Nicki Minaj: Black Hanna Montana? GLBTQ Role Model? Or Influencing Body Consciousness?
by Nikki Rivera
Putting her love life aside to focus of her rising career, Minaj, whom says she does not have time to date, appears to be struggling to balance the sexual power she has accumulated with her fame. Refraining from speaking about sex in interviews while freely expressing herself through her work, Minaj says “I do put the block up because I feel like all people want to talk about is sex. I give you enough in my record.” Even creating a male alter ego to to express her masculinity without criticism, Minaj fights to break double standards saying “I do what the boys do. The boys take their shirts off , they work out, they feel on their crotch. Why don’t people talk about that?”
Its no doubt that Nicki Minaj has quickly emerged as one of the most influential women in music within the last year. Her secure spot at the top of music charts has, as with all of the scarce successful female emcees, been in some ways influenced by her “required” sex appeal. In the industry today, it is a sad fact that most female emcees are rated mostly on their sex appeal rather than actual talent. But, Nicki Minaj has undeniable talent to back up her image.
But is the “Barbie” image Nicki Minaj portrayed by Nicki Minaj caused women and young girls to become more body conscious? It’s no doubt that the rapper has heavily influenced the acceptance of “thick women,” yet her petite waste and luscious curves are that of only the genetically gifted. In an October interview with NecoleBitchie.com, Minaj comments on her influence on young girls, saying “Nicki is wearing those bangs, the pink weave, oh I want to try that.”
When asked why she often reffered to herself as the Black Hanna Montana, Minaj responded “I have been able to optimize everyone of her talents and become a business woman and artist,” “and I don’t think we ever see that in the black community.” It seems she wishes compares herself to Miley Cyrus more as an entrepreneur than a role model to young girls. “The last thing I want a little girl to take away from my record is to be loose with a thousand dudes,” she says, adding “I do not feel guilty because I know I’m balancing it with positive stuff,” “When ever I do my shows I might do the freakiest song and stop it and let them know, “yeah this is all in fun, go to school, get your own money, pay your own bills and be a boss.” I always do that and I always promote keep your cookies exclusive.”
In an earlier interview about her sexual orientation, Minaj makes reference to mogul Miley Cyrus once again, saying “I’m a role model now. I didn’t know I was gonna have 13-year-old fans, so I’ve tried to change a few things here and there. But I also know that the girls don’t want me to be Miley Cyrus, either.” Yet in toning things down it seems Minaj has lost touch of herself as a GLBTQ role model. In this April interview with HipHopWired.com, Minaj speaks openly about her bisexuality and her influence on the music industry. “I think the world is getting more gay-friendly, so hip-hop is too. But it’s harder to imagine an openly gay male rapper being embraced. People view gay men as having no street credibility. But I think we’ll see one in my lifetime.”
Yet, later in the year in her interview with Necole Bitchie, Minaj is confronted about dodging questions pertaining to her sexual orientation, commenting she had formerly empowered black females to be open about their sexual “but then you sort of pulled back.” Minaj, seeming a bit insulted, responded “I pulled back on a lot of things so to specify that is kind of unfair. When I started to see how influential I was, I toned a lot of things down. I want to think more before I speak, I want to think about every message I’m sending. I did not realize I had 10 year old fans. When you are in that position its your job to be responsible.”
It no doubt that Nicki Minaj is remaining cautious as she balances her extreme sex appeal with an influential role in the lives of young girls as well as the GLBTQ community as her career continues to grow.