming a better runner everyday. I never learned how to ride a bike growing up, but my husband taught me last year, and now I’m training for a 67 mile bike ride. My body doesn’t look a lot different than it did when I was in my body-hating days: a few more pounds here, some more wrinkles there. But what has changed is my view of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to flip that script. I have to remind myself everyday that my body is able to DO— it’s not for decoration, it’s not meant to look pretty. It’s meant to carry me through the day. And I am grateful every day that it does so.
I may not be bringing booty back, and I may not be able to shake it very well, but every inch of me is perfect from the bottom to the top. Period.
What can your body do? Post in comments and start a conversation!