This is not an open letter to Onika, a penned piece diminishing her role as an undeniable pop-icon because of ass shots & record covers focusing on shots of her ass. This is not a call to Ms. Miraj asking her to cover herself from head to toe for the sake of little Black girls across the country that’ll aspire to be risqué women for the attention of little boys in their classes that’ll grow to be tongue and tail-wagging men. This is not a post on Nicki Minaj and how her role as a woman and how she defines her sexy will have an influence on my sons and what they considered Black beauty because she is a public figure – that’s my job.
No, this isn’t any of that.
This is simply one thing: a rebuttal to Tyece’s post on Nicki Minaj’s new Anaconda cover where she thought there wasn’t anything wrong with it and I strongly disagree.
“We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The older I get it, it starts to make sense. I come from a family where our breasts are big and our hips are wide. At twelve, my mother preferred for me to wear loose fitting clothes to hide the effects of two little bee strings turned B-cup boobs and a little butt morphing into a protruding booty. Thinking back on it, her sternness in how I should be clothed, affected my self-image. By 11th and 12th grade, she became more lenient and I wore tighter clothes to accentuate my curves, but it wasn’t for me – it was for the boys who passed me sexual glares instead of love notes. It felt good – the attention and the proclamations that I had a great body for a girl my age, but it was always back to square one when the boys disappeared and I went back home.
My relationship with my body has always been iffy.
Earlier this year I shared with you how I started personal sessions with Ev’Yan Whitney, a sexuality coach, after not feeling comfortable at all in my skin. The image in which I portrayed myself showed a now-curvy size 10, 38 D-cup woman, uncomfortable with a little beer belly full of stretch marks and a fat ass turned flat. I didn’t like my partner touching me too much during intercourse and his words of assuring that I was still sexually attractive in his eyes, fell on deaf ears. After the coaching, I was a new woman – in love with the curves, he more in love with this confident person before him and us taking a fresher approach at intimacy. From there on out, I celebrated women and applauded anyone who was open in celebrating her anatomy because body image, understanding and accepting the way you look as a budding teenager or as an adult can be stressful. So I’ve always shown love to the itty-bitty titty committee who could pull off side-boob crop tops or the tig ol’ bitty ladies who can kill a V-cut dress.
But I will not commend Onika for having her bare Black ass out contradicting her words of doing nothing will shock them even more and showing [the world] that she doesn’t have to only do that. Nicki proclaims, she’s come full circle in her look, yet it seems, she took two steps forward, to take ten steps back. As a native New Yorker, I’m proud of seeing one of my own, a woman from Southside Jamaica, Queens become an international star, build a brand, make a name for herself but the direction Nicki wants to take versus the path Nicki puts herself on confuses me. I’m trying to find the correlation between business woman and back shots and trying to understand not having to be over the top anymore but still doing the most.
I read a great article on Kanye West and to echo the writer’s sentiments with just some minor changes; it’s too bad Nicki Minaj had to soil the rest of Nicki Minaj’s image by being Nicki Minaj.
I think it’s important for women to define what sexy is to us, especially when there are people out in the world who do it every damn day on our behalf and if we don’t adhere to their guidelines, we’re every bitch and “thot” in the world. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in changing your definition of it as you go along in life and figure yourself out. However, I do believe in the “old school” sayings of leaving something to the imagination, for only your partner to see and admire behind the four corners of your wall. There’s something beautiful in your partner discovering parts and pieces of you that no one has seen except yourself. It’s not about being holy; it is about discretion and having people respect you and your craft because you respect yourself.
So sure, “the verses you spit are the verses you wrote” Nicki, but at this point in your career, I think many of us aren’t concerned with all of that. I’m more concerned with your goal in people taking you more seriously like you want us to. As a lover of almost all things hip-hop, I want to like Nicki Minaj, I really do. At 27, I can spit Itty Bitty Piggy off the top of the dome, ad libs, crazy facial expressions and all – again, I respect her journey as a female rapper but I just can’t get down with the fact that Nicki is still a lost soul trying to find her place by being extra. If it’s about the music, let it be about the music, because at this point, people are more interested in seeing her pu**y print than hearing her new album The Pink Print.
And who’s to blame for that?