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MusicSex & Gender

Nicki Minaj slut-shames sex workers while she literally sells sexual performance the same way

June 14, 2018
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“Maybe I was naïve, but I didn’t realize how many girls were modern-day prostitutes,” Nicki Minaj recently said in an interview with Elle Magazine. “Whether you’re a stripper, or whether you’re an Instagram girl—these girls are so beautiful and they have so much to offer. But I started finding out that you give them a couple thousand dollars, and you can have sex with them. I was like, Yikes. It’s just sad that they don’t know their worth. It makes me sad as a woman. And it makes me sad that maybe I’ve contributed to that in some way.”

Nicki, Nicki, Nicki. Girl. Why do you look down on sex workers? You’re literally imitating one.

On one hand, I have a lot of respect for how seriously Nicki Minaj takes her responsibility as a black woman role model for so many black girls around the world. In my opinion, as a performer, that’s not her responsibility. She takes it on because she gives a shit about her fan base and uplifting girls and women. Which is why her recurring slut-shaming comments are counterproductive towards that effort.

For all intents and purposes, Nicki Minaj is at least sex worker adjacent. She uses her body as a sexual prop, undergoing intensive cosmetic surgery to create a hyper-sexualized body that caters to the male gaze in order to sell hyper-sexualized music. She’s not selling “sex appeal,” she’s selling a sexual performance that relies on her sexuality just as much as it does the music. Kinda like a stripper.

This is evident in basically every aspect of Nik’s persona. Look at the visuals for her “Chun Li”, “Barbie Tings”, and super recently “Rich Sex” ft. Lil’ Wayne all see Minaj serving up LOOOOOOOKSSSSS hunttttty! Fetish-y, bondage-y, nasty looks. There are dominatrix’s who wear outfits identical to these while engaging in sexuality and sensuality without any type of penetration, just like Minaj. On what planet are those women unaware of their worth? And who TF is Nicki Minaj to decide? It’s as if she’s just awoken from a deep coma in which her body and career were the handiwork of Norman Bates’ mother.

“I can’t look down on these girls. I may not be having sex with people, but I’m selling sex appeal,” Minaj continued. “I just don’t know if girls who look up to me think that when I’m posting a sexy picture. I’m actually the antithesis of all of that. I’m more of, like, the snobby girl, like the ‘Uh, what?’ type of girl. And I want girls to be like that. I’d rather you be called snobby or a bitch or conceited — I’d rather you be called that than easy, and a ho, and a slut.”

Women who have sex for money have standards, too. They can be snobby girls who want their rent paid in full and in advance. When a trick asks them to perform something they’re not comfortable with, sexy workers say “Uh, what?” and assert their agency. Nicki wants girls and women to behave in the ways in which she thinks they should instead of trusting that we can make the best decisions for ourselves and practice pro-hoe sexuality in healthy ways. I appreciate the concern, sib, but maybe work on that internalized misogyny bit first.

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