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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

A question of empowerment, not what makes you beautiful

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve ?probably heard Meghan Trainor’s song “All About That Bass.”

Like me, you might even enjoy jamming to the uppity beat while walking around campus — because hey, I, too, can “shake it, shake it.”

The song has been touted as an anthem for promoting positive body empowerment.

But with lyrics like, “I’ve got that boom boom that all the boys chase,” and “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” I can’t help but ?wonder if the song is truly ?empowering.

Chloe Angyal, a writer for Feministing, so swimmingly broke down Trainor’s lyrics when she said “no need to worry about failing to meet the standard of beauty imposed by the fashion industry, she meets the one imposed ?by men.”

Listen, don’t get me wrong — I like the uppity feel of the song. But validating the idea that women should somehow be linking their self-esteem to what men want isn’t really my idea of empowerment. A recent study published by ?Social Psychological and Personality Science brought scientific truth to this bitter reality.

The report found women who participated in the study reported higher satisfaction with their body image when they were told men were attracted to average-sized models. This is pretty problematic because self-esteem shouldn’t be derived from other people thinking you ?are hot.

That’s why it’s called ?self-esteem, not “esteem based off of what people think about my booty.”

And don’t think I’m just attacking Meghan Trainor, because there are other pop culture icons that are just as guilty of confusing what it truly means to be ?self-empowered.

Let’s take a look at some bro offenders — for example, One Direction’s song “What Makes You Beautiful.” The lyrics are clear: Liam and his One Direction crew don’t want you to “feel insecure” because they think you are beautiful just the way ?you are.

This song is essentially judging a woman for having insecurities and for being blithely unaware of her true physical beauty.

And while it does feel good to be attractive in the eyes of society, until we toss away the notion that self-esteem somehow comes from what others think about your body image, we aren’t truly empowered.

So don’t get me wrong, ?J. Cole.

I’d love to work out with you, just not for you.

And Kanye, I love you, but if I’m going to follow “The New Workout Plan,” it’ll be for myself and not so I can “pull a rapper” or an NBA player.

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