Nicki Minaj’s New Video Is a Celebration of Her Butt

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 20 2014 12:25 PM

Nicki Minaj’s New Video Is a Celebration of Her Butt

Nicki flaunts the power of her assets.

Still via YouTube

Early on, Nicki Minaj made it evident that she’d never shy away from flaunting her larger-than-life posterior. Again and again, we’ve seen her shake, twerk, wiggle, gyrate, and otherwise move her ass in ways most people didn’t know were physically possible—most recently, even causing controversy at the mere sight of it on the artwork for her “Baby Got Back”–sampling new single. She responded to that controversy with a smart series of Instagram photos that pointed out the hypocrisy in the kinds of backsides society considers “acceptable”—those of Chrissy Teigen, Kate Upton, and so on—while hers, apparently, isn’t.

With the video for “Anaconda,” released at midnight, Nicki’s made it clear for the umpteenth time that the only opinion about her body she’s concerned with is her own. The video, like the one for “Super Bass,” shows Minaj surrounded by a group of bikini-clad multiethnic women with whom she dances, flirts, and, later, works out. From the isolated GIF or screenshot, the video’s likely to be perceived as something resembling porn. But look again and you’ll find the athleticism these women demonstrate in their moves—Nicki included—celebrates the strength, power, and beauty of the female body. More importantly, the video is meant to empower women who have curves for days (“He can tell I ain’t missing no meals,” she raps). And while product placement in music videos isn’t new, seeing Minaj, a woman of color, able to hawk a brand she actually owns speaks for itself.


She further drives home the point that, in Nicki’s world, men and the male gaze don’t matter by taking her labelmate Drake—arguably the biggest star in hip-hop—making him her personal “boy toy,” and reducing him to a steaming puddle. Toward the end of the video, just when Drake thinks he might be able to cop a feel, she swats his hand back to remind him who’s really in control—and always has been.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.