By Morgan Sperry
Since its release in August, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” has both been parodied on SNL, and declared reminiscent of the Biblical story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The accompanying video has nearly 275 million views to date, undoubtedly thanks to its staggering display of female butts, breasts, and bare skin.
Ultimately, the song sells, and the video flourishes due to the fact that Minaj, her dancers, and even her accomplice Drake — who has a cameo in the video — present sex in a way that violates virtually every boundary that we thought existed. Every one of my female friends — actually, every logical person I know — who has watched the video realizes that its main intent is to present this carefully calculated shock value.
This notion, coupled with the fact that it liberally samples Sir Mix a Lot’s comical “Baby Got Back,” makes us feel justified in singing “he toss my salad like his name Romaine!” and “I got a big fat ass!” as we dance in some club, or random classmate’s apartment.
Unfortunately, it is at precisely these moments when the over-sexualized video that seems so nonsensical to the logical mind transforms into a sort of inspiration to the affected one. Thus, the song’s sexual implications – propped up by its music video – lead to serious after-dark competitions for the attention of men, enthusiastic twerking displays, and shrieks of “fuck you if you skinny!”
I consider myself a feminist. Should I feel guilty that sometimes “Anaconda” gets stuck in my head, or that I know most of the lyrics? I don’t think so. Should I feel guilty when gleefully bumpin’ along to it as I watch my compatriots trying to score? Yes. In these foggy moments, we only remember how captivating Minaj’s booty was, and how it apparently lured the anacondas out.
Morgan Sperry is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org