Dear Future Husband by Meghan Trainor – A Pop Song Review

Meghan Trainor is all about that ’50s gender roles

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147 comments

  1. “We’ll be seeing my family more often than yours” – now that is a genuinly scary thing for any husband.

    • I think it’s “we’ll never see your family more than mine.” More like a “if I have to put up with your family you’ll have to put with mine” kind of thing. Could still be scary if she’s tallying up the number of visits.

  2. It’s a shame how much I can’t stand Meghan Trainor because I do love the instrumental part of her music. It’s a nice break from the electronic dance mixes, but damnit when she opens her mouth I despise the song immediately

    • TheTundraTerror

      Opening her mouth is the only thing she’s good at, though, and I’m not referring about singing.

      • ProductofBoredom

        I hate this song, and I’m not exactly a fan of Megan Trainer in general, but that comment was just… ewww.
        Creepy as fuck.

      • Booooo! Got something for your butt, Tundra.

      • Dude. Over the line.

      • I’d hit you. Honestly, though?

        Yeah, this is one crazy “gyn” and she’s amply earned a certain amount of “miso”.

        Politeness is a two-way street. When someone implies I’m a semi-sentient animal so easily controlled by sex that you can be as insane as they like if I’m in a relationship with them, I might be LESS interested in stomping trolls going after them.

        And to the other commenters… all this “Over the line” and similar infantilizes Trainor. She’s an adult. She, I presume, had all the intellectual faculties necessary to know what she was saying and as a public figure had better know by her third hit that you can’t say “good morning” without someone online denouncing you in an angry screed, let alone this. Me, I’m inclined to let her reap what she sowed, if only in this small way. I’m not looking for a canonization.

        tl;dr– she earned a public backlash with the sentiments she expressed in the song. I’m assuming enough independent resiliency on her part to deal with the oh-so-horrific modern consequence of anonymous people saying tawdry things about her online. Oh, the humanity!

    • I have it the same way. Although I don’t dislike her voice as much as I hate her songs’ lyrics.

    • I don’t want to blow your mind, but people were making a ton of this music back in the 50s and 60s.

  3. I wanted to defend M Trainor because I think she is super cute but damn the lyrics to this song are insane, great review Todd!

  4. When you bring up the “50’s gender roles “I do like how you state that it’s actually a situation that may be just as restrictive for men as well as women. Knowing how left this site can lean I was expecting a one sided perspective there.

    saying that I think I’m turning into a reluctant traditionalist of late. Men like to provide and women like to be taken care of. perhaps the old gender roles are somewhat inevitable, nature or nurture thing. I really can’t say. I’d rather not be trapped like a sit-com husband but unless I want to be alone forever I may not have much of a choice.

    • Except for the fact that gender roles are not universal and certainly don’t take that shape and form all the time. It’s about as blatant about being nurture as it gets.

      • Universal means it can to apply to everyone and I wouldn’t say that. I’m talking abound trends rather than absolutes.

        Men tend to want to be the provider and I can’t honestly say that’s a social construct.

        • You’re right. Providing isn’t a social construct. The social construct is that men are providers and women nurturers. The basic mode of a human being is survival-we all want to provide for our families because that means we’re successful at surviving. Having a job, being able to pay your bills, and being able to take care of the people you care about is the social equivalent of “caught food, have shelter, reproduced, my genes will carry on into the next generation”.

          And in reality, the whole antiquated idea of women’s place as a “nurterer” is really just another form of providing. She was expected to provide for different things than her husband. THATS the part that’s wrong. You have it in your head that men want to be one way when women want to be other when in reality its men and women want the same thing, its just that traditionally we’ve been told we can only achieve it in different ways.

          • Thank you!

            MY whole life, I’ve met, lived with, seen on TV, read in interviews, EVERYWHERE that there are BOTH: people who like to provide, and people who like to be taken care of. Guess what? Some have the Y chromosome, and some do not. Some of each.

            The one most capable should be able to fulfill that drive to provide. Don’t care if you have a dick or not.

    • Feminists talk about how gender roles hurt men all the time. Quit acting persecuted because the little feminists dared point out how bull shit our societal system of gender is.

    • Is it just me or is there more and more of Men’s Rights Activists’ comments on Channel Awesome ? It’s making me worried.

