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Trainor's "All About That Bass"
is Top 20 at Pop this week and is making dramatic moves at other formats including Hot AC as well as Shazam and Spotify’s Global Viral 10. The video has garnered about 9.5m views. Think it’s hitting a nerve?

FEMALE ARTISTS TACKLE WEIGHTY ISSUES

Meghan Trainor, Mary Lambert, Others See Big Success
While Challenging Body-Image Conventions

Meghan Trainor’s "All About That Bass" (Epic) challenges the body ideal typically pushed in music vids and pop culture in general, not only celebrating ample women but declaring, "Every inch of you is perfect, from the bottom to the top." In the video, folks of all sizes shake it to the track’s bottom-heavy groove.

"I ain’t no size two," Trainor sings, dismissing magazines "workin’ that PhotoShop" and "stick-figure Barbie dolls."

The retro-styled dance-pop track has powered to #1 on iTunes and is currently throwing its weight around at radio—it entered the Top 20 at Pop this week and is making dramatic moves at other formats including Hot AC as well as Shazam, where it leapt to #8 this week. It’s also #8 on Spotify’s Global Viral 10. The playful video has garnered about 9.5m views.

Think it’s hitting a nerve?

The story on Capitol’s Mary Lambert is a bit newer, but the singer—best known for the moving "Same Love," a massive hit for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis—is also starting to make waves with "Secrets," a song that bluntly declares, "I’m overweight … I wear mom jeans," not to mention volunteering that she’s bipolar. Lambert has succeeded by ignoring conventional wisdom and being authentic; the sheer joy of her smile in the "Secrets" video (900k views and counting) says it all.

"Secrets" is Top 20 at Hot AC and is crossing to Pop;  it too has made tremendous strides at Shazam, jumping 35 spots this week and 81 the preceding week.

Other artists are also gaining serious traction by challenging presumably ironclad notions about how women are supposed to look. Republic’s Colbie Caillat went viral in a big way recently with the aching "Try," a ballad about the struggle to conform to mainstream standards of appearance. "You don’t have to change a single thing," Caillat sings; in the video, which has earned about 19m views, women deconstruct the trappings on glamour onscreen, removing their makeup (and, in some cases, their wigs) to show their true selves.

Then there’s Dot/Big Machine Label Group’s Maddie & Tae, a duo who look every bit the young hotties you’d see in a Country video—only their breakout, "Girl in a Country Song," takes to task the "bros" currently dominating the form for their tendency not just to objectify women but to make them little more than accessories. "We used to get a little respect," the pair sings. "Now we’re lucky if we even get/To climb up in your truck, keep our mouths shut and ride along/And be the girl in a country song."

The song’s video (3.7m+ views so far) dresses some guys up the way chicks are typically attired in these bro-country outings, with predictably ridiculous results.

M&T are another big Shazam jumper (they've climbed to #57 on the USA Tags chart) and have charted at Country radio, not generally known as a haven for fesity critiques of sexism.

Their story just provides more proof, as do the other examples above, that when you want to start a conversation, a great song can be a powerful tool.

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