Social media is still running rampant since Nicki Minaj gave us all an eyeful with the cover art for her upcoming single, “Anaconda,” late last week. But as critics continue to weigh in, it’s becoming less clear each day as to what we’re all really mad about.
The photo features a G-string-clad Nicki squatting with her backside front and center. After getting attacked online over the explicit image, the Young Money MC decided to fire back shots of her own, blaming the uproar on a racial double standard.
In series of Instagram posts, the rapper insinuates that it is the color of her skin and her voluptuous build that is really the problem. She posted four different pics of white supermodels all showcasing their assets in thongs and barely-there bikinis, captioning them “acceptable.” Then she re-posted her own booty-baring image and labeled it “unacceptable.”
Now, the Pink Friday rapper is being ripped for a pre-Photoshopped version of the pic circulating the web. The original image shows a way more natural Nicki, making it clear that in the image she released, retouching was done around her back and stomach area, and her skin appears to have been lightened. To top things off, Chuck Creekmur, owner of AllHipHop.com, released an open letter addressing Nicki about her influence on young fans and revealing his disappointment with the cover.
The chain of events that has occurred since the “Anaconda” cover dropped have been, in a word, “nuts,” but as you take a second for everything to sink in, ask yourself these questions: Is it a racial double standard that’s feeding negative reactions? Or is it the fact she has young fans and has somewhat of a duty as a role model to hold a respectable image? Are we mad because she “lied” to us by releasing the re-touched cover? Maybe it’s a combination of all three.
The fact is Nicki has come a long way from her "Beam Me Up, Scotty" promo, where she’s famously posed in a frontal squatting position, and has transformed into a strong businesswoman who can run with the boys. Her latest effort feels like one giant step backwards.
It’s her pop crossover success with “Starships” and her cotton candy-colored wigs that allowed us to forget her roots are in rap, and unfortunately that industry is highly sexualized. With all the female entertainers out there flaunting their goodies, Nicki is trying to stay one step ahead of them.
So what we should really be asking is how to squash the notion that “sex sells.” Maybe we should put some of the blame on industry heads for dispensing erotic content to a young and impressionable generation and even own some of it ourselves for buying into it.
We can’t just single out one artist and dump the blame on her for a problem that existed long before she was in the game. If we’re going to address the problem, then let’s stop the cyber bullying and start protesting and petitioning against over-sexualized media.
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The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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(Photo: Nicki Minaj via Instagram)