Nicki Minaj is receiving backlash after comments she made in a recent interview aimed at sex workers.
Minaj was speaking to Elle when she referenced a message she hoped to impart with her upcoming album, Queen.
The rapper said that the key point of her missive is “it being okay to keep your legs closed,” adding, “I don’t really know how to say that without being offensive” before attempting to explain her thoughts.
“Maybe I was naïve, but I didn’t realize how many girls were modern-day prostitutes,” she said. “Whether you’re a stripper, or whether you’re an Instagram girl — these girls are so beautiful and they have so much to offer. But I started finding out that you give them a couple thousand dollars, and you can have sex with them. I was like, ‘Yikes.’ It’s just sad that they don’t know their worth. It makes me sad as a woman. And it makes me sad that maybe I’ve contributed to that in some way.”
She also mused on the fact that some of her own actions have the same effect.
“In a lot of ways, I don’t know if I’m doing the same thing they’re doing, because I’m selling sex appeal,” 35-year-old said. “So I can’t look down on these girls. I may not be having sex with people, but I’m still selling sex appeal.”
When the interviewer noted sex and sex appeal are not the same thing, Minaj responded, “I just don’t know if girls who look up to me think that when I’m posting a sexy picture. I’m actually the antithesis of all of that.”
She continued, “I’m more of, like, the snobby girl, like the ‘Uh, what’ type of girl. And I want girls to be like that. I’d rather you be called snobby or a bitch or conceited—I’d rather you be called that than easy, and a ho, and a slut.”
Some people on Twitter took Minaj’s words to mean that she was shaming sex workers, instantly calling out the rapper for her message.
What Nicki Minaj said in that Elle interview was 100% trash. Shaming sex work isn’t the wave, sis. She (an influential celebrity) should be using her platform to uplift instead of spouting this pick-me rhetoric. Trash. pic.twitter.com/fD4U39V5uI
— 𝔐𝔦𝔞 🥀 (@traplordusagi_) June 13, 2018
Others noted that Minaj’s words were seemingly at odds with songs in which she had supported sex workers.
Nicki Minaj profiting off of the idea of sex work while shaming sex workers is nothing short of violent. She has had a platform to support sex workers after she has made songs — a profit — off of them and has chosen to embrace her negative and damaging biases instead.
— 🎀Puthy🎀 (@ChampagnePuthy) June 13, 2018
Another person called her “hypocritical.”
Don’t want to hear nothing about the Nicki Minaj interview from people who have never engaged in sex work. You can’t profit off of the “aesthetic” then tell women they don’t know their worth. Patronizing af and hypocritical. We have every right to call out the bullshit.
— ✨🍒La Negrita Colombiana 🍒✨ (@kumberlyjackoff) June 14, 2018
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