Earlier this week, I saw a story in The Huffington Post about a woman named Meghan Tonjes.
As the story goes, Meghan put up a picture on Instagram and it was taken down for violating their rules. She claimed that she did not break the rules and that her picture was in their guidelines. She went on to say that she was "fat shamed" and she was talking about her picture.
After reading the story and hearing her video, I did not agree with Meghan's theory on Instagram. I wanted to, but it did not make sense to me.
The picture she was talking about was one of a bottom with bunched up "boy shorts." She said it was about women's empowerment, but I was confused as to how. It was a picture of a butt. She made a comparison to breastfeeding and I feel that there is no comparison. Breastfeeding is not (or should not be) the least bit sexual. This picture seemed to be. What is the point of putting up a picture of a booty and how does it empower people?
This, of course, is my opinion.
What it looked like was, as stupid as Instagram's policies are, she broke the rules. She got caught and because others were not yet, that was the excuse. Kind of like telling the police that you excuse for speeding is everyone else is. And why didn't everyone get a ticket?
My opinion is not important on this. There are many women who are empowered by Meghan. I wanted to find out more about her.
So I Googled "Meghan Tonjes."
I went on her YouTube page. I saw she had a good amount of fans and her videos were getting some views
Then I watched one of her music videos...
Then I spent about two hours watching her videos. I listened to almost every single "Request Tuesday" video. I heard her voice. I loved her voice. I loved her arrangements of her music. I started to watch more of her true body positivity videos.
Then I wondered why I have never heard of her. Her voice is one of the best ones I have heard. I wondered why she is not collaborating with major stars. I wondered why her videos do not have millions of views like Arianna Grande's and Selena Gomez's. I wondered why she has 170,000 followers on YouTube when other singers have millions. I wondered why so many people made rude comments on her videos (although she had many supporters) when her voice is better than so many others...
I did not need to wonder. I came up with my own conclusion.
Instagram did not "fat shame" Meghan Tonjes. The music industry fat shames Meghan Tonjes.
You can argue with me, but it just does not make sense. To be popular, you have to have a look a certain way. I get it; you have to be attractive. Well, Meghan is attractive. But she is also plus-size. How many true plus-size pop artists are there?
Maybe you can name a couple more, but not a lot.
So, is the music industry saying plus-size women cannot sing? Or they cannot be lead singers?
That plus-size women should only be on reality singing shows, shock the audience that a plus-size woman CAN actually sing and then come in third.... because a plus-size woman does not need to win?
Just ask Mandisa.
Some women try to empower like Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson about body image, but they looked a lot different when they came into the business. They had to in order to make it.
That is the way it has always been. Plus-size women (and men) do not get respect in the music business. They are in the background. They sing "Everybody Dance Now" while Zelma Davis lip sings the song. It does not have to be that way and it might change. Hopefully one day, it will change.
Meghan is popular, but not "Twitter-verified famous parties" popular. Her voice is amazing and her message is powerful. She should be signed on major record labels. Not a YouTube star.
And sadly, the only reason I can think of is because she is plus-size. I am sure people who are MUCH smarter and know more about music will tell me other reasons. They will tell me how hard it is in the industry or tell me that her voice is not that strong or that she does not have a lot of original music out...
I am not sure if I will buy it.
I think the fight about her pictures on Instagram is not a very strong one. Not in a mean way, but there are many flaws in it. You can preach that it is an inspirational and body positive butt, but it is still not safe for work.
The bigger fight should be why is she not signed by a major record label and as popular as the other women singers...
The ones that do not look like her.