Meghan Trainor and the Skinny Bitch Backlash

July 22, 2014 • Music

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock since June, you’ve seen Meghan Trainor’s adorable video for her body positivity anthem “All About That Bass.” Every second of it is inventive and engaging and funny, from the pastel pink, purple, and peach palette to the ‘60s girl band choreography of badass QWOC director Fatima Robinson. There’s an impressive array of racial and body diversity in the cast, too, including a show-stealing appearance from Vine superstar Sione Maraschino. After his parking lot stepping took over the Internet last year, it’s cool to see him booking gigs like this one.

But, of course, because we can’t have nice things, the song has inspired some controversy.

For body-shaming skinny girls.

I’ll give you a second to allow your eyeballs to finish orbiting. Yes, in the ears of some listeners, Trainor’s single lyrical reference to “skinny bitches,” for which she actually issues an apology in the very next line, is single-handedly setting the feminist movement back fifty years. A quick Google search for “Meghan Trainor body shaming” reveals the following comments:

  • Having a good body image should be about supporting health at any size, not body shaming someone as a “stick figure” or “skinny bitch.” It is a shame, since this could otherwise have been a very uplifting and catchy song!
  • The song is cute but it could do without the body shaming of skinny girls.
  • Although I understand how she meant to express the idea of accepting oneself regardless of body weight/looks, shaming the other side of the coin “Skinny” can actually taint that message.

YouTuber albinwonderland, who is usually so on-point about all things feminist, chimed in with a strong objection to the video, tweeting, “IT’S BODY POSITIVE…… for these specific bodies. cool you did it, you accomplished nothing, congrats on spinning in a circle.”

The “specific bodies” albinwonderland is talking about belong to women who are constantly and consistently devalued and dehumanized by a culture which views their fatness as nothing less than a moral failing.

As activist Virgie Tovar writes, “‘Fat’ has become shorthand for undisciplined, immoral, lazy, idiotic, selfish, unprofessional, and insatiable… it is quite obviously just the newest manifestation of the war on women, on people of color and on poor and working-class people. It has become the banner under which the mother-blaming discourse blazes forward. It has become shorthand for poor and Brown/Black.” Fatness is stigmatized, skinniness is prioritized, and women, poor people, and people of colour are hit first and hardest.

The “skinny bitch” backlash, it’s important to understand, comes from a position of profound privilege. And, yes, I do mean “privilege” in the most classical sense of the word; skinny people materially benefit from social bias against fat people. Recent studies have shown that overweight students, particularly girls, are less likely to be admitted to university. Obese employees are thirty-seven times more likely to report employment discrimination than their “normal weight” colleagues. The vast majority of health care professionals stereotype heavy patients and chalk up any and all health problems to their weight gain, leading to widespread misdiagnosis.

And so I’m really curious about why anyone would say that a music video filled with curvy brown and black people getting their life to a song about loving their curves “accomplishes nothing” simply because it includes a throwaway reference to “skinny bitches.”

All women live with the tremendous social pressure of body-policing, but the ultimate goal of that body-policing is to deify skinny women over fat women – and, as Tovar elucidated, rich women over poor women, and white women over women of colour. Women whose bodies conform to social standards of acceptability don’t get to dictate how the fat acceptance movement organizes itself. They don’t get to demand space in pop-cultural celebrations of marginalized bodies. “Skinny bitch” doesn’t convey the widespread, systemic cultural hatred–or the implicit racism and classism–of “fat bitch.”

If you want to call out Trainor for her use of a misogynistic slur, then, sure, go ahead. But you do not get to be outraged because she called you skinny.

I mean, goddamn.

Some of the women up in arms about “skinny bitch” have also called out Trainor for the line that kicks off her chorus: “My mama, she told me, ‘Don’t worry about your size.’ She said, ‘Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.’”

Now, the knee-jerk reaction to this line has been, “Actually, you should love your body no matter what boys think, because you don’t need a man to validate you!” And that’s all well and good – or it would be, if we didn’t live in a culture which thrives on telling fat women that they don’t deserve love and sex.

Who cares if a fat woman wants to record a banging body positivity anthem which includes lyrics about… well, banging? So what? Why can’t Meghan Trainor drape her body positivity in overt sexuality? Implying that fat women need men to be happy and comfortable is one thing.  Insisting – in the face of constant, pervasive cultural fatphobia – that fat women are desirable is quite another. No one should be pitching a fit about “boys like a little more booty” in a media landscape where fat women’s sexuality is always, always relegated to jokes, where they never, ever get the guy, where their weight is an obstacle, if not a permanent blockade, to love and fulfillment.

More power to Meghan Trainor. More power to women who have been made to feel inferior and undesirable because of this world’s perceptions of their bodies. More power to them as they create their own spaces, sing their own songs, and dance to the beat of their own drums in a world which ignores them.

  • Anthony Taitz

    Kickin’ article. Totally rocked!

  • Jennifer Santos

    The song is perpetuating the idea that female bodies should be pitted against each other and that the real prize is winning male attention, things that are as problematic as fat shaming.

    • sass

      AMEN. OH AMEN.

    • Steve

      your an idiot. you are whats wrong with feminism. we should all want to impress people. nothing at all is wrong with attention.

      • Anthony

        oh the irony. “your an idiot.” really? that’s how you want to insult someone’s intelligence, by misspelling “you’re.”

        • Steve

          You got me son. Grammar + Spelling = intelligence. Oh wait. it could just be that i speak 3 languages. and you’re a moron… Take an iq test sometime. its much more than english. Logic + reasoning have nothing to do with your mother tongue you ignorant fool.

          • McDoty

            The point is that, if you are going to speak in English, you might try to do it properly if you plan on insulting someone. Also, while grammar and spelling may not describe intelligence, it usually is linked to education level and training. The real sign of intelligence is content though. Your content is seriously lacking. You state that the OP is what’s wrong with feminism. This does 2 incorrect things: 1. It assumes the OP is a feminist.., the problem here is that the OP’s view on feminism is unknown, hence why it is an assumption. Your entire argument is built upon a single unproven statement, which doesn’t lend you much credibility. 2. It assumes that feminism has only one flaw. We all know that everything has more than one flaw… Besides, what then is correct about feminism? I would bet you believe nothing is. Which means that you are categorizing feminism into having one goal: to be against men. Therefore it can only have one flaw, and it is easily identifiable… However, that isn’t the point of feminism, neither was it the point of the OP’s statement.

            Not only was your entire declaration based on unproven assumptions, and misguided opinions, but you offer up exactly NO evidence to support your statement. No evidence to show that the statement was wrong, no evidence to show the OP as an idiot, no evidence to show how the OP is a feminist, no evidence to show how the statement relates to what “is wrong with feminism,” and no evidence to show what exactly you mean by “wrong with feminism.” I mean what is wrong with it? Is it that women can speak on the internet, since you are obviously assuming OP is a woman? There is no way for anyone reading your comment to derive the meaning of your statement, and furthermore, even if we could figure what the fuck you are talking about, there is no validation or substantiation of you claim whatsoever.

            There are only two categories of people who post on the internet like this. (Just to clarify what, “like this” means: posts that make quick insulting comments without any proof or sense behind them,

          • McDoty

            Sorry, I was cut off.

            Only two categories post messages which are sure to incite some form of rage amongst a specific group of readers, have no evidence or sense behind their statements, and always contain an insult.

            Only two:
            1. Trolls
            2. Extreme Idiots

            Neither of which are worth arguing with, hence why the person you responded to did not respond to you, and why I will not respond to anything you might reply back to me. The only reason I even typed this, is because I am extremely bored, and every once in awhile it is amusing to call trolls and idiots out.

    • BooMushroom

      Female bodies are pitted against one another. The prize is male attention. The females who lost the contest did not procreate, and the men who did not give them their attention also did not procreate. This is evolution 101, and you don’t have to like it for it to be true.

      • McDoty

        Actually the competition is, and pretty much always was in the mammal world for the males. Women are super picky, men are not. That is evolution. Women hating each other, and being pitted against each other is a social construct, and it has clearly gotten out of control

        • Bradley Baker

          I think you’re right. Have you looked at online dating lately? Women are supposed to put up a cute picture, a couple of enticing lines then sift through hundreds of emails a day. Cherry pick some guy and cross her fingers. Girls, if you are reading this and thinking about online dating, you have to go get that man. Most of the best guys are going to take the time to fill out a profile. Our culture has broken down our needs as a species to procreate and seeking an emotional connection has always been a part of it. Young boys learn that they aren’t supposed to like “fat” girls. But most men really don’t care. It’s peer pressure of our culture that holds back the good ones.

        • Athlone McGinnis

          This is somewhat debatable. While it is true that women are generally far pickier than men, it is not accurate to say that female competition for mates is “a social construct”. The crucial component that is missing in your reasoning is female hypergamy, otherwise known as the general tendency among human females to favor higher quality men. You touch on this when you mention the fact that women are “super picky” (this hypergamy is precisely the reason why they are super picky), but you didn’t note the consequences of that highly selective nature. Women all generally prefer high quality men, and said men are in relatively short supply relative to the number of women (read: a handful of men tend to command a disproportionately large share of attention from women). This does lead to competition, as not every woman can actually get to the attention and resources possessed by these high status males.

