DISCLAIMER: This is not an endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
After Bernie Sanders formally endorsed Hillary Clinton, Bernie stans went crazy.
Clinton and Sanders meeting. Sanders speaks first, takes the podium like a boss. Hillary stands to the side like a bitch. #NeverHillary
— Plow Plot (@PlowPlot) July 12, 2016
Fuck you Bernie. 😂#SelloutSanders pic.twitter.com/mXC9nvsDIz
— RockPrincess (@Rockprincess818) July 12, 2016
Their anger is understandable.
Sanders' candidacy represented a significant group of Americans fed up with wealth inequity and large corporations' influence on the government. But despite Sanders' best efforts, he lost. While some voters have reluctantly decided to vote for Clinton in the fall, others have gone to another extreme.
Used to be a Bernie fan but now that he's joined Hillary, who supports everything he's supposedly against, I'm a Trump fan. #NeverHillary
— Ashley Marie (@music_freak180) July 13, 2016
Bernie Sanders finally endorsed Hillary Clinton, so why are Bernie Bros supporting Trump? @gravesmeredith reports: https://t.co/4zwpbz4yK6
— MTV News (@MTVNews) July 13, 2016
Trump and Sanders are similar in some ways. They both positioned themselves as outsider candidates at the onset. They are not afraid to speak their mind. But Trump's very existence is against everything the Sanders campaign stood for. Trump is part of the "one percent" of wealth and has the fervent support of white supremacist organizations. Although he positions himself as an outsider candidate, he's been part of the "white boys club" for most of his life. While it is true he has few friends on Wall Street, his interests lay with big money and the advancement of capitalism. So why would people once supporting a Democratic socialist vote for Trump?
The short answer is because they can.
Contrary to popular belief, racism is not reserved for conservatives. White Bernie bros have the reputation of being very sexist and harassing black people on the Internet. Their livelihoods will probably be unaffected if Trump, a racist islamophobe, takes the Oval Office. The ability of these "bros" to throw the Democratic Party the middle finger by voting for Trump is white privilege. But the thing is, millions of people across the country do not have the luxury of waiting out Trump's inevitable reign of terror. If Trump takes the office, many people face the potential of deportation and violence.
I'm not telling Sanders stans to vote for Hillary. I'm telling them to vote their conscience.
There are a million reasons to hate Hillary Clinton. Her relationship with drone warfare, her ties with Wall Street and white feminist tendencies are valid reasons to not want her in office. But dumping the Democratic party to vote for Trump out of spite is barbarous.
If Sanders' supporters are looking for a similar candidate, Jill Stein is the logical candidate to support. Her outspoken words against racism and capitalism make her similar to Sanders. But joining the Trump Train just because you hate Hillary Clinton is foolish.
The latest national polls show Clinton and Trump in a virtual tie. We don't have the room for people to make symbolic votes like citizens of the UK did for Brexit. We have one chance to cast ballots, so vote wisely. While I recommend people to vote for the lesser of two evils, I also want people to vote their conscience. If your conscience tells you to vote for Jill Stein then vote for Jill Stein, but do not play Russian roulette with people's future livelihoods just because you can.
Again, this is not an endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
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There is so much to look forward to in the next few months -- warm weather, sunny days on the beach, barbecues and outdoor parties. But there’s one thing I might like just a bit more than all those things...the diverse shows to watch this summer.
Unlike the shows that broadcast during the rest of the year, summer shows have a special way of dragging you in (I’m looking at you, Orange Is The New Black). Binge-watching these shows might cause unintended consequences, including forgetting that the real world exists and turning into a TV-obsessed vampire. Please watch at your own risk.
That being said, these are the spectacular shows I'm looking forward to watching this summer:
Nicole Byer and her comic friends challenge gender and dating norms through humor. You’re going to love this hidden-camera comedy.
Where to watch: Thursdays on MTV
Tyler James Williams (of Everybody Hates Chris) plays the BFF with a crush in this unusual but funny mobile app show.
Where to watch: Stream on go90 (Verizon’s mobile video app)
O.J.: Made in America
After The People vs. OJ, we can’t help but be curious to know more about this man’s life.
Where to watch: Saturday, June 11-Saturday, June 18 on ESPN
Orange Is The New Black, Season 4
We’re excited to have the ladies from Litchfield back in our lives.
