Nicki Minaj as role model?

November 3, 2011

Political Theory


As time moves on it seems like children are growing up faster and faster with every generation. Kids are becoming more familiar with “adult” things at younger ages then ever. They are exposed to music, television shows, and movies that are geared towards adults at much younger ages. Take Sophia Grace and Rosie for example, the two young girls that performed Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Sophia Grace, 8 years old, and her cousin Roise, 5 years old, have been the talk of the Internet since their discovery on YouTube.

Posted just over a month ago on September 19th, the YouTube video of the young girls singing “Super Bass” already has 18,816,221 views. Clearly, their ability to perform has caught the eye of many, including famous talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. When Ellen discovered the video, she invited the girls to perform on her show and talk about the video. While on the show, the girls expressed their admiration of Nicki Minaj and claimed that she was their favorite singer. As they stated, “We love Nickie Minaj, we want to meet her sooooo much”. Soon after Sophia Grace and Rosie sang “Super Bass” for everyone watching the show, Nicki Minaj surprised the girls and came on stage. I have never seen two little girls as excited as they were. It was like they were meeting Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy.

At first I laughed at how adorable the girls were and how excited they were to meet Nicki Minaj, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how young the two girls were. Nicki Minaj’s song “Super Bass” is pretty popular and I am sure most people that have heard it would agree with me that it is no song for an 8 year old and a 5 year old to be singing at home, let alone on national television. Many of Nicki Minaj’s songs are about partying and boys, not exactly something that my parents would have let me listen to at their age. However, I must give Nicki Minaj some credit, when she came out on the Ellen DeGeneres show, she made it a point to encourage the girls that they should stay focused on school. She told Sophia Grace that she had a wonderful voice and that someday she will be extremely famous for it (if she isn’t already), but to remember that school is the most important thing and made them promise that they would not drop out of school to try and pursue a singing career. After that, she promised the girls an all expenses paid for shopping spree to Toys R Us so they could buy backpacks and school supplies.

I must admit that I am extremely entertained by the two girls, they are incredibly adorable, but I am just not sure that everything they are doing is appropriate. I give Sophia Grace all the credit in the world for having such a talent, but I have lost a little respect for the girls’ parents for allowing them to use it on a song like “Super Bass”.

So what does everyone think? Are these two girls too young to be singing Nicki Minaj songs? Should their parents be a little more concerned with the type of music the girls are listening to at such a young age? Or is this all just harmless fun? Would your parents have allowed you to listen to such music at that age? Hypothetically speaking, would you let your children do something similar?

*I really encourage everyone to watch the videos that I linked to the post!

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2 Comments on “Nicki Minaj as role model?”

  1. lbaek Says:

    When I think of Nicki Minaj, the idea of her being a role model doesn’t exactly come to mind. Sure, the lyrics that come out of her bubble-gum pink lips are catchy and her mannerisms are entertaining to watch. Thus, I didn’t think it was a big problem for the girls to perform the song. Lyrics are simply, just lyrics. But, from her surgically enhanced body to her blue colored contacts and Barbie doll fixation, what type of message is she trying to send? Possibly that girls should become more like Barbie? But, this could also be argued in that she is simply expressing her uniqueness and individualism. Her style and lyrics cannot be mimicked or ignored. In addition, Minaj has taken her image and successfully managed to market it to her advantage. For example, MAC’s limited edition lipstick endorsement was in honor of her beauty, stature and prowess as a financially and socially influential figurehead. Nicki Minja have given minority women, in particular, who cannot be classed with the likes of Michelle Obama, someone else to relate to.

    In a society that emphasizes people’s appearance, Nicki Minaj can help girls with body image issues to overcome their battle. Nicki Minaj doesn’t have your typical model-type body. Her voluptuous has caused lots of controversy and questioning, however, has not affected Minaj because it does not define who she is. She is clearly comfortable in her own skin and is not afraid to show it, ultimately helping girls to understand the importance of accepting their own body. This is one aspect in which Nicki Minaj could be considered as a role model. Furthermore, Nicki Minaj has stated in several interviews that would “sex down” her look in order to truly become a role model. However, does her collaboration with Big Sean’s Dance (A$$) reflect this idea? (Not quite—I think the title explains it all.) I wouldn’t consider Nicki Minaj as a role model per se but she does represent some good qualities that are beneficial to her audience, especially girls.

    I think critics were too quick to react to Sophia’s parents’ for allowing her to sing a song that could be deemed as inappropriate. When an eight-year old belts the words to a song, it’s innocent. In reality, she has no idea what she is saying. If I were to have kids in the future, I would definitely let them listen to songs similar to Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” But, when they become more aware of the message of the song and start asking questions, I would definitely steer her away from that genre of music. All in all, I believe that none of this will damage or harm her in any way.

  2. vfealkoff Says:

    When I first saw this video, my initial reaction was similar in the sense that I thought the little girls in pink princess outfits were adorable, not to mention they were pretty talented for being so young. However, the fact that they are allowed to listen to her music not only condones the lyrics to the girls, but also Nicki’s overall style and behavior. While the girls do not understand the provocative behavior Nicki portrays now, when they do eventually get the concepts she sings about, it is possible by default that the girls will think her behavior is acceptable since it was ok when they were young.

    I had a similar experience this past summer when I worked as a cheer camp counselor for girls ages 6 to 10. Most of the days were spent working on routines and technique, but at the end of every day we spent time playing games, a class favorite being freeze dance. When I asked the girls which song they wanted me to play there was a unanimous vote for ‘Tik Tok’ by Ke$ha. As the song played these little girls sang all of the lyrics: “Before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack….Pulling up to the parties trying to get a little bit tipsy.” I was shocked by the fact that they were belting the song, but had no idea what they were saying.

    While I don’t think it is terrible for young kids to listen to the popular music of today, I don’t think it is the smartest choice for parents to allow it. If it were my child I wouldn’t allow them to listen to it until they were older. As adults it may seem innocent, but that is because we have been taught the difference between right and wrong, and know that while it is popular for singers to talk about a life of partying etc, it is not the reality for most people. How can we expect our youth to know and respect the fine line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior if we allow them to listen music advocating this at such a young age?

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