          I am not saying that female animosity toward one another cannot be amplified by social constructions, but I would maintain that it simply isn’t accurate to claim that females are not naturally competitive at all. There do exist inherent roots to human female competitiveness.

          • McDoty

            Women are not overly-picky simply because there are few “high quality” males women are overly picky by nature, because we are the ones who incur the most risk and damage during procreation. Way the fuck back when, women would pick the men who had the greatest chance of protecting the offspring, and also who had the right genes (through the subconscious attraction or lack of attraction to their pheromones) to create offspring with healthy DNA, but one or a few males can, and often do protect an entire community within the animal and specifically Ape arenas. The competitiveness between women is not explained by mere evolution, and the “hypergamy” does not translate to their being only a “handful” of men, which by the way, is a total misconception in itself, there are a “handful” of men to which each woman can be attracted to, but here is the kicker, that handful is different for each woman. Remember those circle groups you make that intersect, so you can find the thing that satisfies all qualities? Imagine each circle as the group of potential suitors for one woman. Are there going to be some men that are sought out more often by multiple women? Yes, but don’t get that center section confused with ALL potential suitors. Do marketing campaigns and Hollywood utilize that small group for appeal? Fuck yes, they do the same to the small group of women that are always in the desirable category. The difference is, that you don’t see men, who by natural design, evolution, and through hormonal influences, should be MUCH more competitive tearing each other apart in the way that women do. It’s like women (only in humanity) have become the new alpha’s and are constantly fighting for dominance and territory. It isn’t natural, it can only be explained through society.

          • McDoty

            I meant to link pheromone attraction to offspring with healthy immune systems. I don’t know why I typed DNA, but IOS doesn’t allow you to reselect a a spot in your typing. You have to backspace the entire thing to the spot you want… F that noise. So I just left all of my errors. Sorry.

          • Athlone McGinnis

            “women would pick the men who had the greatest chance of protecting the
            offspring, and also who had the right genes (through the subconscious
            attraction or lack of attraction to their pheromones) to create
            offspring with healthy DNA”

            This is my point. These men are not abundant, and although only one of them would be needed in order to procreate with several women, not every woman would be able to get the long-term attention of one. This was especially true in harsher, less survivable, and more K-selected societies like those in Western Europe (the home of socially imposed monogamy).

            “one or a few males can, and often do protect an entire community within the animal and specifically Ape arenas”

            Yes, but women were not competing merely for protection. They want a high quality male not only to protect them, but to a) father their children and b) provide for those children (and her) to some significant degree.
            This is what is not easy to get, hence the competition.

            “The competitiveness between women is not explained by mere evolution,
            and the “hypergamy” does not translate to their being only a “handful”
            of men, which by the way, is a total misconception in itself, there are a
            “handful” of men to which each woman can be attracted to, but here is
            the kicker, that handful is different for each woman.”

            Your “kicker” works only if you assume that each woman is attracted to a completely different “handful” of men, thus ensuring that pretty much every man is in that “handful” for a significant percentage of the female population. In short (to use your “circle group theory”), your kicker works only if we assume that the central overlapping portion of the circle chart isn’t very large relative to its peripheral sections. Were this actually true, hypergamy would essentially be a meaningless concept. The problem is that your conception is more ideal than real.

            Different women like different things, yes. Different men like different things as well. One individual’s “handful” of high quality partners may not conform precisely to another individual’s “handful”, but there will be very significant overlap. To use your “circle group” theory, that center portion is going to be much larger than the two peripheral portions in any comparison between different individuals. Why? Because attractiveness is not an entirely arbitrary, socially-constructed concept. It is a product of several traits that humans are generally wired to find appealing. Because humans are gnerally wired to find these traits appealing, the variation you see between them with regard to what is considered attractive will, while significant, be quite a bit more limited than you’re letting on here. Women, for example, will differ with regard to who their “handful” of high quality partners may be, but get a large enough sample of them togeter and you will see that said handfuls share more in common with one another than not. Why? Because the selection of those handfuls is based on a preference for certain traits that we are hardwired to find appealing, meaning that the relatively few men with those traits are going to appeal to a much wider swath of the female population than those without them, getting the lion’s share of attention from the opposite sex and creating the disproportionately dominant nature of the “center portion” in the circle group theory we’re talking about.

            “Don’t get that center section confused with ALL potential suitors”

            It isn’t all, just most. I’m speaking in generalizations here, not absolutes.

            “The difference is, that you don’t see men, who by natural design,
            evolution, and through hormonal influences, should be MUCH more
            competitive tearing each other apart in the way that women do.”

            This is simply untrue. Men may not spend as much time as women using sleight of hand and gossip to undermine one another, but they spend FAR more time undermining one another with actual violence, much of which is sparked by competition over women. Men fight, severely injure, and kill one another on a far more frequent basis than women do, and that has been the case for a long time. Again, sexual competition is often at the center of this competition (the desire to either eliminate a male competitor for a given romantic interest or to dominate another male and appear more impressive to potential romantic interest who may be watching or may learn of the dominance you signal). Women competing tear one another apart figuratively. Men do so quite literally.
            All of this is quite natural.

          • McDoty

            Different women are attracted to different groups of men. Period. It is not idealistic, it is simply explained. There is no solitary group of men that will produce healthy off spring for all women. Healthy children, and immune systems have more to do with how genetically related you might be to each other. That is the whole point of pheromones: Brad Pitts mother, sister or cousin would think his sweat is an appalling smell. His wife, though, likely thinks that his natural scent is attractive. This isn’t just a difference of opinion, and it isn’t about how strong or protective the make is. It is a natural subconscious process that ensures we are chemically and sexually attracted to those who have the best chance of producing offspring. Scent, whether you want to accept it or not, is one of the most important factors in sexual attraction. A guy could be a strong, handsome, provider, but if his scent is gross to you: not happening. Perfumes and colognes also enhance your natural pheromone smell. That is why your buddy may smell great in that DKNY shit, but you don’t. The “healthy offspring” doesn’t come from a preset, one-size fits-all, group of men; which men produce healthy offspring differs for each female.

            Also, I realize men are

          • McDoty

            … men are naturally more violent. That was the point of my statement. You don’t see men online, ripping at each other over something as trivial as ten pounds. You don’t see men turning their backs on their friends, because they changed their look. You don’t see men ruining other men’s lives just for the pleasure of knowing they are now “queen bee.” Men also don’t run around insulting each others bodies to the point where they are killing themselves from malnutrition. They don’t constantly put other men down to make themselves feel better the way that women do. They haven’t created and worshipped a “standard” type of “beautiful” man in pop-culture to the extent that women have. That’s the point. Women are horrible to each other, and most of the time it is NOT about men, there is no way to connect that to a natural evolution. Men are violent, over resources, and women. That can be connected to a natural state, and the ancestral animalistic social communities with few numbers of “leader” or alpha males, and larger amounts of women.

            Studies of primate groups without alpha males tend to be very kind to each other, they have very little stress, and there are many less social roles. We live in a society where there aren’t specific males killing off every other male, and procreating with every female, whenever and however they please. Why are women so constantly stressed then? Because of other women. This phenomenon does not exist within any other primate behavior. It’s one of the only that doesn’t match up, because it isn’t natural.

          • McDoty

            This stress is also why heart disease is the number one killer of women. In primate groups without controlling alpha males, heart disease and stress is pretty much non-existent. The extra stress for women today doesn’t come from males; it comes from other women.

          • Evie_L

            Heart disease is also the number one killer of men, though.

          • Natalie

            Very well-said.

          • Athlone McGinnis

            “Different women are attracted to different groups of men.”

            I agree with you…to an extent. What we disagree on is how much that preference varies. It is idealistic to assume that the “overlap” zone in the circle group with regard to the men that women as a whole are generally attracted to is as small as you seem to think it is. I am not contending that the outlier zones on either side of that overlapping space in the circle theory graph do not exist. I am simply arguing that they are much smaller than you think, and that the central overlapping zone is much bigger than either of them. Pheremones are an important part of the attraction process, but they don’t refute what I’m saying here.

            “Also, I realize men are men are naturally more violent. That was the point of my statement. You
            don’t see men online, ripping at each other over something as trivial as
            ten pounds. You don’t see men turning their backs on their friends,
            because they changed their look. You don’t see men ruining other men’s
            lives just for the pleasure of knowing they are now “queen bee.” Men
            also don’t run around insulting each others bodies to the point where
            they are killing themselves from malnutrition. They don’t constantly put
            other men down to make themselves feel better the way that women do.”

            I think that you are operating on a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the different genders deal with conflict.

            Men are more violent, and generally far more direct in their conduct (be it conflicting or cooperative). Their social organization is much more hierarchical and far less cooperative than that of women, who are less violent and far more indirect in their conduct (conflicting or cooperative). The reason you don’t see men online using gossip to tear one another down and become “queen bee” is not because of some unnatural state of affairs, it is because men simply don’t settle their conflicts that way – they never generally have, in this society or elsewhere on Earth. When women tear one another down, they use indirect means of the kind you mention. When men do this, they are direct and more physical and forceful about it. Both methods are just as hurtful to those they are directed at, but they are different.

