Meghan Trainor sings antifeminist anthems

Meghan Trainor (Courtesy of US Magazine)

Yes, we’ve all suffered from having the bouncing beat of “All About that Bass” and the bopping twang of “Dear Future Husband” stuck on loop in our heads, but have we taken the time to actually listen to the drivel that Meghan Trainor is feeding us?

In an interview with MTV, Trainor openly admitted to not being a feminist, but wants to inspire girls around the world with her “body positive” songs.

The first red flag of this statement is that Trainor doesn’t recognize that while she is celebrating curvaceous women, she is simultaneously referring to women who don’t have this body type, as “skinny bitches.”

What kind of message does this send to her young fans? According to Trainor, a woman will only be attractive to a man when she has “a little more booty” for “boys to hold at night.”

Trainor is advising her listeners to continue to seek male validation for their self-esteem and perceptions of beauty, something that would make any modern feminist incredulous.

While “All About that Bass” did allow for women with more junk in the trunk to feel confident about their bass, any headway Trainor made with the tune was halted when she released “Dear Future Husband,” which is just as catchy, but twice as damaging.

Trainor’s music seeks to revisit what many consider to be the greatest American time period, full of rock and roll, peace and modernity: the 1950s.

What Trainor brings with her ’50s beat is the endorsement of outdated gender roles sung to a playful melody.

Trainor offers her future husband “the perfect wife” if he treats her right. For Trainor, the perfect wife is a woman who will stay home and buy groceries and do whatever he likes if he calls her beautiful each night and opens doors for her.

She is literally offering herself if her future husband treats her with the lowest modicum of respect. Anyone can see that Trainor’s view of womanhood is incredibly skewed.

Someone pinch me, it’s 1953 again!

Clearly, Trainor’s idea of a perfect marriage would be one where if the husband opens doors and tells his wife she’s beautiful, he is rewarded for being such an incredibly amazing, stand-up guy, with the perfect wife who will buy everything he needs and love him at night, even though she’s a woman and is definitely crazy half of the time.

But don’t worry, future Mr. Trainor, just “treat her like a lady” and everything will be fine! Specifically, treat her like a restricted, unequal lady from the 1950s.

Yes, Meghan, you’re allowed to bring us back to the ’50s, but must you also bring us back to antiquated and sexist standards as well?

We as a musical society need to have higher standards for our music — preferably music that doesn’t offend women everywhere.

Not only does Trainor’s music convey a message of sexism, but so too do her in-person interviews.

When asked about inspiration for “All About that Bass” and what she wanted her fans to take away from the song, Trainor responded saying that she doesn’t have high self-esteem herself, and only gained it from releasing the song and getting many fans’ praises of her body and beauty.

Furthermore, Trainor essentially stood by her “skinny bitch” body shaming lyrics and said that people who have anorexia are strong, and she could never be as strong as them. Um. Excuse me?

First of all, seeking external validation yourself is one thing, but endorsing it in your music and in your interviews is another thing entirely.

Secondly, telling people who have an eating disorder that they are “strong” and “admirable” is unacceptable. People who suffer from anorexia are constantly struggling, and though I myself have never experienced it, I can only imagine what kind of pain they experience.

They, along with millions of men and women who suffer from body image and self-esteem issues should not be punished with the pervasive sexist message of Trainor’s music.

With luck, Trainor will fade just like every other one-hit wonder.



  1. “…she is simultaneously referring to women who don’t have this body type, as “skinny bitches.””

    She overtly says, in the song itself, that that’s just a joke of a line. It’s literally the very next line. If you want to complain about it, that’s your prerogative, but if you’re going to lambast it in a public arena you’d better at least present it fairly.

    “According to Trainor, a woman will only be attractive to a man when she has “a little more booty” for “boys to hold at night.””

    The lyrics you’re quoting actually refer to her mother saying it was fine for Meghan herself to be the size she was, not that that was the ONLY acceptable way to be. If I said I liked driving a yellow Jeep, would you believe I meant that the only acceptable vehicle for the human population was a yellow Jeep?

    “For Trainor, the perfect wife is a woman who will stay home and buy groceries and do whatever he likes if he calls her beautiful each night and opens doors for her.”

    Really? Because the song clearly states she also has a 9 – 5 job and even directly says “So don’t be thinking I’ll be home and baking apple pies,” pointing out quite overtly that she’s a songwriter and not a stay-at-home wife.

    “Secondly, telling people who have an eating disorder that they are “strong” and “admirable” is unacceptable. People who suffer from anorexia are constantly struggling, and though I myself have never experienced it, I can only imagine what kind of pain they experience.”

    Yes, because clearly, having to undergo a struggle for nearly every moment of your waking life without giving up or mentally collapsing certainly doesn’t require strength. If I treated your words the way you treat Trainor’s, I would be publishing an article tomorrow about how Katelyn Billings thinks people with eating disorders are weak, pathetic human beings and we should all despise her.

    I don’t fundamentally disagree with the overall point of your article, Katelyn, but speaking as someone with eight years’ experience as a journalist, this piece sounds less like an article and more like a college essay you’re really hoping the professor won’t have time to properly fact-check. She’s not launching a campaign against women’s rights; she’s just singing in a style she enjoys.