Where to watch: Streaming on Netflix beginning June 17
The Amber Rose Show
Amber Rose isn’t one to shy away from sharing her thoughts. Now we can see what secrets she has to tell us on her very own show.
Where to watch: Fridays on VH1 beginning July 8
East Los High, Season 4
If you haven’t seen this show, you’re missing out. It’s as if Degrassi: The Next Generation and Step Up had a baby -- and it’s addicting.
Where to watch: Streaming on Hulu beginning July 15
Ballers, Season 2
After this show’s super-successful debut last summer, we can’t wait to watch season two.
Where to watch: Sundays on HBO beginning July 17
Power, Season 3
It’s the perfect alternative for the hole Empire left in your life.
Where to watch: Sundays on STARZ beginning July 17
Degrassi: Next Class, Season 2
Who can resist the constant drama that is Degrassi? No one, that’s who.
Where to watch: Streaming on Netflix beginning July 22
Executive produced by America Ferrera, this new web series follows its characters as they navigate the changes happening in the Los Angeles neighborhood Boyle Heights, which has become a hotbed for gentrification. It looks hilarious, you have to check it out.
Where to watch: YouTube, premiere date TBA
Survivor’s Remorse, Season 3
It’s kind of like Ballers, but with basketball. Plus, Tichina Arnold and Mike Epps play starring roles. You won’t be sorry you started watching.
Where to watch: Sundays on STARZ beginning July 24
The Get Down
A show about New York and the birth of hip-hop, punk and disco. What more could you ask for?
Where to watch: Streaming on Netflix beginning August 12
The only thing left to do now is decide which show to watch first. Which summer shows are you most looking forward to? Share them with us in the comments below.
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As a black woman, have you ever wondered why you've feared coming off as "sassy" in the face of your white peers? 70% of us do, and it's no coincidence.
The images that we see of ourselves (and others) in the media are extremely powerful. For people of color, the lack of diversity behind the scenes allows stereotypes dominate popular culture and inform the way that other races perceive us. We see them manifested in television shows, movies, newscasts, comic books-- the whole nine yards. But, where do they come from?
In her recent episode of MTV Decoded, Franchesca Ramsey highlights 3 stereotypes of black women that needed to end circa when they began.
The Jezebel, The Independent Black Woman and The Mammy.
She breaks down where these stereotypes came from, how they evolved and even how we've used them in shows made for the black community such as Martin. Ramsey also gives examples of where these stereotypes exist in current television programming.
Hopefully one day black women on TV will be as diverse as we are in real life.
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Let’s play a game. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see think of these songs?
“Thriller.” “Baby, One More Time.” “Supa Dupa Fly.” “Rhythm Nation.” “Bad Romance.” “Untitled (How Does It Feel).”
Unless you’re inclined to be contrarian, you’ve more than likely pictured a scene from the videos for these hits. You might even remember the feeling you had when you first saw them, when the song stopped being just a song and bloomed into an entire world.
Although music can conjure up a host of feelings and emotions, a visual accompaniment is an artist’s chance to show you what was on their mind at the moment of creation.
What started as a marketing tool became another medium of creating art. Up until the 1980s, there weren’t many music videos and there wasn’t a real platform for them to be showcased on. Then came MTV, a network that played videos 24 hours a day, and soon videos became prevalent in entertainment. In the late '80s and throughout the '90s, artists spent anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars on their videos, and it began to be understood as a necessary element of the album. Michael Jackson’s “Scream” tops most lists as the most expensive video made, at $10.8 million dollars. Music videos started getting their own awards. Viewers would gather around to watch Making the Video just to see how these incredible videos were made. Some people have become celebrities because of their appearance in a video.
So where has the excitement for music videos gone?
Beyoncé brought it back with LEMONADE.
In the span of an hour, Beyoncé proved that it's not only important to hear music, but to see it.
LEMONADE, an opus on infidelity, forgiveness and black womanhood, is relentless and unforgiving in its purpose. The imagery is arresting, the symbolism is blatant, the music is fresh. Each cameo stirs excitement and each scene leaves viewers thirsting. And for critics that chalk up its success to being a Beyoncé project, LEMONADE stands as a great body of work on its own without her. This is not the first or the second time she’s done this.