            All of the behaviors you mention are not strange consequences of some unnatural phenomenon. They are the product of natural feminine competitiveness, which is designed in part to ensure that each individual woman gives herself a better chance at available high value men in her vicinity (who are not abundant) than her peers (who are very likely to also consider that man valuable), and thus gives any offspring she may have a leg up over those of others.
            Both sexes compete within themselves for romantic access to the opposite sex. They compete in different ways, but they do both compete.

            “Studies of primate groups without alpha males tend to be very kind to
            each other, they have very little stress, and there are many less social

            You don’t live in such a society. Just because alpha males aren’t killing each other at an absurd rate as is seen in nature doesn’t mean that they aren’t around in human society. In this society, said “alpha males” still inflict violence and forceful conduct on other men (and on women), be it on the streets, in homes (what is domestic violence?) or on fields of play (organized battlefields, like those in sports). They also still procreate with large numbers of women (though said procreative acts less often result in children thanks to modern birth control). You’re still seeing the stress because you’re not in a society that lacks those alpha males.

          • McGee

            Right, and straight men and picky about fatness because a) we want healthy babies, b) we want partners who aren’t going to get sick on us, and c) we don’t want to have to pay for the extra calories to keep a lady fat and then pay to take care of her chronic illness. Plus, there are all the mental problems associated with food addiction and withdrawl. So none of this is really a social construct at all, unless birth and death is just a completely made up thing and we’re living in some kind of cyber fiction world where a genius race of aliens is authoring our realities for us. Short of that, a preference for a good BMI is just natural.

    • McDoty

      Dude, you are awesome, you have this exactly right. I cannot like your post enough.

    • Sez

      This comment restores some of my faith in humanity

    • tt

      Preach it, Sister!!

    • McGee

      Yeah, but it’s not male attention that’s the end game: it’s having a male slave. See her “Dear future husband” for more on that. Overall, the message is: dear future husband, you will be my dog and I’ll be your fat master. Hey, wait . . . maybe this pop star is a feminist after all.

  • Jenn E. Penny

    this is how tumblr is, make a post about black girls rock and someone comes along and says “don’t you mean ALL girls rock?” smh she made a song for big girls, so its going to speak to big girls, don’t worry if you’re skinny and “offended” the song wasn’t for you anyway

    • sass

      Then maybe she shouldn’t fucking sing about skinny girls.

      • Jennifer Hanlon

        Its a two way street there. Maybe if artist such as Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, The Zac Brown Band and others didn’t sing songs talking shit about “fat bitches” then she wouldn’t have felt the need to sing this one.

        • Sibby O

          Two wrongs don’t make a right. She could’ve done it without doing exactly what she’s speaking out against.

          • Jennifer Hanlon

            So she is in the wrong for doing it second, but everyone else is ok right lol

          • Sibby O

            Oh god. Again, nice loaded question. I never said everyone else doing it was okay as evidenced by “two WRONGS don’t make a right” I’m saying that just because other people are doing it doesn’t give you a free pass to be a jerk. You’re still accountable for your own actions. And the people that are stigmatising bigger girls aren’t claiming preaching body acceptance. So to say ‘love yourself’ and end that with ‘skinny bitches’ is hypocritical. Way to take things out of context. Jeez.

        • McDoty

          Nicki Minaj is bigger than her.

          Just throwing that out there, she is obviously talking about “fat bitches,” as “bitches that are jealous of my awesome body, because they don’t have a toned waist like me.”

          Quit taking everything so freaking literally. Rap is NOT meant to be literal.

          And yes, if you are a bitch to girls because they are skinnier than you, you are equally as bad as girls who are bitches to people because they are fatter than them. If you are a bitch to anyone, you are a bitch, and you will be classified according to what you are a bitch about.

          • Jennifer Hanlon

            So because Nicki Minaj is more popular its ok, how do you know that when she said skinny bitches that she didnt mean girls who are bitches and skinny who make fun of her for being fat and not all skinny women like everyone seems to think. And youre right rap is all in good fun that why other rappers never get offended by what another rapper says about them let alone to the point where they would kill them over it. lol

          • McDoty

            Rappers that have gotten into arguments that result in violence aren’t over a single lyric. Many times raps are a form of competition with other rappers. Most of the time the lyrics when refering to generalized subjects, statements, or stories, are not meant to be to be taken literally, they are more metaphorical and meant to represent a social dynamic. Also, I am not saying it is okay for Nicki Minaj to make fun of women who are fat. I am saying that she never did what this song does. She never wrote a song about being skinny, and eluding to how ALL men only want skinny women, use some deragotory term like elephant or grenade, and then procede call them fat bitches. This song does exactly that to skinny women.
            “You see boys like a little more booty”
            Not “some boys,” and implied “all boys.”
            “Silicon stick figure barbie doll”
            Wow… Three derogatory references in one subject.
            Stick figure – this term is used against women to imply that they do not have a womanly figure, they have no hips, no boobs, and no butt. They are a stick.
            Silicon – implying that all women who have the stereotypical desired body got it from a plastic surgeon.
            Barbie Doll – implying that these skinnier women are also fake.
            Then she procedes to call them skinny bitches… Oh but she’s just kidding, the entire premise of this song has nothing to do with men liking curves, that many women will NEVER have because of their genetics, and seperating women into only two singular categories, “bigger” and “smaller.”

          • McDoty

            Also, the only really “thin” girl in her video is made to dance like an idiot, and parade around in saran wrap. Do you not understand the symbolism behind that.

            She also didn’t include any girls in her video who would ever actually be considered “fat,” chubby or a little overweight maybe, but not fat, not the kind of weight where people stare at you, and comment behind your back, and make assumptions about how disgusting you are. There was a guy that probably deals with that, but not a single woman.

            She could have easily changed about 6 lines in this song to make it all inclusive, to make it about women coming together, ALL shapes and sizes. But instead it is a song pitting women against each other for make affection. I would think any woman wanting to help our gender’s cause wouldn’t want women to judge themselves according to how much men like their bodies, and she got that whole part wrong anyway, men like a ton of different types of bodies, they are just as independent and different as individuals as we are, they all have different tastes. They don’t all like a little more booty, some like a LOT more booty, some like no booty, some like any of it. The simple fact alone that the whole reasoning behind not worrying about your body falling into the hands of men is ridiculous. What happens when that girl doesn’t get male attention, and heaven forbids he goes for the skinnier girl?

          • Michelle Keith

            wow, your response is as close to truth as an opinion can get…and that’s just my opinion of course, but I think if people could only be more honest with themselves they’d admit you are spot on.

    • Katie Pal

      There’s a huge difference between writing a song saying “Black girls rock!” and a song saying “Black girls rock, and other girl’s don’t.” People should be able to sing a fat-positive song about loving yourself without having to step on “skinny bitches” to get there.

      • Sez


    • Dani

      God, chill the fuck out….just because the song relates to you and you can vibe to it does not mean the people it offends should just shut up and accept being called skinny bitches and feeling ashamed for being the size they are

  • Yesss! As a fat bitch when I originally took issue not with the skinny bitch line but the man one. But this has totally shown me that that’s bullshit. So what if I want some in to desire me and my ass is something to be desired. This is great. This song is great.

    • Steve

      it isnt bullshit. its stupid. and so is this article.

    • Katie Pal

      You can sing about how your ass is something to be desired. That’s not the problem. The problem is doing it by stepping on “skinny bitches” as you make your way up the “who deserves more male attention” ladder. When society gets skinny girls to fight with bigger girls about who is hotter, nobody wins.

      • Sibby O

        This. Omg. This.

      • Sez

        Agreed! So problematic O.o

  • Really great article 🙂

  • Mrs Blunder

    Ah, the product of people who can’t read past one line. Don’t you love ignorance? That immediately issued apology is “No, I’m just playing, I know you think you’re fat / But I’m here to tell ya / that you’re perfect from the bottom to the top.” That’s anything but bodyshaming; in fact, her song is more about embracing your imperfections and accepting your size than anything else. I guess plus-sized women can’t have anything good without someone complaining, right? Good game, society. Good game.

    On another note, amazing article!

    • Katie Pal

      Saying “No I’m just playing” is not the same thing as saying sorry. If I walked up to a bigger girl and said “You’re a fat bitch, JUST KIDDING! You’re Perfect!” at best, I’d get a well-deserved chewing out. She then goes on to talk about how girls on magazines are not real, and are photo-shopped (very true points) but then in the video, shows a skinny girl (the only one in the whole video) who is obviously a very real person. I think it goes without saying that many skinny girls are getting sick of hearing about how they are not “real women” because the “don’t have curves”. On top of that, calling someone a “stick figure Barbie Doll” is another negative cluster of words intended to wound women who do fit into our societies standard of beauty. I know I know, poor them for getting teased for being conventionally beautiful (by society’s standard) but it’s still catty none-the-less.

