I love Nicki Minaj, but like most — I view her as the embodiment of our currently erratic culture that is still undergoing a shift towards the elements of crystalized grossness at any level attainable.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The freedom of expression especially when it pertains to our sexuality and how much we are permitted to induce — shouldn’t be curtailed to assuage the righteous demands of fakers who enjoy pointing fingers in the midst of their own personal folly.
As we navigate the treacherous terrain of Hollywood’s sex scandal and the toll it’s taking on the common folk — there lies the responsibility of figuring out how much is too much or whether or not it’s time to collectively refigure the landscape of the factory — that manufactures the tools that are utilized to shape our already fragile disposition.
When I was growing up — Playboy was the magazine that I recognized as the coloring book of sexual fantasies. I remember being totally fascinated with the first copy that I surveyed in private — and based on my prudent upbringing under the tutelage of boarding school mistresses and the mandatory Sunday school sessions — it was a treat to escape into this world of shameless pleasure.
Since then — the barriers have been pushed far into the realm of unreachability as we welcome the flexibility of honoring the freedom to snap images of ourselves — greeting the day in our birthday suits without the danger of insulting labels or the threat of over-censorship.
The Kardashians — have literally centered their bedazzled dynasty on the currency of paraded sexual escapades and the gloriousness of flaunting inflated templates — that supposedly dictate the heights of desirability with the accompaniment of fame and fortune as the constant incentive.
Back in 2016 — Kim Kardashian West a.k.a. The Notorious K.I.M. did what she does best when she quietly dumped a nude shot of herself greeting the day for the never-ending appetite of her followers. The image wasn’t as easily absorbed by others in the community — as celebs like Better Midler, Pink and actress Chloe Moretz — expressed their frustration with a woman who refuses to earn her badge of honor any other way.
It’s logical to conclude that the sexiest Kardashian’s ability to turn a sex tape fiasco — a once-labeled torrential nightmare — into a globally thriving and well-respected empire — ultimately expanded the pores of the media at large — as the competition for the most outstandingly shocking cover has become a bidding war of grand proportions.
There are no limitations to the ritual caressing of the female form for all to witness and highlight with clicks and magnifying thumbs — and in some cases there’s a questionable pause when you ponder the decision of supposedly family-friendly pubs like Ebony Magazine that proudly displays a bunch of attractive women in a fashion that doesn’t elevate prideful consistency or tradition.
The need to perpetuate the adage of how “sex sells” is obviously not a new concept — but lately it seems that we are drowning in a sea of societal mishaps and unfiltered misbehavior while also fooling ourselves into believing that we are in complete control of this runaway train.
Nicki Minaj’s ménage à trois theme for the latest cover of Paper magazine is grossly offensive for many reasons, but the the main culprit is the fact that it happened at all. Paper magazine is of course an underground legend with a cult following and that authority propels the levels of shock value that can be tolerated.
But, I have to agree with esteemed rapper and newly-minted talk show host Eve — who summed up her thoughts about Minaj’s recent coup perfectly:
“I think in this climate, it’s not good. I think every artist has a right to express themselves however they want to express themselves and I respect that as well. For me personally, as I started coming up in the business, I started realizing that young girls were looking up to me and younger people were looking up to me, and that, not that you want to be a role model, but it becomes what you become, it is what you are.”
Aside from the burden of being a proper “role model” — there is no way of downplaying the offensiveness of the images — no matter which angle you prefer to examine the damning evidence. Minaj is supremely sexy and alluring and any editor with good sense and loads of brilliance has to be able to figure out a way to finesse those assets without surrendering to the bleakly uninspiring homage to overtly construed sex acts that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination.
There’s also the message to young girls that are already blossoming in an age that is unfathomably hostile and grotesquely competitive. From the propped up murals of Instagram to the X-rated logs of chat rooms — there’s virtually no way of protecting the next generation from the naughtiness of adults who prefer to quench their thirst rather than set the examples that could secure the future.
We are in a crisis and the symptoms have overtaken us beyond what can be curable. And even a we manipulate ourselves into teams of support as we curse out the sexual vultures that are currently being cast away from view — we can’t feign superiority when we herald a magazine cover that celebrates everything that we shouldn’t be — at this very moment.
If we intend to continue to make sex a viable means of communication — under the guise of artistic pendulums that sway without the discipline of foresight or the generosity of accountability — then perhaps we should just allow this train to keep bounding along the tracks — without a fixed speed limit.
We have pretty much everything to lose at this point — and that’s apparently how we like it.