I spent the this past weekend at the luxurious Bacara Resort located just north of my alma mater, UCSB, with my closest college girlfriends. The occasion? A mini 20 year reunion. Yes 20 years have passed since we last roamed the streets of Isla Vista (IV), arguably the best college town in history. We did a lot of R, R & R ing: resting, relaxing and re-living the good ol’ days.
We also did a lot of time talking about Nicki Minaj was a hot topic this weekend.
Yes, Ms. Anaconda herself.
Prior to our trip, I had watched Ms. Minaj’s latest freak show video for Anaconda, her spin-off of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 90’s hit Baby Got Back in horror, and truth be told, I became a little obsessed with it. I simply could not reconcile the fact that one of my daughters’ icons was dry humping the air (air humping?) with nothing but a G String (not to be confused with Nothing But a G-Thang), and that, thanks to the Internet, those same 6 & 8 year old daughters might be exposed to the nearly triple X rated video at any moment.
So, one of the first things I did when arriving to Bacara was to show my friends from yore the video because I needed to know that I was not the only mom of grade schoolers who was appalled by this video. That Tipper Gore and I don’t need to run off to a deserted island together.
I wish I had been rolling video of their faces when the twerking and dry humping began (in the first three seconds). I knew then that I was not alone in my disappointment and disdain.
My friends and I proceeded to analyze our outrage.
Were we over-reacting? Our childhood icon, Madonna, certainly pushed the envelope a time or twenty. And we certainly listened to inappropriate lyrics (Two Live Crew’s One and One comes to mind), yet it seems like this video, on so many levels, is worse. And yes, that’s what all next generations moms say, but hear me out.
1) Being provocative and sexy is one thing, giving away the proverbial farm, is another. As tantalizing and shocking as female artists are and have been in the past, which is very, this video has pushed the envelope to a distasteful place reminiscent of the strip club Miley Cyrus apparently frequents. Alluding to prowess and expertise in the bedroom is one thing, showing us exactly what you will do and what facial expressions you will make is another.
2) This video (and others like it—I’m also appalled at Bruno Mars’ Gorilla) is now setting the bar at a dangerously low level and YouTube does not have an appropriate filtering/ratings system in place.
This current generation of parents, the first that must maneuver through the jungle of tech gadgets and the World Wide Uncensored Wed, are having a helluva time trying to keep our children from seeing things their young minds simply cannot process.
3) Women have worked incredibly hard, and still are, to achieve respect and equality in this country, from their employers, from their spouses, and from their peers. We fight to be seen as something more than “a piece of ass” yet this video proves otherwise.
4) In the same vain, parents have to work hard at raising self-respecting, respectful children. I want more than anything for my daughters to know their worth in this world, and to see themselves for more than what man they can attract or how they look in a thong. Videos like this negate all of our hard work.
5) Nicki Minaj has a right to be her own artist and express herself in any way she wants, but celebrities have a responsibility to the society in which they live to act like role models. Being a role model comes with fame. Deal with it.
My girlfiends and I also spent a lot of time discussing how much editing went into that video because none of those cheeky butts had any dimples and that’s just not possible (Right? Please tell me it’s not possible?!), so clearly, there’s a little jealousy behind my ranting. But mostly, it’s disappointment and fear of what my daughters are going to think is normal and acceptable.
Also, can someone please tell me what Sophia Grace and Rosie (and their mothers) have to say about this?
And in the meantime, I’ll be playing Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off on repeat, for more than one reason.