I am writing this because I need people on the internet to know that these images are actually setting women back at least 18,599 steps:
Some would say that these are images of strong, successful, RICH, women just being “bosses”. They are making it rain on skrippers and are smacking booties in the video for their umpteenth hit song. All good fun. All examples of powerful women doing big things in their careers. No, no..no. Stop it. This is actually what I would call unfortunate gender appropriation. Meaning that these two superstars are actually just replicating stereotypical sexist acts in order to validate their existence in traditionally masculine spaces. I.E instead of steering their music, or behavior in such a direction that would uplift the women who consume their music and images, these women revert to what they have been taught. That the public disrespect and over sexualization of black women in the media is what sells records or gets baller husbands. Rihanna I love you, I’ve been getting down to your hits since high school, but what makes you think that copying and pasting the lewd behavior of men in strip clubs is empowering? If this was your personal life fine, but to proudly flaunt these photos on your social media outlets is disappointing. To show off how much of a boss you are by dropping $20 bills on these strippers private parts is not a sign of power, it’s a sad attempt to do what the boys do, and there is nothing more tragic than a woman whose ambition is steered towards being as xy or z as a man.
On another note, when did being a boss automatically mean you need to see how closely you can mimic a Lil Wayne video? Nicki Minaj are you really doing all you can to aid in the perpetual cycle of big booty fetishization on my TV screen? Is that you really rubbing and smacking the asses of video “models” in another sad attempt to validate your existence in Hip Hop? Is this the path you are blazing for future artist and females trying to bust through the music industry? The notion that black women are unable to have successful music careers without becoming walking representations of male desire has arrested our development to the point of self mutilation and in some cases complete destruction. It is bad enough that we must navigate the deep waters of skin lightening, long blond weaves, butt injections, and the like, but we now have famous figures continuing the cycle by partaking in the same sexist banter and behavior as the men.
It is a reoccurring problem when women construct their identities, particularly in the hip hop community, around patriarchy and sexism. I know it is easier said than done, but when are our favorite artists going to begin creating their own spaces that do not include gender appropriation?
I’d love to hear some thoughts on this…