It’s the 75th anniversary celebration of TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year award, an annual issue of the United States news magazine that features and profiles a person, a group, an idea, or an object that “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year.”
Up until 1999, it was referred to as Time’s Man of the Year. Even then, up until very recently, with the 2015 nomination of Angela Merkel, women still hadn’t been chosen as the person of the year.
With this in mind, I believe it would be best to nominate someone such as Belcalis Almanzar, stage name Cardi B, to be the person of the year.
Cardi B herself is a resounding case of female empowerment, which I believe is necessary if we wish to become more equal as society. Cardi B rose up to an incredibly influential role in society as a female rapper when she used to be a stripper, and even before that, a gang member. She’s a strong woman for overcoming things that traditionally put women down to become a record breaking, empowering female rapper.
Her first single “Bodak Yellow,” was a successful hit. It ranked #1 on the Billboard charts for 3 consecutive weeks in America. The single is certified platinum, meaning it has sold 1,000,000 units. She is the second female rapper to reach #1 on the boards since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Clearly, she is something the rap community has not seen in 20 years.
It’s pretty impressive for a woman who used to live a rough life. When she was younger, she was forced to join a gang to survive on the streets. Here, she had no choice but to commit many terrible crimes simply to make it by every day. Then, during an abusive relationship, she turned to stripping at the age of 19. The extra money she received from her stripping helped her return to school, but she ended up dropping out of college to pursue other interests.
All of this together shows how she persisted. Being an African American woman, she was already in a disadvantaged position but she hustled to ascend to a position of strength. Her story is inspiring for millions, especially minorities, who find themselves in the same position that she once was.
Cardi B expressed through social medial that she is an avid feminist and uses her platform to promote feminist ideologies and empower women.
One notable example is when she said in an Instagram video, “If you believe in equal rights with men and women, that makes you a feminist. I don’t understand how you bitches feel like being a feminist is a woman that has an education, that has a degree, that is not being a feminist. You discouraging certain types of women definitely does not make you one. And when a bitch want to act like ‘oh, you have to read a book about feminism,’ no you do not. There’s only a definition for a simple word, the problem is that being a feminist is something so great and you don’t want me to be great. But, too bad, because at the end of the day, I’m going to encourage any type of woman. You don’t have to be a woman like me for me to encourage and support you and tell you yes bitch, keep on going.”
In her statement, she wanted to encourage women to be great and to keep on hustling, just as she does.
Another quote supporting this is when she says, “Being a feminist is being equal to do what a man do.” This clearly shows that she is in favor of equality between men and women, which is exactly what a feminist believes. This unconditional support is exactly why I believe she should be made TIME’s Person of the Year.
She had an extremely eventful and influential 2017. Cardi B is nominated for two gGammys, won multiple awards at the BET 2017 HIP HOP awards, and her first single went platinum in just a few months. No black woman has won TIME’s Person of the Year; only several women in general have ever won this award.
Given Cardi B’s influence and accomplishments on pop culture and female rap in 2017, she would be a perfect candidate and winner of this award.