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by Nicole Michelle Danser

“Minaj’s feminine side, when it emerges, is cartoonishly exaggerated, sweetness on steroids. She can’t settle into either role. Roman Reloaded shows no attempt to connect Minaj’s boldly intoned raps, full of fire and phallic references, to the strawberry-scented dance tracks she sings in a kitten yelp. Though many critics have accused Minaj of making these more ‘girly’ tracks for strictly commercial reasons, they do make a statement about femininity: that it’s a form of drag as potentially ridiculous as the strap-on machismo of Roman.” - Ann Powers

What we see here is a rather schizophrenic trade-off of lyrics by Roman Zolansky and Barbie, where at time’s Barbie’s voice transforms into Roman’s, and each character steals a verse from one another mid sentence. This sort of back and forth between identities Nicki cannot even keep up with reinforces Judith Butler’s (1999) influential claim that all gendered (and racialized) bodies are an “imitation without an origin” (175)

"Of course, Minaj does not somehow escape the commodi cation of sexuality, gender, and race that is part of any neoliberal/postfeminist celebrity construction; some critics have insisted that all of her shape-shifting is merely a ploy to sell records. There is also the question of whether or not the kinds of disruption presented by a pop star like Minaj are a viable option for “real” girls or for women of color in postfeminist media forms other than popular music.
-Jess Butler

Despite the evidence that Nicki Minaj’s performances and music can be seen as a subversion of post-feminism, it can still be argued, and is argued, that she conforms to a lot of the rules of post-feminism. People can still look at “Anaconda” and get nothing more from it than they did the Carl’s junior ad. Given that her business is to commodify and sell her music (and her persona), perhaps the act of fighting post-feminism through her music videos, or television, and through television, is not the strongest way to do so.

Dual Drag of Nicki Minaj (Monster)

Though many critics have accused Minaj of making these more ‘girly’ tracks for strictly commercial reasons, they do make a statement about femininity: that it’s a form of drag as potentially ridiculous as the strap-on machismo of Roman.” - Ann Powers

from Monster (2010)
Creator: Kanye West
Distributor: Vevo
Posted by Nicole Michelle Danser
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