A Worthy Throwback: Nicki Minaj Takes on Sexism, Does Makeup

Carmen’s Team Pick:

It was July 6, 2012. It was just another day on UpWorthy. And then, there was Nicki Minaj.

The video itself is nostalgic, an Internet classic for Minaj’s truest fans. It’s footage from the MTV documentary on the rapper that came out in 2010, and centers entirely around Nicki’s feelings on sexism in her industry. But it’s just as relevant now as ever.

Please watch this. Maybe you never have or maybe you used to watch it daily. Either way it is your affirmation for the day.

“When I am assertive, I’m a bitch. When a man is assertive, he’s a boss. He bossed up. No negative connotation behind ‘bossed up.’ But lots of negative connotation behind being a bitch.”

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. What an awesome clip! I ended up watching the whole documentary cause of this, I’m not usually one for pop stars, but Nicki does seem like a wicked driven lady.

  2. …I wish my month of July had a 50 dollar clothes budget…

    I totally just made all of my co-workers watch this yesterday. It was a bonding moment. Nicki Minaj is the bestest.

  3. This video is sooo old. Why not just make an article addressing sexism in social media today?

    • I think you missed the part where it says this video is STILL relevant. This video could have been shot yesterday or 10 years ago and it’d still be relevant. I love everything she says in this video. I’m a young lesbian Vice President in an international company and I feel Nicki’s frustration. Outside of the US, sexism is a 100 times worse and sometimes I just want to fucking explode, but I can’t because I’m supposed to be a lady and I’m supposed be nice and sweet and manage shit all at once while playing in the boys’ club-no, the men’s club. I learned pretty quickly that as a woman, if you just step up and refuse to play the role of demure female, people will take a second to really hear and see you. Sometimes you have to be a “bitch” to do it. Fuck it, from now on I’m not going to use that word, I’m going to use boss. I’m not being bitchy, I’m bossing the fuck up.

  4. This documentary was the main reason I actually listened to her music. Kudos to to her.

  5. how sad is it that the best role model for women empowerment right now is nicki minaj… what happened to all the ellens and kathleen hannas? we cant let our voices remain silent. what is everyone waiting for?

  6. we can comment to eachother (people who already are open-minded and/or homosexual) but the people who really need to read these articles and see glimpses into our social lives are the close-minded the jersey shore generation the religious zealots and the average american viewer/consumer that thinks women have long hair big boobs and zero muscle tone and men have short hair abs and “bring home the bacon” there is nothing out there for us right now so lets make it ourselves! kudos n.minaj! kudos future humans who improve our lives!

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