I’ve been putting this off for too long; not for fear of admitting I was wrong, but because I always had something else on my mind that I wanted to say that got in the way.
So, way back in September of last year (has it really been that long?), I criticized Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda for not being the feminist message that it portended to be. However, I made the sorry mistake of saying that Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass was able to keep the theme of booty pride while retaining a more girl friendly atmosphere.
Well, as a few readers were eager to point out, this was not the case.
Upon repeated hearings and exploring the rest of her body of work, it’s hard to deny that Meghan is just as near sighted as Nicki in terms of the definition of feminine.
Nowhere is this more clear then when I finally found a line in All About That Bass shaming petite framed girls by calling them “skinny bitches.” There was also the line where she explains that she “[Shakes] it like I’m supposed to do.” Again, we have the problem narrowly defining what as woman should and shouldn’t be. What if a girl doesn’t want to show off her butt? Doesn’t she have other avenues she can pursue to gain respect and attention?
Also, when I heard her newer single Lips Are Movin’ – a song about distrusting a lover, I started to notice another uncomfortably off-key message of empowerment; promoting women by shaming men. I get that the stereotype is that men are sex-crazed jackasses, but so-called “slut shaming” works both ways and when you say that you “know [we’re] lying ’cause [our] lips are moving” is not only painting with a broad brush, it’s also painting in a very offensive shade. And if it wasn’t cute when the Spice Girls did it, it sure as hell isn’t cute now.
So, yes – I was demonstrably wrong about Meghan Trainor. She is not the saint of female empowerment that I gave her credit for being.
That being said, she is still LEAGUES above Nicki Minaj in terms of likability. Where Nicki is aggressive about her sexuality to the point of trying way too hard to impress, Meghan is more reserved which has the effect making her seem more sweet and good-natured.
Also, and this purely a matter of personal preference, I find Meghan’s 1950’s throwback sound more tasteful and gentle on the ears than Nicki’s ripping-off and butchering of an ACTUAL female empowerment anthem.
Basically, what I’m straining to get out is this; the difference in insulting between Meghan Trainor and Nicki Minaj is the difference between a put-down from Tyrion Lannister and Dane Cook’s “The Finger” sketch… and if forced to choose, I’ll take being verbally slapped in the face by Peter Dinklage over someone flipping me the bird while bouncing around like an amphetamine-fueled Chimpanzee any day.
Of course, I’d rather just settle on someone that didn’t offend my senses and made me happy.