When she released Beyoncé in 2013, she produced a video for every song and one for “Grown Woman” and did the same in 2006 with B’Day Anthology Video Album; an album of 13 videos for the tracks on B’Day. Beyoncé has consistently been pushing the envelope and making videos that are memorable. While the industry has been shifting to creating catchy singles, she continued to create albums and put just as much focus on the visual.
This time around, she might have even put more focus on the visual component. She recruited old collaborators (Melina Matsoukas, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jonas Åkerlund, Todd Tourso) and newcomers (Mark Romanek, Khalil Joseph).
The release is probably the most important and critical part of her last two projects. Beyoncé came almost literally like a thief in the night, and LEMONADE was presented as an event airing for free on HBO. With her unconventional releases, she built curiosity, suspense and shock. Beyoncé is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, who has followed a tried and true way of creating and releasing music. Deviating from that path and still putting out quality work puts all eyes on her. And like major artists before her can attest, we wait and expect to be wowed.
Over the past decade, visuals have been underwhelming and the good ones get lost in the noise. “Hotline Bling,” “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “Never Gonna Catch Me” made their marks, but in the time between MTV getting rid of its music programming and YouTube finding its footing as a platform for music videos, it seems tougher to get people to watch a video. Instead of being a form of art, it was beginning to feel like videos devolved and fell back into the marketing ploys. “The label’s budgets aren’t what they used to be in the early 2000s,” Director X said in an interview with Forbes. With sales down, there’s no money to produce million-dollar videos and spectacle anymore (though you don’t need a whole lot of money to make a great video, as OK Go proved). MTV and VH1, networks where scores of videos premiered, stopped playing videos and focused on other programming. Over half of the programming on MTV in the 80s and 90s was music-centric. At the start of the millennium, reality shows began taking over. Since 2000, there have been more than 100 unscripted shows and a handful of music shows. The importance of the music video just disappeared and, after a while, it seemed as if videos were released with low expectations.
Brian Petchers, music video director and contributor for Forbes, wrote that there’s a lot of music on the internet and it can be daunting to sift through it all. This is where the videos come in, aiding in making music stand out. But just as the internet is saturated with music, it’s also up to its brim with videos and visuals. Director X echoes that sentiment saying, “The industry is going more into the creativity aspect. You really have to make something people pay attention to. You really have to go for it, man. If you want people to notice, you have to go that extra mile.
In a world where we are constantly visually stimulated, creating something eye-catching is just good business. Wander into Instagram’s explore page and you’ll find something you’ve never seen.
But while there are a lot of really interesting things to look at, anyone and everyone can take a Tumblr aesthetic photo.
The art for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly set a tone for the album, and the video for “Alright” captures the song’s sentiment. “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” perfectly portrayed Sia’s emotional balladeering, Kanye West’s "Runaway" breaks new ground with its arthouse aesthetic and FKA Twigs’ "M3LI55X" showed women wielding their sexuality and femininity as their power . These videos showed how important a video is to the success of a song and driving home its point.
And this project is no different. LEMONADE isn’t pedestrian in its pursuit. The music serves as a score for the film, and without context, the chronology of songs might not make sense. HBO already submitted LEMONADE for an Emmy. In the moments following its release, nearly anyone with a social media account scoured the film for signs, symbols, meanings and message. From Beyoncé channeling the Yoruba orisha goddess, Oshun in “Hold Up” (which might partly explain Ibeyi’s cameo and Laolu Senbanjo’s artwork), Quvenzhané Wallis and Blue Ivy being the only ones holding hands as a symbol of black girl unity going into the future, to Serena Williams — one of best athletes in the world who is constantly mocked for her body — twerking all over the set, being as bad as she wanna be.
She even breathed life back into the spoken word. The words of Somali-British poet Warsan Shire and Malcolm X, sleek and smooth, stroll throughout. The words are soft and piercing, quiet and damning, strong and redeeming.
Though she’s not the first to build a narrative in an album, Beyoncé is leading the charge in ushering back the art of music videos, possibly starting a new trend (Florence and the Machine released their video album, Odyssey, two days later).
We are also in a time where it’s become important that we see what is happening around us. Part of the successes of “Alright,” "M3LI55X," and LEMONADE is that they spoke to the times. With racial tensions and notions of identity reaching a fever pitch, artists from those communities are discussing it by showing it. Green Day’s American Idiot videos did the same when they took American politics and the Bush Administration to task. As controversial and political as these discussions are, Beyoncé walked into the middle of those waters and created waves for camaraderie and healing.