      • SEVENTEENPOINT1

        Why would you be worried? Guys have rights to complain about how society treats them as much as women can. Look I am in a happy relationship with my to be wife, she considers herself a feminist by definition of, having the same rights as men. But there is also the fact of the matter that guys also have odd standards of how to look, how to hide emotions, and to deal with it. What worries me is that there are so many people in this world that do not get the fact that just because you feel it is so does not make it such. Feminism doesn’t need to exist, equalism does, and the idea that we are biologically different should be factored, also if you truly believe you are equal, then set your standards to the same as those you consider yourself equal to.

        • oh god do i agree, I actually believe that I’ts not being invaded with MRA’s instead it seems from just about all the comments that it is the opposite. Anyway I believe todd’s videos are now going far to deep into feminism. That completely ruined the review for me.

  5. Great review of a dumb, tone-deaf song. The Tammy Wynette clip at the end just about killed me. Cause yeah. Is this song a love letter, or a warning?

    I’m calling her Meghan Tryhard, cause no one can be this relentlessly, in your face-ly perky and “confident.” It’s just strident and annoying at this point. I’m a woman, and this song makes me feel like a man. I feel for the guy who ends up in this relationship. He will live a life of quiet desperation.

    That line about when he can see his own damn family… wow. That’s straight-up psychological abuse. Imagine if that was reversed. So there you have it. “Dear Future Husband: I’m a controlling bitch. Run.”

    This review inspired me to blog about this damn song, so yay. I was really hoping you’d do this one.

    • Greenjackspeaks

      I have an uncle who married someone with a similar opinion. they’re kinda still together because a lot of my family are traditional catholics that don’t believe in divorce, but now that their kids are all grown up my uncle’s been taking long vacations away from his wife. and yes, their scenario was a “you’ll never see your family as much as mine” type marriage. my uncle pretty much married the person megan trainor is trying to portray herself as, but the difference is they were both from late fifties, early sixties era.

  6. I haven’t liked a Meghan Trainor song yet! It’s odd because I always like the retro sound of her songs but I never like the lyrics. I have purposely avoided this song so this was my first listen. I can’t believe I’m defending this song but… some people actually like being housewives. Although I have no idea what marriages entail. In my personal opinion, a perfect marriage would be whatever as long as I still get to go to church, go shopping, exercise, hang out with my friends, go to the movies, and if I have a walk-in closet and a Volkswagen Beetle. Oh, and sex. I don’t care who brings the bacon. I would prefer that we limit family stuff or at least stuff with my family. Is that crazy? I don’t know.

    • I am one of those people. I want to be a housewife, do the cooking, cleaning, raising the kids, all that. Be provided for. Of course, I am naturally an introvert, and my boyfriend is an extrovert, but I don’t care that he has more of a social life than me. So it seems like it would work out.

      • I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with what both of you want. I think the problem is that, unlike yourself, the person in this song (I hesitate to say Meghan) seems at least unwilling to compromise, and at most cares about and expects nothing less than what she wants from her future Husband, without considering said husband’s desires (it would be like if your [Zebra_Bug] Boyfriend demanded that you attend every event he goes to, and doesn’t consider your comfort in the situation). It takes two to tango, assuming that applies.

        I apologise if I offend both of you, in any case, and I hope you all have happy relationships.

      • Except you’re providing for your family on a whole other level than “making money,” doing what you described.

  7. TheTundraTerror

    What does it say about a singer that talks about how “she’s fat and doesn’t care and being fat is totally okay”… only to feature a song where every man of her dreams is ripped?

    It says she’s full of shit!

    • And it’s not like her first song’s message was “being fat is totally okay” it was “being fat is BETTER than being skinny.” You can’t claim to be a body positive and inclusive song while having the phrase “skinny bitches” in it.

      • Angry Pete- As one of “them skinny bitches”, let me remind you that the song says ” Nah, I’m just playin’: I know you think you’re fat. But I’m here to tell you, ‘Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top’.

        Listen to the damn song before criticizing it.

        I am so sick of this inferiority complex from thin people regarding this song: This song is for you, too. It is a song against unnatural, and unhealthy, weight loss done so girls can look like a “stick-figure, Barbie doll”: What the hell is wrong with that?

