I always thought I had a pretty good handle on the world. I was confident in my knowledge of where I was going, what I was doing, if I was doing right by others, and if someone was British. As a child, my parents fostered these essential skills you need in life. They would sit me down to do my homework each night, instilling in me the value of observation and reasoning. They always read to me, kept me honest, and instilled a profound sense of who is and who is not British. I was a good daughter to them. That is, until the day I lost all faith in my ability to know if a pop star was born in ol’ Blighty.
When were you going to tell me that Meghan Trainor is from fucking Nantucket?
My unexpected slump into self-doubt arrived on a day like any other day. I got up, had my usual morning coffee, and thought about how Adele was from Tottenham. For some reason, I was ready sooner than normal, so instead of staying home and contemplating how Amy Winehouse grew up in the London Borough of Camden, I went to work early. That’s when everything changed.
I think about how if I had just stayed home and left my house at the normal time maybe I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I turned my car on and blasted the FM radio station I always listen to so I can get real pumped for the day. An advertisement came on, or an “advert” as they call it in Bangor, Wales where soul singer Duffy attended primary school. It started with “All About That Bass” and I pondered if Trainor was from Liverpool or maybe somewhere less well known, like Reading. Then I heard it. Trainor’s voice blared as she said, “Remember to celebrate International Women’s Day by being all about your bass.”
There was no Cockney or Scouse twinges. Just a plain, unexciting voice. That’s when it hit me: This songbird of the UK was a born-and-raised American.
I panicked and tried to remember what was real and what was not real. I stayed in the moment and I thought about that definitely British jumper dress she wore in her video and that weird purple cardigan and how she put a massive bow on her head that only an English lady would have the nerve to pull off. I mean, she doesn’t even hate her body. How could she be from the States? I went through all the normal processes of denial, guilt, and finally acceptance that I was wrong for thinking a bleach-blonde sassy songstress who wears pastel and has huge eyelashes was British.
I now think about that time in my life and even though it was difficult to have the post-mortem discussion with my parents, I feel like we’re closer as a family because of it. I just hope that no one has to go through the same thing I did. If this confession helps anyone to cope with their inability to recognize that Meghan Trainor is from Massachusetts, an area heavily occupied by the British pre-Revolutionary War, then I know that what I have done is right.