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Anaconda uproar: Your body, your business

At the time of writing this piece, this was the top comment on Nicki Minaj's new _Anaconda _video:

"This video is disgusting on so many levels. She's gross. Why is this thing even relevant in the industry? Stop making stupid people famous. If your hips are wider than your shoulders, you have a problem."

Anaconda has been a textbook case of controversy - and it's been building since the single's cover was released a couple of weeks ago showing Minaj looking over her shoulder squatting in a thong. Whether the reaction was part of the reason the release of the video was delayed has not been confirmed. But hey, everyone's an expert as it turns out.

Perhaps I'm going soft as I see the next generation come into their own, but I feel that telling a woman or anyone else what they should or should not be doing with their body sets a terrible example - whether what they're doing is in so-called 'good taste' or not.

This is not about their empowerment, but about our ownership.

It's perhaps not a fair comparison, but the guys from the_ Jackass _TV show and movies are venerated for their performing of various dangerous, crude and self-injuring pranks and stunts. We think they're stupid, but we are proudly entertained by these men. It's OK to make those stupid people famous, because you're OK with them?

I didn't have the opportunity to take a gender studies course at university, so you won't find an academically inspired dissection here of gender in the 21st century, with an Audre Lord quote thrown in for good measure. But I look around me in 2014, and I still see women as fetishised commodities - it's institutionalised. So saying women do this to women too doesn't justify a thing.

This is my favourite response on the video: "Watching the Anaconda video. Fighting between this is an important body politics statement and I feel so uncomfortable. OMG stahp."

You can appreciate Minaj's right to do with _her _body whatever she chooses as well as not like whatever the hell is going on in that music video. [The song is pretty much a terrible mess that contains actual cackling. Reports that the writer nodded his head to the beat of this song are blatant lies].

What right does a privileged white man even have to be talking about someone else's body? None at all - and that's exactly the point.

Watch the video below and tell us what you think.

Stephan Lombard is a journalist and radio producer. Follow him on Twitter @stephlombard

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