Body Positive Playlist – Take Two

One of my first posts ever was a “body-positive” playlist created by BuzzFeed.  At the time, I thought it was a good list, but I’ve changed my mind.

Here’s the playlist from BuzzFeed:

  • India.Arie, “Video”
  • Corinne Bailey Rae, “Put Your Records On”
  • Pink, “So What”
  • Jason Mraz, “The Beauty in Ugly”
  • MIKA, “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)”
  • Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful”
  • Destiny’s Child, “Bootylicious”
  • Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy”
  • Beyoncé, “Check On It”
  • Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
  • LMFAO, “Sexy and I Know It”
  • Alanis Morissette, “Perfect”
  • Jason Derulo, “It Girl”
  • Lauryn Hill, “Doo Wop (That Thing)”
  • Robyn, “Konichiwa Bitches”
  • Bif Naked, “I Love Myself Today”
  • En Vogue, “Free Your Mind”
  • “Big, Blonde and Beautiful” from Hairspray
  • “You Can’t Stop the Beat” (also from Hairspray)
  • Mary J. Blige, “Work That”
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot, “Baby Got Back”

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these songs are great and fun to listen to, but I disagree with the emphasis that BuzzFeed put on “beauty” as being “body-positive.”  Let’s take this article, for example – “Not Everyone is Beautiful”.

“Not Everyone is Beautiful” challenges the notion that we should be basing our self-worth and self-positive thoughts off beauty.  As it says in the article, we don’t say “Everyone has a pleasant laugh” or “Everyone is athletic to somebody” or “You are an amazing writer whether you know it or not.”  Why do we say everyone is beautiful?  Why is the standard for making a person feel good about themselves have to be about beauty?  We say “You are beautiful inside and out.”  I think what could meant by this is “You are a compassionate and loving individual” – so why don’t we say this?  Why don’t we base our worth off things that will last a lifetime?  In time, my skin with sag, wrinkles will take over my face, I will lose my teeth, I may get age spots, I will gain weight – I won’t be “beautiful.”  But I will still have a warm personality, a good sense of humor, and compassion for people and animals and the earth.  Yes, I am beautiful, but that’s not the greatest thing about me.  I’m also strong and ambitious and a hearty conversationalist.  So, let’s tweak this “body-positive” playlist to be more “self-positive” – because we need to credit our minds, not just our bodies, for making us who we are.  Any song mentioning beautiful is coming off the list automatically – I’m opting for songs that are more descriptive in defining what makes us awesome. Beauty is a cop-out.

I’m also going to try to make a list that isn’t so heteronormative.  So any song that is about a woman being better now that she’s not with a man – yeah, that won’t fly.  I want as many people to relate to the list as possible.

“I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally,
Because I am a queen

I not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
India.Arie”

“Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.”

  • Pink, “So What” – Nah.
  • Jason Mraz, “The Beauty in Ugly”
  • MIKA, “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)”
  • Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful”
  • Destiny’s Child, “Bootylicious”
  • Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy”
  • Beyoncé, “Check On It”
  • Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

“That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun”

  • LMFAO, “Sexy and I Know It”
  • Alanis Morissette, “Perfect”
  • Jason Derulo, “It Girl”

“You could be my it girl
Baby you’re the shit girl
Lovin’ you could be a crime
Crazy how we fit girl,
This is it girl
Give me 25 to life
I just wanna rock all night long,
And put you in the middle of my spotlight
You could be my it girl
You’re my biggest hit girl”

(This one is on the verge of not making the list, but I like that he uses other adjectives besides just saying beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.)

“I love myself today
Not like yesterday
I’m cool, I’m calm
I’m gonna be okay! Uh huh
I love myself today
Not like yesterday
Take another look at me now
‘Cause it’s your last look
Your last look forever”

  • En Vogue, “Free Your Mind”
  • “Big, Blonde and Beautiful” from Hairspray
  • “You Can’t Stop the Beat” (also from Hairspray)
  • Mary J. Blige, “Work That”
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot, “Baby Got Back”
  • Andy Grammer, “Keep Your Head Up”

“But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh
You gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh

I know it’s hard, know its hard,
To remember sometimes,
But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh”

“Wait a second,
Why, should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like you?
Do you like you?

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing”

“You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe”

“Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me”

“You’re vulnerable, you’re vulnerable
You are not a robot
You’re lovable, so lovable
But you’re just troubled

Guess what? I’m not a robot, a robot
Guess what? I’m not a robot, a robot”

“Our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral
Offering this fuckdom as a pathetic means to say,
“I only know how to exist when I am wanted.”

Girls like us are hardly ever wanted, you know
We’re used up and we’re sad and drunk and
Perpetually waiting by the phone for someone to pick up and tell us that we did good
Well, you did good.

You are worth more than who you fuck
You are worth more than a waistline
You are worth more than beer bottles displayed like drunken artifacts.
You are worth more than any naked body could proclaim in the shadows,
More than a man’s whim or your father’s mistake
You are no less valuable as a size 16 than a size 4
You are no less valuable as a 32a than a 36c
Your sexiness is defined by concentric circles within your wood
It is wisdom
You are a goddamn tree stump with leaves sprouting out
Reborn”

“What’s your middle name?
Do you hate your job?
Do you fall in love too easily?
What’s your favorite word?
You like kissing girls?
Can I call you baby?
Yeah, yeah”

Do you have any that you would add or delete?