Pop singer’s careless remarks shed light on misconception

By Managing Editor

During a time when more and more mainstream artists are bringing issues about body image to the forefront of popular culture, conflicting perceptions of ideal body types have continued to crop up. 

Meghan Trainor, the pop artist who claimed the spotlight seemingly overnight with “All About That Bass,” her hit song that has continuously held its No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, has joined the conversation about body image in recent months since her song and its accompanying video were released in June. 

“All About That Bass” gained immediate praise upon its release. The song was called “empowering” for embracing women’s curves, but one line in the song drew criticism for what some listeners consider skinny-shaming for calling thinner women “skinny b—hes.”

While Trainor has claimed no malicious intent with her song’s lyrics, she landed herself in worse controversy after telling Entertainment Tonight about why she never struggled with an eating disorder despite being bullied regarding her body in her youth.

“I wasn’t strong enough to have an eating disorder,” Trainor told Entertainment Tonight on Sept. 2. “I tried to go anorexic for a good three hours. I ate ice and celery, but that’s not even anorexic. And I quit. I was like, ‘Ma, can you make me a sandwich? Like, immediately.’”

Although Trainor seemed to only want to share her lifelong struggle with her weight, she did offend some in her approach.

Demi Lovato, the pop star whose own struggle with eating disorders has been publicized in recent years, took to Twitter Nov. 12 to school Trainor on what not  to do when speaking out about body image and eating disorders. 

“There’s a wide misconception that anorexia and/or bulimia is a choice,” Lovato tweeted. “Having an eating disorder doesn’t show ‘strength.’ Strength is when [you] are able to overcome your demons after being sick and tired for

so long.”

Lovato and Trainor both received criticism for their comments, with Trainor’s remarks clearly having caused offense while websites like Celebuzz refer to Lovato as the “unofficial eating disorder spokeswoman.” But Lovato should not be made fun of for sticking up for herself and others who struggle with eating disorders.

No matter what Trainor’s intentions were, her comments were ignorant to the severity of eating disorders and the harm they can cause a person physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Encouraging women to embrace their bodies and feel comfortable in their own skin is a movement that has been long in the making, but putting down others and belittling their struggles in the process is counterproductive for the body acceptance and feminist movements entirely.

It seems Trainor’s casual confidence is a trait that might make her more likeable or relatable to fans, but as a new star in the pop spotlight, it is irresponsible for her to make such off-the-cuff comments without considering the obvious seriousness of an issue such as eating disorders. 

Trainor’s voice and lyrics are infectious, but the singer should focus on writing catchy songs without offending other women in the process.