Honestly, when I first watched the video, I was uncomfortable but I couldn’t explain why. Then I watched it over again… The catchy chorus had me caught up for a minute, but then I started really analyzing it and figured out why I wasn’t empowered by the song or the video.
Black women as props yet again. And what’s worse is that this song keeps getting juxtaposed to Nicki’s Anaconda in terms of body positivity and sexuality, and which is more empowering. A white woman naked, with cheeks split will still be seen as angelic and innocent. (Explicit Example: Look at porn and how innocence is only attached to whiteness, and also works when in conjunction with thinness.) Black women are scripted as hypersexual savage beasts. So the fact that Meghan Trainor is apart of creating this apparent “body-positivity anthem” and offsetting her white body next to mainly Black women twerking and popping their ‘booty’ that Meghan apparently brought back is another way of placing a racist hierarchy on beauty, and therefore worthiness. *Throwback to Justin Timberlake bringing sexy back while also co-opting Black culture but throwing Janet Jackson under the bus when it was convenient to be white.*
This video literally reaffirms what society thinks of Black women. We’re disposable props, hypersexual, and accessible to anyone who wants to consume us.
I got a feel that there’s a hint of “Blaccent”/ co-opting of AAVE in certain lines. On some straight up Elvis ish. Also similar to everyone’s favorite appropriators: Iggy Azalea, Justin Timberlake, Kreyshawn, Lil’ Debbie, etc.
The video reaffirms a lot of problematic cultural norms. If you look hard enough, you can see that there are other examples of how our culture has defined this hierarchy of beauty and systemic racism.
The little girls are playing with dolls but all the dolls are white. "You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll." Well, some of us didn’t have a Barbie to reference in the first place.
Meghan sits at a table with a supposed love interest and he’s a beauty-standard attractive white man fitting the standard of whom we’re supposed to look to for validation (in terms of oppressive thinking). But interestingly enough, white men are the ones in power reaffirming that Black women need to be thinner and whiter because are bodies are seen as grotesque. So, having this ‘booty’ and ‘bass’ only helps non-Black women (primarily white women) when it comes to validation from white men.
The only fat person (SIONE MARASCHINO) in the video (who is slayinggggggg all you basics) seems to be a prop in a video still upholding thinness. Meghan isn’t fat even by white standards. “I ain’t no size 2…” But you’re not far from it, boo. The other women in the video aren’t fat either. **It’s important to note that when critiquing the Black women in the video, their thinness is not the same as Meghan’s or the other white women. Black women’s bodies are other-ed as beastly, ugly, animalistic, and overly sexual. But as a conscious fat black woman, I only see thin women in this video.
Fat people are used as fun accessories too. "Lol, my funny fat friend that defies all odds of fat people! Omg, they’re just like a big teddy bear!" Want your outfit to be cuter? Grab a fat friend to bring out those hues of thin privilege!
Fat people are people, each complex in their own way. We’re not all the same. Our history, our story, our experiences, our bodies are all different. There’s so much more to fat people than oversimplification of “that’s funny” and “they’re so cuddly.” But it is interesting that this video showcased a fat man rather than fat women even though the song is geared towards women- therefore, what oppressive thinking are we really disrupting in this video? BOOP.
So my final two cents: I’m not here for any of it except for Sione Maraschino slaying and taking names because he deserves praise for killing it regardless of this problematic video and music artist.