Satirical Piece (2014) – Video for ‘Anaconda’ by Nicki Minaj.

Looking for four minutes and 50 seconds of discomfort? Look no further, I’ve found it.

It comes from the ever-engrossing and controversial musical talents of Nicki Minaj (or not-so-much talents, whichever you make of it all). This time around she has come up with her own re-mastered version of the 1992 song ‘Baby Got Back’ named simply, ‘Anaconda’. You thought the 1992 version was controversial and successful in objectifying women? Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Don’t be fooled by the calm selection of introductory images and sounds of a beautiful rainforest setting, this is soon tainted by the ‘booty-shaking’ and sexualisation of the female body which is commonplace in the modern day popular music scene. Lately, we have become used to, but not indifferent to, the attempts of artists to make a controversial music video to attract attention and publicity. An easy example of this is the Miley Cyrus video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ or the Rihanna video for the song ‘S&M’ (banned in some countries).

I think Minaj earns her place on the list of controversial music video artists for this production as she displays in the highest of definition (obviously) how she can in fact shake, slap, move and clap her giant surgically enhanced behind. Is that something to count as an achievement?

What I find interesting is how all these over-sexualised music videos come from female artists. It seems strange to me that we hear of feminism being on the increase and yet we still have these attempts in the music industry to sell sex and body image to young girls and women worldwide. The issue being more solidified and real as we see the increase of younger children being treated in hospitals for illnesses such as anorexia and those paying for plastic surgery to have jobs done on the black market, including the Nicki Minaj inspired ‘big butt’ as fans do not realise the dangers involved.

See Nicki Minaj (Onika Tanya Maraj), born 1982, was just ten years of age when Sir Mix-a-lot brought us ‘Baby Got Back’ telling the world how he preferred women with bigger behinds. Did this message of a certain body image have such an effect on the young girl that just over 20 years later, we see a woman with breast and ass implants shake and show what she has had done to create herself and this image?

Having endured the video myself, I found it difficult to comprehend what this video was trying to achieve. At some points it felt like the video was almost a parody as the shock value of the sexual references and imagery became a little too much, even in today’s terms, with scenes of the next clearly sexual act serving no purpose whatsoever to the story the video was attempting to tell (if any).

My question is, haven’t we seen enough? Where do we draw the line for controversial videos because I for one cannot sit through more senseless and idiotic displays of almost-pornography in order to sell some music.

This song and video contains all we expect from a modern pop song; sexual references, foul language, drug references, racism and much more to collect the 209,521,415+ YouTube hits, more hits than the ‘Baby Got Back’ video I might add.

This video certainly had shock value but in terms of what we should really value as a modern society, I would recommend you search somewhere/anywhere else.


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