Nicki Minaj’s Behavior at the VMAs Proves Childish

So Nicki Minaj is in the news again. The MTV Video Music Awards were hosted on August 30, 2015 by Miley Cyrus. There was some controversy preceding the event. You might remember a single back in August of 2014 by the name of “Anaconda” by Minaj. It was hailed for its catchy tune, provocative music video and relatively uplifting message. In the song, Nicki Minaj called for all her bigger women to come out to the club, which is nice to hear in a society that largely shames overweight or otherwise large people. The song was a massive hit and sparked many conversations on how our culture treats larger women, and many people talked about the music video as well.

However, although the song praises larger women, it shames skinny girls explicitly in its lyrics, which makes Minaj’s message dubious. I’ve seen the video a couple times and it is well made with high production value, but apparently Minaj sees her work differently. When the nominations came out for Video of the Year there was no nomination for “Anaconda.” Those who did receive nominations were Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift. Nicki Minaj was outraged at her snub.

“When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination,” Minaj tweeted, as well as, “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year.”

So it seems Minaj didn’t get the recognition or celebration that she deserved, even though she was nominated for three more awards, two of which were for “Anaconda.” Minaj took an offensive stance claiming that her video deserved the most important award of the night because of its positive message. 

Sure, many women have been uplifted by the sentiment expressed in the song, and it’s good that larger women are being more accepted in American society because of the song, but how can Minaj really claim to be an advocate of different body types if she actively shames skinny women in the song. Her claim of cultural importance seems like a weak attempt to convince people that she deserved a nomination. By whining that she didn’t get her supreme nomination, Minaj comes off as entitled and childish, like Dudley Dursely complaining he didn’t get enough presents. The feeble message about weight discrimination wasn’t fooling anyone as to why she was frustrated. Miley Cyrus, the host of the 2015 VMA’s, was asked how she felt about Minaj’s reaction in an interview prior to the awards.

“And it’s not anger like, ‘Guys, I’m frustrated about some things that are a bigger issue.’ You made it about you. Not to sound like a b****, but that’s like, ‘Eh, I didn’t get my VMA,’” Cyrus said. I honestly couldn’t agree more with her. Nicki Minaj’s fame has gone to her head and she has begun expecting unconditional love and celebration for her work. It seems Minaj heard about what Cyrus had to say, as she confronted her in the middle of the show upon receiving her award for Best Hip-Hop Video.

“And now… back to… this b**** that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press, Miley what’s good!?” Minaj exclaimed after receiving her award, leaving Cyrus shocked. Minaj let her own self-perception go to her head. She was so caught up in her own fame that she felt that she was justified to interrupt a celebratory ceremony and turn it into her show. Yes, she had just won an award, but that doesn’t entitle her to say whatever she wants because she’s the center of attention. The VMAs are a time for celebration, a time to be happy for others, not a verbal Twitter battleground. Minaj’s outburst illuminates her immaturity. Cyrus was expressing her opinion about how Minaj was being childish about not receiving a nomination, not trying to diss her. Minaj turned a respectable occasion into a Worldstar Hip-Hop headline for weeks to come.