Warning: The song curses which may not be suitable for children.
Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” is currently number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 and has been steadily rising to that spot. It’s a catchy tune which seems to be unsure which genre it’s in about…well, accepting the body shape you have. Here’s the lyrics, let’s talk a bit more about the song.
The track begins with the repeated line from Trainor, “Because you know / I’m all about that bass / ‘Bout that bass, no treble.” What does she mean by that? It means she’s content with her size and doesn’t want to change it. Basically, she’s content with the way she was made. The Lord doesn’t look at our outward appearance, but who we are inside (1 Samuel 16:7). The Lord designed us exactly as we’re supposed to be – wonderfully and made for His good (Psalms 139:14-16). Off to a decent start.
Trainor continues with the first verse, “Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two / But I can shake it, shake it / Like I’m supposed to do / ‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase / And all the right junk in all the right places.” In this line Trainor says she knows she’s not tiny, but will still flaunt her stuff as she knows dudes like bigger girls. She subscribes to the Sir Mix-A-Lot school of thought that the boys, “…like big butts.” Is she wrong? Well, no. Bottom line is different people are attracted to different things. This is a truth we all tend to ignore as we look at people in TV and movies and assume their version of beauty must be our own. We are all made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and when the Lord puts that true love in our hearts, our love is always beautiful to us (Song of Solomon 4:7). Now, a question as you listen to the song arises here – has Trainor crossed the line from healthy self image into self-idolatry/worship. Thinking highly of yourself is criticized throughout the Bible (Proverbs 16:5, Proverbs 26:12, Romans 12:3). You should not boast in yourself, but in the Lord (Jeremiah 9:23-24, 1 Corinthians 1:31). That said, taking the totality of the song, I don’t think Trainor is thinking too highly of herself here. I don’t think she’s building herself into her own idol. I think she’s just comfortable in her own skin and to that, I say, “Good for you girl.”
Maybe I shouldn’t say that as I’m fairly certain I can’t pull that off, but I digress.
Now, there is another item to discuss here before I get much further. We are called to be content in what we have (Philippians 4:11-13). We also know that God made us in His image and were wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14-16). That said, we still should be healthy. Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit and we should treat it with respect (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Having a natural body shape or a body condition which helps spark how your body looks is one thing, allowing yourself to get unhealthy is another. We all fail at this from time to time, we all need reminders to treat our body with respect. But, again, I digress.
Trainor continues singing, “I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop / We know that s*** ain’t real / C’mon now, make it stop / If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up / ‘Cause every inch of you is perfect / From the bottom to the top.” First, regarding using Photoshop to fake who you truly are – that’s a lie, deception to the world. The Bible emphasizes being truthful and condemns lies pretty clearly (Proverbs 12:19, James 5:12). Now, are we perfect? Nope, only Christ is perfect, but I don’t think that’s what she’s going for here. Trainor is still talking about beauty. She’s talking about how beauty is not defined by the world, by those who only find beauty in one type of person. The truth is, she’s right and wrong. Beauty as defined by God is an inward beauty, not based on physical adornment or even, at times, physical beauty (1 Peter 3:3-5). In their piece on beauty in the Bible, GotQuestions.org wrote:
What is beautiful in God’s eyes? Recognizing the qualities God has cherished in the lives of other people is one way to determine His concept of beauty. Noah’s implicit trust in God led him to construct a gigantic boat miles from water. Abraham trusted God’s promise so implicitly that he would have sacrificed his son of promise without hesitation. Moses yielded total control of his life to God and became the man of meekness. David gave his whole being to doing the will of God. No consequence or shameful treatment could keep Daniel from reverencing his God. Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy were ruled by God in every consideration and decision. They were totally focused upon Jesus’ will as they shared the gospel with all. In all these qualities God saw great beauty.
While all these people were beautiful to God, virtually nothing is known about their physical appearance. It was not their physique or stateliness but their faith and service that made them beautiful. The same was true of God’s beautiful women: Rahab, Hannah, Ruth, Deborah, and Mary of Bethany. Those noted for physical beauty were often great spiritual disappointments. Rebekah was “very beautiful” (Genesis 26:7), but she was also a deceiver and manipulator. Saul was a man of physical beauty, but his disobedience against God hurt the nation of Israel.
Trainor then continues as she sings, “Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size / She says, ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.’ / You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll / So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along.” Once again, Trainor acknowledges that she’s bigger and that her Mom gave her advice to stop worrying about her body type. She also said that those interested in women of a different body type to move on, cause that’s not her. Pretty practical, for the most part. Is it Biblical? Well, everything when it comes to interpreting music is subjective as seen by every single one of these articles I’ve written. First, I’ve already discussed being content with how God designed you. Be healthy, but you are in God’s image so don’t insult yourself or hate yourself. If you’re unhealthy, fix it. The Lord can provide you with the tools to do so. If you are naturally larger (bigger hips, bigger shoulders, etc), be content with the way God designed you. Don’t try to be something you are never able to be, that’s unhealthy. Second, regarding “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” As long as she’s talking in the confines of marriage, I don’t care if a man holds his wife’s booty and again, we’re getting subjective. If it’s outside the confines of marriage, I will reiterate that sex was designed for marriage (Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 7:8-9); booty squeezing at night time while sleeping occurs in a sexually open environment and therefore, should be reserved for marriage.
Trainor then goes back to being all about the bass as she repeats the chorus. The second verse is two parts – the part we just discussed preceded by the following lyrics: “I’m bringing booty back / Go ahead and tell them skinny b*****s that / No I’m just playing / I know you think you’re fat / But I’m here to tell ya / Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” While reiterating much about her previous verse, Trainor goes on to address skinny girls in a joke which some of them may not like. Saying skinny b*****s is never a good idea, even when followed up with “Just playing.” That said, in this verse she brings up a point worth discussing. Many people have negative self worth, feel poor about themselves including those who the world may view as beautiful or useful. We need to be able to weed through those things which we’re upset about which are Godly and those which are not. Being angry at yourself for sinning is a good thing. Being angry with yourself because you don’t like the shape of your nose or the way your shoulders lay is not. Paul pointed to an important truth in 2 Corinthians 7:10 when he said, “For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.” Godly grief, anger leads to a better life. Worldly grief leads to death. We see it as it leads people into depression, sorrow, and bitterness. We need to be able to distinguish between those feelings of poor self worth derived from you genuinely being at fault for something from those where you are hating yourself merely for being beautifully and wonderfully made as God designed you, in His image. One is healthy, the other is not and the latter may require help from others to help you address it. Always seek the help for there is always someone who can and will help.
Overall, Meghan Trainor’s ode to her frame/booty is a fun song with a relatively decent message. It reminds us of some evil in ourselves, in the world that is trying to redefine beauty by it’s own definition. It also points to some items which are less than Biblical. All in all, though, we need to remember that the true definition of beauty is not from without, though, but from within. God’s beauty is from the soul, not from the flesh. While Trainor is writing an ode to how she finds herself beautiful and bigger women should be comfortable in their own skin, she also is still pointing to an external beauty which is not what God is seeking. He sees beyond that into the soul. He sees the true beauty within. He sees the inner depths of your soul. You know what? He loves you anyway. He is willing to clean out those sins from within through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. He is willing to help make you perfectly as you were originally designed; not worldly perfect, not Trainor’s perfect, but Godly perfect. He is in the process of perfecting us and making us more like Christ. But first, you need to acknowledge Christ. Seek Him and He will perfect you starting right where you are.