  2. Feminism: Where a woman can be anything she wants….as long as it is something that feminism approves of. Sounds like oppression to me.

  3. I think shes the greatest new singer since Madonna! Shes hillarious and adorable and I love all the songs mentioned in this article. I don’t think her lyrics are meant to be taken as strong personal testimony but more as poking fun at herself and at all us girls who either got curves or are skinny bitches or whatever inbetween. The writer (Katelyn Billings) sure needs to take a chill pill.

  4. I appreciate all of the comments and criticisms! This conversation is exactly the reason why I joined the Concordy. Here are a few things I would like to say in response:

    In regards to the ‘All About that Bass’ analysis…

    How can you say that feminism is oppressing to women when the goal itself is to empower all women, regardless of shape or color? The song I wrote about specifically calls thinner women, ‘skinny bitches.’ How is this empowering to any young woman who might think of herself as too skinny? Answer: It’s not. Furthermore, she openly admitted to not being a feminist. By making that statement, Trainor is admitting that she does not support the equal treatment of women and men in any setting, which is quite surprising. How you can be a woman and not be a feminist. Do you not want to be treated as an equal on all levels?

    The Jeep metaphor was lost on me, but what I think you are responding to is my statement that Trainor was advocating body positivity, but only for a certain body type. I would also like to mention that while you are correct, her mother is supposedly the one sharing this wisdom with Trainor, the message is still flawed. The lyric is implying that Trainor only became confident in her body once she was the subject of male affection, otherwise noted in the article as ‘external validation.’ For someone who advocates body positivity, Trainor should know that it should be an intrinsic, not extrinsic quality. Intrinsic appreciation for one’s body is true body positivity, it is not choosing to appreciate your body once someone gives you affection.

    In regards to the comments about the ‘Dear Future Husband’ analysis…

    Yes, I can appreciate the fifties vibe that Trainor is selling at the moment, but I do not appreciate the way she describes the ‘perfect wife’ in terms of outdated gender roles. For one thing, Trainor plays into the stereotype that women are crazy, something that is offensive to women everywhere. Hasn’t the ‘women are hysterical’ motif died already? One article by Kate Beaudoin that I particularly like (all links are below) states,” It may be ‘just a pop song,’ but thousands of little girls will be singing ‘Dear Future Husband’ on the playground soon enough. This song teaches kids that men are born to be husbands and women are born to be wives. But that kind of rationale wears away at a woman’s right to be anything she wants. Trainor’s politics carry a dangerous message — one that we should have left behind long ago.” I agree, and find that Beaudoin hits the nail on the head and states her argument in an eloquent and convincing way. Yes, she says she has a 9-5 job as well, but that hardly makes up for the large amount of sexism she is selling.

    Claiming that this is ‘just a song,’ and that it shouldn’t be taken seriously, isn’t doing the song, or the music industry justice. For years, songs have been used to convey political messages, so claiming that this is ‘just a song’ is just naive. In a world where celebrities are now becoming more involved with political and social issues, they are prominently becoming an aspect of pop culture. Trainor’s interview answer in which she explicitly stated she did not consider herself a feminist is not inspiring to the many fans she so desperately seeks to inspire.

    Again, these thoughts are my own, and not those of the Concordiensis, or the staff.

    Here are the articles I referenced, and the interview is just a quick YouTube search away.

  5. I think this article clearly delineates how frivolous songs these days are. There’s clearly a controversy here in what the lyrics are about, but they’re either described by some as meaningless and “not a personal testimony” or as hurtful to women and feminism. Either way, it seriously takes someone some audacity to spark a hateful tirade on an author writing in an opinions section on an artist that either doesn’t care about having meaningful lyrics or one who likes sings bouncy lyrics to a damaging self image song. Besides the well crafted argument in this article, I think that all of Katelyn’s pints play a valid realization that a lot of people seemed to misunderstand: songs these days can’t seem to display any meanin other than surface level garbage. While she may be more than a one hit wonder per se, she’s certainly not bringing very much else to the lyrical “table”. Honestly, if you’re that vehement on this article, I think it’s time to reevaluate the actual content being sung in Trainor’s songs.

  6. What is the reporter (Katylen billings ) talking about . Meghan is standing up for women with body issues telli.g them not to worry about the “skinny bitches” and like them she had a problem with her body when she released her first song. And she just dealed with it .
    Like she says “Dear Future Husband ” is just a song that is what she feels about its her song not yours and Meghan is one of the best singers out . She ain’t gonna fade away like the other one-hits wonders like Beyonce she still making dough like many other one hit wonders out there. Also, Katylen you need to learn what people think about your topic she has a great amount of loving fans and I wonder what people think about you so far.

  7. maybe Meghan said she isn’t a feminist so that she doesn’t get stuck in this circle of people going to the next level unnecessarily. More curvaceous people get insulted all the time, and know she said “skinny bitches”, one “insult”, and now suddenly the world is ending. when she said skinny bitches, she was referring to skinny people bring bitchy towards her because of her body.

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