      All that aside, I like the song and I think it teaches a great message about how bigger girls should love themselves, and can be just as beautiful and desirable as anyone else. Still, the point would have been better made if it was not at the expense of other women. In the end, fat and skinny girls alike lose, because we’re all still arguing over which of us attract boys better, instead of tackling issues that actually matter.

      • Michelle Keith

        “If I walked up to a bigger girl and said “You’re a fat bitch, JUST KIDDING! You’re Perfect!”
        Good for a chuckle and to make your point. Very good.

    • Sibby O

      Saying ‘I know you think you’re fat’ is hugely problematic if anything. As if to imply any thin girl has some kind of body dismorphia?

      • Jennifer Hanlon

        Why do people keep saying that? You mean to say that thin girls cant ever feel a little fat unless there is something mentally wrong with them. I have plenty of thin friends who have those moments where they feel fat just because they dont like the way an outfit looks on them or because they are bloated ect.

        • Sibby O

          Feeling ‘a little fat’ is likely the result of societal pressure and/or a low self esteem. And isn’t likely what the artist meant by “I know you think you’re fat. Generalizing that all skinny girls think they’re fat was the issue I was highlighting. Perpetuating the idea that you can’t be thin without having an eating disorder. Way to nitpick.

        • marsha

          I am skinny I don’t think I am fat I actually KNOW I am too skinny. And am trying to gain at least 10 pounds. I have problems with my body and they are about my weight but it’s not that I feel I have too much fat. Am I not aloud to feel this way. Can people only feel like they are too fat? The answer is no.

    • marsha

      I do think the song is good. It does shame skinny girls infact. Because 1)I don’t think I am fat I think I am too skinny. Why can’t me someone who thinks they are too skinny included in this song? This is a song for “big girl” body positivity. Not a song for “everybody”. I am trying to gain weight and absolutely hat my body I just don’t understand why everyone immediately thinks I am comfortable in my body. Just don’t call it a song for everybody or that it doesn’t shame skinny girls. Sure I will dance to it with my little booty but I won’t sing the lyrics.

  • Jewels

    I saw the video and thought the lyrics were bitchy, and I’m a fat girl. There’s a line between confidence and being a mean girl, I feel Meghan stepped over that line. Also the video is nothing new. Tossing around Barbie dolls like a ten year old having a tantrum, and claiming you’re bringing booty back is beyond immature, Beyonce brought booty back with class and no hatin’.

    Meghan is a good example of what thin people mean when they say skinny shaming hurts, that’s it. It reminds me of when they added a female Ninja Turtle one time, and she was painfully stereotypical to the point of barely fighting. I felt I’d have rather not had a female turtle, than have a female turtle who stands around looking at their nails instead of fighting. That’s how I feel about Meghan. I’d rather have no fat positive representation put to song, than have a song where a fat girl puts down thin girls. It makes us all look bad, like the assumption women can’t kick ass.

    • Steve

      you are amazing.

    • Morgaine

      Beacon of Truth

    • Lola

      I love this. Thank you so much, from a skinny girl :3

    • Alias Darker

      you are a 100% right about everything

    • Notorious_bob

      You seem like a nice person. I am saying that up front so people don’t associate me a certain way. My mom was a working class lady of about a size 5 her whole life and every week she came home crying that medium to larger women at her work talked about her like she was dog crap. Some places would promote other women with weight problems over her when the promoted was heavier like the manager but had been there half as long. No way to prove it but it exists.

    • Andi Wyatt

      I agee! Bravo!

  • sass

    Yes I do. Why, do you ask? Because I’m a skinny bitch who has been bullied SIMPLY BECAUSE I AM NATURALLY THIN. I’ve never rubbed it in anyone’s face, never picked on anyone for being different from me. That’s why this shit irks me to no end. Two wrongs do not make a right. Meghan Trainor is WRONG. And that “apology” in the words of “I’m just playing” are NOT an apology since she failed to elaborate on how in fact she was just playing…and launched into the chorus about how guys like more booty.

    • Steve

      yep. fuck her “booty” i’ve had bigger girls say to me refering to skinny girls “just cause they dont have an ass” im like no. they do. its rather cute infact. yours is just bigger.
      just like your boobs. which is nice. but dont be a dick and assume that your extra fat means they dont have one. -.-“

      • Michelle Keith


    • Jade

      Except that personal discrimination is not the same as systematic oppression. Fat women are less likely to get into university, more likely to suffer workplace harassment and more likely to be misdiagnosed by a medical professional. Body shaming thin people isn’t nice and it isn’t OK, but it’s disingenuous and a massive piece of thin privilege to suggest that fat people’s oppression is equal to thin people’s and that thin people’s bodies aren’t treated as the ideal by society.

      • Katie Pal

        While it’s absolutely true that fat-shaming is far more wide-spread than thin-shaming in general, you can’t use that as a reason to downplay someone’s individual feelings about how hurt (or not hurt) they are by this song. Sure, there are plenty of thin girls out there who could care less, but there are also girls out there who are naturally very thin, or worse, have very serious an miserable eating disorders that are only being further exacerbated by people telling them that boys don’t find them attractive. Just because you can say that as a society, fat girls have been far more oppressed, doesn’t take away a girl’s right to have negative feelings about this song. The author of this article spends the entire time trying to invalidate “skinny bitches” rights to not be ok with getting put down. It’s like having two girls, one from Africa and one from the USA, dying of AIDS. Yeah, the girl in Africa comes from a place where AIDS is a far more widespread problem, but that doesn’t save the life of the girl in the USA with AIDS, or mean that she doesn’t have a right to be upset with the fact she has AIDS.

        • Sez

          Spot on analogy!

      • Sleyths

        Oh the “systematic oppression lets me be as bigoted as I want without consequences” argument.

        • Sez

          Haha I am stealing this.

      • Meataxe

        Except that you can genuinely do something about being fat. You WEREN’T born that way. Being fat is a choice.

      • McDoty

        I have never had to send in a photo, my BMI, or weight when applying to a university. Pretty sure that if I don’t get accepted, it isn’t because of my size. If there is truth behind your statement, it probably has more to do with self-confidence and the associated lower quality performance when one is depressed or extremely self-conscious. Also, when you are larger, you are at risk for many more things than your thinner counterparts, your weight alone is also often a direct cause of medical inconsistencies, making your issues much harder to diagnose. It isn’t a systematic conscious effort to misdiagnose obese people, it is a simple fact. MDs have to weigh the most likely scenarios when diagnosing, and weight is a massive factor into your health, there is no way around it, the more you have, the more problems you are likely to have, and the harder it will be to narrow down which associations matter, which are resulting from your weight, and which aren’t, and what your symptoms mean independently or congruently. It’s a pretty simple answer.

      • Chantelle

        I really had to stiffle my giggles at “thin privilege”… really? That is incredibly rich. Half of people are naturally skinny, and half literally work their asses off to stay fit. There is no “oppression” that fat people face. There is a lot of judgement, because yes – a great majority of overweight people have made choices that have led to that. You’re clearly on the bigger side and have no understanding of how painful skinny shaming can be – or perhaps just have been lucky enough to evade that situation.

        • Jade

          Except that fat people are less likely to get a job interview, less likely to get into university, and more likely to be misdiagnosed by a medical professional. That’s rather more than ‘judgement’. Privilege is not defined by numbers – male privilege is not because there are more men, after all – but by how society values something. Society values thin people more than fat people – that much is surely quite obvious? It’s not a comment on thin people’s worth, or criticising them for being thin – any more than pointing out male privilege is criticising men for being male. I’m not trying to say that shaming people for being thin is OK, and obviously it’s hurtful and wrong. But it’s not the same as the oppression fat people really do face. Research HAES (Health At Every Size) for more info on it if you’re really interested.

      • disqus_OchWg8H098

        Woah now. I get that the oppression fat people experience is very different from what skinny people experience, but this isn’t an “I have it worse than you” competition. I might’ve agreed with what you said if Meghan talked about those things in her song, but she doesn’t. She strictly talks about how boys prefer girls with more booty, and she suggests, as Steve said, that the “skinny bitches” don’t have that. This isn’t an empowering body positive anthem – it’s a song that’s meekly trying to make bigger girls feel more desirable to men by making smaller girls feel like they’re not. It’s just perpetuating a cycle of unnecessary body shaming that isn’t going to help anyone be more accepting of women’s bodies.

    • Sez

      So much agreement

    • Cranky Crab

      Fat girls are disgusting. Sorry, they just are.

      • jarin

        Excuse me?They are just disgusting?Sailor mercury is disgusting.How do you feel now?

  • E. Palmer

    But like. What about the blatant use of black women as props? I’m glad that there were black women in the video, but it was clear that most of their use in that video was for twerking. Which kind of sucks. Also, there’s difference between a fat white woman’s sexuality and a fat black woman’s sexuality when one has been hyper-sexualized and one hasn’t. I was frustrated when most of the video and song’s criticism was about saying ‘skinny bitch’, because skinny privilege is a real thing, without anyone really addressing racism.

