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The ASS-tonishing Truth

Jasmine Kianfard |
October 16, 2015 | 12:47 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Meghan Trainor (via Creative Commons)
Meghan Trainor (via Creative Commons)

It’s time to face it: it’s all about that bass and we’re all in treble. While admittedly Meghan Trainor’s song has a catchy hook and a lively beat, the message behind the lyrics is one is out of date.

The booty-loving tune has sparked an almost battle between meaty vs. skinny. While it use to be that thin women were seen as the chosen beauties and example of what the perfect body is supposed to look like, now having some meat on the bones is seen as a positive thing. And while the focus use to be more so on a woman’s bust area, the focus has migrated lower. 

“Girls who naturally have bigger butts feel more confident, which is great, although just like when boobs got real big, girls with small chests felt insecure...girls who are super flat feel super insecure too,” USC Ph. D. in Gerontology candidate, Allison Ponzio, said. 

The main problem with our pop cultural fixation on a woman’s body doesn’t have to do with which body part the focus is on. The problem is the fixation itself. 

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We are listening to songs that attempt to celebrate women, but still reduce them to their separate physical parts, when we should instead be celebrating female achievement. What’s worse is many of these songs about females are sung by females. Now this looks like a case of girl-on-girl crime. 

“Body image is shifting and now adding these new things on, and so you’re suppose to have the best features of every ethnicity or whatever and nobody can really follow that,” Sophie Pepin, a sophomore chemical engineer student, said. 

Recently female rapper, Nicki Minaj, dropped a remix to Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” calling it “Anaconda”. Minaj did a remake of a song that is essentially fixating on the female rear-end, not to mention that it is originally sung by a male, giving men the green light to idolize women for their assets.  

In her song, Minaj repeatedly sings “F*ck those skinny b*tches,” aiming at women who are perhaps not as well-endowed from behind. But this sort of fixation on having a larger butt, derides women of smaller proportions. 

The real question is, why is pop culture always singling out a body type that simply is not as good as others, pitting women against each other? 

This not only causes body-shaming among women, but in fact gives men reason to view women as simply a culmination of their body parts. With lyrics such as “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” we are feeding into what men want from women, disregarding the idea of self-love. 

“Unfortunately, their butts carry them more than their talent does which is sort of frustrating because you know I feel like there are other women who deserve a spotlight, not because their asses are huge, it’s just....it’s sometimes disheartening” Ponzio said. 

But Minaj isn’t the only one pointing out a woman’s exterior--this behavior stretches past the red carpet and onto political platforms. 

ecently, presidential candidate Donald Trump, referring to opponent Carly Fiorina, said “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” 

When asked for a response, Fiorina simply said “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” 

Turns out women all over, both on and off the carpet, have heard and are weighing in...and I’m not talking about stepping on a scale. 

The social media hashtag #AskHerMore, sparked during awards season, has gained steam. The movement began when actress Reese Witherspoon, along with other Hollywood heavyweights, voiced frustration over the fixation on actresses’ appearance. Witherspoon advocated the campaign “to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet”. 

#AskHerMore asks people to dig deeper than just fashion accessories, wardrobes, and women’s bodies. “Stop asking women questions about what they wear to cover the containers they carry their brains around in,” tweeted Hollywood screenwriter, director, and producer Shonda Rhimes, with the #AskHerMore. 

It doesn’t matter if you are a woman in Hollywood or outside of Hollywood. Women everywhere are taking a stand, using social media as a powerful platform to ask others to look at them for their achievements, not for what they present on the outside. 

To truly empower women isn’t about writing lyrics that attract a male audience or pin groups of women against each other. It’s also not about asking the quickly expiring question of who are you wearing? It’s about embracing all types of females-flat chested, big busted, Kardashian-bootied, skinnylicious, or any combination of the mentioned. 

Better yet, how about we embrace a world where empowering women doesn’t even mention the female body? Let's create a world where we embrace women for their accomplishments and empower them through their successes; where we praise them for their achievements rather than for their bodies. 

So sorry Meghan Trainor, turns out it’s not all about that bass.

Reach Staff Reporter Jasmine Kianfard here



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