Despite the commercial success of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, the music video has raised eyebrows from guardians of femininity and advocates of social responsibility ever since it was released in August. While these activists are busy calling for the American popular music industry to kill the goose that lays the golden egg in order to restore its shattered moral compass, I would like to draw your attention to look at the song from a feminist perspective.
The song, of which I will explain in a more demure tone, basically stressed on the fact that the larger posteriors they possessed, the greater sex appeal they have. Women in this category should use it as a weapon to quash the dominance of skinny women, who had been comfortably recognized by mainstream beauty standards for decades. On a positive note, “Anaconda” attempts to build up the self-esteem of women, who failed to acknowledge that their bodies are unique and beautiful in their own ways.
However, I am concerned with methods used to attain the goal. Ironically, one of them is the objectification of beauty. The trampling of skinny women to elevate the status of women with voluptuous posteriors is an endeavor to redefine the meaning of beauty, but the process itself is a counteraction against common idea of beauty, which has already been objectified. In other words, no matter how well they argue, they are not capable of breaking through the beauty is objectified frame.
This is coherent with the understanding of George Santayana (1896), who believed that beauty is subjectively conceptualized according to human interests and feelings but is however guided by a sense of attraction, which eventually leads to ‘pleasure-objectified’. Unless and until we can solve this meta-psychology issue, I guess we have to regard this as a permanent setback for feminism. Let us move on to look at reasons behind Minaj’s hostility toward their nemesis. Besides waging a war against women with leaner bodies, she also gave a shout-out to women of her kind to conquer the club.
It may seem I have an obsolete mindset for not able to appreciate the arts of provocation, which is popularly employed in hip hop music. Well, I have no problems with cat fight. In fact, I love watching altercations between women (or even men) purely for entertainment purposes. What I am more concerned with is how the lyrics put forth the arguments. It is revealed in the first part of the song that with her booty charm, she fully captured the heart of a rich man, who fulfills her yearnings for material pleasures. This is not only to provoke skinny women but also to prove that those with fuller lower body can use heir asset to hook up with wealthy men. The success of women in “Anaconda” is built on that of the men, and the former is proud of their ability to capture the prized possession.
They are capable of acting vicious toward their women counterparts because they had anchored to someone who could offer them everything under the sun that has price tags on. To end the writer’s adrenaline rush before it gets me to write about Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, I would like to conclude this article by suggesting all of us to just enjoy “Anaconda” and appreciate Minaj and her dancers’ superb acrobatic moves.