        And you know what, I love Barbie. I’m an adult collector who spends real-world money buying the brand because she loves the designs and look of the doll. I’m smart enough, however, to know that the doll is used as cultural shorthand to refer to vapid, anorexic, plastic surgery getting, women; Women whom I don’t like either.

        I’m thin; I generally weigh about 105 pounds; I’m an A-cup-always have been, always will be; and that comes from being naturally petite, having Cystic Fibrosis, and looking after myself through eating properly and exercising: By your logic, I should hate this song, inside out, for being anti-skinny but I don’t because A) it’s NOT anti-skinny and B) I know the purpose of the song.

        Geez, ‘Baby Got Back’ had no concession to skinny people, and I love that song; It’s all about knowing the intent.

        Mon Dieu, a 2 sentence reply stirred a several paragraph response; I’m sorry but the song is almost a year old and people are still spouting that nonsense.

        • Doesn’t that ‘just playin’ add on seem like such a cop-out though? Like she’s focused grouped the song to death to avoid really offending anyone?
          Actually it’s the whole problem with the song, it’s like the softest,most edgeless song of acceptance ever, with the whole conceit being ‘it’s ok being not skinny as long as some dude is into that’.

          • I don’t think the softness of the song detracts from the positivity; There’s a clear and definitive message in the song: ” Love your NATURAL curves and don’t worry about being unhealthy just to be thin”. Now, I wouldn’t give a flying expletive if the song ended at that but it doesn’t; The song says ‘Hey, skinny chicks, I know you got that body image thing, too. Welcome to the club.” I didn’t think it was clunky, or out of place, but that it fit perfectly into the song’s upbeat attitude.

            Sigh. People, quit grabbing onto that “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night” line. That’s not the thrust of the song; The song’s not about getting the measurements de la mode: The song is about loving yourself. The song is not about telling thin girls that they can’t attract a man: It’s about telling overweight girls that they don’t need to be rail thin to be attractive.

          • The problem is the song is really muddled in it’s message, alternating between body-positive for one’s own sake and then crouching it in the ‘you look fine, someone will want to sleep with you’.

        • TheTundraTerror

          “Oh, I’m just playing” makes it okay?

          Alright. Be right back. Going to make a song that’s about how whites are better than blacks, but it will be okay since “I’m just playing”.

          • Context is everything. ‘The Producers’ has a play celebrating Hitler and the Nazis.

          • Yeah, but, A) The Producers is a comedy, and B) has at least some element of Crossing the Line Twice – it’s so absurd no one can take it seriously.

            Meghan Trainor saying she’s “just playing” after calling some of her potential audience “skinny bitches” is, at best, somewhat problematic. Especially since the rest of the song’s lyrics *do* seem to be implying that “fat” girls (and honestly, I wouldn’t call Meghan Trainor “fat”) are preferable to “skinny” girls.

          • But The Producers used bad-taste to lampoon Hitler from a Jew the way Chaplin did in The Last Dictator. It was effective by treating a monster as a joke.
            If this was actually meant as satire, then the problem is Trainor doesn’t have a punchline to the joke.

    • The song =/= The video.

    • Let’s look down the line of Meghan’s hits. All About that Bass was how it’s okay to be fat and boys like her big fat bass. Lips are Movin’ immediately shuts the men in the first song down for liking her bass, and now Dear Future Husband is her being completely “hellish” over the man who’s falling for her. She went from positivity to negativity in a quick and devastating way.

  8. I swear for a second I thought you were playing “Help Me, Rhonda” in the beginning there.

  9. Goodness gracious. This song sounds like it was written by a middle school girl on Facebook.

  10. I never really listened to this song before and holy shit!

    This is a garbage display of perkiness coated over outdated sexism. And I use words like sexist and feminism very carefully, so I hope you understand the feelings this song makes me feel under my crawling skin.

    I don’t have a problem with a young woman singing about wanting to be a housewife, really I do, but there has to be a way to do it that makes both the husband and the wife not look bad.

    If you want to expect things from your mate, fine. If you want to hold them hostage through a marriage license and never let them see their family again: NOT FINE!

  11. As someone who hears all 3 of her hit songs every day at work, I appreciate this review so much.
    At first you don’t mind hearing these pop songs because they sound ok, but then you hear them well enough to actually listen to the songs and then you just realize….things just aren’t right.