    • Bryan ĸ McDonald

      The video was directed by a black woman.

      • E. Palmer

        Black people can definitely perpetuate antiblackness.

  • sass

    Hi again Beth, saw you trashed me on your Tumblr. That’s ok, just remember the Internet is forever and unlike you I’m not afraid to speak up and say who I am and what I have been through. I have ZERO problem with body acceptance and love. However, I was naturally thin my whole life and was actually picked on by my stepsister because SHE had insecurities about her weight. She stole my belongings, she called me a slut, she told people I used drugs, she tried to tell me when I was married and pregnant with my first child that it was “about time I finally got some boobs” (just FYI, I had a nice 34B and I was happy with it, and babies made them get bigger – meanwhile, stepsister barely had an A cup but was large everywhere else and I never once attempted to berate her or trash her appearance). She actually tried to drown me. In high school I was little everywhere, including height, so people thought it was fun to pick on me and they were really shocked when I fought back and whipped their butts. So it bothers me that people think it’s okay that just because it’s “trendy” to be “fat” or “heavy” or “curvy” that it’s all right to make fun of those who aren’t naturally built that way. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside – it’s kindness that counts.

    And Beth…you are not kind.


    PS Do some educational research and understand that this whole skinny v. fat thing has been going on SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. In the 50s it was in vogue to be curvy and not “skinny”. Then in the 80s and 90s it was the opposite. You’d think by now we would be smarter than than, but I guess not ALL of our parents taught us to think for ourselves.

    ETA: Counter argument (and may I add, I have been a 0, a 2, a 4, a 6, an 8, a 10, and a 12 from age 14 to 30, and currently I’m a size 6).

    • Jade

      OK firstly I’m sorry to hear about your experiences, and it was wrong that they happened to you. However, ‘trends’ have nothing to do with this – it’s not ‘trendy’ to be fat/heavy/curvy if fat people are less likely to be admitted to university or hired. Beth is talking about systematic oppression, not about individual fat and thin people’s experiences. ‘Curvy’ is not a synonym for fat either. Systematic oppression is not about who is in fashions in body size (which have not changed significantly over the last century in historical terms – 100 years is not a long time and the 50s is very much not ‘the beginning of time’) but about power and privilege. Thin people have institutional and systematic privilege over fat people – pointing that out is not being unkind. Being bullied on an individual level is not equivalent to an entire group of people being discriminated against in education/healthcare/the workplace.

      • tt

        I was discriminated against in the workplace for being thin. It happens. A young woman was nearly kicked out of an Ivy League university last year for being too thin. Watch the internet explode if that happens to a morbidly obese student.

    • Sibby O

      Some random girl in the middle of the street told me to ‘gain some weight, skinny bitch’ and tried to punch me out, which was especially odd cause she wasn’t much bigger than I am. (lucky for me she stepped onto the road in front of a car allowing me to make a swift getaway)

  • Fontanelle Richardson

    My beef with the song is Meghan Trainor clearly isn’t singing most of the song, its a black girl doing most of the song or at least the “hook” and the good parts. Meghan Trainor is merely a back up singer at best. Why can’t we give credit where credit is due? Meghan is a pretty white girl who is every so-slightly overweight and some say she was padded for the video and it kinda does appear that way and she is lip syncing this “anthem” for fat girls. Mean while some anorexic brunette struts her stuff with a morbidly obese man and a few “average” girls dance with Trainor. The average US female is a size 14 (or 16 according to some) and weighs 165 pounds and is about 5’5″. It’s the skinny supermodel type who is already the minority.

    • KickTurner

      I don’t know why you would assume a black woman is singing the song instead of Meghan Trainor. She is a huge fan of Caribbean music so maybe her singing style is influenced by black artists, and we all know that the colour of your skin doesn’t indicate your level of soul…Amy Winehouse or Adele are examples of this. Were you in the recording studio? Is that how you figured it out? If not I’m pretty sure you’re being a bit racially insensitive.

      • Fontanelle Richardson

        I got my info via Meghan Trainor herself, she admits she is not singing large portions of the song! She said the song was sang by several females.

        • KickTurner

          Can you point me to a source for your assertion above? I can’t find an article where she says the song was sung by more than one person.

    • Sibby O

      Anorexia is an eating disorder, not a size.

      • Fontanelle Richardson

        tell that to the brunette in the blue dress…………

        • Sibby O

          Someone’s bitter…. and being a hypocrite. Girl hate is counterproductive.

        • Jade Bossom

          The hell is wrong with you? People die of anorexia it’s not funny. Especially since people can be thin naturally you know.. Like that other person said anorexia is an eating disorder not a size.

  • Nichole

    I don’t believe that she meant all skinny girls when she said skinny “bitches.” I think she actually meant skinny “bitches” that may be giving a heavy girl trouble about her weight. She’s giving heavy girls an empowered response so they can walk away with their head held high: “I’m bringing booty back!” Then she responds to the possible underlying issue of the insults: they are obsessed with weight because they think they’re fat.

  • KickTurner

    This “skinny-bashing” thing is the same kind of rhetoric spouted by “men’s rights” groups and people talking about “reverse racism”. It is significant to those directly affected, but does not reflect what’s happening in society at large (pun intended). Look, someone might have hurt your feelings dissing your boney little bum, and I validate your feelings. That really sucks on an interpersonal level. I’m sorry it happened to you. On the other hand, you haven’t been systematically oppressed because of your size, just like men haven’t been systematically oppressed because of their sex/gender and white people haven’t been systematically oppressed because of their race. Lord, if someone wants to call you a skinny bitch in a song that in general gives voice to a rarely heard (especially in the mainstream/pop music) body-positive message for people who are not super skinny, just let them, because I guarantee that if you measured that one line in that one song against all the other messages you’ve been fed about size today across media platforms, you would find that the positive messages about being skinny grossly outweigh the positive messages about being bigger (pun intended). It’s a catchy tune, and overall it’s positive, so maybe we can just take it less seriously and have a dance off or something?

    • Sibby O

      Just because someone experiences less discrimination and oppression doesn’t give you a free pass to oppress/target/just generally be a jerk to that group. And the songs that feed negative ideas about size aren’t simultaneously preaching body positivity. You do it in this comment even by saying “Look, someone might have hurt your feelings dissing your boney little bum,” Systematic oppression aside, and in no way am I denying bigger girls get the proverbial short end of the stick, body image is a separate issue. Thin girls still hear things like ‘only a dog wants a bone’ ‘you’re not a real woman’ etc etc and this leads to more serious issues than simply ‘hurt feelings’.You can’t just say to a thin girl who hates her body….well bigger girls have it worse. That’s like taking people who live in poverty like conditions and saying, why are you complaining, people in less developed countries are starving. No one is denying people have it worse. But it doesn’t change that you’ve got what you’ve got. Body positivity isn’t body positivity unless it’s inclusive of everyone.

      • KickTurner

        Maybe it was ill-advised to say “skinny little bum”, but, in fairness, I have one of those and I have to tell you that I have been told my boobs were too small and I was too short, but have never felt systematically oppressed. You put systematic oppression aside, though, and that’s bullshit that sounds a lot like your privilege talking. Sometimes more serious issues arise because of people feeling bad about their thin selves, and I’m certainly not validating the “real women…” crap that pits women against each other and is dehumanizing to smaller women. It’s stupid and I think it’s just as annoying as you do. On the other hand, it doesn’t really compare with the thousands of white-thin-pretty images we’re exposed to every day that basically tell bigger girls they’re worthless. It is not my responsibility to suss out every woman who hates her body and find out the reasons why, although I’m sure that would be compelling. However, I do think it’s important to stand up for the disenfranchised. That’s why your ridiculous analogy doesn’t hold up: People living in poverty are systematically oppressed no matter where they live. What we’re talking about is one group that is largely oppressed (people who are overweight) and one group that is largely validated (people who are thin). My point is that people who look like me (white, thin, meeting traditional beauty standards) are praised and held up as the standard definition of beauty ALL THE DAMN TIME, so I don’t think we need to be appeased by this song. Inclusion of everyone starts with people outside the norm challenging traditional ideas (sometimes through slightly subversive catchy pop songs). I have empathy for everyone struggling with body image issues, but seriously, this isn’t about individual stories, it’s about a group of people standing up for themselves. If you still don’t understand what I’m saying after this post, I’m not sure I can explain further without visual aids.

        • Sibby O

          My analogy stands because I’m saying womens bodies in general are systematically oppressed (bigger girls are moreso I know). It doesn’t matter how thin you are, everyone has cellulite no matter how thin etc and magazines make a point of telling women how gross they think they are for being normal. Girls bodies are criticized no matter how they look, I’ve had my fair share and I’m a skinny white girl, I dread to think what bigger girls go through. I’m not denying their plight. Hell, I’ve been narrowly avoided physical attacked in the middle of the street because of my weight. As for younger girls bullying happens if you’re on the larger end of the spectrum or way towards the skinnier end. Womens bodies are up for debate and comment, womens bodies are oppressed. Some more than others. Look at it from an intersectional point of view, you might be a larger white woman, and you’ll likely suffer less oppression than a larger woman of colour, that doesn’t mean your experience is invalid or that it’s okay to make derogatory comments about you because you’re less oppressed. I know this is nothing in comparison to what bigger girls get, but justifying calling someone ‘skinny bitches’ because you have it worse gets us nowhere. And while we may not need a song like this to build skinny women up, tearing them down is counterproductive. Putting another group down is not ‘standing up for yourself’. Its being hypocritical. Girl hate gets us nowhere. Also bitches is a gendered slur and that’s another issue entirely.

