This blog is a little different from what I usually write about, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Recently, a video entitled “Build a B*tch” by Tik Tok star Bella Poarch has captured many viewers’ attention. The subject of the video mainly has to do with “Female Empowerment,” more specifically, body image. Following its release, fellow Tim tok user @illarsonmusic produced a parody song about male body positivity. Before I share my thoughts, please watch both videos below for better context.

Build a Bitch music Video: 

Build a dude

Suffice to say, there has been a fair bit of controversy surrounding the parody video, with some people attacking the content creator because they believe it’s talking away from the original video. Reading the comments on either video you will see lots of points of support for both.

In my opinion, both songs are hardly about body image. They both talk about physical features that the media traditionally portrays as attractive, though not in a fashion that actually serves to appropriately deconstruct the nature of this social phenomenon.

The first song says: “you don’t get to pick and choose different ass and bigger boobs. If my eyes are brown or blue. This ain’t build a B*tch”.

The second song says: “you don’t get to pick and choose, Sixpack abs with shoulders too. Balancing pecs like Terry Crews. This ain’t build a dude”.

Both songs portray what the media would define as THE beauty standard and the standard that many of us reflect on ourselves. Both songs portray what the opposite gender portrays as attractive. Most of all though, both songs fail to address the ways in which sexual and romantic attraction extends far beyond bare aesthetics. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard men say “oh if I had muscles like Dwayne Johnson, I would get a girl “or how many women say “If I had a body like Nikki Minaj, all of the boys would want me.” Mainstream media feeds on these insecurities; we are always being targeted with some sort of model that has been photoshopped or wearing tons of makeup, tricking us into believing this is a realistically achievable goal for the entire population.

It isn’t, it never has been and never will be.

I don’t believe I’m in a position to comment on how the parody song holds up compared to the original, mainly because, well, it’s a parody and it’s only one guy singing it which is what he does in all of his videos. By contrast, Porch’s song has an official music Video; it is, by all means, a piece of mainstream media, so of course I can tear into the video that is longer and professionally made.

The first half of the song shows women being manufactured to how a “guy” would find a woman attractive. The second half is meant to be the empowerment part, where they talk about how society portrays the beauty standards for women.

That sounds great but the lyrics and the video just don’t portray this narrative at all.

Rather than being about positive body image and empowering women, it more just says that men don’t get to choose how a woman looks or acts, while also jabbing at men’s beauty standards as well.

“Boys are always playing dolls. Looking for the Barbie. They don’t look like Ken at all, hardy have a heartbeat.” 

In essence, the song just portrays the image of the ideal couple, a Barbie and a Ken, claiming that men don’t have the right to choose what they want in the relationship while, ironically, only glorifying a particular choice of relationship. For a song that is meant to be about body image and body positivity, it reflects more what the media portrays conventional beauty standards to be and not what people actually think. The song only mentions anything about the female body image right before it says men don’t get to decide. While I do agree in the sense that this isn’t the way we should be choosing our partners, implying that this is or ought to be the way that we do it is just plain false. As I’ve stated before, the biggest problem is that we have insecurities about how we believe we should look and it lowers our self-esteem. 

If the artists and the producers involved in Porch’s production actually genuinely cared about this, you would think that they would go out of their way to show more than beyond what is considered to be conventionally attractive. All of the men and women in the video are pretty on par with how the media portrays “beauty;” the first half of the song presents that perfectly, but without any resolution that actually adheres to the philosophy. Once the factory machine was destroyed, it should have been women of all shapes and sizes. Instead, it wasn’t; All of the women would be deemed attractive by media standards. The second part shows the same type of women just being angry about being treated as a product, which is a problem in and of itself, but not on topic with the thesis statement and not exclusive to a single sex. All genders are treated as products in our society with the ways in which we enforce the stereotypes around them. It’s the exact same presentation as virtually every beauty/self-care product commercial, just with a vaguely progressive coat of paint.

Both songs simply don’t discuss body image, it only reinforces these beauty standards and acts like it’s the fault of the other. It’s bad enough that our culture predominantly standardizes the rejection of people based on aesthetics.

Both genders’ beauty standards are terrible and I have yet to see a song that talks about their issues the right way. If we passed a law where any advertisement had to have people of different heights, weights, shapes, ect, in an ad for public access, I can practically guarantee you that the people in it would look nothing like they are in these videos. Think of how that alone, after a year of this law being in effect, would affect people’s perspective on their own image. 

I truly believe that all men and women are 10/10’s. I have yet to see an ugly person, in the overall sense at least, and even at that, outward image shouldn’t be the dominant factor by which we pass judgement. I have a negative view on my own body image and the amount of times I haven’t asked someone that I was interested in because of how I look is virtually uncountable. I’m not going to lie and say I have 100% confidence in my own body. That’s foolish, but this is a reality for too many people. My point is that we ourselves use our own insecurities in why we can’t find someone. If everyone was blind for a year, we would have a much better relationship with ourselves and other people. 

Our society isn’t literally a Build a B*tch or a Dude, so don’t let your insecurities hold you back. In a 2014 Chinese study, more than 100 young people looked at images of men and women’s faces and rated them on attractiveness. Each face pictured was paired with a word that described either a positive personality trait ā€” like kindness or honesty ā€” or a negative personality trait, like being evil or mean.

Results showed that the people described with positive traits were rated as more attractive. 

Build a b*tch may try to be positive about women’s body image but falls for the same trap that most art and media does when it comes to this topic. Even if you are Overweight or Underweight, Chunky or Lean, Tall or Short or whatever else besides and in between, never let that fact stop you from believing you are beautiful, because you are. The world would suck if we all looked the same.

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