We’ve all heard Meghan Trainor’s song called “All About That Bass” which is essentially about learning to love yourself the way you are, regardless of your size, and to kick guys to the curb if they don’ t love your curves. You have to admit, this is a great song promoting healthy body image and self confidence for young girls and women everywhere.
I recently watched a short interview between Trainor and Editor Amy Odell at Cosmopolitan, where Megan was asked, “Have you always loved your body?”
Trainor answers right away: “No.” She continues to say, “When I wrote the song I didn’t.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been all about my bass, especially as of late. Unfortunately, I was dating someone who didn’t embrace my curves or like my body type, and actually wanted me to lose a decent amount of weight. It became a recurring issue in our relationship, especially because he vocalized on a daily basis how badly he wanted me to be skinnier. Ever since then, it has been nearly impossible for me to be all about my bass.
I used to feel confident and I embraced my own curves, realizing they were a part of me, and they were here to stay. I’m sure not many females out there can that they happily embraced their curves. Believe me, mine was a slow, awkward, does-this-really-have-to-happen embrace. But still, I did.
But the problem now, is that any self-confidence and self-esteem I had about my current weight and the way I looked has been depleted due to my ex-boyfriend. After this incident happened to me, I started to wonder if I was the only one. Surely I couldn’t be the only girl in the world who dated an asshole who wanted them to lose weight, right?
What’s more, surely I couldn’t be the only girl in the world to look in the mirror and struggle to tell myself I’m pretty and actually believe it, right?
Upon further research, I discovered that I was correct: between 80 and 90 percent of women and girls in Canada are unhappy with the way they look.
But I wanted my investigation to go further. I wanted to know if girls had been influenced by a significant other to lose weight and to look differently like I had.
One major aspect of abusive relationships is the element of control. Abusers control their partners through shame, guilt, intimidation and fear. My partner at the time used guilt to force me to lose weight, and he also shamed me if I were to eat poorly or miss a workout.
Reading through the long-term effects of an abusive relationship, I found more information that I could relate to. James Patterson, someone who specializes in health and wellness topics states: “Abusers frequently focus in on areas where the abused person already has self-esteem issues such as physical appearance, weight, intelligence, and so forth. This only perpetuates the abuse person’s issues with self confidence.”
So what is the solution here? How do we help 90% of the female population feel good about ourselves? How do I help myself to feel good about the way I look?
More than that, how do we stop abusers from being abusers?
I chose my words carefully because abusive relationships do not always consist of the men as the abuser. Women can and are the abusers too. Having recently joined Tinder and spoken to a great deal of men, I have discovered that a lot of them were dating women who were cheating on them, lying to them and yes, even abusing them. Now, I know what you’re thinking: these could all very well be pickup lines to get into girls’ pants, particularly mine, but I don’t quite believe it. When a guy on Tinder asks me what happened with my latest ex-boyfriend, I don’t create an elaborate story so that he will tell me how pretty I am, and what an idiot that guy was. I tell the truth about what happened and how I was treated in hopes that I receive the same honesty in return.
As most of you have already figured out, I don’t have the answers to the questions I am asking, I don’t think anyone has the answers right now. But one piece of advice I will give to you (and I promise I will try it too) is: listen to “All About That Bass,” look in the mirror, and tell yourself you’re pretty—because you are.