Nicki Minj A Bad Role Model Essay

1080 Words 5 Pages
Media Study Skills - Is Nicki Minaj a positive role model for young black females?
In a year when cultural appropriation, police brutality against African-Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement have been illuminated, black girls must have a role model. Nicki Minaj is one of the most famous black female artists in the world right now, but is she a good role model? This essay compares the negative and positive aspects of the image she portrays. The essay will also consider the lack of representation of black women in the media and the common stereotypes they are presented as, like ‘the angry black woman’, hypersexual and ‘the strong black woman’.
Minaj frequently speaks out in interviews and mid-performance to give advice to her fans.
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Most people would believe that young girls should not be exposed to some of Minaj’s images and videos because of their sexual nature, but the fact that she is proud of her curvy body has a positive implication about body image. Minaj herself has said that the media “can’t have only one type of body being glorified […] because it just makes girls even more insecure”. On the other hand, she is not challenging the stereotype that black women are hypersexual and they are only valued when they are sexualised. This could have an extremely damaging effect on young girls because, as Thomas discovered, young black girls “identified with negative stereotypes” (2011, p. 530). Nonetheless, many ‘new’ feminists argue that women can do what they like with their bodies and Minaj “encapsulates the essence of the ‘sexual entrepreneur’.” (White, 2013, p. 610). For example, Minaj’s Anaconda dance routine should make women feel empowered because women are sexual for themselves and not for the enjoyment of men. Cartier points out Minaj “realized that the one power of black women was indeed sex, in every trope that has represented them in the media” (2014, p. 154). Though some dispute that “Twerking is not feminism […] it’s not liberating, it’s not empowering. It’s a sexual thing that you’re doing on stage; it doesn’t empower you” (Leight, …show more content…
Her tiny doll-like waist and long blonde hair combined with her big bottocks could send mixed signals about black beauty standards. Minaj’s alter ego “Harajuku Barbie” says a lot about her own view of what is beautiful. Minaj has the opportunity to make a real difference in the identity of black girls, however, Penrice suggests that she has unintentionally been involved “in the promotion of Barbie and Marilyn Monroe as this culture’s ultimate beauty ideals, she is indeed hurting the struggle for the advancement and appreciation of black” (2012). Some would see her pseudo-white Barbie image as the epitome of white supremacist beauty, whereas, many other new black artists like Zendaya and FKA Twigs choose to celebrate their black beauty by, for example, wearing dreadlocks and

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