*When rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot released his only chart topping hit, “Baby Got Back” in 1991, he unknowingly set the groundwork for Nicki Minaj’s newest single, “Anaconda.” Her rump-shaking anthem raises the bar in its objectification of the female anatomy, and it’s rapidly becoming a source of vitriol to enraged viewers worldwide.
There’s also a music video to go along with this new song—it’s littered with neon-colored thongs, revealing denim shorts, thigh-hugging spandex, bouncing oily cleavage, and of course Nicki Minaj’s surgically enhanced, virtually nude derriere. She and a gyrating booty-wiggling brigade of scantily clad exotic dancers participate in a four minute, exhibition of synchronized coochy-popping.
Judging by the video, Minaj’s forthcoming album will imaginably contain enough pornographic material that it should come with a bottle of Jergens, a hand-towel, and a few Monte Cristo cigars.
Anaconda pours it on thick with provocative burlesque twerking and shameless sexual innuendo. Minaj upped the ante when she used these elements during her X-rated VMA performance (Video Music Awards). Dressed in fish-net stockings and not much else, Minaj and her backup dancers deflowered the stage with a choreographed routine of fervid dry-humping and pelvis-grinding. While many of the female celebrities in attendance appeared turned off by Minaj’s raunchy display, the men could barely contain their enthusiasm, leaving puddles of drool underneath the crowded seats. It was bedlam—and one of the evening’s most exhilarating moments.
Although Minaj’s off-the-wall antics have transformed her into one the more polarizing figures in music, she comes from a long lineage of female entertainers who have exploited their sexuality for monetary gain. This formula has produced countless “it girls” throughout entertainment history.
Christina Aguilera chucked her squeaky clean image and got “Dirrty” in 2002. Beyonce has morphed into a G-string wearing sadomasochist. Katy Perry, like Madonna, plays tongue hockey with other girls…and she likes it. Even middle-aged Angela Basset, one of Hollywood’s leading ladies, dropped her underpants and got freaky with a young, strapping Jamaican fry-cook in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” So why is there a lynch mob aiming for nasty Nicki?
Although many of her fans aren’t old enough to purchase condoms legally, Minaj shouldn’t be raked over the coals for promoting sex, sex and more sex. It’s standard procedure. For women in entertainment, the road to superstardom is often paved in naked flesh and cosmetic enhancement. Minaj has already gone public about her ass injections. Now she’s giving the music world a strip tease it’s never seen.
From Broadway to Tinseltown and every celebrity-breeding ground in between, many envelope-pushers have parlayed their sex-appeal into highly lucrative careers. Some have even managed to become icons of their respective eras. If Minaj plays her cards correctly, she’ll leave a legacy that censorship won’t be able to erase. Here’s a list of women (past and present) who made piles of money baring it all:
1. Marilyn Monroe
In 1954, during an era of extreme conservatism, Marilyn Monroe was photographed standing in a heating grate above the New York subway. In this famous black and white image, the lower half of Monroe’s dress gets blown skyward by a gust of wind and exposes her lower body. Monroe smiles gleefully, and cocks her legs wide, while the airflow works its magic.
The photo was deemed “racy” by several members of the public—mostly female—including her then boyfriend baseball icon Joe DiMaggio. Monroe absorbed criticism at every turn, but it didn’t prevent her from becoming an American icon and one of the purest examples of beauty in modern pop history. An eight feet statue depicting the famous scene of Marilyn now stands in the windy city of Chicago. Her white “subway” dress sold for more than $5.6 million in a Beverly Hills, California auction.
2. Pam Grier
Throughout the 1970s, a mocha chocolate, finely-curved bombshell inspired more erections than Viagra and the adult film industry combined. Sexy, chic and stacked like a full deck of playing cards, Pam Grier graced the pages of several gentlemen’s magazines on her way to superstardom. Ranking among the most desirable women in black cinema history, Grier posed in Hugh Hefner’s Playboy and also stripped into her birthday suit for Hustler Magazine, among others.
In movies, she would often expose her bare breasts and participate in steamy love scenes with her male co-stars. Although she dumped college for a career in film and erotica, Grier eventually received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). It appears that selling sex also results in academic achievement. Who knew?
3. Janet Jackson
(To promote her fourth album,1993’s Janet,Jackson, then 27, appeared topless on the Sept. 16, 1993, cover of Rolling Stone. The pose hinted at the album’s racy lyrics).
Super Bowl XXXVIII, which was broadcast live on February 1, 2004 from Houston, Texas on the CBS television network in the United States, was noted for a controversial halftime show in which Janet Jackson‘s breast, adorned with a nipple shield, was exposed by Justin Timberlake for about half a second, in what was later referred to as a “wardrobe malfunction“.The incident, sometimes referred to as Nipplegate,was widely discussed. Along with the rest of the halftime show, it led to an immediate crackdown and widespread debate on perceived indecency in broadcasting.
Jackson’s music also reflects varying degrees of perceptible crudity. “Nasty” is the second single from her third studio album, Control(1986). Released in 1986, the single peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and remains one of Jackson’s signature songs. The line “My first name ain’t baby, it’s Janet – Miss Jackson if you’re nasty” is a well-known catchphrase and has frequently been used in pop culture in various forms.
4. Halle Berry
Halle Berry’s questionable on-screen exploits can be described in two simple words, “Monster’s Ball” (2001). Nuff said.
5. Miss America Contestants
Although women who participate in this competition aren’t rich or famous, they’re chosen as ambassadors to represent their respective hometowns. A portion of the pageant requires contestants to parade on stage wearing skimpy two-piece bikinis. Feminists, the fat ones anyway, might scoff at the very idea of exposing their bodies on a nationally televised platform. However, this event began in 1920 and continues to dominate ratings every year—obviously someone’s watching. Bragging rights, a college scholarship, and media attention (albeit temporary) goes to every winner crowned during this celebration of vanity.
Minaj will be a piñata for her insult-wielding detractors until she decides to hang up her microphone (perhaps even after she retires). But what makes her story any different from the aforementioned list of celebrity sirens? Oh, that’s right: she’s got the best booty in the business.
Based in Southern California, EURweb editorial associate Cory A. Haywood is also a certified personal fitness trainer. Contact him via: [email protected] and/or visit his websites:www.coryhaywood.com and corythewriter.blogspot.com
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