Body-positive artist Meghan Trainor: 'I don’t consider myself a feminist'

Billboard No 1 artist, who rose to prominence with the song All About That Bass, is reluctant to associate with the term

Meghan Trainor, whose “body-positive” new single is currently No 1 in the US, says she doesn’t “consider [herself] a feminist”. The singer seems to have borne out the claims of her critics, who argued that for a song ostensibly about self-acceptance, All About That Bass could be perceived as judgmental about certain female bodies.

“I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I’m down for my first opportunity to say something to the world to be so meaningful,” Trainor told Billboard. “If you asked me, ‘What do you want to say?’ it would be, ‘Love yourself more.’”

Although All About That Bass has won many fans by telling women “not to worry about [their] size”, it also offers its own guidelines for what sizes are OK. The song refers to “skinny bitches”, claiming that men “like a little more booty to hold at night”.

For many listeners, this is its own kind of body shaming, and reinforces the idea that a woman’s beauty rests on male validation. “Loving yourself because dudes like what you’ve got going on is a pretty flimsy form of self-acceptance,” wrote Chloe Angyal. “The point of loving yourself no matter what is that you love yourself no matter what boys, or anyone else, thinks about your booty.”

For Trainor, these criticisms “make no sense”. “I would never shame a skinny person! I don’t know who would want to,” she told Pop Justice. Asked about the way the song elevates the importance of male acceptance, Trainor replied: “I don’t know, man! I just wrote a fun song about loving your booty and loving your body! I never had a problem getting boys.”

More controversy awaits Trainor’s latest single, Title. “You gotta treat me like a trophy / Put me on the shelf,” she sings to a prospective boyfriend. “You gotta show me off.”

All About That Bass is currently No 52 on the UK singles chart.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Is Meghan Trainor's uber-hit All About That Bass anti-feminist?
Beejoli Shah: Is the song, which crashed into the singles chart on Sunday, actually bad for women?

Beejoli Shah

30, Sep, 2014 @9:08 AM

Article image
Brody Dalle on the Booty video: 'Pop stars feel that using their bodies is the only currency they have'
The former Distillers frontwoman has denied ‘slut shaming’ in her criticism of Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea’s new video

Guardian music

24, Sep, 2014 @1:24 PM

Article image
Meghan Trainor: ‘Yeah, I’m getting flak for All About That Bass. It’ll come for as long as the song lives’
Caroline Sullivan: Is the surprise megahit really a dig at thinner women? No way, says the singer, it’s about loving and rocking whatever you’ve got

Caroline Sullivan

02, Oct, 2014 @4:35 PM

Article image
Germaine Greer criticises Beyoncé: 'Why has she always got to be naked?'
Controversial feminist says nudity is ‘usually a sign of submission, inequality’

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

08, Jun, 2018 @9:18 AM

Article image
'If I shed the layers, I am a slut': Billie Eilish addresses body image criticism
The 18-year-old confronted societal ‘assumptions about people based on their size’ on the first night of her world tour

Laura Snapes

10, Mar, 2020 @11:22 AM

Article image
Body of work: why Billie Eilish is right to stand her ground against shaming
Billie Eilish has done everything right in her career so far, but that’s not enough for a celebrity industry fixated on sex

Laura Snapes

10, Mar, 2020 @6:29 PM

Article image
'I feel guilty but I hate my body': a feminist confesses
She’s a campaigner. She counts calories 24/7. Thinking about food takes up more energy than her career. Does Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett have an eating disorder?

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

08, Nov, 2014 @9:00 AM

Article image
Meghan Trainor wins best new artist Grammy
Meghan Trainor triumphs in a category that also featured James Bay, Sam Hunt, Tori Kelly and Courtney Barnett

Tim Jonze

16, Feb, 2016 @3:18 AM

Article image
Chocolate Remix: the lesbian reggaeton artist taking on Argentina's 'supermachos'
Reggaeton is almost as famous for its dodgy lyrics as its dancehall rhythms. But in Argentina, one woman is busting sexual taboos and outswaggering the men

Ella Jessel

07, May, 2017 @4:00 PM

Article image
T​h​e Pirelli calendar​‘s feminist makeover​ is nothing but lip service | Suzanne Moore
A few beautiful shots of ‘real women’ and we’re supposed to forget about a fashion industry selling anorexia and self-hatred to our young girls

Suzanne Moore

02, Dec, 2015 @9:16 PM