Confidence, or chaos, that is the question.
About 8-9 years ago, a Dove advertisement went viral. This video dealt with the common misconception that all models are physically flawless. It was not the first of its kind, but it did have a huge impact on the world of discouraged females. What this video did was show that you can take a normal looking girl, and apply a tone of makeup and Photoshop to improve her features and make her look abnormally stunning. The outcome was to give young girls confidence in themselves to realize that no one is perfect, and to attempt to do so would be a waste of time. In 2014, a similar story went viral. One by a breakout artist named Meghan Trainor, who spoke the same message to young girls in her smash hit song All About That Base. A feel good story, right? Not so much.
What Ms. Trainor succeeds in her pop charting single is the act of controversy. What one would expect to hear from a song of self-confidence would be a tad bit more dignified. Alas, it does not take long to realize that the song itself is less about confidence boosting and more flaunting of one’s body. Specifically, her…er…um, bottom. She does her best to not shy away from the topic as well. She goes even further in describing men’s lust for her (in explicit ways), as well as calling fake/skinny girls “b****es,” and using many other euphemisms and profanities to make her point. In a world where young girls could use a whole boat load of support in areas of confidence, it would have been nice for them to find a better role model than Trainor. Obviously, I am not shying away from my opinion of the CD’s direction. Is there no redemption for this album, though?
The (Quick) Thumbs-Up
Rather than have a heads up section, I found it best to place the complete trash-free songs in one section, it was easier that way. The Best Part (Interlude) is a fitting way to kick off Meghan’s beam of confidence, and its limited time keeps the lyrics clean. Close your Eyes is almost exactly the song of self-acceptance and confidence one ought to be looking for. And Trainor delivers it in a classy and uplifting manner. Like I’m Going to Lose You likewise reminds us to take advantage of the time we have been blessed with, with some great supporting vocals from John Legend. What If I is another one I will include here for mature listeners. That is because Ms. Trainor is actually talking about her affection for a nice and tame man who won’t try to bed her on their first date, which seems out of place, but I won’t complain.
Also, just because Lips are Moving and Dear Future Husband have some warnings, does not make them completely trash. The latter talks about her need for a man who loves and respects her, as well as brings up the almost forgotten union of marriage which most pop stars would prefer to overlook. With that though, comes 1 or 2 references of marital activities that ought to stay in the bedroom. Lips are Moving also talks about the need to get over a cheating boyfriend who is not worth your time (and is also the most catchy song on the CD), but mentions the couples “bass” a couple of times which muddies the water when you think of its usage earlier in the album.
Finally, we must address the rest of the album with the likes of 3am which talks about being tipsy and deciding not to sleep along for the night. Bang Dem Sticks which essentially is one big double entendre that talks about her boyfriend the drummer, and also drops an S word. Walkashame tells people not to judge this “good girl” who had a bit much fun the night before, and assures all the haters that “everyone has done it before.” Title boarders the line of sensual and just down right sexual for a few moments, and also features another S word and a couple A words too. And then of course, All About That Bass which is the peak of the over confidence boosting immorality.
As you can see, Meghan Trainor’s view of confidence is (mostly) skewed. Are we as humans deserving of confidence? Of course! Proverbs 3:26 tells us that proper confidence is found in God. And Paul reminds the church that each member, no matter how small, is very important (1 Cor. 12:12). God made each and every one of us special, warts and all. We make mistakes, we fall from time to time, and guess what, God will overlook those occasional mistakes if we are washed in the blood of His Son. Yet, that does not mean our heavenly Father desires us to bathe in said mistakes as Ms. Trainor seems so often do. We can have confidence in our physical flaws and even learn from our spiritual weaknesses, but that does not give us the right to flaunt sexual promiscuity and harsh profanities where’er we go. So we ask ourselves again, “confidence, or chaos? That is the question…