Photo by:by benjthemanusedtobemyusernamethenitgothitbyabanne
I find that numerous references to women’s weight appear frequently in popular music. Said references include both positive and negative reflections of beauty based on weight, shape, and size. When I hear lyrics that incorporate such judgement, it almost makes me laugh.
Can someone really sell millions of records while objectifying a women because of her weight or shape? The answer sadly is yes. Most of us are guilty of enjoying songs that, when taken a closer look at, are extremely sexist or offensive. When a tune catches our ear we often do not take the words to heart but what if we did? An example from a classic rock song by AC/DC shows us that this has been an issue longer than some would expect.
“She was a fast machine. She kept her motor clean. She was the best damn woman that I ever seen. She had the sightless eyes, telling me no lies. Knocking me out with those American thighs.” — “You Shook Me All Night Long,” -AC/DC
Now let us take a closer look at the words of AC/DC: The lyrics “She was a fast machine. She kept her motor clean. She was the best damn woman that I ever seen” sounds more like an old man reminiscing about a car he had in his prime, not a lady. Even if I did picture a female, it wouldn’t be your everyday average Jane. I picture this motor cleansing women wearing leather and looking something like a dominatrix. If I were the woman he was referring to, I would be completely objectified. Why does being similar to an old fast car make this woman the best “damn” woman this guy has ever seen? I’m not sure when being compared to a car became a compliment, but it doesn’t flatter me.
The next line of the song reads, “She had sightless eyes, telling me no lies. Knocking me out with those American Thighs.” Wait a minute, as a young and prosperous feminist I want to have my sight of the future! Why does a man want a woman with no vision for the future, better yet why are women with visions and goals portrayed as being deceitful?
I’ll admit I like this song, it is catchy and it’s a classic, but these lines are actually disgusting. The most interesting part of this verse to me; however, is the reference to the woman’s thighs. I am a white female who is American and I could not tell you what “American Thighs” are. I’m not sure what makes thighs such a seductive body part in the first place. Why as a female do I have to walk around and feel like everyone is looking at my thighs? These references make females, myself included, self-conscious of their body. I don’t want to be self-conscious, in fact I do not have time to be self-conscious. Women shouldn’t have to worry themselves with whether or not they have attractive thighs.
I also have found a trend with women artists reinforcing male stereotypes in songs as a way to try to reclaim their sexuality. For example, female rapper and pop artist, Nicki Minaj is a sex symbol in popular culture. In her songs, Nicki often makes references to herself and other females that one would normally expect from a male artist. For example, in her song, “Anaconda”, Nicki raps about men wanting girls with large butts. In her lyrics, she even makes stabs at thin women in the verse, “F!@%# the skinny b*tches, F!@%# the skinny b*tches in the club. I wanna see all the big fat ass b*tches in the club, F’ you if you skinny b*tches. What? Yeah!” I think that there is a better way that she can embrace her shape without bashing other women. She just as easily could have F’ those hatin’ b*tches instead of bashing women for being thin.
This also brings me to my next example of women trying to embrace their beauty but going about it the wrong way. Meghan Trainor came out with the hit song “All About that Bass.” The song is all about embracing your beauty and not having to be skinny to be desirable. Although the song does have a melody of empowerment, Meghan does also take a stab at thin women. In my opinion, if Meghan really wanted people to embrace their beauty, she wouldn’t have ostracized other females for being different.
I think women big, small, short, or tall should all love themselves. A woman does not have to be a certain weight or height to be beautiful. I think it is important for people to understand just because a song is catchy and we may enjoy it does not mean that it is setting a standard for beauty. Beauty looks good on everyone and everyone is beautiful in their own way. It does not matter what your thighs look like or how big your butt is or is not. If you’re not a size 2 you are still desirable and attractive. Women shouldn’t have to shame one another to feel comfortable with themselves.
Let me know your opinions about the way women’s weight is negatively or positively portrayed in popular music. Also if you have any songs that stick out in your mind in relation to this post you can attach them in the comment box. I’d love to hear them! I have attached links at the bottom of the page to the songs that I have referenced including a funny parody to Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”.
Peace. Love. Respect.
- AC/DC https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo2qQmj0_h4
- Meghan Trainor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PCkvCPvDXk
- Nicki Minaj https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDZX4ooRsWs
- Parody for “All About That Bass” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6xXEaWz5Iw