    Yes she really is saying she gave ass. That’s all she ever does. That ass needs loyalty, commitment, worship, sacrifice, and most of all, total submission. None shall EVER upset dat ass.

    Meghan Trainor’s songs make her sound demanding and entitled. She’s everything that makes previous generations of people look down at millennials.

  12. in fairness, this isn’t even the first hit she’s had ripping off another song’s musical hooks.

    All About That John and Yoko, amirite

  13. I’m a bit confused for the precipice of this song. Some of things sound like something that should be resolved while they’re still dating. Especially about treat her like a lady. Well if she’s not happy with the way he treats her why marry him in the first place?

  14. That ‘Not a Rhyme Button’. Headphone users RIP

    • I was thinking the same thing. Seemed way louder in this video.

      • Steve the Pocket

        Something about the new program Todd uses to edit his videos seems to have been wrecking the mix in almost every video he’s put out this year, somehow without him noticing. I’d hate to think he doesn’t bother even previewing his videos before he posts them, but…

        • His dialogue is super quiet to the point where I’m looking through my audio settings to see if I can’t boost it and then BZZZZZZZZZZZ

          • Yup, I’ve noticed that too. What I can’t figure out is if he’s just not noticed it, or if he has and can’t be arsed to fix it. I wish he WOULD fix it, though. I hate having to fiddle with the volume button the entire time I’m watching one of his videos.

    • Yeah I’m lucky only one of my headphones works because that really hurt my one ear that took it full blast.

    • MidnightScreeningsman2014

      I’m using headphones for this video too ironically and they work just fine. Hope they don’t go out like yours did.

    • Every damn time I rewatch this I forget to turn down the volume. I wish Todd would fix it. One of these days I’m gonna go deaf from that thing.

  15. Excellent choice for a review. This one’s right up there with “Blurred Lines” for me in terms of music that would almost be damn catchy, but yeah, the lyrics make my skin crawl. Praise be to Weird Al for “Word Crimes”.

    Todd, any chance you’ll tackle that recent song that’s ruining my commute to work these days? I just looked it up; it’s “Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt. It sounds exactly like the kind of falseness you like to crucify. I’d love to see that thing trashed.

  16. I actually like Meghan Trainor’s singing style. What turns me off – besides her juvenile attitude – is her attempts to rap in her songs.

  17. This song is fun to listen to, but I can’t imagine being friends with her. If she wrote these lyrics and actually believes this crap, I wonder what her childhood was like. Maybe she’s just really insecure and hiding it behind her songs? She comes off as a selfish spoiled brat, unfortunately.

  18. GenrlContctUnit Arbitrary

    Dear Future doormat

  19. I loved this review! 😛

    Might have laughed too hard because of the Married with Children reference though.

  20. Todd, we have been waiting for three videos for the One Hit Wonderland of Mmmbop. I like these videos like everyone else here, but you promised!

  21. Steve the Pocket

    I remember reading somewhere that Trainor was interviewed and said she was “not strong enough” to have an eating disorder. Gag me. Pity you didn’t hear about that; it would have made a good thing to put on the screen to make the case that she has no idea what she’s talking about.

    I’m not sure I’d say this song exemplifies 1950s gender roles; if it were the ’50s she would actually be doing the cooking and cleaning and raising the umpteen kids she would have because birth control didn’t exist yet. It reminds me more of the ’90s when traditional gender roles had started breaking down and men were bitter about it so they started writing sitcoms where the wife is a nagging shrew and the husband just sits there and takes it. I mean, there was literally a show called “Yes, Dear” at one point.

    Oh, and what is this “left side of the bed” business? Is there’s supposed to be some cultural significance to what side of the bed the wife sleeps on that I’ve never heard of?

    • Left is usually associated with women in magical traditions, though I’m not sure Meg’s into witchfcraft,

    • The side isn’t as important as the idea that it’s the woman who gets to decide which side everyone sleeps on if there’s any disagreement.

    • Steve the Pocket- I saw that interview. It wasn’t that bad. She jokingly referred to how she “tried” skipping meals once but broke down and asked her mother for some food. That shows, actually, how healthy her attitude is: She recognized that her hunger was important and meant something. Anorexia is the real weakness; I’ve watched documentaries of women who have dieticians, specialized in eating disorders, showing them how to cook a healthy meal and the women stare at the plate like they’re diabetics being force-fed Fuzzy Peaches.

