I watched Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video (after 50 million people had already viewed it, and 30 of those 50 million probably climaxed) and I was, in a word, repulsed.
Asses clapping, asses twerking, asses in the air doggystyle position, asses shaking in slow-mo, girls touching each other’s asses, girls grinding on each other’s asses, girls humping the floor with their asses in the air, asses eating little pink thongs, and of course, the all-ass lapdance with Drake jizzing in his pants at the end. ASS ASS ASS ASS.
My first thought (after ASS ASS ASS ASS) was: Desperate. Desperate. Desperate. Ol’ Nicki must feel like she’s been losing some juice and wanted to use her biggest asset (literally) to break the Internet with an oversexed shocker. It was as if Nicki and her creative team sat down and said, “Ok, how can we make a video that will literally give dudes boners for weeks at a time?”
This video is the chick at the club wearing a Bodycon dress, life-preserver grade push-up bra, 9-inch stilettos, 18 metric tons of makeup and hair products just grinding on any dude who will look her way and hoping one of them bites (read: takes her home). And in the case of Nicki’s video, a lot of people bit (66 million and counting).
I ask: How can women combat the misogyny out there today and being viewed as sex objects when THIS is the shit breaking Vevo records?
On top of that, we have (thanks to Instagram) the cultural message that you can become rich and famous if you post hot pictures of yourself on the Internet. Jen Selter is literally famous because of her derriere—not her brains, personality, or talent. Straight BUTT. Ability to do squats for 18 hours a day (although I guess that counts as talent?). To men, she’s just a ass to fantasize about. And yes, women have always been praised for and able to make money for their beauty. But I find models to be different—they must be beautiful, poised, able to work a runway/camera, and driven to really succeed. They have a purpose to make clothes/brands look good; not only be ogled for their body parts. These days, you just need “ass and/or titties” that you feel comfortable exploiting and you could achieve Internet fame. You know there are young girls out there aspiring to be these Instagram “models” and my heart breaks at that reality. Although I guess this is nothing new. Kim Kardashian DID rise to fame courtesy of a sex tape.
I don’t want to slut shame here (ie. “act like a hoe, get treated like a hoe”), but I do believe women need to command respect with their actions. Strive for success without physical appearance or sex appeal as a factor, because newsflash: Those things fade. And if you REALLY need to show off how hot you (think you) are, can’t you do it without making your ass clap in a Vine video or taking a cleavage selfie?
To be clear, this isn’t about nudity. Because nudity doesn’t have to equal sex. Sure, exposed body parts are used in pop culture because…spoiler alert…SEX SELLS, but naked Miley Cyrus on the Wrecking Ball figuratively “baring her soul” or Rihanna singing “Stay” in the bathtub is a little different than the girls in the rapey “Blurred Lines” video strutting around like topless playthings for the male singers (but it’s ok because the tune was catchy!).
And I’m ALL for women expressing our sexuality (love or hate her, I think Beyonce does this well, commanding respect while her sensual actions serve a purpose in her art form rather than painting her as just a piece of ass.)
But the talk of misogyny and sexual harassment is getting more prevalent, while women (both celebs and common folk) continue to objectify themselves for attention whether it be in the form of Instagram likes or millions of dollars. And if videos like “Anaconda” are what WOMEN put out there, that just makes it more acceptable for men to keep putting that shit out there. Any excuse of “we’re taking back the power” is a coverup for “we’re degrading ourselves but don’t want to admit it.”
I just think we can do better.
*And I also think “Anaconda” is one of the worst songs (if you can call it that?) I’ve heard in the last decade, maybe my life.