When most people think of the differences between men and women nowadays, one would hope the word ‘equality’ springs to mind. The support and awareness of feminism and equality between the sexes is one that has been prevalent more than ever these past few years, with female artists such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift being icons for strong and independent females of all ages. However, every now and then there are songs such as Meghan Trainor’s ‘Dear Future Husband’ that flip all of this on its head. With a reputation for controversial lyrics, this comes as no surprise.
Opening the track with the lines “Dear future husband / Here’s a few things / You’ll need to know if you wanna be / My one and only all my life” it is made perfectly clear from the get-go that this is more of an old-fashioned checklist than your bog-standard doo-wop pop song about a ‘cutesy’ relationship. Old-fashioned is just one of many key words to use when talking of Trainor’s latest affair; some might even say archaic. A song that essentially demands for the object of a woman’s affections to buy her jewellery and to always open doors for her (among other things) in order to maintain a ‘healthy’ relationship is something that many people on social media have branded as seriously anti-feminist. Following this, lyrics such as “After every fight / Just apologise / And maybe then I’ll let you try and rock my body right” are seriously misguided and can easily teach the wrong lesson to younger listeners.
There is absolutely no denying that Meghan Trainor can write a song, and she knows that herself for a fact. She even references it within this single, telling her future beau how “[she] never learned to cook / but [she] can write a hook”. This is notable when looking at her previous singles, particularly ‘All About That Bass’. Despite the skinny-shaming lyrical content, ‘All About That Bass’ was one of the biggest songs of 2014 and with a hook that catchy, many people listened past the lyrics and downloaded the song about ‘that booty booty’ in their droves; one listen to her debut album Title, and its hard not to find yourself singing along. However, it is helpful for Trainor that ‘Dear Future Husband’ seems to borrow the melody from Olly Murs’ number one single ‘Dance With Me Tonight’, the two being hard to distinguish between at first listen.
Many critics have praised ‘Dear Future Husband’ for steering away from ‘hook-up culture’ but I’m fairly certain this can be done in a way that doesn’t send out a heteronormative message to all her listeners – it’s clear while we’re all embracing 2015 and its changes, Meghan Trainor is stuck in the ’50s.
[This was a piece I wrote back in May/June time when I was applying for a role at my student newspaper…]