      • Steve the Pocket

        Anorexia is a psychological disorder. Brushing it off like “bitches be crazy” is about as insensitive as brushing off someone with a learning disability as just being too lazy to study.

        • Yes, the unwillingness to take care of your body in the most basic fashion, such as not eating enough, shows that a person has a psychological illness that needs to be treated. I would not, however, compare anorexia to a learning disability: Anorexia is closer to addiction; There is a basic responsibility that falls on the shoulder of the addict; Nobody forced that needle into your arm and nobody forced you to stop taking the most basic nutrition into your body.

          Let’s play pretend. I begin to notice that “Jenny” is not eating properly: She’s refusing things at meals; She’s skipping meals outright; She starts talking about how fat she is, regardless of her weight; She says that she wishes she were pretty. Long before this went anywhere, whether or not I lived with her, I would open my mouth and do something about it: I would make eating proper, nutritious food at meals a regular thing; I would help her understand that eating structured, regular meals, will help with her health far more than starving herself; If she is overweight, or underweight, I would take her to a doctor to get her on a proper diet, and to add the opinion of a university-educated professional to my own, regarding her image problem; If she is at a good weight already, I would still take her to a doctor to cement that fact into her brain; I’ve already spent a lifetime, if I’ve known her that long, telling her how beautiful she is and I would re-iterate that many times over.

          If none of this did anything, I would get the doctor, who would probably be way ahead of me on this one, to put her into an eating disorder program. I know the waiting lists are astronomical( sad, isn’t it?) but at least she would on the list. Next, I would ask for supplementary help, maybe a local counselor or at-home programs, anything to get her back on track.

          I would not callously leave someone flailing in the wind but a lot of the onus of taking care of yourself is on the individual; I am not going to spoon feed “Jenny” for the rest of her life; I will give her the pool, the swimsuit, the lifeguard, the neon pink noodles and the inflatable donut, but she has to do the laps herself.

          I don’t blame people for having low self esteem at various points in their life but I do blame people who throw up their hands and blame the inexorable forces of society for it.

          So, no, I don’t think Trainor was being insensitive when she laughed at how she wasn’t able to stop eating proper meals; I think that’s a good attitude for people to have.

  22. I think I passed by it on the radio and was kind of disinterested in listening to it at the moment. Should be interesting review.

  23. Am I the only person who thinks that this song is a satire? With feminist criticisms of ‘All About That Bass’, this song is likely a response . Instead of making a more progressive song, her intention was to make a song with outdated ideas. I mean, just look at the silly music video and the insanity of her lyrics. It’s a deliberate callback to outdated marital ideals, showing how ridiculous they are.

    • I know it’s supposed to be satire, but it’s bad satire. It’s not exaggerated enough to be seen as over-the-top and it’s not clever enough to actually subvert marital ideals. Meghan Trainer basically took all the old marital tropes from the 1950s/1960s conservative American household, and gender-flipped them, which basically makes her the domineering and superior father figure, instead of actually calling out on that trope. It comes off as an abuse story to me, especially since there actually are a sizable number of women who actually act like what she’s describing.

      Plus, she’s creepy as shit in the video!!

    • Pure Poe-level satire requires there to be someone who is in on the joke to work. You need either the speaker winking at the camera, or the guy actually responding in exasperation.

      Todd covered this in another review–I think about some Asian-sploitation song that the artists claimed was a parody.

      And, yes, there are some people who cite Airplane and say that old satire never acknowledged the joke. But the entire style of that work acknowledged the joke by making sure to put things that were too over the top to be real.

      This isn’t. Some women actually think this way.

    • Problem is the satire doesn’t really come across anywhere if it is because she plays it utterly deadpan. I mean maybe if it had more of the video undercutting the lyrics it could work that way, but it just doesn’t.

  24. This is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek comedy song. So why does this sound like a female domestic abusers’ anthem?

  25. Patrick Donnolley

    The lyrics of this song are just begging for a reaction.

