Shiny S. Patel
General Sections Editor
General Sections Editor
Everybody knows the song “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj. However, after digging deep into the song’s meaning, I’ve come to realize that it is a reflection of our historical understanding of gender equality and reverses the role of female empowerment in our society.
The song shows that Minaj is comfortable within her own skin, but the way her lyrics are articulated implies that women are meant to be objectified.
A part of feminism includes women to be relaxed with their own sexuality, but that being said, Minaj raps as though her sex appeal is the only important thing about her.
History has repeatedly made it clear that society wants men to remain the breadwinners of every household. It’s proved even in today’s society by the fact that women are paid 77 cents to every dollar a man earns. Minaj seemingly believes that men should be the providers for women, and in turn, women provide sex appeal. Even in the introduction of the song, Minaj talks about how a man is in serious trouble with the law, but it doesn’t matter to her — because he still buys her designer clothing. This provokes the perceived trait of masculinity as the provider and the feminine trait of being needy. She reverses the societal progression we have made to avoid associating breadwinner qualities to only men.
In regards to the role of men in society, Minaj implies that she would not be interested in a man if he were unable to monetarily provide for her. This is not only making women seem needy, but also making it strictly the man’s responsibility to engage in work.
In the song, she rapped about how after she has sex with a man, she makes the man buy her Balmain, designer clothing. She added to this by saying that he “bought me Alexander McQueen, he was keeping me stylish.”
Minaj is a millionaire. She clearly makes enough money to sustain herself, but still insists on men buying things for her. Why? This furthers the connotation of monetary support as only being a quality men have.
Sexual objectification is another problem that Nicki Minaj has continued to emulate. Through her music video, she pretty much shattered all the constructive social movements by making it acceptable for men to only like women for their bodies and for women to be using men for their financial assets and their capability of providing.
The hook of the song is literally the hook of the song “Baby Got Back,” by Sir Mix-a-Lot, which states that he is not interested in women unless they have a big butt (“when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face, you get sprung”).
It is one thing to be comfortable with accepting that females can be sexual, but it is another thing to only let females be defined by their bodies. Minaj goes to insult skinny women in her songs. Minaj is an extremely popular rapper today and her music and lyrics can really affect how a woman perceives herself…and no woman should feel uncomfortable being naturally thin or feel pressured to behave a certain way.
Minaj is a self-proclaimed feminist and talks big about how women need to be proud of their bodies. And yet, she dedicates significant parts of her song to completely diss skinny women, as if they chose their body type as much as curvy women chose theirs.
Aside from the fact that the song “Anaconda” is filled with lyrics that are an antithesis to the purpose of feminism, the music video was also completely filled with sexual innuendos that were only positive towards women who sought to be sexually objectified and had curves. As a female artist in the 21st century, Nicki Minaj should have thought twice before leading to the further sexual objectification of women and moving society back into a frame in which masculinity and femininity is associated with gender rather than personality traits.