|Nikki, Cardi & Beyonce|
By Dawn Washington
Over the last month or so I’ve been taking in bits and pieces of what’s happening in the cultural zeitgeist: Beyoncé and Coachella, Cardi B blowing up the spot, Nikki Minaj dropping her latest, Chun Li, and I got to thinking. What is the relationship between these three cultural moments and what do they mean?
What do Cardi B, Nikki Minaj, and Beyoncé have in common? I don’t think it is a coincidence that all 3 fit a certain mold, a mold that has come to be a classic staple in the hip hop community and more recently in popular culture- attractive women with asses. And while this is not the sum of who they are, they come to represent beautiful women whose bodies fit a certain archetype…something else they all have in common, infidelity/break ups.
I have listened to friends, lovely women, educated, career-solid women consider getting their asses “done” or padding it up, or nipping here, and tucking there, and sucking out here and I’m like, “For what though?”
There is a historical line, dating back to the beginning of time, of beautiful, drop-dead gorgeous women, who have been played: Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Eniko Parish, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Milan, Jill Scott, La La Anthony…and I’m certain you can name stunning women in your own lives who have experienced the same.
History has proven that it is never about how sexy or how bad you look. It is not about how “bomb your p*ssy” is, or how good you “rock the mic,” it’s not about how well you can twerk, work a pole, or lap dance. And it most certainly is not about how fat your ass is. Ample asses (both fake and natural) can and will get cheated on when dealing with certain types. And just what certain types am I referring to?
A pastor once said to me, “Sexual conquests make a man feel like a man without really being one.” Sit with that one while I sip on some tea.
I am referring to men who associate their manhood with their sexual conquests, which is unfortunately, how men are generally socialized in this country. The men who don’t live by this standard are indeed exceptional and sometimes have to fight everyday to not get sucked into this blackhole ideology of J.Cole’s latest, Kevin’s Heart.
As long as smashing any woman he wants is connected to how he feels as a man, he will continue to be on that quest. Why? Because every man wants to feel like a man, especially Black men whose manhood is often challenged in this country.
And it all just makes me sad when I see and hear about women pumping their asses with both natural and unnatural substances. Because whether it was done as a part of a come up, to earn more paper, power or love, it does not guarantee those things. In fact, if he has not dealt with the source of his manhood the only thing that is certain is that he will move on to the next ass.
I don’t know what it means that the two hottest female rappers in the game have modified asses. Would they have been allowed to shoot to fame without it? Can female rappers with flat asses be as welcomed and embraced in the hip hop community? Just questions but it all seems like a painful lesson in futility to me.
Much respect to Cardi, Nikki, and the Queen. They teach me many things like how to find my power within the things that men cannot do. And yes, I’ve even taken up pole dancing classes to step up my twerk game and to celebrate (just some of) what makes me great. But you best believe that there will be no alterations to the body that is working the pole. If he or the industry doesn’t want me as I am, they can kiss my flat ass. As Janelle Monae` famously schooled one man on her Twitter account, “…I’m not for consumption.” I refuse to be anyone’s conquest.