Or should it be ‘they’, since it is a “Minaj à trois”?
Just as you thought “break the Internet” is a one-time thing back in 2014, Nicki Minaj is offering triple the delight in a single page, thrice more than Kim Kardashian’s also-Internet-breaking Paper cover of that year. In addition, the rapper is titillating readers in the upcoming issue with not just full-frontal bum, but full-on boobs too. The thing is, Ms Minaj, as with Ms Kardashian, has lived near-nude so publicly, so unashamedly, and so often that surely by now many of us have seen enough of her bare breasts and buttocks to not consider them shocking or eye-catching?
It isn’t clear how no-clothes can be fashion, but perhaps Ms Minaj’s self-styled composite isn’t about fashion since there is hardly anything resembling clothes that one can be delighted or disgusted with. But it is notable that once-unimaginable sleazy in pink (millennial pink?) is possibly now a chromatic backlash from too much blush-coloured Barbie fashion and Elsa and Anna princess dresses. According to Ms Minaj, you can do pink, but you don’t have to look prim.
You’d think that by now the Internet—broken and mended—has gutted the appeal of female nudity. And that the banalisation of nakedness has reached a zenith that can’t be repeated enough without challenging the domain of pornography. Yet, here is Ms Minaj—not only in dresses that by themselves offer undress, but also in poses that, away from the glare of studio lights and camera lenses, could have constituted sexually predatory behaviour.
How will this brazen display play out in the present explosive exposé of sexual harassment and rapaciousness for sex? Or is the touching and tonguing of oneself, even publicly, self-gratification that does not cross the trammels of decency? Is fashion even part of the communication? What are we missing here? Or are we, ironically, just too prudish for the breakable Internet? Honestly, it’s hard to fathom. These are confusing times, and Nicki Minaj—à trois—adds to the puzzlement, three times more.
Photo: Paper magazine/Ellen von Unwerth