A few weeks ago I tagged along for one of my boyfriend’s many music gigs.
This particular band happens to play mostly cover songs, and their singer is uh-mazing (he can sing anything – really – he’s just that good).
So I wasn’t that surprised when, about halfway through their second set, I heard the familiar strains of one of my favorite songs.
And with that, their tall, black, male lead singer launched into Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” (click HERE to read the song lyrics).
He killed it. He sang the crap out of the bass, the treble, and all the parts in between.
But that wasn’t the best part. The best part was how the audience responded.
This particular crowd was mostly older in years but clearly eternally young at heart. The moment the first chorus arrived, the ladies began to swing it and shake it and shimmy it and bring their bass up close and personal for their partners (and the awestruck audience, aka me) to see and admire.
They were lip-syncing along with the band, doing forward bends and pointing their bass up towards the sky in gyrating circles that went well with the beat.
For the record, the gentlemen they were with had no problem with this. In fact, they joined right in, showing off their own smooth moves and periodically gifting their ladies’ nearby bass with appreciative pinches, slaps and caresses.
It was so joyful to watch.
There was no body-shame in that room in those brief moments. No one was body-checking themselves in the mirrors (or even in the reflective window glass that surrounded the dance floor).
No one was hiding their bass – or anything else, for that matter. I saw no sucking in of tummies or smoothing hands on thighs.
But there was plenty of wiggling and jiggling and lots of bits and pieces sticking out and about as the couples whirled and twirled around each other, celebrating bass and bodies and being together.
I have thought about that night nearly every day since.
The joy is one main reason – it is great to return to that dance floor in my mind and just remember what full-on body freedom looks (and dances) like.
But the other main reason is to bolster my own always fluctuating body confidence.
You see, I am 45 now, and my body knows it.
When I forget this fact, it finds creative ways to remind me (one of its favorite memory-recall tricks is to suggest I wear my best black pants with such-and-so top, and then when I get to my closet and locate the black pants, I discover I will now need two pairs – one for each thigh).
Hahaha. Good one, body.
Trainor says she wrote “All About That Bass” for her teenage self, to give her confidence in her body and her size. I love this. When I watch Trainor dancing and smiling and singing in her videos, I can almost imagine what it would have been like if “bass” had been a popular body shape when I was growing up.
I think it would have been wonderful.
And that night at the club, watching the golden years crowd dancing to a brave 23-year-old mentor’s hit single, I think maybe my own chances to experience that particular brand of wonderful haven’t passed me by after all.
Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever been out on the dance floor feeling self-conscious about your shape or your outfit or your body, but then suddenly a song came on and those feelings just evaporated as you listened to the lyrics and watched the other dancers around you busting out their best body moves with such joyful abandon? What was that moment like? What do you remember most about it? Have you ever been able to go back to that past memory to recapture those positive feelings in times where you felt insecure or unloving towards yourself?