Blood Waterfalls and Re-Victimization in Maroon 5’s “Animals”

This blog is not very old, but so far, I’ve only criticized things that I do not like. I’ve never been a fan of the Washington, D.C. football team, and though I recognize that Meghan Trainor’s songs are catchy, I’m not a fan of her, either.

But I am a fan of Maroon 5. I downloaded “She Will Be Loved” from Napster and I root for Adam Levine’s team on the “The Voice.” So I was incredibly disappointed when I finally watched the video for their new song “Animals.”

Upon first listen, it sounds like a pretty normal Maroon 5 song. The lyrics by themselves are also open for interpretation. There’s some creepiness, but it could be interpreted as a song about a toxic relationship.

Take this for example:

You can find other fish in the sea
You can pretend it’s meant to be
But you can’t stay away from me

It could be about a girl who can’t get over her boyfriend despite the boyfriend being bad for her.

But then, you watch the music video (trigger warning for scenes of stalking and implied violence):

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Meghan Trainor’s Songs are Not Empowering

Since the idea for this blog arose from discussing Meghan Trainor’s songs with a friend, it seems only fitting to make that the topic of the first post. If you’d like to know more about what this blog will be about or my general feelings about pop culture, view the “About” tab up top. Though, if you’re reading now, I hope you stick around and leave a comment below.

With that out of the way, on to the show.

Meghan Trainor is the bubbly pop singer who rocketed to stardom with the “body-acceptance” anthem “All About the Bass.”

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She’s all about the pastels, too.

The song is incredibly catchy and dance-worthy, but it’s…well…problematic as well. It both denigrates skinny body types while continuing to base the worth of a female’s body on whether it appeals sexually to a man.  More than that, there are some race implications that suck hard-core. Namely, a white woman should not be singing about “bringing booty back” while  using black women as marginalized accessories in her video. Black and latino women, by the way, actually did bring booty back.

But that song has been talked about enough (and analyzed much better than I could). I’d like to talk about another Meghan Trainor song that should finally cement her as completely uninterested in female empowerment. This song is unimaginatively titled “Dear Future Husband” and tells her future husband how he should treat her if he ever wants to have sex again.

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