Minaj, 32, celebrated the achievement on her Instagram, calling the wax figure “iconic.” The life-like figurine depicts Minaj on all fours with her now famous booty tooted in the upright position. The depiction replicates the rapper’s controversial “Anaconda” video, in which she and a team of dancers shake their butts in female solidarity. In just 11 days it got over 100 million views.
But while Minaj has touted the song and video as a celebration of the full-figured woman, the choice to celebrate her “iconic” place in music shouldn’t be reduced to just her body.
Fellow female rapper Azealia Banks also had a some sharp criticism for Madame Tussauds’ choice of a wax figure.
The 24-year-old Harlem rapper also insinuated that race played a role in the decision-making tweeting, “Martha Stewart’s most iconic moment was when she went to jail but they didn’t put her wax figure in a jail uniform… Come on y’all…”
When it comes to the hyper-sexualization of Minaj’s body, Banks certainly makes a vital point. The choice to create a wax figure of a Black female rap icon in the “assume the position” pose is reductive and dilutes from the very thing she’s truly known for: her talent. She’s not a pole dancer. She’s a musical artist. Minaj’s butt and scantily clad outfits may be a part how the world sees and understands her, but that shouldn’t be how she’s immortalized–or any woman of color for that matter.
Must we take an educational stroll down memory lane of the historicalness of Black women in America and the fixation of thir backsides? If you’re not familiar please refer to the story of Sarah Baartman.
The whole Black women as sexual objects trend is getting pretty tired. It’s about time the world acknowledges them for the artists, mothers, entreprenuers, trailblazers, WOMEN that they are. If they can’t give one of the most famous Black female women in entertainment the proper respect, what makes anyone think any other women of color would?
That’s not to say Minaj isn’t allowed to be her full sexual self nor that she’s undeserving of her own wax figure. It just would have been more praiseworthy if she wasn’t on her knees.