My 11 year old daughter is a teeny bit obsessed with a song by Meaghan Trainor. And while it’s no Arethra Franklin, or Jonie Mitchell, or even Beyonce – it’s definitely a catchy little tune. Today is a snow day and the song is on the radio and Maya is rocking out to it and singing along loudly – which is how I have managed to catch some of the lyrics. So, instead of grading and reviewing my student’s thesis and writing meeting minutes – I am inspired to correct some of the impressions this song may have given my pre-teen.
Here are some sample lyrics:
“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”
Amen sister! It absolutely is! And I’m not just saying it because I was instrumental in the making of you. Ok, yes maybe I am just saying it because of that, but my opinion is the most important one anyway!
“Don’t want to be no silicone Barbie doll”
Oh snap, yes – you definitely don’t want to be some fake, voiceless, inflexible, hunk of plastic, molded into an unnatural human-esque form just to skimp on manufacturing costs! But in all fairness, Barbie is a doll and so has no choice but to be made of silicone. Also, she’s like 70 years old and looks pretty damn good for her age. There was an unfortunate time in the late 80s where she thought Math was hard – but that didn’t stop her from doing all sorts of things like climbing to the top of the corporate ladder, working as a lawyer, a teacher, and even a scientist. Also, people come in all shapes and sizes – some are Barbie-like and some of us are more Lego-people shaped – and that’s how it should be!
“My mama she told me don’t worry about your size”
Hells to the yeah! Your physical self is constrained by genetics, and the competing forces of what you put in as fuel and what you burn up as exercise. Part of that you have the ability to control – namely the input and output – the genetic part is the black box and out of your hands – so don’t try and fight it! But here is something entirely in your control – your mind! And guess what, the bigger the better! And the only way to grow it is by reading good books, and absorbing knowledge like a dehydrated, thirsty, camel made from a truckload of dry sponges!
“Boys like a little more booty to hold at night”
Right on….SCREEEEECH…. wait….what! Oh – HELLS TO THE NO!! And it was going so good until now! On the list of things your mama is likely to give you advice about – boys rank somewhere below How to Knit and above How to Kill a Roach with just your Right Flip-flop – and actually that roach thing is kind of important so let’s go ahead and slide that above the boy thing! Ok, here’s what your mama says – who cares what boys like, or girls like, or people with the last name of Jones like! You do stuff you like as long as that stuff doesn’t hurt boys or girls or people called Jones! Because, guess what, if Ms Trainor is right and that is truly what boys like, then you should choose to be with a man with a little more imagination who can tell the difference between a comfy pillow and a human woman.
And work on that mind thing. Because trust me – EVERYONE likes interesting, smart people with insightful opinions, and the ability to articulate them effectively. MOM OUT!!