And it has been glorious.
On Saturday, May 21st, we’re hosting our inaugural conference about how creativity and technology are changing our daily lives, from our hobbies to our work. Will you be joining us? Tickets here.
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There is something about TV in the '90s and the 2000s that was different from the shows that we have now. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing programs on TV today. I sometimes like them more than real life. But every now and then, you need a little '90s nostalgia in your life. You need a taste of what you used to watch — the shows that taught you lessons, made you laugh and remind you of your favorite things about your childhood.
Here are some of my favorite television shows from when I was a kid. I hope it will remind you of all that was (and is) great about TV. Because without these shows, we wouldn’t have the phenomenal programs we watch now.
TRL (Total Request Live)
You ran home after school to see your favorite celeb on TRL.
That’s So Raven
Her silly spirit, adventures and mishaps are sorely missed.
Degrassi: The Next Generation
It may just be the most dramatic school in the history of fictional TV schools. Plus, it features Aubrey Graham before he was Drake. What more is there, really?
The Proud Family
The characters always kept it real.
The first few seasons were ridiculous. They were also kind of amazing.
So much sarcasm in one place! It was fantastic.
One on One
Showing a black dad raising his daughter as a single father was revolutionary.
It was always exciting to see some of our favorite music videos get made. Perhaps we can petition BET to bring it back?
All about dreaming and overcoming obstacles, Hey Arnold was a funny and feel-good show.
One of the best sitcoms to ever be on television. Who doesn’t miss this show?
Kenan & Kel
This show was on every week at my house. Even my parents loved it.
This might be one of my all-time favorite TV shows. Seeing three strong black women taking their lives by storm was everything. And the guys were cool, too!
Everybody Hates Chris
I miss this family. They were caring and hysterical – a winning combination.
Kim never let anyone get in her way, and Ron was absolutely hilarious.
106 & Park
...But with AJ and Free. I even miss Rosci and Terrence. The show was fire.
Where so many funny child stars got their start, you can’t help but have a bit of nostalgia for this tween variety show.
An independent woman with a dark sense of humor, Daria didn't change for anyone, and that's what we loved about her.
The quintessential coming-of-age show for black teenage girls everywhere, Moesha stood out as a grounded figure that young girls can relate to.
Thankfully, with the power of the Internet, Netflix and television streaming everywhere, we can get our favorite shows from the past anytime we want! So, who's ready to binge-watch some of these old favorites? I know I am!
What were your favorite TV shows as a kid? Share them with us in the comments!
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MTV continues to evolve with every generation.
And now, it appears as though the music network is going back to the drawing board with emphasis on its origins.
In recent years, MTV has received criticism for failing to air shows centered around musical artists. You may remember, the "M" in MTV stands for music, although it's become more of a lost art for viewers. The network has put more efforts toward a reality format with popular shows like Teen Mom, Catfish and scripted programming including Awkward.
“Advertisers, fans — they always ask, ‘Can you bring music back?’,” said MTV president Sean Atkins. The network is now doing it “through a filter that brings the unique and unexpected while inspired by music and popular culture.”
Announced on Thursday, at the Viacom owned network's upfront presentation, new episodes of Unplugged will begin airing later this year. The once highly coveted show debuted in 1989 with intimate, acoustic performances from artists.
By the 2000s, the show began to lose its momentum, eventually running sparingly either online or on sister networks. Now, Unplugged is back for young music lovers with the same old school influence, but a heavier connection to video platforms.
Wonderland is on the horizon for MTV this fall, a live weekly music performance series, which is a first in almost two decades.
You can also expect to see, “It’s The Real” (working title) an upcoming project executive produced John Legend on MTV.
And remember, Cribs? The show that made us jealous of (some) celebrities who allowed a camera crew into their home as they casually bragged about their multi-million dollar belongings?
It's getting a reboot, but with a Snapchat feel, which will likely be shorter than the original 30-minute format. According to Variety, Cribs will debut in June with new, weekly episodes starting with Mac Miller, Austin Mahone and Travis Mills (Harpo, who are they?).
BET, like MTV under the parent company Viacom, announced this week that it will revamp much of its programming. We'll be on the watch to see how both cable networks will appease its fan base.
