The Feminist Eye is a round up of popular articles on my favorite feminist websites. In this round up, According to Clutch Magazine;
Bell hooks criticizes Beyonce and Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda
bell hooks recently wrote an article in New York Magazine about her disapproval of the way in which Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have attempted to own their sexuality.
The question here is whether women can actually define sexuality in a society where male supremist ideals have told us what is sexy. Therefore what is considered sexy by society is minimal clothing and provocative dancing.
Take an artist like Janelle Monae who is never seen without her “uniform” and refuses to be defined by sexist morale’s, as beautiful as she is, she would never be considered the staple sexy woman in ranks among Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Kelly Rowland.
What are your thoughts on how sexuality is defined?
Fellow Black Feminist Thought Scholar Charity C. Taylor had this to say;
As far as this goes I’m actually shocked about the Beyonce’ part only because in the song “Flawless”, she speaks on how she wants EVERY WOMAN to “feel like this”, FLAWLESS. She does not tell women how to become that way or anything. Being flawless is a state of owning sexuality and beauty YOURSELF. I could see if she said “Women take your clothes off or wear minimum clothing, but she did not. By telling women that they are all beautiful and they should OWN it and believe in themselves, says A LOT!!! By the way, she even opens up her cd “BEYONCÉ” by telling women that trying to please everyone will only hurt yourself. YOU as a woman define YOUR beauty because if you allow others to do it for you, “Pretty Hurts”. I don’t want anyone to get offended, but maybe bell hooks is offended because in her days women did cover themselves and share their sexuality with only their spouse, which is fine, however, these days sexuality to me, that is, is not always about what is in the bedroom. Owning your sexuality is putting on clothing that you feel confident in and saying I’m sexy no matter what!
However, as far as the Nicki Minaj part goes, I could see why bell hooks would be offended. I have read some interviews where Nicki says that she wants to own her sexuality and she posed that way on the cover because that’s her way of saying to people that she owns her body and whatnot. However, you can own it, but at what cost? Nicki was ALWAYS known (when she came onto the main stream music scene) for her butt. Before being signed, she was just a regular girl from her hometown and her butt was NOT that big at all. The way I perceive her owning her sexuality is to go and buy a butt because men don’t want you unless you have one. So, in that case what does that say for a girl like me? How about the girl who is struggling at school because of low self-esteem? Don’t get me wrong, people with big butts can own their sexuality as well, but don’t tell others that “my anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns Hun!
Charity C. Taylor
1 thought on “The Feminist Eye; Redefining Sexuality thru Music”
Great post! Ms. Taylor seems to be a bit tough on Nicki Minaj though. If we applaud Beyoncé for taking ownership of her sexuality, I think we have to give Nicki Minaj a bit more credit. It’s true that Beyoncé doesn’t boast about specific body parts as much as Nicki Minaj, but both of them tend to be sexy in typical, male-approved ways of being sexy like provocative clothing and sensual dancing. Also, even though Beyoncé doesn’t claim to appeal to the masses for approval of her beauty or sexuality, she does point out numerous times that she feels sexy because her husband finds her sexy. In that sense, her sexiness is still defined from a male’s perspective. However, Janelle Monae seems to be the main person defining sexy and beautiful for herself. I would argue that it is because she truly does this that she isn’t as commercially successful as Beyoncé or Nicki Minaj.