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Minaj VS The World: What’s Affecting Her Image?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you really know me, you would know that I have LOVED Nicki Minaj for well over a decade. She was the first artist who I could truly say I admired. Over the years, I have continued to show my support for Nicki in numerous ways. But lately, I honestly think some things with Nicki have changed.

Lately, the star has faced backlash for numerous things, ranging from her marriage to the COVID-19 vaccine. She has had bouts with her fans, journalists, and other celebrities. To be honest, I have lost some respect for Nicki as a result of the drama.

Is this all because of a recent issue or has a hidden side of Nicki began to surface? Despite the drama, Nicki’s very devoted fanbase, the Barbz, has continued to stand by her. At what point does stanning go too far? Here, I want to talk about some things that I believe are affecting her image.

The Husband

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: her HUSBAND. If you didn’t know, Nicki’s husband, Kenneth “Kenny” Petty, is a convicted felon due to a previous sexual assault case in the ’90s. When I heard he was the man Nicki chose to marry, I was shocked. I was even more shocked once I heard she was having a baby with him. Flash forward to today and we’ve been hearing about Nicki and Kenny every other month.

If you haven’t heard, the victim of Kenny’s previous case has come to the public about more issues surrounding the case. (I highly suggest you read up on the details surrounding this case). As a result, the victim has faced scrutiny from the Barbz and Nicki alike. It was recently revealed that Nicki attempted to give the victim hush money and even threatened her if she continued with the case. I was stunned when I heard this news.

I didn’t think Nicki would go as far as to involve herself in the case and try to end it. I honestly think this can be one of the main reasons why Nicki has continuously begun acting out on social media. I noticed that whenever news broke surrounding the case, Nicki would post a photo on her Instagram or get into some sort of controversy as some sort of a distraction. Regardless, I hope justice is served and the victim gets the help and support she needs.

The Fans

I must admit the Barbz have to be one of the most devoted fanbases in history. They will ride or die for Nicki through anything. However, I think this sometimes goes too far. Her fans have been known for harassment and not stopping until they get want they want. This includes doxxing and even threats.

Her fans have continuously gotten into arguments with executives, non-Nicki fans, and other “rival” celebrities. However, through all of the drama, Nicki has continued to support them. She often tweets things like, “if you don’t like the Barbz you’re ugly,” etc.

While I do think it’s important for celebrities to recognize their fans, it’s also important to call them out when they are being inappropriate and disrespectful. Many agree that the Barbz are one of the main reasons why Nicki’s name has been tarnished. In the future, I hope she addresses their behavior.

The Social Media Ettiquette

If you have been on Twitter lately, you may have noticed that Nicki’s name has been trending quite a bit. One of her more recent issues was when she tweeted she didn’t plan on attending the Met Gala due to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. The comments went even more left when she added that her cousin’s friend experienced a quite strange side effect to the vaccine. She later tweeted that she will take the vaccine once she has done her own research.

These Tweets sparked numerous backlash from both her fans and the public alike. Many conservative politicians came to defend the star, and many thought this wasn’t a good look. Others argued that there was plenty of research surrounding the vaccine and her comments are negatively affecting her platform. When I saw these tweets, I was shocked that these tweets came from Nicki.

I knew some celebrities were anti-vax as a result of the expedited nature of the COVID vaccines, but I never thought I would see Nicki saying these things. More recently, Nicki released a song with former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson. However, Jesy has faced much backlash from her habit of black-fishing.

Once the video was released, many accused Jesy of culturally appropriating black culture. A few days later, Nicki and Jesy did an IG live discussing the video. Halfway through, Nicki goes on a tangent about blackfishing. There, she showed her support for Jesy while seemingly shading one of her former bandmates. Fans were quick to point out that she was calling out Leigh-Anne, the sole black member of Little Mix.

Prior to the incident, some supposedly real screenshots were released showing Leigh-Anne’s disapproval for Jesy’s habits. Nicki took offense to this and called her out over live. In this, she mocked her and suggested that this was only happening because of jealousy.

Again, this caused outrage on Twitter. Many called Nicki out for criticizing a black woman while uplifting a problematic white woman. I agreed with these statements, as Nicki’s comments were uncalled for. However, Nicki continued to make comments on Twitter, seemingly not caring about the backlash. This trend has become common with her.

While I find it hard to completely give up Nicki Minaj, I do believe that it is important to call out your favorite celebrity when something they’re doing isn’t right. With this, I find it shocking that many Barbz still continue to give support to Nicki. At some points, it’s okay to disagree with a celebrity. I hope the issues with Nicki subside soon. I would hate to see a huge star like herself go out like this.

Madison Davis is a second-year, Biology/Pre-Med major, Communications minor from Memphis, TN. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and playing with her dogs, Pyper and Jamocha! She's honored to share her experiences through her writing with the HerCampus community. Feel free to visit her Instagram page @maddyecamille!
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