          • KickTurner

            You’re right about women in general being oppressed. You are also right about women’s bodies being open to constant comment and debate. You’re right about the gendered slur piece, too. All of these are valid points when talking in general about the nature of body-shaming and gender discrimination. I agree that from an intersectional point of view there are varying degrees of suffering and that just because some people have it worse than you doesn’t mean your suffering is invalid. I think you’re muddling the basic disagreement we have, however. Our disagreement is over whether the feelings of the privileged group being called a negative name (taking the gendered slur out of the equation for a moment) is really a big problem in the larger context. I don’t think it is, and you do. Skinny women are a privileged group, on the whole, and larger women aren’t. And the comparisons are made all the time, with the “fat girls” being compared unfavourably almost all the time. In this, and relatively few other instances, the skinny girls are not favoured. I think we need to check our privilege and let this one go. Let’s talk about the b-word. Let’s talk about criticism of women’s bodies in general, but let’s not concern ourselves with “skinny-shaming” when there are much more serious and complex issues at play.

          • Sibby O

            I still don’t think any kind of shaming is okay, especially in the context of a video preaching body positivity. And all it’s doing is demonstrating that the way to make yourself feel better is to put down others. From my own personal experience comments like that and even physical bullying occured for years during school since I’ve always been extremely thin, to the point where its a bad thing. And yeah, these girls were likely just insecure themselves. But all it did was give me long lasting body image issues that still stand to this day. It likely didn’t improve their feelings of self worth, and it only brought down someone elses. So now we have more girls with body image issues and no one wins. I’ve had ex boyfriends make comments about my weight (you’d look better if you….). I have random people (store security guard) make comments about my weight, more recently a girl decided to tell me to ‘gain some weight, skinny bitch’ and then try to punch me out (she failed). In the end its just how I am. But I can’t condone comments such as ‘skinny bitch’ and ‘men like more to hold anyway’ (especially the latter because of issues with associating womens worth with male attention) any more than I could condone anything fat shaming. Because when they’re coming from other girls those kinds of comments are both damaging. And it seems to be becoming more prevalent than it used to be as some kind of misguided ‘body acceptance’ particularly among younger girls. And you can read magazines and things that make you feel like you look wrong (and bigger girls have this in addition to the latter I know), but it’s another thing entirely to hear a peer, a boyfriend, a random person in the street or this girl in a video say is specifically. And the damage of that alone shouldn’t be underestimated.

          • KickTurner

            Yeah, again, I have empathy for your personal experience, which I think is making you more sensitive to this song lyric than I am. We are clearly not really going to agree about the broader social context. I just don’t think this should be about you. In the end, I am willing to bet this song does more good than harm when it comes to body image. That’s it for me, I don’t have any more points to make. Good luck, Sibby, I hope no one else is a jerk to you about your weight.

  • Anthony

    To everyone letting her off the
    hook because she said, “just playin,” ask yourselves if she said, “fat
    bitches, just playin,” would you be okay with that? Take your time with
    your responses and really think it over before you hit “Post.” It’s a
    ridiculous double standard and cop-out way of insulting skinny people.
    Complete double standard.

    • Sez

      Yep! Imagine the line ‘hey you fat bitches, nah just joking!’ – people would lose their shit

  • McDoty

    Holy fucking shit.

    This author is clearly extremely biased. As a girl who used to be skinny, because I was an athlete when I was a child, I can personally say that my body change had nothing to do with privelage, it had nothing to do with anything in this article. In fact, when I was a child I was extremely poor, and I was also pocked on for my lack of hips and boobs since I was constantly working out. All of the other girls got them, and I did not. As I got into college and shortly after with my same physically fit body, as I was still playing soccer, I especially got dirty looks from women who were not physically toned, and no one else. There is a clear hate going on, and it is sick. Since then, I have become successful, and “privelaged” since you want to turn this into class warfare like. Stark-Raving lunatic, and I have also put on a decent amount of weight (I am about the same size as the artist now). I never once get the shameful looks and/or bullying that I got when I was a child and younger adult. Not once have I been disadvantaged, looked down on, or devalued because of my weight. I can say though, that I do not wish to remain at this weight, because since hitting it, I have developed joint problems, pcos, and I get sick much more often. Translation: I am not as healthy, so I physically and literally feel like shit.

    Not only that, but I really just hate when women go on a tirade about how it is a war against women. Yes, I understand there is more concern about women’s weight when it comes to job marketability, Hollywood portrayal, etc. And there should be. Body image shaming is not just for women though. How many of us hypocritically say, “you should love my body. I am big and beautiful.” But would Jonah Hill ever end up on your wall as a sex symbol. I am betting that his buddy Channing Tatum would take that spot. Do you not see how one sided that is? We are supposed to love our bodies at any size, but they are still supposed to follow this model of being insanely ripped, a lot of times causing them to treat their bodies like shit, sometimes even inject illegal substances, and eat outrageous diets… But hey, it’s just a war on women, it doesn’t concern men, white people, or people not at poverty level… Yeah, that’s right… Okay.

    • Chantelle


  • ginnie trinh

    we don’t deserve to be the least bit upset that she called some women skinny bitches? men always talk about how they love girls with more thigh and more bum and more boobs and the girls that can’t naturally acquire that are skinny shamed. your message is body positive, but only for one side of the spectrum.

  • Katherine Calloway

    ” “Skinny bitch” doesn’t convey the widespread, systemic cultural hatred–or the implicit racism and classism–of “fat bitch.”” Did I truly just read the most idiotic sentence in existence? The use of an adjective following a derogatory name is all that is. ” skinny bitch” and “fat bitch” are the exact same things with the exception of an adjective. There is no cultural hate, racism, or classism even remotely close to being conotated with the words “fat bitch” because what the writer fails to recognize, is that she’s saying fat people are poor, of different races, and altogether hated- which, in turn, is the stupidest thing I have ever read. Meghan Trainor could have made her anthem without any negativity towards people of smaller sizes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and striving to be a healthy weight. Some women are just winners of the genetic lottery and are naturally born with slimmer bodies. Just as well as heavier women are just born heavier, while some put on weight from lack of healthy diet and/or exercise. All in all, calling anyone a bitch whether they be fat or skinny is completely immature and Meghan Trainor as well as the author of this article are both in the wrong.

  • sway

    “congrats on spinning in a circle”

    I think you misspelled “orbiting”

  • what

    I personally think its just to raise self confidence in bigger girls And not going against any thing any one else says but and I also personally think she saying you don’t have to be skinny for a man to love you , so be big and proud

  • Casey Cushman

    This is ridiculous the girl sang a song. Yes she wanted it to mean something. The fact is there plenty of artist who sing songs that offend all sorts of ppl. Now your deciding to open your eyes about one song that this girl sang BC … why? 50 cents cand shop was all about sex Nicki minaj andaconda is all about her shaking her butt. Sir mix a lot baby got back an I quote ” my andaconda don’t want none unless you got buns…when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waste an a round thing in your face… this is all about how women should have a butt an small waste. Solo your complaining or whinning is more like it over this one song ??? Really… grow up if you don’t like it don’t listen to it .

  • Jinx

    But seriously. Who is actually being ridiculed for being skinny nowadays? I’m not saying the video was good or bad, but I’m sure a lot of girls deemed “bigger” would do (and have done) anything to be the “skinny bitches” the song refers to. Fat-shaming only trumps skinny-shaming in the way that nobody wishes upon themselves to carry more weight unless they need it (eating disorders, underweight, sports. etc.) and that people tend to face more discrimination for being fat than skinny. Overall, the problem would be solved if we just didn’t have such an obsession and preference with body types.

    • Jade Bossom

      Just because one group of people is oppressed, it does not make it right to insult another group of people; especially for something as involuntary as a body type, whatever it may be. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • Elsie

    I am a chubby girl and i am so glad that there is more momentum in the push for body positivity, but there are ways to do and ways to not do it. Yes “skinny bitches” does not have the same “systemic cultural hatred” as “fat bitches” does and that giving “More power to Meghan Trainor” does in fact give more power to other women who have been shamed for their bodies. But all this power is only built on shaming other types of bodies which is ironically not body positive at all. and as we progress into this discourse, more people will sing/write/preach about skinny bitches being ugly and a beginning of a culture will form where people will say only curvy girls are pretty and start shaming skinny girls, then the cycle starts again. this is nothing new; big curvy girls were all the craze once and girls to gain weight for men and then people started wanting to lose weight. The goal is to break this vicious cycle, not push it to the next phase

  • Mai

    All these pseudo-feminist retards who haven’t actually read or listened to the lyrics are hilarious. She literally says she’s joking, and then makes a reference to how many skinny girls think they’re fat- or really, how many girls think they’re fat in general, which is absolutely true and a proven fact about our society. The only reason anyone would be offended by this song is because they’re looking to be offended, to be a victim; they don’t give a shit about equality. This song is necessary because of people like them. And why aren’t you assholes as mad at Nicki Minaj over her lyrics [notice how she doesn’t say she’s joking when she goes “FUCK YOU SKINNY BITCHES”]? Oh that’s right, because she’s black, and you psuedo-intellectual-overly-politically-correct-hypocritical-DOUCHETARDS don’t want to look racist. Eat my fat ass and shut the fuck up. You’re not a victim of harassment by Miss Trainor, go bitch about Minaj.

