Meghan Trainor is a superstar singer known for self-love anthems like “All About That Bass” and “Me Too.” But before she became a pop sensation, Trainor was a songwriter who thought she needed to “fix” her body before putting herself in the spotlight.
The 26-year-old opened up about the doubts that she had about her career on Tuesday’s episode of Ashley Graham’s podcast Pretty Big Deal, where she admitted that her 2014 breakout hit didn’t originate as an anthem. Instead, it was the result of a 45-minute recording session where the one thing she and her co-writer had in common was that “we both grew up on the chubbier side.”
“I knew it would never [work], I thought it would never work,” Trainor said of the now-famous lyrics of “All About That Bass” celebrating a curvy body. “People don’t sing about that stuff. People are just hot, and pop stars are just hot and beautiful.”
Trainor went on to explain how she would compare the way that she looked to the artists she had aspired to be. And although she knew she was talented, she saw her body as an obstacle between her and fame.
“I’ll never look as good as Rihanna, you know,” she recalled. “I always told my dad, like don’t worry, I’ll be 26 and I’ll be the biggest songwriter and then I’ll figure out how to fix my body and lose weight and look like a pop star, and then I’ll do it.”
It was a meeting with big-time producer Antonio Marquis “L.A.” Reid that changed her thinking and her trajectory, however, when she played the song with her voice on the track and he told her it was “perfect.”
“L.A. Reid was like you look perfect and you are perfect and this song is perfect,” she said. “And then I started learning that years and years of singing this song to people and seeing their reactions and hearing their stories, I was like, ‘Me too!’ It was my therapy.”
Trainor has since become vocal about the importance of body inclusivity and authenticity — most notably when she took down a version of her “Me Too” music video after noticing that it was photoshopped.
“I approved a video. It wasn’t that,” Trainor told Graham about the incident. “I screamed. I freaked out...My manager at the time, Troy Carter, ripped it down. He was like, this is impossible but I’m gonna do it. And he ripped it down for me and fixed it.”
Now, the singer-songwriter continues to come out with empowering and truthful songs like her Nov. release “Workin’ On It,” where she sings about learning to see the beauty in her that her husband, Daryl Sabara, sees.
“He worships my body more than I thought any person could,” she told Graham.
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