Any guesses on whether Redman has cleaned up in the last 15 years? Did his cousin make it out?
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Since the passing of David Bowie on Sunday evening, media outlets have been going into the archives to remember and celebrate his most shining moments. This interview definitely reminds us that Bowie was not only a man of style, but a man of...
There were a lot of things that annoyed me about the VMAs this year; Miley Cyrus wearing dreads, Iggy Azalea performing, the list goes on. But the most upsetting and problematic thing was Rebel Wilson making a joke about police brutality.
For those that were fortunate enough to not watch the ceremony this year, Wilson came on stage wearing a police uniform. It was there and then that I knew I wouldn't like what was coming next. Instead of making a positive statement regarding police brutality, Wilson instead decided to make a joke on how she doesn't like police strippers. Then she proceed to take off her jacket and had a "F*** Tha Stripper Police" t-shirt. Of course, the joke didn't stop there and she even mentioned that "I hate this injustice, hence the shirt."
There are many things that made me uncomfortable with this joke. The fact that Wilson had the audacity to make the joke in the first place when almost every day another person of color is left dead on the streets. The fact that MTV thought it would be okay to have this joke aired live on their awards show. And the fact that people in the audience were laughing made everything even more unsettling.
The blatant disregard for Black bodies in this country is disgusting.
I have several questions for Rebel Wilson, MTV and the people laughing. Would you do the same if the parents of Mike Brown were in the room? Tamir Rice? Rekia Boyd? Aiyana Jones? Trayvon Martin? And the list is much longer and keeps growing. Would you do the same on the streets of Ferguson? In the midst of a Black Lives Matter protest? Honestly, would you?
The VMAs disgusted me in ways I couldn't even imagine. An awards show I used to love because of all the performances and corny but funny jokes it provided wound up leaving me angry. As I sit here angrily typing, trying to funnel all this anger into a semi-eloquent article, I fight back the tears as I think of those who have been killed. I fight back the tears as I realize all those that can still be killed. I fight back the tears knowing that one day something could happen and I wouldn't see my friends or family again. I fight back the tears knowing that one day I might not come back.
Police brutality is no laughing matter. As you laugh and joke, another person of color has been shot to the ground. would you laugh about that?
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The VMAs have always been a place for statements and entertainment. Amber Rose and Blac Chyna took the opportunity to make a statement on the Red carpet with graphic dresses.
In addition to being super feminist, they were also in the same building as KYLIE JENNER, NOTORIOUS FOR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION AND MEDIOCRITY.
In addition to being amazing, they'll be starring in their own television show, set to air later this year on MTV.
Want to follow along with more awards shows like this? Follow our live-tweeting account on twitter @BLAVITYLIVE.
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The time has arrived for another MTV Video Music Awards and, as per usual, it was messy — like a real mess. Each year something happens that leaves us either gasping or debating whether or not to turn off the television and this year was no different. Below you will find a list of 14 moments from this year's VMAs that left us either shaking our heads or grabbing our seats!
1. When MTV aired a "White Squad" commercial...
2. When Nicki Minaj brought Taylor Swift on stage during her performance.
3. And then CALLED OUT MILEY CYRUS WHILE ACCEPTING AN AWARD.
4. And Miley looked like she was about to sh*t herself.
5. Justin Bieber crying.
6. Kanye getting LIT.
7. Like REAL LIT.
8. Kylie Jenner's "look"
9. Miley Cyrus being the host.
10. And everything she did — from her culturally appropriated hair...
11. to even using the term "mammy" during the award show.
12. When Iggy attempted to rap once again.
13. When Kanye gave his sermon...
14. And finished by announcing he's running for president in 2020 (wheeet?)
What moments caught your attention during the VMAs tonight? Let us know in the comments below.
Tomorrow night, Kanye West will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards. While the relevance between MTV and music videos is debatable, this is one of the highest honors one can receive in pop culture today.
The first winners were David Bowie and The Beatles (at the time it was called the Lifetime Achievement Award). In the years since it was named after Michael Jackson (in 1991, he won the award in 1988) — it has been bestowed upon other pop cultural icons including Janet Jackson (1990), Madonna (1986), LL Cool J (1997), Hype Williams (2006) and Beyonce (2014). So it really is only fitting that Kanye receive one at some point.
