Let me just say this…I’m Hispanic and I don’t have a big butt. My boobs are not that much to write home about either. There…I said it. I almost feel like I have to belong to a support group. Why? Because my culture as in many others thrive on this look. And if you belong to a cultural background that doesn’t, well, no fear to be left out.
In this age of the Kardashians and Minaj it’s well promoted as the desirable way to be. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? Why does it have to be a “thing”?
What has me talking about this is a comment that was recently made by Nicki Minaj when asked why she decided to make the nasty, dirty, borderline soft porn video Anaconda. (Those are my personal adjectives).
“I wanted to reinstate something,” Minaj told ABC News. “Because of the shift in pop culture, even hip-hop men are really glorifying the less curvy body. “I wanted to say, ‘Hey ladies, you’re beautiful,’” Minaj said. “Hopefully, this changes things and maybe it won’t change things, but I love it.”
Let’s get this straight and understood. First and foremost, I didn’t go searching out this video. I was asked to watch it after a conversation about how women think they are taking control of their bodies but in reality they themselves are just setting back any progress made in true body acceptance. Not sure what I was more focused on though. The video or my surroundings to make sure no one would notice what I was watching. I felt like a teenage boy trying to sneak a peek and terrified of getting caught and being thought of as a pervert.
But back to Nicki’s comment. Lets call it what it is, how does the saying go? Call a spade a spade? (my husband mocks me because I always say “call an ace an ace”). I’m sure Nicki, being as cute as a button while being deemed the most powerful woman rapper on the scene today didn’t expect to be asked WHY.
“What do you mean why? Because I’m Nicki Minaj, and I need to make sure I have more shock value than Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and that skinny chick Miley. Relevance! I need to remain relevant”.
No, she did not say that. But THAT I would have believed more. Shallow, but believable. Don’t try to spin this into a noble declaration of self-image acceptance. Have you seen this little display of apparent “curvy girls unite”? And what do you mean that the less curvy body today is being glorified? What rock have you been living under?
Here, I’ll throw out a few names and see if you can put your finger on what the common denominator is amongst them; Jennifer Lopez, Kim/Kourtney/Khloe Kardashian, Nicki Minaj herself, Iggy Azalea, Beyonce, Scarlett Johansson, Shakira, Serena Williams, Sofia Vergara, Christina Hendricks, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Eva Mendes. And those are the ones I can come up with all on my own. I’m sure there’s a list of big butts on Google for sure.
Most of these women have been on the scene for quite some time now and celebrated for their curves. Oh wait, even model turned actress Kate Upton. Ok, fine, not a big butt, but still very curvy. Think about it, the last time a young, thin, non curvy celebrity decided to twerk her way to sensational she was criticized for her LACK in the back. So, what did all the mocking do for the non-curvaceous generation? So, just slap the same performance on Nicki and it’s a positive thing? That screams hypocritical to me. And for the record, Nicki’s performance reduces Miley’s twerking to a sad, theatrical shame.
So, now that we’ve established that our generation APPLAUDS curves, let’s discuss how being half-naked or having air sex or having phallic symbols in your video is supposed to help promote body acceptance. Since the days of “I Like Big Butts” have male rappers used women’s bodies as a selling feature, reducing women to mere objects. Hey, male Latin artists have done the same for years. So, is Nicki not promoting the same thing? Is she not sooner promoting sex as a woman’s main tool to success instead of showing that body acceptance should be isolated from how much appeal you have to the male society? There are any number of things she could have included in her video instead of bananas on a turn table or spilling coconut milk (don’t act like you don’t know).
To help promote acceptance I challenge her to highlight any ten of the following in her next video: read the literary classics for self advancement, take an art class, ride a bike, work harder to better your grades at school, read to kids at the local library, become a big sister, be part of a team, learn to skate, visit museums with your friends, spend time with your family, learn a new language, go to the gym to be healthier and not just sexier, exercise to gain endurance going up a flight of stairs and not just for intimate reasons, travel, take a road trip, find and nurture your spiritual side, read the newspaper, take on a hobby and be great at it, learn to eat better, learn how to budget yourself and save money, invest in a 401k plan, dress classy and not trashy, learn from your mistakes, learn to express yourself in proper English, learn how to interview, start a business, learn to walk away from abuse, develop a support circle of friends and family, be a mentor, stop gossiping, be ambitious, set goals, play an instrument, learn how to change a tire, better your credit score, get out of debt.
Any handful of these things can be accomplished by any woman; curvy or rail thin. These are the things that increase self-esteem in life. These are the things that will help empower women. These are the things that will allow the female society to stop focusing on the superficial because they will live for the more substantial things. This is what makes us stronger, smarter, better and yes, even more beautiful.
It’s not the size of your butt jiggling in the air. It’s not playing patty cake with some girls butt cheeks. It’s not wearing the skimpiest outfit leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. It’s not lap dancing some guy.
So Nicki, stop justifying your video as woman power. You’re behaving just like any objectifying man…and that my dear, is NOT beautiful!