Party people in the house, throw your butts in the air! That’s how the saying goes, right? No? Hmm. I coulda sworn that, after this week in pop culture, going belly down, ass up for all the world to see, is totally a normal, casual thing.
Exhibit A: Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video. I think we can all objectively agree, as we would when discussing art, that Minaj’s posterior is of extraordinary proportions. Personally, though, I have no problem appreciating it when it appears three feet off the ground, upright, between her waist and her legs.
On the flip side: What bothers me so much about this position? I’ll admit I’m still working through the specifics. I certainly don’t feel degraded by child’s pose when I’m at yoga class, but in the context of clearly being all gussied up to look sexy anyway, this souped-up doggie-style crouch makes me cringe. Often analyses of stuff like this turn into multi-layered, meta, Or is this actually empowering? threads. I just can’t find that here—all I can see is submission, distilled to its most basic physical form. I mean, can you picture Beyonce “Run the World” Knowles doing this?
Exhibit B: Ah, crap, Beyonce has done it. I realize these are stills from her dancing—I realize Minaj is technically “dancing” too. Maybe, I think, as I’m scrolling through Google Image results I’d probably get fired for it I didn’t work from home, I’m overreacting here. And then, just reading the news, I come across this:
Exhibit C: An image of the cover of Marvel comic Spider-Woman #1, released to the press this week. What…IS…this? I’m not even sure this is physically possible, and I’m very sure it’s not advisable in intense superheroine situations. What’s the plan here: Is she trying to distract her enemies using her behind? Is the butt signal her version of the Bat Signal? Or is she simply hoping she can throw her assailants off by tempting them into a debate over whether she’s wearing a suit or just has a really bad, really consistent sunburn?
That particular Spider-Woman was drawn by a 68-year-old dude, but there’s obviously plenty of autonomous butt-raising happening in the world of late. And whether you think I’m nuts for filing it under “bad for women” or not, let’s be serious—at the very least, it’s bad for our backs.