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Body positivity in recent music

As much as I appreciate music in all forms and for breaking the boundaries, sometimes they give the wrong message despite having the right intentions. Songs such as Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” have good intentions of giving confidence to women of various sizes.  However, they are calling out a group of people who may be naturally skinny.

Skinny women have dominated fashion magazine photo spreads, New York Fashion Week, movies and music for quite a while. Although I applaud Minaj and Trainor for trying to change that outlook, they are not encouraging inclusive body positivity because they are calling out the “skinny bitches.” 

I admit, even though the songs have catchy tunes and I will bob my head to them when it comes up on the radio, once the song starts playing, I start feeling uncomfortable.

Coming from someone who is naturally skinny, I find Minaj and Trainor’s songs problematic. I feel I shouldn’t be going to the club because my butt isn’t big enough or guys won’t like me because I’m not curvy enough. They’re calling people like me a “skinny bitch.” 

Growing up, I wanted to be more curvaceous as I saw my peers go through puberty and “look more like women.” Because of my size, people always tell me to “go eat a burger” or “go drink a milkshake.”

As I have gotten older, I am also scared for the day when my metabolism will slow down because that means I will probably gain some weight. I won’t be naturally skinny anymore, or it will be harder for me to keep my figure with exercise alone. The glorification by the media that comes with my natural skinniness is hard to keep up, for if I am to gain some weight, there will be a stigma of “letting myself go,” which is another difficult thing to deal with that comes with its own snide comments.

It has taken me all of my adolescence to accept my body as it is. I may not have the butt or the breast size people deem acceptable, but I am happy the way I am and it works for me. I also need to accept whatever changes my body will have later.

I give the songs credit for preaching to the women who aren’t skinny but that does not mean people who may be naturally skinny are exempt from body image issues.  If one were to sing or rap about being happy with their bodies, it should include all body types. No body type deserves to be singled out, whether it is the majority or minority.