Nicki Minaj, Exploitation, and Vibe Magazine’s Unfortunate Juxtaposition
When I’m not tweeting and blogging you can find me hanging out over at The Atlantic. James Fallows, a veteran national correspondent for the magazine, has this great series where he finds unfortunate and/or memorable headline juxtapositions. It’s one of my favorite series on any blog or web site.
I thought of Fallow’s findings when I clicked on a tweeted link to Vibe Magazine–something I don’t think I’ve ever even done before. Basically, the link was asking if Nicki Minaj’s spoof of blackploitation films during her appearance on Saturday Night Live was going “too far.” In other words, did she exploit herself or further promote stereotypes of black women (big booties and loud mouths) in her performance.
Having seen the performance in real time, I thought it was fine. First of all, it was nice to see an actual black woman in an SNL skit. Typically, Keenan plays every black female character, so seeing Nicki in a skit was refreshing by itself. Beyond that, I found the skit harmless and certainly funny in moments.
But that’s neither here nor there because I barely got through Vibe Magazine’s rushed and baiting post before my eye went to the right and felt stirrings of contradiction.
Why discuss whether or not something is exploitative of women when you’re using “thick” black women in bikinis and “Not Safe For Work” photos of black women in the nude, and comparing the best “celebrity boobs” to rack up Adbrite and Glam Media checks? Okay that’s a dumb question, obviously it must be the money.
I don’t expect high quality commentary from celeb gossip sites and magazines, but I have to say there is something fucked up and completely laughable about even attempting to introduce some sort of serious cultural discussion about black womens’ bodies on the main section of a page when you have a live feed from Black Tail on the right.
As Fresh would say, girl, I guess.