Future ‘Where Are They Now?’ alumni Iggy Azalea, whose hit single ‘Fancy’ spent seven weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart back in 2014, just released what she hopes will be her comeback single titled “Mo’ Bounce”, and you’re undoubtedly wondering “Why should I give a damn?” And honestly you shouldn’t, but I couldn’t help but notice something about the artwork on her latest single’s cover as it appears on ITunes. No, it’s not that it bears a striking resemblance to Hip-Hop artist Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ single cover from a few years back, though it most certainly does as many others have been quick to point out. It’s the fact that unlike the ‘Anaconda’ cover, the white female emcee Azalea doesn’t have her assets censored on the single’s artwork.
Back in 2014, there was quite a bit of controversy when Nicki Minaj unveiled the cover art for her Sir Mix-A-Lot sampled single ‘Anaconda’. This compelled the rapper to clap back at her critics, pointing out the double standards she faced as a Black woman expressing her sexuality the way she saw fit and posting pictures of white female models posing on the covers of Sports Illustrated magazine wearing nearly identical attire without facing anywhere near the amount of scrutiny she did. Two and a half years have passed since then and the way Iggy Azalea’s single cover has appeared on ITunes seemingly demonstrates that Minaj was right in her critique of society’s double standards all along. When Nicki Minaj’s single appeared on ITunes in 2014, a parental advisory label was strategically placed to cover the bottom part of her body, whereas in the case of Azalea, the company felt no need to censor her expression of sexuality.
And just in case you were under the impression that ITunes is somehow being chivalrous and likes to protect women’s bodies from the lustful male gaze, the way these album covers appear uncensored in the same ITunes store turns that notion on its head.
What we have here is another case of Black women’s bodies being policed when it comes to their own expressions of sexuality, whereas anything goes when it comes to their being part of a male artist’s sexual expression.
Great article and very interesting perspective. It’s something I’ve never considered but completely see now that you’ve pointed it out.
Thank you. Some ppl are telling me that it wasn’t iTunes that makes the decision where to place the parental advisory sticker, though they haven’t offered me any evidence of exactly who makes the ultimate decision however.
I thought you made a great distinction between Nicky Minaj’s own cover and the covers for the male Rap artists. That was a great catch.
Thanks. When I posted this piece to Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/3/23/1646653/-Does-ITunes-Have-a-Double-Standard-When-it-comes-to-the-Sexual-Expression what I was pointing out seemed to get lost on some of the commenters there. They thought that by posting pictures of Black women in thongs on the cover of male Hip-hop artists’ album covers, I was undermining the entire premise of the post.
Another great article. I’ll be sharing this.
Thank you my friend! I didn’t know how well-received this would be as I’m sure some will see it as a trivial issue.