Here’s the video for those one you who haven’t seen it yet:
Now here are my thoughts for those of you who care lol:
This video makes me feel a certain kind of way. I can’t quite explain it. I’m used to seeing women portrayed in a less than flattering light in the media (Hello Vh1):
It’s obvious that it makes for entertaining, ratings increasing, trending topic worthy TV that I’m totally guilty of viewing. But this video just doesn’t sit right with me. Let’s ignore the fact that the song itself is crap. Yes, I said it. Crap. And that as of 1:26am on January 22nd, 72,000+ people on YouTube think it’s crap too. (We have to keep in mind that there are some haters factored into there… I guess)
Let’s also ignore the fact that watching Nicki Minaj dance is painfully embarrassing– at best. But what I can’t ignore is something that my sister Jessica said after watching the video, “She reminds me of the Hottentot Venus.” (AKA Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman).
And that bothered me. A lot. So much so that I am sitting here typing, trying to figure out a way to articulate my thoughts on the matter! Sarah Baartman was “the most famous of at least 2 Khoikhoi women who were exhibited as freak show attractions in 19th century Europe” (Thanks Wikipedia! Say no to PIPA/SOPA!). Her story is a sad one that I don’t think many people pay attention to.
I’m not trying to say that Nicki Minaj is being paraded around the world against her will. Or that a woman isn’t allowed to embrace her sexuality and be proud of it. Not at all. But I also don’t think that the image that should come to anyone’s mind when thinking of a modern pop/hip-hop star is of a woman who was exploited for being different from the norm. ..
Especially when that comparison is so accurate. I recently read an article on Coco & Creme talking about the “ass shot” epidemic. It never ceases to amaze me what people will go through to fit the standards set by society. We as black women can’t fit one standard of beauty, so we’ve created another that is just as harmful (if not more) to the progression of real beauty.
We’ve successfully moved away from one extreme of the spectrum to the other. *Round of applause*
When are we going to be content with what we’ve got and not play into the stereotype of what a black woman should look like? I don’t want you to think that I’m a Nicki Minaj hater; I usually love her music. I’ll be the first one singing along to her highly explicit lyrics, making crazy voices, and even crazier faces as I try to keep up with her catchy rhymes. But this song? Stupid Hoe? Just isn’t cutting it for me.
Nicki Minaj’s music isn’t the same. The way she carries herself isn’t the same. She’s a caricature of her former self and so many people are trying to replicate something that they think is authentic. How about everyone step away from the Barbies for a second and come to grips with what you have and take it from there? There’s nothing cool about about a woman in the spotlight perpetuating the stereotype that black women are only good for their bodies, always worried about those hatin’ stupid hoes.
We need to do better.
But alas, it isn’t Nicki’s responsibility to teach people right from wrong, or to discern the real from the fake. Maybe I just need to go to sleep. I’ll probably be singing ‘Stupid Hoe’ along with the rest of ’em in no time.