Viewing Nicki Minaj Differently

Let me preface this with: I know very little about Nicki Minaj, other than if I was asked about the artists that dress the most outlandish, I’d name her and Lady Gaga; and I’d do so with the respect of understanding they know how to stand out from the rest. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you if I’ve heard her music (though I’m sure I must have); but I’ve always been pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy it. I’m willing to admit that might be an unfair assessment, but I’m not as much a fan of rap in my 40s as I was in my 20s.

But…I read an article the other week about an interview she did with New York Times Magazine where she got up and walked out because of a question she was asked by the interviewer. At first glance, admittedly at just the title, I thought, ‘holy crap, what a diva!’ and then…I was too curious about what question would have driven this woman of outrageous costumery (I know, not really a word) to walk out of an interview.

I rather became a fan of Nicki Minaj in the few moments it took me to read the article. Her responses to her disagreements with Miley Cyrus and her to the question about the drama around her were stunning examples of awesomeness! She was right on both accounts.

I grew up in the age of Madonna and Cindy Lauper. Both of these women did exactly what needed to be done to draw in the crowds and while I’m not completely sure about the business woman Lauper turned out to be, Madonna was an inspiration in that sense, for sure. Both women did their part to help young girls (like me at the time) realize there were many different ways to be a strong woman and you didn’t have to grow up being afraid of the word feminism. This was important in the 80s because we weren’t far removed from the anger and vitriol of the 70s wave of feminism. When I look at the artists today – Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, even Miley Cyrus in her own distracted way – I can’t help but think of the ways my mom probably responded to Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Eve, Salt n Peppa and En Vogue to name a few.

I’m happy to see there are strong women role models of all walks for the young women in my life to look up to and aspire to be like. I never wanted to be Madonna, but I certainly recognized her strength and ability to do it her way. That was a powerful lesson. The interview Minaj gave a few weeks ago (article below) has some powerful words that, if the young women of today are paying attention, could help to change the way we treat each other as women and human beings; thus making our world just a little bit better.

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