Remember last week when our editor in chief Asha Dahya proposed a Bechdel Test for the music industry? Well it seems we aren’t there yet, because there are generations of negative messaging we need to overturn first in order to reach a standard where women aren’t validated by their physical appearance or a man in any way.
However, for her debut single, singer Meghan Trainor has hit a solid ball out of the park with her track ‘All About that Bass’.
Here are some of the lyrics of the song which give a clear indication what young women think of the ridiculous beauty standards these days:
“It’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do…”
“I see the magazines working that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
Come on now, make it stop
If you got beauty beauty just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,
So, if that’s what’s you’re into
Then go ahead and move along”
“I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches Hey
No, I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat,
But I’m here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”
Of course she still mentions boys, which is one thing the film-version of the Bechdel Test doesn’t want to see. But compared to all the other junk that exists in pop music today, Meghan’s song is already in the right category when it comes to body positivity and empowerment.
If, like us, you’ve had enough of standard-issue beauty, there’s good news. There is a powerful new campaign of 25 ads, a blog, and dozens of featured experts to take on the voices in our heads that say we are not thin enough, not pretty enough, and just plain not enough.
The campaign at Stop the Beauty Madness is a social change project offered from Be Who You Are Productions, Inc. Robin Rice, President of Be Who You Are and Creative Director of this campaign, said “it was time to take matters into our own hands. The beauty industry is not going to change, but we can change how we think., how we talk. But most importantly, how we judge ourselves and each other.”
Senior Blogger and Community Relations Coordinator Lisa Meade is a long time crusader for body acceptance. “We need to stop believing that we are somehow broken or in need of someone’s product to make us look or feel better. We need to create our own definition of beauty and embody it and see each other’s beauty as all encompassing, rather than limited to a select few.“
The 25 hard-hitting ads tackle some of the grittiest, profoundly unsettling realities of 21st century beauty ideals. In one, a young girl stands pondering: “So you think I’m worthless but if I take off my clothes you’ll tell me you love me? Okay, sure.” In another, a girl’s body with a missing torso asks “Are We There Yet?”
Robin Rice designed the ads to make us all wince at ourselves and our beauty-hyped culture. “All I did was take the thoughts in our heads and put them on a woman or girl who was likely to have had the same kind of inner experience. It’s so universal, it’s scary.” While Rice does not go easy on us, she doesn’t preach either. “I’m simply using the campaign to ask the difficult questions, and then asking other women to ask those questions, too. No one person can have all the answers, but no one person has to. If we all just start asking the hard questions, something new will emerge.”
The campaign is intended to create much needed conversations on ageism, racism, fat shaming, body image, eating disorders, sexuality – you name it – all with the aim to “stop the beauty madness” that we’ve all come to know and hate. With the help of women such as supermodel Emme, pioneering activist Jean Kilbourne, Women For One founder Kelly McNelis, 16-year-old Valerie Weisler (Nickelodeon Halo Effect Award finalist), Sonya Renee Taylor of The Body Is Not An Apology and even our very own Asha Dahya, the campaign is launching to nearly one million social media connections, encouraging all women of all ages, shapes and sizes to share the ads using the hashtag #stopthebeautymadness.
There is also a free, 10-week thought provoking audio series featuring many of the FrontLine Voices listed on the website. These interviews will inform and encourage the listener to question and shift their relationships with body image, beauty standards and the culture.
Their Facebook page is requesting fans share their highly imperfect but always-gorgeous, empowering selfies.
The reason GTHQ exists is to share these messages extensively where the rest of the media fails to. The ‘Stop The Beauty Madness’ campaign is just as important as Meghan Trainor’s song because they want to achieve the same result: women feeling beautiful no matter what they are told by society.
Check out the music video for ‘All About That Bass’ below. And remember, you are beautiful, you are booty-ful, and don’t ever apologize for it!