“I want my waist back.”
That’s what Meghan Trainor said earlier this week when she discovered her waistline had been altered in her newest music video, “Me Too.” The edits made her look slimmer, and Trainor wasn’t a fan.
“Dude, look at how bomb I look,” she said afterwards about her actual body. “Why would they ever be like, ‘Let’s break her ribs!’ It’s insulting. It’s rude.” The unedited video has since been released.
Trainor is the most recent celebrity in a long list of both men and women who have been criticized for being either too fat or too thin, or who have spoken out against images of themselves that have clearly been altered—whether it’s their complexion, thighs, stomach, chest, wrinkles or hair.
Back in 2014, actor Val Kilmer wrote on his Facebook page that for years people called him too fat, but once he lost weight for a new role, tabloids were calling him too thin. As Kilmer put it, you “can’t win.” Actresses like Mindy Kaling and America Ferrera have shared similar frustrations with society’s view of body image.
What I’d like to know is: Who decides what’s attractive anyway? And where’s the middle ground between too big and too small? What is this elusive, ideal image that everyone should supposedly look like?
We’re obviously not all built the same way or meant to have uniform features, yet we see it over and over—the culture at large trying to fit a unique person into an unrealistic, standardized mold.
Just a few months ago, I wrote a blog about the ongoing battle of wanting to look different, of comparing myself to others and being self-conscious about my flaws. Or what I see as flaws at least. But as I wrote back then, that’s a dangerous trail to go down. It’s impossible to be someone else and silly to try.
And yet, in spite of all that …
I have to wonder if this week’s music video hiccup is really that big of a deal. Does the average person really care about a pop star’s waist size? How much weight does it carry (no pun intended) in our everyday lives? Would we have noticed Trainor’s fictional itty bitty middle if she hadn’t called attention to it?
Maybe we’re so used to celebrities having seemingly unattainable figures that we’re starting to shrug it off. Or maybe we’re expecting everything to be so airbrushed these days that we assume a bit of fantasy along with reality.
What do you think? Was the “All About That Bass” singer’s tiny waist a big deal, or not?