The popular Tumblr blog LadyScouts salutes women for being strong, independent, and “grown-ass women.” They award badges for everything from fixing stuff in your apartment to helping a friend through a breakup to earning your own paycheck. The brains behind LadyScouts will be writing once a week for TheGloss to celebrate a woman whose awesomeness has made her worthy of praise and sisterly respect.
Sometimes it seems like Nicki Minaj is an episode of The Bad Girls Club gone horribly right. Sure, she’s confrontational, aggressively sexual, brash and ready to fight, but she’s also witty and bold and weird and “fighting for the girls who never thought they could win.” She’s the bad bitch, doing it, doing it … and we are completely rapt watching her. From her brand new album Pink Friday to her mind-boggling verse on Kanye’s “Monster” to the mixtapes that have been heralding her arrival for years, watching Nicki wrestle with and bitchslap fame on her own terms has been fascinating. She’s an electrifying jumble of funny faces and outrageous voices, ticks and twitches. She’s a human gif who raps and sings and shakes up the game. Nicki manages to pack more feelings, more vulnerability and bravado and wit and edge, into one verse than other artists can find room on an entire album. Oh, and the girl is fun as HELL.
The best part of Nicki Minaj might just be all she is poised to say. While she’s putting haters and the old guard of female rappers into their place on Pink Friday, Nicki promises that she has “two bones to pick” but will only choose one. Considering that Nicki is a strong and smart woman in a notoriously all-male world (this sentence is boring but necessary when it comes to talking about female rappers, apologies and naps all around), we can’t help but think that that other bone is more than a little feminist. An artist doesn’t present with the cartoonish and impossible representation of female Barbie sexuality that Nicki lays out on the cover Pink Friday without having some wry, hilarious, challenging ideas about her own image. In “Dear Old Nicki,” she admits to her former, harder-edged self that she has made some commercial compromises but still wants to bring her old attitude with her. When the Queen is fully secure on her throne and everyone understands that she can do this (which, damn, duh), we can’t wait to see what she has to say next.
A Sample of Notable Badges Earned: A woman who once noted that, “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.” is obviously a recipient of The Boys Club Badge. Nicki isn’t aiming for the comfortable middle of the music industry, she knows she belongs at the top, earning her The Brass Ring Badge. And of course, she earns The Untamed Personal Style Badge for that pink wig and that thick ass that give us whiplash.
Head Ladyscout Meredith Haggerty is also a blogger.