Sunday, November 25, 2012

Media Moment: Nicki Minaj

I saw this clip a while ago and it really caught my attention, I thought of it again after reading part of the articles for this upcoming week’s discussion. Although this video does not directly relate to “Sexuality” I did think that it can be somewhat connected since it is sending a message to young women and what they should strive towards. On Ellen DeGeneres two young girls were brought on to the show because of the enormous attention they had gotten from their YouTube video, performing a cover of Nicki Minaj’s song “Super Bass” (video shown below). The two girls are from England, Sophia-Grace (8 years old) and Rosie (5 years old). Sophia-Grace is the one that sings the song while Rosie dances along on the side.  I guess Ellen DeGeneres took a liking to them because she has invited them back numerous times on the show. In the clip DeGeneres surprises the girls with Nicki Minaj since that is their favorite celebrity artist. The girls are then interviewed with Nicki, while Nicki gives them some of her own advice. (2 minutes into the clip)

The reason I found this clip disturbing is because I feel like it is sending the wrong message to young girls in multiple ways. I strongly believe that Nicki Minaj’s music is very degrading to women. Take for instance a verse from her song “Super Bass”:

He ain't even gotta try to put the mac on
He just gotta give me that look, when he give me that look
Then the panties comin' off, off, uh

The fact that these young girls idolize her is pretty crazy. I am not trying to say that as an artist she is not entertaining, but a lot of her music is very provocative, and for young girls at the age of 5 and 8 to know her music word for word (probably not knowing what half of it means) shows how much power music artists have over young kids. Personally I don’t think Nicki Minaj represents women in a positive light. Sure, she has money and fame, but I feel like she has had to stoop down so many levels morally to climb to a higher level success wise. I think she is the perfect example of how mainstream media loves to hyper sexualize women.  Nicki Minaj’s image is supposed to be portrayed as multiple personalities, but the portrayal of this “Barbie” image is one that shows up a lot. In the clip below she tells the girls that “don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t wear pink, pink will make you happy and make you strong…” This message to me is not liberating to women, in my opinion it only furthers the idea that gender is a social construct. Telling little girls that they should wear pink and be “princesses” is forcing little girls to think that being feminine is the only way girls will succeed in life.
1.       Do you think that Nicki Minaj is a good role model for young girls? And what kind of message is she sending out?
2.       Are there any other mainstream women rappers today that are representing women in a positive light?


  1. I do not think Nicki Minaj's music videos and lyrics are necessarily age appropriate for these girls and portray women in a positive light. She is trying to build a business and venturing into other businesses other than music which I feel can be viewed as a positive for little girls to see hard work and her trying different things. She also is very successful in a mostly male dominated business which can be interpreted as a positive for young women as well. I also think her telling the girls to wear pink was just her trying to relate to the young girls who obviously like dressing like princesses, I didn't view it as a negative.

  2. I see and understand both of your perspectives and I must say that I do concede and agree with Sarah on this. As young girls, I'm sure neither Sophie-Grace nor Rosie understand the implications of the way in which they are abiding by media's expectations of femininity but this is often how gender roles are formed and assumed. We are informed by the media all the traits that make a woman--it's the liking of the color pink, the desires to be a princess and live in a fairy tale (which also, of course means, that we aim to meet a Prince Charming to save us girls). These expectations are ingrained into our minds and so begins the hetero-normative binaries of male versus female, of gay versus straight, of "normal" versus "other". So, ultimately, yeah Nicki Minaj and many other female role models in today's popular culture are perpetrators to the enforcement and regulation of female ideals and the ways in which they dictate how a woman/girl should be.