Much has been said about him as an artist of late (musical artist, not clothing-and-shoe-designer artist). However, if you look at his entire body of work you cannot deny his talent and legacy to the world of music. So as MTV goes down the Ye memory lane, so do we to take a look back at our favorite versions of Kanye that we’d love to give an award to. In no particular order...
"Through the Wire" bridged a classic old-school track, with simple beats and hard-hitting lyrics. We felt for him and were all rooting for him to heal well and give us more. If he could be that talented in that state, what more was he capable of with the ability to actually open his mouth?
Imagine doing "five beats a day for three summers." How many people (other than those chronicled in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers) are that dedicated to perfecting their craft. The College Dropout was an exceptionally good album — selling khakis instead of drugs made him accessible and relatable to a whole group of people. It also gave us several classics that still go today.
Black Greek Kanye
Whether PWI or HBCU, "Broke Phi Broke" is a frat that all of us current or former students can definitely relate to. #PassTheRamenNoodles
Before there was Drake got huge, 808s & Heartbreak was the ultimate hip-hop emo album. Heartbreak never sounded so good. The auto-tuned-up Ye poured out liquor and his demons on this album. Some labeled it soft, but always the trendsetter, he lead the pack on the resurgence made popular by Zapp & Roger.
Musical Imagery Kanye
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is my personal favorite Kanye album and I consider this the best work of all of his albums. It has everything an album could have — it pleases the true hip-hop heads, gives you a little bit of pop culture, some social righteousness, a dash of grown and sexy and that swag that you associate with Kanye. I’m team Kanye and believe that the Grammys got it wrong that year.
BFF (aka smiling happy) Kanye
Jay and Ye. The dynamic duo from 200-how long. Women celebrate their sisterhood all the time, so there is something about the BFF relationship between these two black dudes that warms my heart. Kanye never smiles as wide as when he’s around his dude.
Kanye gave us Yeezus in 2013. It was avant-garde. It was edgy. It was different. It was... interesting. This definitely wasn't your old Ye. This was have your daughter baptized where Jesus was Ye. Sell the people a white tee for $200 Ye. As he grew and changed, so to did his music. But that’s the evolution of any artist, over a decade later his style and subject matter would differ from when he first started.
As we all take a trip down memory lane and play Songza channels that remind us of his production skills — we'd gladly go back in time to give those versions of Kanye awards that we (and probably he himself) think he deserves.
The VMAs premiere this Sunday, August 30 at 9/8c on MTV.
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By now, we've all heard of Nicki Minaj's tweets calling out the VMA's for not nominating her for "Video of the Year." Many people think that Nicki had no place to say she wasn't nominated because of race. Some people say that her video was "soft porn" and that she shouldn't be awarded for trashing around her "man-made parts." But despite Minaj's intensions, she did point out that the VMAs are indeed biased toward black women with certain body types. Only certain types of women get acknowledged, and there are double standards in place that some people don't address.
Before I begin, I do want to point out that I don't think women should feel compelled to sell their sexuality to be successful, and that the music industry and viewers should stop holding this as some sort of requirement to be successful. However, I also strongly believe that women have the right to openly express their sexuality without being slut-shamed for it. My arguments are in no way favoring a certain body type over another, but instead pointing out the hypocrisy in people's arguments against Minaj and the way she chooses to present herself.
Now, let's touch base on some of the arguments against Minaj and take a look at both current and past VMA "Video of the Year" nominees.
1. "Why is Minaj complaining about race and body types? Beyoncé was nominated!"
Although Beyoncé is black, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj do not have the same body types. In her tweets, Nicki mentioned both race and body types. We love to put Beyoncé on the curvy black girl pedestal, but let's be honest. Compared to a lot of women, Beyoncé does not have the biggest butt, curviest curves, or thickest thighs on the block. Compared to women in Hollywood, yes, of course Beyoncé is curvy. But heck, Beyonce was dancing around with a thigh gap in her "7/11" music video.
Note: I am not using thigh gaps as a definite measure of curviness. Nicki Minaj has one herself in her "Anaconda" video. However, the fact is that Beyoncé is just curvy enough for Hollywood without her body being considered too vulgar or sexual. On the other hand, Nicki's butt and curves are too much for people, even when she covers up.
2. "Why is she tossing skinny girls under the bus? Half of her body is made of silicone and augmentations."
