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Music Discussions

All About That Bass
10/03/2014

Dynamic Image
(A Girls-Only Study about Self-Worth and Image)

Main Point: Girls shouldn’t make the mistake of basing their self-worth on looks or image. Those who do will face difficult and unnecessary problems in life.

Introducing the Song: All About that Bass (Meghan Trainor)
Sitting at the top of the charts, right now, is a song about booty. The title of the song, All About that Bass, is a little misleading because it has NOTHING to do with music. No, the tune is not sung by some female-debasing rap star; it’s performed by a young lady from the northeast with girl-next-door looks.

In her breakout tune, Meghan Trainor has taken the world by storm with her song that fuses doo wop and pop. It’s really catchy, which easily explains the song’s success on the charts. Throughout the song, Trainor talks about how important booties are and the lyrics (below) focus squarely on female anatomy.

The music video features her and some backup singers dancing around, fixated on one another’s rear ends. It’s a highly popular video, already racking up more than 100 million views on YouTube!

Every teenager in the country has heard this song at least once. Now, you have the opportunity to discuss the messages embedded in it.

NOTE TO LEADERS: Simple Warning
Before showing this video to your group, check it out for yourself. In addition to the song focusing on booties (lyrically and visually), the tune also contains two different instances of foul language. The small group discussion below is a great one for young people to hear, but you’ll have to discern its appropriateness.

Song’s Lyrics:

Because you know
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass

Yeah, it's pretty clear, I ain't no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I'm supposed to do
'Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places

I see the magazine workin' that Photoshop
We know that sh*t ain't real
C'mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty building, just raise 'em up
'Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Yeah, my mama she told me don't worry about your size
She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."
You know I won't be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that's what you're into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass
Hey!

I'm bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny b**ches that
No I'm just playing. I know you think you're fat
But I'm here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

Yeah my mama she told me don't worry about your size
She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."
You know I won't be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that's what you're into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass
'Bout that bass, 'bout that bass
Hey, hey, ooh
You know you like this bass

The Music Video:
The song’s video can be found online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PCkvCPvDXk



Transitional Statement:
Let’s admit something right up front: this song is really, really catchy. I mean, I totally get why it went #1 on Billboard’s charts. But at the same time, this song is tricky for me. It really is. On one hand, she sings about girls being perfect the way they are from top to bottom. Good stuff! But then, on the other hand, she talks about girls’ appeal to guys being based SOLELY on their booties. And then there’s the line about her feeling like she’s “supposed” to shake it. Says who? I guess, at the end of the day, this song is a little frustrating to me because of the mixed messages it sends young girls. Of all the long-lasting attributes Trainor could be praising about females, she chooses to focus on the physical (and temporary). I want you to know that girls shouldn’t make the mistake of basing their self-worth on looks or image. Those who do will face difficult and unnecessary problems in life. You may already know that, but let’s jump into God’s Word for a moment to see the truth about us.


Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and favorite song at the moment.

  2. ASK SOMEONE: OK, just to make sure we’re all on the same page, can somebody tell me, in one word, what this song is about? (Leaders – The answer is OBVIOUSLY “booties” or “butts.”)
  3. ASK A FEW: What do you think Meghan Trainor is trying to communicate in her song? Is her message helpful to girls…or hurtful? Why?

  4. ASK A FEW: What does our culture expect of girls’ image these days? How does that make you feel?

  5. ASK A FEW: In her song, Trainor talks about guys liking booties. “Yeah my mama she told me don't worry about your size. She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night." Is that true? Is that what guys want? How do you know?

  6. ASK A FEW: Alright, for a second, let’s pretend it’s OK for girls to be “all about that bass.” But what happens if a guy is “all about your bass”? Then what happens?

  7. ASK A FEW: What are some disappointments a girl can face if she builds her self-worth and self-esteem on her looks?

  8. Read the following passage:

      Proverbs 31:10-31 (NIV)

      A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

  9. ASK A FEW: What were some of the descriptions given of the “noble wife” in this passage?

  10. ASK A FEW: Why were ALL of the attributes for a noble wife “internal” (like character, hard work, integrity, etc.) and NONE of them “external” (looks, booty size, etc.)?

  11. ASK A FEW: Do you think a guy who is looking for a “girlfriend” and another guy who is looking for a “wife” have the same list of desired attributes they’re looking for? Why or why not?

  12. ASK A FEW: Can someone explain the warning given in verse 30? Maybe put it in your own words.

  13. ASK A FEW: Nobody is saying that “looks don’t matter.” But what’s the balance between physical appeal (like booties) and inner appeal (like integrity or hard work)?

  14. ASK A FEW: Look back over the list of attributes of a noble wife. Name a few that you would like to possess. Why are those important to you?

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What changes would you have to make to move from being a girl who’s “all about that bass” to a girl who aspires to be a “noble wife”?

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is one decision you will make this week to be less focused on the physical and more focused on the internal/heart?

Wrap Up:
In a world where looks are all that matters… let us not be foolish enough to believe that ONLY looks matter.

There is a balance that each of us must try to reach. For example, there is nothing wrong with trying to take good care of yourself and being beautiful. By all means, take regular showers and brush your hair! But you should work on your character harder than you work on your image. You should focus on your character more than you focus on your image.

It’s sad, and I’ve seen it hundreds of times: girls who ONLY focus on their image and base their self-worth on their looks will generally face unnecessary disappointments and frustrations in life. For example:

  • they risk living a shallow, one-dimensional life. They pursue qualities that aren’t sustainable over the long haul. Instead of cultivating inner strength that lasts a lifetime, they’ve focused on attributes that can fade (quickly).

  • they could be taken advantage of by guys who are looking for beauty alone. Girls know that guys want “sexy” so they offer “sexy” in order to get attention, but after the guy gets the shallow prize he was after, he usually moves on. Sexy isn’t a firm foundation on which to build a healthy relationship.

  • they respect themselves when they think they look good, but if they gain a little weight, or get a zit, or get older, they lose respect and value for themselves.

There are more, but I think you get the point. I strongly encourage you to measure yourself by Proverbs 31 instead of the mirror. If you do, you will enjoy richer relationships, a healthier frame of mind, and even a better relationship with God because you are trusting His way, not your own.

Let me tell you the whole truth, though. Living like the woman in Proverbs 31 is very tough to do in our culture. None of those attributes praised in Proverb 31 are praised in our culture. Our culture says: “focus on yourself, you need it now, be sexy, there is no god, pleasure is most important, etc.” and Proverbs 31 says: “be charitable and considerate, be patient, internal qualities are more important than beauty, honor God, be hardworking and disciplined, etc.” If you are going to live like a Proverbs 31 woman, just know it’s going to be tough to do. But it will definitely be worth it!

I’m going to pray for us right now. I’m going to ask God to give each of us a desire to live by His outline in Proverbs 31. If you’d like to talk about this more after we end, hang around and let’s chat.

Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith


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Comments on this post

   Hector         12/1/2014 8:48:29 AM

Great lesson with some amazing questions. I saw a few parody videos of the song that used "grace" in place of "bass" that could be useful also. I also heard someone talk about how God's standard of beauty is so different from the world's. The most beautiful body was one that was mangled and torn for our ugliness. Thanks for sharing!

   Elizabeth Jaime         11/1/2014 9:53:24 PM

Thank you!! My husband and I just started as youth group leaders and I really wanted to connect with our youth and this is would be such an awesome lesson. God bless thank you















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