Policing Beauty: When Booty Is a Crime

July 28, 2014 5:51 PM

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On Thursday, Nicki Minaj released the cover art for her newest single "Anaconda," in which she wears a sports bra, G-string, and Jordans. She immediately started trending on social media, with many people calling the artwork inappropriate. However, as she pointed out on her Instagram account, Sports Illustrated models in thong bikinis, posed to similarly display their buttocks on the cover of easily accessible magazines, have been accepted and even praised as part of sports entertainment for years. While media has accepted the near-nudity of white models, Minaj, dubbed "Black Barbie" for her equally well-known backside, is being critiqued for the same imagery.

There is no doubt that the bodies of women have been policed for centuries regarding the acceptability of what they can and can't show, but the comparison of Minaj to swimsuit models brings attention to the intersectionality of race and gender in this matter. Minaj is not only a woman, but a black w...

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