  • Molly Ring

    Although I agree with some of this article, I have friends who are naturally VERY skinny who are told they don’t have big enough boobs or butt to be sexually desire able there entire lives as well.

    Maybe there is less thin shaming than fat shaming, but the extremes on either end are both being told that they aren’t beautiful.

  • Steve Banks

    Mehgan’s “controversial” verse says; “I’m bringin booty back. Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that. Na I’m just playin, 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.” Seems this articles author and many commentors have not read the lyrics. There is no drama here but the drama ignorance has created.

  • Sabrina

    I’m shocked to find that so many people hate this song! Do people really take these lyrics literally and “bitch” about them while so many other popular rap songs are 100 times more offensive to women (and to god knows who)?? So strange…

  • nunya

    It comes down to this. Your over-analyzing. Just as we humans do. Don’t like it? Don’t listen to it.

  • Stephanie Zuniga Escobar

    thank you for this article and for saying what I was feeling since learning about the backlash to this song –

  • Shauna

    I just want to say… I am a “skinny bitch” even though I do feel fat (sometimes). And I love this song. If this is not a love your body (whatever body you’re rocking) then I don’t know what is. Being playful and making fun of something that should be made fun of, like obsessing over your weight, is not the worst thing that is happening in pop culture to women right now.
    I’m bringing booty back

    Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that

    No I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat

    But I’m here to tell ya


  • Tasha

    I hate this song and disagree with the article. Let me write a song with a “throwaway reference” for “fat bitches” and see how people like it. I also hate the silicone stick figure barbie doll reference. It paints a picture of smaller girls being fake. I’m naturally super petite and feel just as insecure about a song calling me a bitch for that as a naturally big girl would.

  • Natalie

    I am so sick of people complaining that society discriminates against them for being fat. We do discriminate against you, and you want to know why? Because those things stated above are true. I would never hire a fat person because it screams laziness and/or emotionally instability. Obesity is the number one cause of health problems in this country. I hope the women enjoying this song still feel jazzed when they develop Type II diabetes, heart problems, and varicose veins.

    And the laughable part of this entire article is that “skinny” people come from a position of privilege. Are you joking? Has this person travelled? The access to the ridiculous amounts of food that people in this country enjoy makes us all more privileged than most other people on this planet. AND, the fat people in this country, just like the smokers and other people who destroy their bodies, pay the same amount for health insurance as I do. So please spare me the pathetic attempt at sympathy for more victims of “discrimination.” “Discrimination” in the context it is used here implies there is some immutable characteristic for which this group is being discriminated against. In reality, society should be able to judge someone for his or her ACTIONS. As someone who works hard to be thin, I have absolutely no sympathy for the plight of the overweight. It’s hard work. Being fat is a choice. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and do something about it. Maybe then the rest of us can stop hearing you complain about it.

    • NIKKIwithaheart

      With all due respect, some of your comments are condescending and derogatory towards “non-skinny” people. Not everyone who is overweight is lazy or emotionally unstable. Some people have medical conditions that cause weight gain, and some are forced to take steroids which can definitely blow a person up. So while there are some who are truly lazy and don’t diet/exercise, I think it’s wrong to stereotype everyone who is not thin into the lazy loser category. I’m not defending all the statements in the article, I just wanted to clarify that statements such as yours are just as inflammatory as what is said in the song. I believe deep down that most overweight people would prefer to be in the skinny group any old time of day.

  • Brittany Ann Ghramm

    Omfg… I wish people knew how to read and look at a situation unbiased.
    You would catch the meaning behind the songame if you break down the lyrics one by one.
    Stick figure, silicon barbie doll: Lypo, plastic surgery (breastfeeding implants), imitating social standards of perfection/beauty.

    “Go ‘head and tell them sonny bithches that.
    >>Nah, I’m just kidding<>But just remember, every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.<<"

    As far as her verse about "boys like a little more booty to hold at night." Yeah, it can definitely be taken as an insult. But are you all REALLY going to make it THAT big of a deal? You are INSANE if you let ONE LITTLE THING like that bug you when fat people are CONSTANTLY the center of jokes and criticism! The only time skinny people are criticised is when they starve themselves to bone, and do you want to know why they do? Because people make fun of fat people and hate on them, and who would want to have negativity to be chucked their way and who would want that??

  • David Hibshman

    If you have a 13 year old daughter who is in great shape and definitely qualifies as thin. She still worries that she’s perceived as fat because she’s not the skinniest girl in her grade. ALL girls are coerced by society to put an unhealthy focus on their body image. This thin 13 year old girl doesn’t identify herself as being one of the skinny bs the song references. So how much damage is it doing. It’s a cute catchy song. Stop over analyzing it.

  • Angie

    Really? I think she is putting something important out here. Anorexia and bulimia is her focus, obviously. People can deny the problem, but girls and women (even the older ones!!) are feeling so down about their bodies. I speak from experience as a girl/woman who dealt with bulimia, weight fluctuation, the dance world, the pageant world, etc. At a young age you listen to what people say. You are literally hanging on their words. I think is poor girl is simply trying to say, hey, if your naturally skinny, good for you…if not, please don’t hurt yourself to get skinny because skinny people are making fun of you. I’ve been severely skinny and I’ve been fat. Sorry, but skinny people will laugh their asses off at larger people. Hmmm…..too bad skinny people don’t realize that there are some of their own who are skinny because they starve themselves and can’t get past the addiction to be thin or have medical issues they are dealing with. On the other side of the coin, skinny people don’t realize also that there are fat people who overeat because they can’t get past the addiction and depression out they have a medical issue that they are dealing with. Both
    ways are comfort mechanisms. No matter how sick it sounds, it’s true. Poor Meghan is just trying to put the message across to people that we should improve our health, but dont stress out kill yourself trying to be a perfectionist cause it ain’t gonna happen! Good job Meghan!

  • SRR126

    Man – just reading that gave me a headache – how do women deal with all the mental gymnastics of parsing a simple pop song and every other presumed slight on womynhood every day.
    No wonder you’re always b!tchy

  • Guest

    I applaud Meghan Trainor, and I believe you’re reading WAY too much into this. All we ever here these days is about a skinny figure being the ideal figure. All Meghan Trainor did is finally make a case for a larger figure. One voice speaks out to extol the virtues of a larger figure. ONE, and people still have to find a reason to crap all over it. What did she do wrong?! She didn’t speak out perfectly enough? The FEEL of her song was bigger is pretty and screw you all if you think bigger isn’t pretty! Oh.. and Meghan Trainor is gorgeous, btw, and never should have been made to feel unattractive!
    Finally, up all of yers for judging Trainor! You are all pathetic for tearing apart one of the very few advocates for a non Cosmo cover body type! I’d like to see YOU write a hit song bold enough speak out against regurgitated cookie-cutter pop culture views!
    She made a very valid point with her song, and she lived the point she’s making!

    • Jade Bossom

      It’s not that bigger isn’t pretty. It’s that bigger girls shouldn’t have to step on skinny girls to feel better. And she also implies that her self worth comes from male attention.

  • Garrett

    Omg it’s a awesome song haters can shut the hell up

  • Jenn Nicole Hunt

    Ok for starters this article was ridiculous. Biased to say the least. I actually prefer the Radio Disney version of the song, it says guys care more about what’s inside than out, instead of that guys like more booty. I’ve never been fat, so I can’t speak from that side, but growing up I was extremely skinny and bullied to the point of almost dropping out of school. It DOES go both ways. But what’s even crazier, I’m now at a healthy weight and have curves, and I now get it from BOTH sides! This has got to stop! Women should be empowering each other, not bringing each other down! It is popular these days to be a mix of both sides, be curvy with a tiny waist. Just stop!

  • El Flagella

    Triple Sow Cow

  • Jade Bossom

    Wow this author is basically saying ‘oh it’s cool to body shame skinny girls because they’re provilleged over bigger girls’. No! That’s not what body positivity means! All body types should be accepted and nobody should bring down other body types to feel better about their own.

  • deedee

    No, this is not okay. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Where I live people make fun of the skinny girls AND the much larger girls. The fat girls are “gross” because they are too overweight and the thin girls are “gross” because they are “bags of bones with no butts.” Women should be standing together not tearing each other
    down. We should be standing against people who pretend a girl’s worth has anything to do with her weight. I disagree with this article completely.

