Get excited everybody! All About That Bass singer Meghan Trainor has just released a new single and it's just as abrasive and catchy as her first one! The song is called Dear Future Husband and is constructed as a letter to her Future Husband, detailing how this theoretical man better be treating her. Here's the first verse to give you a feel for where the song goes:
"Take me on a date,
I deserve it babe,
And don't forget the flowers every anniversary
'Cause if you treat me right
I'll be the perfect wife
Buy-buying what you need"
When Trainor was explaining the song in a Seventeen magazine interview, she quipped, "I'm awesome, why would you not want to marry and date me?", and stated that she wrote the song to correct the wrongs in modern dating culture.
I don't doubt for a second that Trainor's song came from a really good place. She wants girls to feel empowered and as though they deserve a man who will go out of his way to make them feel special. The problem is that she packages this message inside the tired, patriarchal constructs of the roles of men and women in heterosexual relationships.
Much like when she sung All About That Bass, Trainor takes her progressive message full circle in Dear Future Husband, making it discriminatory again. When All About That Bass came out, I couldn't help but criticise her for empowering curvy women by chastising skinnier girls, and failing to realise she was simply discriminating against another group of women. Richard Ayoade described it best, in the Big Fat Quiz of the Year, when he said it's the "Bass song that widens the parameters of objectification".
Well, in Dear Future Husband, she does exactly the same thing.
Firstly, Trainer wants this future husband to pander to her regardless of how irrational or annoying she's being. "You gotta know how to treat me like a lady, even when I'm acting crazy, tell me everything's alright" and "Even if I was wrong, you know I'm never wrong, why disagree?" are not grounds for creating equality in a relationship. Rather, those lines make her sound like she wants to be treated not so much like a human, and more like a needy neurotic princess. On behalf of feminists everywhere I'm going to say "thanks, but no thanks, Meghan".
Furthermore, she implies that true affection from men to women is the gifting of flowers and the opening of doors, and that women should reciprocate with sexual favours. One of the lines is, in all seriousness, "Open doors for me and you might get some kisses". This drags us way back in time by implying that women are vending machines – put some empty niceties in, and you'll get lovin' in return.
This is further encapsulated by the line, "After every fight, just apologise and maybe then I'll let you try and rock my body right". Don't sell us out like that Meghan! Jesus! It should really be more like, "After every fight just apologise, and then I'll spend 3-4 days bitching about it to my girl friends before I stop acting passive-aggressively towards you, because you really shouldn't have gotten that drunk at my work Christmas party".
With All About That Bass and Dear Future Husband, Meghan Trainor is trying to make women empowered via pop music, but both songs actually do the opposite.
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