Bare-faced cheek! Why Nicki Minaj must butt out
HAVE YOU SEEN SINGER NICKI MINAJ’S new film clip for Anaconda? It’s the one where she claps her butt cheeks in time to the music. That’s right. Butt cheeks.
People used to clap with their hands. Now, thanks to Nicki, they clench and unclench their bum muscles and clap with their bottoms instead.
Throw in nude dancers, lots of twerking and a very seductive lap dance performed by Nicki herself, above, and you have quite a show.
Check it out now, for research purposes only, of course. You may as well watch it given that just about everyone else already has. In fact, a record 72 million people saw Anaconda on YouTube within a week of its release, including 19 million in the first 24 hours.
This makes it even more popular than Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball – remember that one where the young singer was straddling a huge demolition ball and simulating love with garden tools?
Such performances are a reminder of the raunch culture that’s all the rage right now. I don’t want to sound like a prude, but it does make me wonder when classy is going to make a comeback.
Reality star Kim Kardashian is at the forefront of this trend (surprise, surprise). If she doesn’t have her boobs hanging out while walking down the street, she’s tweeting pictures of herself in a teeny g-string bikini while sunbaking in Mexico. And don’t get me started on that extreme-cleavage dress she wore to the VMA awards that made her chest look like one of those joke barbecue aprons men get from the office Kris Kringle.
There is no doubt these cultural trends are spearheading a major deterioration of good taste on many levels. For instance, it seems there’s a naked craze sweeping Darwin at present, with people spotted sunbaking nude on the Esplanade.
There’s a new charity endeavor called Boob Aid, which involves porn stars having their breasts squeezed for charity. Can you imagine all the old fellas getting exciting about that one, lining up to “donate” (ie. cop a feel) in guise of raising money?
And a new reality TV show called Dating Naked involves singles going on a range of romantic encounters totally nude while being filmed. It’s billed as “dating in it’s purist form”. (If they can’t even get the punctuation and spelling right, what hope do you have for the show?)
I am not saying that Nicki and her bum, and Kim and her boobs, have directly caused these things. But I do think popular culture and social media are changing our idea of what’s acceptable in the public realm.
It used to be that you had to look at a dirty mag or porn flick to see this amount of flesh. Now, along with 23 million others, you just have to check out Kim Kardashian on Twitter.
Our teens can’t help but be affected. Instead of learning their algebra, they’re spending maths classes sexting the kid behind them and watching porn on their iPhones to work out how to make out.
Girls aged eight are wearing padded bras, talking about boys in romantic terms and worrying about how they look. Even girls aged four and five are not immune, with research showing they are using Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry videos to teach them to pout and thrust at kinder discos. It’s a long way from Wrecking Ball to The Wiggles, trust me.
There’s no point banning or limiting these things, because the internet allows anything to be seen by everyone and everything to be seen by anyone.
Instead, we have to teach our girls and boys to be savvy media users. Instead of seeing these singers and TV stars as role models, we have to teach them to be critical consumers of their products. We have to teach them to see video clips as performances designed to attract attention and sell songs.
We have to teach them that Kim Kardashian is a businesswoman whose social media presence is all about selling herself, and her image.
And we have to teach them that long before they’re up to “dating naked”, they should get to know someone first.
I know that makes me sound like a grandma, but give me Nanna over nudism, Nicki and norks any day. Why do we have to choose ass over class, anyway? Blog with Susie at Susieobrien.com.au and follow her on Twitter @susieob