  • Meataxe

    But fat people ARE undesireable. Stop trying to pretend this is about something else and trying to change the subject.

  • Meataxe

    I resent people who don’t look after themselves expecting me to put up with them. I’m not in good shape by accident, you have to work bloody hard at it, and I don’t appreciate fat losers trying to pretend it doesn’t matter. It does matter, big time. That’s why you’re fat and lonely and I get hotties batting their eyelashes at me..

  • Lady Willpower

    “because it includes a throwaway reference to ‘skinny bitches’…”

    It is NOT a “throwaway reference.” Body-shaming is bullshit no matter who it’s being done against. It is wrong. Just because you’ve made your peace with it (I guess skinny women are “legitimate targets” or something) doesn’t make it OK.

    Almost all of us have struggled with body issues in our lives. I’ve fought eating disorders and body image crap for most of my 45 years. Finally, at this late date, I’m good with who I am and what I look like. But you know what I didn’t have to do to get here? I didn’t have to make thin women into the enemy.

    Thin women are WOMEN. It’s not their fault the beauty industry sucks. It’s not their fault the diet and exercise industries rule over us all. Sometimes -and you might not want to hear this- sometimes it’s not even their fault that they’re skinny. That’s right.

    Some thin women are simply born that way. They eat like crazy, they don’t exercise, and they still can’t put on weight. One of my oldest and dearest friends is skinny as a rail, and she eats like she just entered a hot dog eating contest. If anyone called her a “skinny bitch” in my presence, we’d have words.

    So yes, it’s just a pop song with goofy lyrics. But you can’t just pick and choose which parts of the song to take seriously. You can’t say “listen to this great message of size acceptance” and then tell us not to pay any attention to the other, more problematic lyrics. Being a silly pop song doesn’t make it right.

    Demonizing thin women is just as wrong as demonizing big girls, or any body type. Thats not sisterhood, it’s not equality, it’s not feminism, and it’s not body positivity.

  • Cranky Crab

    You sound fat.

  • Nathalie Ramirez

    The moment I heard this song it brought me back to elementary school. As a painfully thin kid growing up I used to get picked on for being too skinny. I couldn’t use a bathroom without being asked if I was bulimic. Why is it that we always have to pick on someone. Even if she says just kidding in the song such names are hurtful.

  • John Keefe II

    Firstly, Meghan is fat. Sorry if she doesn’t want to hear it nor recognise it, but her increased chances of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and just looking nasty in a bikini are real! And they will cost society more, too, which is not pleasant at all for the rest of us to look at. She doesn’t need to try to bring herself up by putting those who are at a healthier weight down. Instead, she can exercise more, eat less and eat healthier foods. 🙂

  • Chantelle

    As a natural “skinny” girl I spent years of my childhood uncomfortable about my weight, I was continuously accused of needing to “eat something” and peers and teachers defined me as a girl with an eating disorder. I was just skinny! In fact, skinny shaming just puts pressure on young girls and it actually almost pushed in into an eating disorder because for so much of my life, that is what I have been incorrectly defined as. I know that to you it may not make sense, but to shame women for being skinny is just as hurtful as shaming women for being fat. Neither is acceptable. So please refrain from rolling your eyes at the concept of “skinny shaming”.

  • Evie_L

    Somebody gets it. I am sick and tired of hearing my skinny friends whine about this song, but I never know quite how to respond.

  • Taylor Hohn

    Yes, Meghan made a big step for fat girl shaming. But through the eyes of a skinny girl, who’s been called a “twig” and “nothing” for most of my life, I’m definitely offended. The “skinny bitch” line went too far, and her apology was eh. No thanks, Meghan, I know that I’m not fat, but now I know men won’t want me because I don’t have a butt. This song could have been much more empowering if Meghan had kept just a few lines to herself.

  • ydiiyf

    thats cuz she is a bitch and a silly large one at that

  • NadiaNikitax

    Finally somebody who makes sense!! I don’t get why people are so frustrated with this song… Skinny shaming? Bullshit. It’s clearly not the message she wanted to send. I am a ‘fat girl’ and when I sing out loud to this song, it makes me HAPPY! It makes me CONFIDENT! it is FUN! I can laugh when I sing: “…boys like a little more booty..” Maybe other people should learn to laugh as well. Big girls need this. We need to be able to feel beautiful in the eyes of the world. In the eyes of others. We all want to feel loved and feel special. Don’t come tell me that skinny girls can’t find love somewhere else… This is our song. They can have another 😉

  • Notorious_bob

    Skinny b—hs isn’t the only place she is profusely hateful to women who are not overweight. She makes reference to lean build women as silicone-Barbie-dolls more than once. The whole song is a hate anthem designed to shame women who are not obese.

  • Jake Alex

    If girls with huge behinds are so hated by society why does Kim K appear in the news 3 nights a week?

  • Jay

    I’m an Australian size twelve and my best friend is an Australian size six. Both of us adore this song, and consider it to be nothing more than just a catchy tune. I don’t think the issue with this song is body-shaming. The song just shows an underlying issue that’s been around for far too long: that society (and the media) is so obsessed with body image that they’re willing to turn anything into a discussion about it. At the end of the day, this is just a song, and it doesn’t change the fact that no matter what size you are, you still have the same chances at love, happiness and a bright future. I hope everyone (no matter their size) knows how beautiful they are, and how loved.

  • Andi Wyatt

    I can’t say that it’s not skinny shaming , it is. I am a thin girl myself, on Facebook I have had all these young 13-16 year olds shame me using the lyrics to this song , it may have not being intended as a skinny-shamer but using lyrics such as “boys like a little more booty at night” is gonna only appeal to girls this age and they will be highlighting it as a fact. It isn’t a fact truth is like us women, men are not gonna go for the same type, some men are in love with thinner girls, some like bigger girls ,some even love the average girl. However, I see that after those lyrics she states “You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,So, if that’s what’s you’re into
    Then go ahead and move along” sadly, still dissing thin girls but does hint that not all guys are chubby chasers but if they are going to be jerks about it they need to move along. But sadly none of this is body confidence , there is nothing “anthem” about it , it’s a cheap mainstream song attacking thinner girls .

  • Linsey

    Its truly sad that you’re telling the “skinny bitches” to shut up. Some of those “skinny bitches” were bullied for being thin. you should think about the impact
    your words can have on other people before you write an article body shaming other women. You are setting back the amazing work other people have done to make a change in this society of shaming women for the shapes of their bodies.

  • McGee

    Hey, those are some really interesting facts you made up. University admissions have nothing to do with body. Admissions officers don’t meet you, see your picture, or know anything about you except what’s on paper. Now that makes me wonder about the rest of your facts. For example, what if doctors are right and your “fact” that they’re wrong is just a bad interpretation. The truth is that most chronic illness originates in food. We’re a fat country, and a sick one. It’s shameful, actually. Get it together, eat right, and exercise. That’s not “elite,” or sexist, or heterosexist, or white supremacist, or male supremacist, or any of the other terms people like to throw around to shut up common sense–it’s just good health.

    The BMI was invented during WWII. The Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y are predicted to live shorter lives with more chronic illness than each of their parents. Get the connection now?

    How about “I’m all about those greens, bout those greens, no french fries.” A song like that would never be a commercial success, partly because commercial music exists to sell commercial ideologies and our #1 American commercial ideology is (big surprise): “GO AHEAD–CONSUME WHATEVER YOU WANT, THERE WILL BE NO CONSEQUENCES.”

  • McGee

    Listen to “Dear Future Husband” plus this song and you’ll realize the nightmare that millions of men in the “enlightened” west are living through, especially here in the U.S.: women can do no wrong, we must always apologize, we must always bring flowers and gifts, but women will be our (more than) equals, have full time jobs, not cook, and get fat.

    Do you know what kind of person has to apologize to a fat master even when that fat master is wrong? A slave, that’s who.

  • MamaKate

    I went to a doctor because I was depressed because I was going through a lot in my life- and he decided I had an eating disorder and bipolar disorder. I was forced into the hospital 30 times over a 3 year period. I had a reaction to a medication and gained 20 pounds in a 2 week period and was told it was all in my head- until I went to another doctor who was horrified and took me off of the medication immediately. I was committed to a psychiatric hospital because I was pregnant, refused to take Latuda, and “might throw up” while 17 weeks pregnant (guess what? Morning sickness).

    I have a huge amount of memory loss from forced medical treatments- from doctors saying I had diseases that I never had. All because of my weight.

    I lost my “best friend” who claimed to be a size acceptance activist because I was “too thin”. Guess she was much like Megan Trainor and only accepted her own body size, huh?

    I was followed by strangers and called gross, ugly, etc- like somehow I couldn’t see them.

    Enough of the double standard already. What happened to feminism being about wanting to be treated like people? Now, these “women” only seem interested in being victims, tearing each other down, and “bringing booty back”. Kind off gross and makes me ashamed for them.

Read more:
The New Radical: Sex as Activism
Never Fall In Love With a Street Style Star: Part 2


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