House3
CLOSE
MENUCLOSE

Nicki Minaj Can Preach Self-Respect Without Shaming Sex Workers

Radar
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Or policing other women’s sexuality

In a new Elle profileNicki Minaj talked about her sexy image and the fact that she would never apologize for it. However, in the process of explaining that one of the messages on her forthcoming album, Queen, is about "it being okay to keep your legs closed," Minaj also said things about female empowerment which sound an awful lot like she's policing the sexuality of other women and shaming sex work. Despite prefacing her statement with an admission that she doesn't "really know how to say [it] without being offensive," Minaj said she was surprised at "how many girls were modern-day prostitutes," and how she was sad that she may have contributed to that phenomenon in some way by "selling sex appeal."

“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," Minaj said. "I was like, 'Yikes.' It’s just sad that they don’t know their worth. It makes me sad as a woman."

Minaj stressed that she doesn't look down on these girls, but rather wants them to be called things like "snobby or a bitch or conceited," rather than "easy, and a ho, and a slut.” 

By ignoring the fact that the problem might just be the people who are calling women names, rather than the women themselves, Minaj is participating in the kind of shaming that happens far too often when it comes to women and sex work. This type of casual chastening is indicative of lingering stigmas surrounding the way society views women's sexual agency, but it's particularly ironic coming from someone like Minaj, who preaches empowerment, individuality, and self-respect.

Sex work is like any other type of job, and sex workers are like any other professionals; some enjoy the work, and others don't but do it for the money. Regardless of their motivations, nobody should be looked down upon for working. Rhetoric like Minaj's, though, continues to stigmatize sex work and leads to fundamental misunderstandings and prejudices about the profession. Just look at legislation like FOSTA and SESTA, which conflates autonomous sex work with sex trafficking (which is done through force, fraud, or coercion), and has criminalized the peer-to-peer networks that help keep sex workers steadily employed and, most importantly, safe. Not only that, but Minaj's statement also makes the presumption that everyone has the option of disengaging from sex work and find similarly compensated employment elsewhere. That's just not always the case; sex work is a job, and for many people, it is an important means for survival. 

But perhaps it's most disappointing to see someone like Minaj, who has built an entire persona upon the idea of being sex-positive, dismiss the personal circumstances of the thousands of sex workers and succumb to old-fashioned mores that have the goal of limiting female sexuality. It's up to the women who have big platforms and the ability to be whomever they wish to be to advocate for the same sort of agency for the countless others who don't have those opportunities. Hopefully, Minaj will grow to understand that soon.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

True
FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

True
Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

True
Asset 7
MORE in VIDEO

These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

True
Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

True