Music

Your Fave (Song) is Problematic

23 March 2016

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We live in a society that is dominated by pop culture. Many people create their whole identities surrounding music without really thinking about what their fave songs are about. I for one am definitely a culprit of this. So I thought I would ruin the fun of four popular songs to really make you think about what your favourite songs are teaching their audiences.

All About That Bass

When I first noted my distaste for this song, people immediately said: “Oh, of course you hate it. You’re skinny. You’re just upset that this song doesn’t apply to you.” If I’m honest, they were half right.

When I heard “Go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches that/No, I’m just playing/ I know you think you’re fat”, I thought to myself: “Fuck you Meghan Trainor! Don’t call me a bitch and then tell me what I think! I had horrible body issues as a teen because I was too thin! I know hardship!” Then I did some research on fat-shaming and realised that reverse fat-shaming is the same as reverse racism; it doesn’t exist. So I put my problems with this song in my pocket and then moved on.

But then I listened to it again and I realised that I did have a reason to think that this song is problematic and that’s because of the line “Yeah my mama she told me/”don’t worry about your size”/She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night””.

Impressing boys should have absolutely nothing to do with body positivity. Period. That is encouraging fedora wearing fuckheads to say “I like a girl who has meat on her bones” which is boy talk for “Most men think that you’re disgusting but I’m a local hero who will take one for the team and love you anyway.” Fuck that.

Fuck boys who think that they have the authority to tell girls what their bodies should look like and fuck this song for telling girls that what boys think of you and your body is more important than what you think of yourself.

What Makes You Beautiful

Oh, how it kills me to call out One Direction. I love these boys and I love this band, and I like to think that they have gotten better with age, but this song is fucked. Actually, it’s only really one line in particular that’s bad. This one:

“You don’t know you’re beautiful/That’s what makes you beautiful”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling a girl she’s beautiful but from such a young age, girls are taught that having a boy be attracted to us is the only time we can feel beautiful. So this lyric is so dangerous, especially considering 1D’s huge, teenage-girl fan base.

Lyrics like these teach young girls that it’s their insecurity that makes them attractive. That in order for them to be seen as “girlfriend material”, they have to not find themselves beautiful. Which is absolutely ridiculous. We should be teaching girls to love themselves and not need validation from sweaty boys to feel good about themselves.

Love Yourself

I had to turn this song off after about a minute the first time I heard it. Not because it was that offensive, but because it was just so brutal. I heard the lyric “Cause if you like the way you look that much/Ohhhh baby you should go and love yourself” and I thought that he was singing about me. I love the way I look and I absolutely love myself. So from there, I felt utterly humiliated and I started to worry that my ex would listen to this song and think “this is so Kit.” It wasn’t until I heard Halsey’s cover of it for Like a Version where she changed “love yourself” to “fuck yourself” that I started to get on board.

So now you must be thinking “Kit, this song isn’t problematic. You’re just super insecure.” And to that, I say, yeah, you have a point. But I also think that no one should ever get to criticise a person for loving who they are and what they look like. I can’t speak for everyone but I have worked so hard for my high self esteem and I hate the idea that a dumb boy could unravel that.

He makes some great points in this song for things to actually be angry about, such as “When you told me that you hated my friends”. That is manipulative and emotionally abusive behavior on her behalf. In fact, all of her behaviour he mentions in the song is downright awful. He has a right to be angry about it. But him talking shit about her loving the way that she looks completely undermines his whole message.

When you begin to say bad things about a person’s appearance, that’s just because you have nothing intellectual to say about them. You’re just hurting them for the sake of hurting them, and I think that Bieber is better than that.

Year 3000

Okay, strap in, because I have so much to say about this song.

“I’ve been to the year three thousand/Not much has changed but they lived under water.”

THAT’S A HUGE FUCKING CHANGE!

“And your great-great-great-granddaughter/Is pretty fine (is pretty fine).”

I’m sorry Busted but having a hot great-great-great-granddaughter is literally the last thing I’m curious about. HOW DID THEY GET UNDERWATER? Is democracy still a thing or are we ruled by King Poseidon? How does anyone breathe? Have humans evolved to suit their new surroundings?

“Triple breasted women swim around town… totally naked!”

But why? Did women evolve the third breast for buoyancy? Does the penis now spin around to become a propeller? Are just the women naked or is everyone? Are women naked because there was a huge social revolution and now men don’t objectify women so they can swim around town totally naked and not worry about men being predators? If so, this sounds like a dream world. Where can I find a flux capacitor?


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