I've seen a lot of comments like this, especially on the comment section of HuffPost Women's latest article about this ordeal. It's disappointing to see these comments, especially from women who follow a feminist publication, because in this case it doesn't really matter whether or not Nicki's body is fake. I know it might be hard for many people to believe, but there are black women out there in the world with bodies similar to Minaj's (maybe not as well sculpted, but still similar). So when we shame Minaj for her "disgusting," man-made butt and hips we are indirectly shaming women who naturally look like her. And that's simply not acceptable.
3. "'Anaconda' is a horrible song and she sampled it!"
We can pull out a long list of songs that probably didn't deserve to be nominated for "Video of the Year." I personally don't think "7/11" or "Bad Blood" are that great. And not to mention, if I hear "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran one more time, I cannot be held accountable for my actions because it's driving me insane. But hey, it's all subjective and these songs are, for the most part, picked based on popularity and influence.
4. "Nicki Minaj didn't get nominated because her 'Anaconda' lyrics and video are degrading to women."
People like to pick apart Minaj's lyrics and say that she is shaming skinny women. But why are we forgetting that back in 2013, "Blurred Lines," a song that perpetuates rape culture against women, was nominated for "Video of the Year?"
This argument is frankly invalid. In the case of Robin Thicke's video, MTV didn't seem to care about what was considered degrading to women. And the VMAs promotes videos and live performances where sex sells, so I don't think they consciously thought, "we can't disrespect all women and perpetuate sex-selling by nominating 'Anaconda' for 'Video of the Year.'"
5. "All that Nicki did in 'Anaconda' was exploit her sexuality and throw her body around."
Several other female artists have danced or pranced around sexually, some singing superficial lyrics, and were nominated for "Video of the Year" regardless. Let's look at some examples and keep in mind the common thread here — it doesn't matter how naked or provocative you get. If you are thin, you've got the okay for a nomination.
"Telephone" By Lady Gaga (2010 | Nominated)
Lady Gaga literally dances around in a bra and thong with a similarly dressed posse, and then later in caution tape. Work like this from Gaga is considered artistry. However, if Nicki Minaj did those moves, she would be considered too provocative and slutty because her exposed, curvy body would overwhelm people.
"ART" | "INNOVATIVE" | "ACCEPTED"
"DEGRADING" | "A STEP BACK FOR WOMEN" | "INAPPROPRIATE"
"Wrecking Ball" By Miley Cyrus (2014 | Winner)
You know, the one where she's completely naked while riding a big ball, seductively touching herself, and french kissing a hammer. She won, of course.
"When I Grow Up" By The Pussycat Dolls (2008 | Nominated)
This band and this song had so many sexual overtones. But their thin bodies perfectly complemented their synchronized dancing and snagged them a nomination despite their superficial lyrics.
"Womanizer" By Britney Spears (2009 | Nominated)
This music video once again proved that it was okay to be completely naked but only in small doses.
"Lady Marmalade" By Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink and Missy elliott (2001 | Winner)
"Would you like to sleep with me tonight" are the most memorable lyrics from this "Video of the Year." Even though this ensemble featured three black women, Lil'Kim and Missy Elliott were the only notably curvy ones, and Missy was fully dressed and only briefly shown. The other three girls were pretty slim. Nonetheless, this very provocative burlesque-themed video won in 2001.
6. "Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video sets a good example and Nicki Minaj's video is a menace."
I'm not going to argue who's the better role model. But people are acting like Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video is so innocent and doesn't put down other body types. And no, she doesn't have song lyrics calling out a body type like "skinny bitches" or anything. But are we going to elect to ignore the fact that Taylor, the all and mighty born-again feminist, only features thin women in her music video?
Even though Taylor Swift and her predominately white gal-pal crew aren't shaking their bodies everywhere, they are strutting around in provocative bad-ass outfits that sport their conventionally beautiful skinny bodies. And whether Taylor and her fans like it or not, the "Bad Blood" video does slip into "sex-sells" clichés like "slim women skilled with dangerous weapons who dress not in practical fighting gear but in sexy and revealing outfits that offer no protection."
So there you have it. You can dislike Nicki Minaj all you want and say that she's just finding something to hate on because that's her style. But people should stop using these arguments because they are weak and hypocritical. Let's stop getting so worked up about this "feud" and direct our attention toward the double standards the music industry has for women of color with curvy figures.
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