There isn’t a person alive who lives every day feeling 100%. Maybe Beyoncé but that’s about it. The other 7.6 billion of us on earth have our bad days when we look in the mirror and are done. Of course, it’s all for a variety of reasons including what we see in the media and ideas of what we’re “supposed” to be plastered everywhere. It can be daunting. Thankfully though, times seem to be changing. Being body positive is nothing new, but it is still something we’re still learning to grasp all around.
Musicians though, they’ve been on top of it. While the rest of the world plays catch up, artists like Meghan Trainor, Christina Aguilera, and Lady Gaga have all given us the best body-posi songs out there. They aren’t the only ones! Check out these other great empowering songs to make your day go from meh to YAS!
1. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
When her time comes, Lady Gaga will be remembered for an array of things. Definitely her amazing performance in American Horror Story: Hotel. Also, her power to make you feel whole especially when you’re feeling a bit broken. The Grammy winner has always had messages of body positivity in her songs, but she kicked it up a notch when haters went after her weight.
She, and everyone else, found major confidence in not only their physical self but overall life when she dropped “Born This Way” in 2011.
2. “I Am Body Beautiful” by Salt-N-Pepa
While we all learned how to “Push It” thanks to Salt-N-Pepa, we also got a dose of body positivity from them as well. “I Am Body Beautiful” found a home not only on the To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar soundtrack, but in our hearts. Especially thanks to simple but poignant lines like, “The body is beautiful. I am body beautiful.” Sing it, girl!
3. “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
In an era where Christina Aguilera was “Dirrty,” no one expected a song quite like “Beautiful.” We all knew she could sing. She had the Grammy to prove it, but still – the song was a surprise. A great one, nonetheless. There wasn’t anyone around during that time that didn’t belt out those empowering words. A beautiful declaration of self-acceptance in pop formation.
4. “Video” by India.Arie
“Video” was the first song India.Arie ever put out. Talk about making a statement. She sang it loud and clear that she wasn’t here to be painted up and put on display like 99% of artists. She was her own person and you can take it or leave it, buster.
It was her demeanor, talent, and lines like, “I learned to love myself unconditionally. Because I am a queen” that earned her a Grammy and the adoration of women all over the world.
5. “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
In a perfect world, everyone would be as perfect as Alessia Cara. At only 21-years-old she’s got a better head on her shoulders than people twice her age. She rocks a natural look and sings about it too. We love the way she points out that it’s not us who needs to change ourselves, but the world that makes us feel this way in her hit single “Scars to Your Beautiful.” This girl is absolute fire when it comes to positivity for the mind, body and soul.
6. “Dumb Blonde” by Dolly Parton
When it comes to being body positive, it can definitely be about your hair. Blondes may have this thing about ~being more fun~, but people also tend to stereotype them as not being too bright. Dolly Parton said ‘screw that’ in her song “Dumb Blonde.” The fact that some people actually think something as random as your hair color would have any affect on your brain is the stupid thing here.
7. “Baby Got Back” Sir Mix-a-Lot
There used to be a time before Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. A time when large and in charge booties weren’t all the rage. Women with impressive backsides were shunned. That is until Sir Mix-a-Lot decided to pay homage to the booty with “Baby Got Back,” a song that is now 25-years-old.
8. “So What” by P!nk
This isn’t really about the body. Nevertheless, the message of saying “So What” to anything and everything after reaching the boiling point gives us life. We’ve been there. We all could stand to learn the DGAF attitude a bit better.
Plus, when doesn’t P!nk inspire us to deliver our best selves? She’s a true hero each and every day.
9. “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue
The ’90s were really chalked full of empowered and fierce women. En Vogue happened to have four of them in one place. “Free Your Mind” is a song that continues to encourage us to let go of the status quo, our inhibitions and ourselves. “I wear tight clothing and high heel shoes, it doesn’t mean that I’m a prostitute.” Seriously!!
10. “Not So Body Posi After All” by Sledding With Tigers
This is a little indie gem you’re going to want to hold close. It’s not every day you’ll find a man singing about body positivity because, well, they aren’t taught to hate their bodies as much as women. Contrary to that, a lot of men do have insecurities when it comes to their looks and phyisiques.
Sledding With Tigers‘ Dan Faughnder gave us a take on self-esteem issues from a male point of view, but in the end, we see that they’re totally 100% universal in “Not So Body Posi After All.”
11. “Shameless” Lissie
We can often fall prey to what we see in the media. Photoshopped and airbrushed images give us completely unrealistic expectations when it comes to what a body should look like. Then when our reflections don’t match those standards, we’re left feeling low.
Lissie‘s “Shameless” takes listeners through that thought process and shows listeners that it is possibly to cast aside those doubtful fillings. In their place, she prioritizes self-worth. Excellent song. If you’ve never heard it, check it out ASAP!
12. “Work That” by Mary J. Blige
We all need to take a minute to first appreciate the queen that Mary J. Blige is. Okay, done? Now let’s talk about “Work That.” This song is so lovely on so many levels. From telling girls to stop hiding how special they are to the note about hair length and skin tones. Dang, I think a lot of us could’ve benefitted from hearing this song in our formative years.
13. “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child
Destiny’s Child is one of the greatest music groups of all time. That’s not just because they had Beyoncé at the helm. It’s also because “Bootylicious” was so powerful that it didn’t only give way to a lot of body positive vibes, but gave us a whole new term to love. Bootylicious found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary three short years after the song dropped.
14. “Unpretty” by TLC
TLC was a pure gift. They taught us everything from safe sex to friendship to loving ourselves. “Unpretty” wasn’t too far from the music they’d made in the past. It was a slow jam that showcased the beautiful fact that we’re all different. No doubt. It’s also a fact that if you’re not okay with yourself mentally, your outside beauty will never shine as brightly either.
15. “The Beauty In Ugly” by Jason Mraz
We often think if we’re not extraordinary beauties, we’re nothing at all. We’re either Angelina Jolie or Shrek. It feels like there’s no in-between. Except there is. Jason Mraz captures that with “The Beauty In Ugly.” It’s all about accepting that gray space in life.
16. “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor
Yes, we know. “All About That Bass” was played the heck out in 2014. That doesn’t mean we can deny its body-positivity power. Plus, at the end of the day, it’s still a pretty unique and delightful pop song. (Though we will disagree with one thing: