D'you know what’s great? Butts. Butts are great. And do you know how many butt shots there are in the Anaconda video? 205. There are approximately two hundred and five butt shots. In the first thirty seconds alone there are 15 butts, a big ass snake and a pineapple. Later, Nicki casually destroys a banana like she’d totally, obviously, ruin your dick, and Drake apparently gets an IRL boner. So yeah, this video is essentially perfection.
The song itself is an anthem both to fucking and to fucking owning that shit. It joyfully praises all of us big booty bitches out there getting it like we want it, and in doing so just gets it in a way that Taylor or Miley or Katy never could. Compared to her, they’re like toddlers at a beauty pageant or teenagers trying on their older sisters’ lipsticks after half a shared Bacardi Breezer. Yeah, they’re doing a fairly convincing emulation of what it means to be fierce and sexy, but it’s empty. No matter how many squirty cream bras they irreverently wear or “ironic” twerking videos they make, there’s just no competition; Nicki is a bad bitch in a way that very few other people can manage.
Even that already iconic cover art is majestic; Nicki’s body is positioned so that it looks exactly like a dick. She is subverting the phallic imagery that dominates western culture. WITH HER TITS AND HER ASS. That banana she starts to suck before cutting it up with a big knife and throwing it aside? That is the metaphorical dick of the patriarchy. That is the dick of all men. That is your literal, actual penis.
Predictably, Boring Internet Men have been blowing up the comments section with meaningless racist guff about how they’ve “lost their faith in humanity” because anyone who likes it is “ghetto trash”. Without even discussing how blind they must be to not recognise Nicki’s butt as the zenith to which human civilisation has been building, this definitely says something about what it means to be an “empowered woman”.
Yeah, I know we’re all bored of 4000 word thinkpieces on whether things are feminist or not, but to even suggest that Anaconda isn’t the most perfect piece of sex-positive feminist pop we’ve seen this year is a MAMMOTH oversight. It’s a paean to getting yours, to fucking (and chucking) on your own terms, to loving your own body and doing what you want with it. Obviously not every video with miles of wet jiggling butt is a feminist statement, and Nicki may not have been saying that either, but to claim that Anaconda doesn’t subvert that standard rap video stuff by acknowledging and turning it on its head is simply bullshit.
In Anaconda, Nicki celebrates her body not for a man but for herself, and the way she bats away Drake’s pathetic adoration of her and her body isn’t just a demolition of the usual passivity in the face of the male gaze: it’s inspirational. In this and in every other sense, Anaconda can be summed up in two words: Life. Goals.