Expect Respect

People online really enjoy calling Nicki Minaj a whore. A lot of these folks don't approve of her being hypersexual. They don't like that her lyrics are vulgar and they certainly don't appreciate that her videos are about as steamy as soft-core porn.  I suppose I can understand the disapproval. Not everyone likes the same things, but why should this disapproval make her a whore? How does it convert her into trash that we’re supposed to despise? It's OK if you don't have any answers for me because I asked the Internet and this is what they told me. Yesterday while floating around social media, I came across this post in my Facebook feed:

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Photos Of Nicki Minaj's Wax Figure Being Defiled Are Anything But Funny – refinery29.com

For those of you unwilling to click the above, I’ll summarize the Refinery 29 post because I’m a giver and I respect you even if you’re too lazy to click the link and read it your damn self.

Apparently some folks took it upon themselves to pose suggestively with Nicki Minaj’s wax figure at Madame Tussauds. In the spirit of keeping it real, I’ll be honest. The pictures are kind of funny. The image of the guy pretending to do the wax figure doggy style (with a fist full of its hair wrapped around his hand) goes a bit too far, but I chuckled when I saw that one too.

To be completely clear, the pictures folks posted of themselves with Minaj’s figure didn’t really offend me. The way people reacted to the Refinery 29 post did.

The first commenter implied that Madame Tussauds could have depicted Minaj in a less suggestive pose. I hear ya, girl and so does Azalea Banks. The next person said this was the classiest pose they’ve ever seen Nicki Minaj in. After that one, the comments snowballed into an avalanche of hate. Eventually people began to righteously declare that if Nicki wanted respect she shouldn’t have put herself out there so suggestively. In essence, folks were pointing fingers at Minaj. Apparently this was all her fault. Nicki is the one who wears next to nothing in her videos. She’s the one crawling around on all fours. She’s the one with lyrics about anal sex and drug dealers. Why should anyone respect that?

If you’re nodding in agreement, fuck you. Go away. I’ve got nothing more to say to you. If you’re wondering where the hell I’m going with this, take my hand and let’s dive in together.

Minaj makes it a point to objectify herself and she does so spectacularly. In fact, she’s so good at it that it’s helped her break records, glass ceilings and make millions. To me, this makes her a savvy businesswoman, just like Kim Kardashian.

I can feel the disgust oozing from your face right now, but hear me out.

Women are objectified all day, every day in order to make a buck, right? I’m not saying it’s wrong or right. I’m just stating a fact. If you don’t believe me, here are some examples of what I’m talking about.

Dolce & Gabanna

Image Source: Suit Supply

Image Source: Suit Supply

This sort of imagery isn’t an uncommon sight when you flip through the pages of magazines. As a matter of fact, this brand of objectification is pretty standard, wouldn’t you agree?

My only question now is, why is it OK for big companies, fashion houses, and burger chains to utilize women’s bodies to make money, but it’s not OK when a woman does the exact same thing utilizing her own image? Minaj is a pop star. This woman’s sexuality was going to be used to sell records, that’s a given, but because she owns it like a boss, she’s trash? Kim Kardashian made a sex tape and became famous. Instead of hiding in shame, she flaunts the body that brought her success. She’s also built a million-dollar empire, helped develop her own $200 million app, built a globally recognized brand and is, for all intents and purposes, a social media icon. However, because we’ve seen her sex tape, naked ass and titties, we label her a do-nothing whore.

I can't comprehend that because no one runs around telling men they're whores when they pose nude…

Image Source:@justinbieber via Instagram

Image Source: OK Magazine

Or otherwise profit from their sexuality.

Image Source: The Berry via Giphy

Nevertheless, we almost always do it to women. Why?

I suppose what I’m getting at is that owning one’s sexuality doesn't have to look any one way in particular. What's trashy to one person might not be to another. Sure, Nicki Minaj’s lyrics are as sexualized as her image, but that doesn't make her a whore. After all, DMX barked and growled in almost all of his songs and that didn't make him a pit bull.

So to all the folks that spent all day attempting to explain to me why Nicki Minaj doesn't deserve respect, I only have one thing to say to you. We should all expect respect, always, no matter what we wear or don't.