  26. Alright, let me be the one schmuck to defend this song.

    It’s an old-fashioned song written in old-fashioned way; It’s young( “and maybe then I’ll let ya try and rock my body right”); Oh God, is it young (“Open doors for me and you might get some….kisses. Don’t have a dirty mind): These are not bad things, though.

    One old-timey, virginal song is not going to drag down the position of women in society; Women are far too strong, and smart, to be affected by something so silly. My college-educated, business-managing, mother loves this song; My mother, who has come up against men, and women, who have had definitive ideas of what a woman is capable of and whom she has either shot down or gotten to come around, has no problem with this song. My post-secondary-attending/educated cousins and friends either love the song, or don’t give a shit about it because Trainor’s music does nothing for them, or roll their eyes at how young, and inane, the lyrics are and then get on with their day: I don’t know anyone who hates it for the feminism-ending that it supposedly trumpets.

    Todd referenced Tumblr so I am sure there are pockets of people who had their brains explode, and then wrote pages dedicated to their hatred of it.

    If someone thinks the song stinks for the tune, or can’t get past the junior high lyrics, or doesn’t like Trainor’s throwback style, that’s fine; My issue comes when the idea that Trainor’s point of reference is straight out of ‘The Stepford Wives’ is brought up: Feminism will not die from this song existing and if anyone is proud of this song because it brings back “traditional femininity”, I promise you that that person drank the crazy Kool-Aid a long time ago and is in a very stupid, very well-mocked, minority.

    The one criticism that I have of the song is the direct contradiction that seems to arise from the verses “I’ll be the perfect wife; Buying groceries; Buying, buying what you need;” and “You got that 9-5 but, Baby, so do I; So don’t be thinking I’ll be home and baking apple pies” but I put that down to Trainor’s imperfect songwriting skills rather than actual cognitive dissonance on her part.

    • Second. I LOVE this song and can pretty easily tell she’s just joking around. Plus when Todd mentioned Maria Carey’s song and said that it was obvious she was just joking around, I was thinking “It WAS? I sure couldn’t tell, that song just made me uncomfortable.”

      As a male feminist, I find it odd that everyone always attacked her songs for touting “traditional femininity” as being anti-feminism. Isn’t the point of feminism to be whoever you are and not be judged or limited in opportunities due to gender/sex? She’s not saying that ways of living other than hers are worse; why does feminism have to equal being dudes with boobs? Feminine girls shouldn’t be looked down upon for being feminine and proud of it, just like non-feminine women shouldn’t be looked down upon either…

  27. I wasn’t familiar with this song until now, but meh, I’ve always been apathetic towards Meghan Trainor and this song is no exception.

  28. Well… I’m not actually a fan of her style of music, it’s rather tedious to me, so the song completely fails to engage on that front.

    With regards to the “message”… I honestly don’t even think there is one, it just comes across so jumbled and self-contradictory in the delivery that I can’t tell if it’s worshipping gender roles of that era, criticising them through satire or “I am acting out a character I don’t agree with” roleplaying, or just using them as set dressing without any thought put into the implications.

    Whatever it is or is not, it’s pretty thoroughly botched and unenjoyable regardless.

  29. Oh okay I get your dislike for her now. I like the music, so I don’t actually care what she’s saying. I just love old 50s sounding music.

  30. This marriage sounds awful. Like, I am a feminist woman, but like, if I were her “future husband”, I have to do all this stuff, and all I get is sex? She’s not even going to cook? Look at what she’s doing to me! She makes me sound like a “nice guy”!

    But really, hate to tell you Meghan, but marriage is all about compromise. I’m not saying you need to “be at home making apple pies”, but you may have to let him win an argument once in a while. You may have to forgive him if he forgets an anniversary once. And you may have to see his family a whole bunch at one point because of a family emergency or something.

    I’m not even married, but I’ve skimmed enough marriage advice articles in Good Housekeeping at the doctor’s office to know you are not ready for marriage.

    And Christ, last time I wrote a letter to my “future husband” was an exercise at church camp.

    • No mention so far of how the music is a direct rip-off of Olly Murs “Dance with Me Tonight” a number 1 hit in the UK in only 2011. And not just “sounds a bit like” no it’s the exact same song just with bat-shit insane lyrics inserted.

      Olly Murs – Dance With Me Tonight: https://youtu.be/F3EG4olrFjY

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