Nicki Minaj, Plastic Surgery and Body Politics
No one could hear or see “Anaconda” without commenting. It’s taken me a minute to put my thoughts to words, but Diana Veiga’s post in Clutch Magazine hit the nail on the head – Minaj could use her influence to create a message and culture of unity, but with Anaconda she has done just the opposite, she has divided skinny bitches from big booty bitches. You can check out Veiga’s insightful article at http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/08/skinny-shame-nicki-minajs-anaconda/ . Veiga’s language got me to where I was trying to go – HOW CAN A WOMAN WITH A PROSTHETIC BEHIND BECOME THE POSTERCHILD FOR CURVY FEMALES? How ironic that Nicki Minaj, who underwent plastic surgery to acquire the rear end that catapulted her to fame, now insult women who still bare the natural slender body she was born with? The question isn’t curvy vs. slim. The question isn’t natural vs. plastic either. The question is one of authenticity. Can I wear blue contacts (my natural eyes are dark brown, thank you very much) and then start a campaign bashing brown eyed people? Did the plastic enhancement make me a member of the blue eyed society?
I ask this question not because I have a case of the bluest eye, or a case of the flat backside, but because in the year 2014 people can make themselves look HOWEVER THEY WANT, so long as they have the $ to pay for it. The politics of body image, however, seem to be a little lagging. Can a post-operative transgender person now identifying as a female, now be an advocate for all women? That opens a whole other pandora’s box that’s really for another post, so let’s take it back to Nicki. I applaud her for taking to social media to get at Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and other white women who objectify the bodies of black women for the sake of stage antics. But isn’t Nicki doing the same thing? By going under the knife to gain a prototypical (albeit exaggerated) black female body, didn’t she implicate herself in the same sort of racist, sexist, objectification? She got the butt, but she wasn’t born with it. Does she have a right to rep?