Nicki Minaj’s Teenage Abortion and Her Sexually Charged Music Videos: What’s the Connection?

Nicki Minaj 2 Nicki Minaj shares in Rolling Stone Magazine that she had an abortion as a teenager:

Minaj’s first love was an older guy from Queens she dated while attending the prestigious Manhattan performing-arts high school LaGuardia. When she discovered she was pregnant, “I thought I was going to die,” she admits. “I was a teenager. It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through.” She ended up having an abortion, a decision she says has “haunted me all my life,”…

Minaj goes on to justify her decision:

It’d be contradictory if I said I wasn’t pro-choice. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”

Rolling Stone and Plannned Parenthood would like you to conclude… “good for you Nicki…that was brave and honest…and you still defended a woman’s right to choose!”

But there is so much more going on here.

Why the public confession? Why the need to share this secret? Why a step back away from her usual highly sexually charged lyrics and videos to share this intimate pain with the public?

Her music videos, such as  Anaconda in addition to being morally offensive actually offer some important clues. Sometimes grief and pain from abortion can be buried beneath some highly charged sexual acting out. What’s the connection?

Keep in mind that symptoms can at times call attention to the wound or illness offering clues to help diagnose the condition. Consider the abortion decision of Nicki Manaj. Her first love was with an older man from Queens. Perhaps this man for a time offered the love and affection that may have been missing in her relationship with her father. She loved this older man and they were sexually intimate. She shared her body and soul with him. How did he respond to the pregnancy? She does not tell us. But we know from experience that a father’s response is often critical in whether the baby survives.

Is it any surprise then that her videos often prominently display her body in a highly sexualized context? This can be understood as vehicle for Minaj to call attention to the fact that her wound occurred in the turbulent waters of sexual intimacy. When she was pregnant, her body was naturally gearing up to nurture and protect her unborn child. It was surely a shock to her body and reproductive system when the abortion doctor forced open her cervix and expelled her unborn child. Her breasts never completed their development to fulfill their task of offering sustenance and life to her unborn child after birth.

We know that the music and entertainment industry has their own agenda in advancing the pornification of all media, especially music videos that are so influential with youth.  But we fail to recognize how in the aftermath of abortion the Shockwaves from that event can contribute to the exploitation of women and their participation in actions that degrade and exploit them.

The repressed grief, anger and pain from the abortion,  love and sexual intimacy that ends in death and the rejection of her pregnancy and child…all serve to feed her pornographic videos.  They find expression in exploitive projections of her body that our culture and Minaj would like you to think are acts of female empowerment:

“With a video like ‘Anaconda,’ I’m a grown-ass f*#!*! woman!” she says. “I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also having a strong sense of themselves. If you got a big ol’ butt? Shake it! Who cares?

What initially draws your attention in this photograph?

Nicki Minaj 1

Look at the sadness on her face in the Rolling Stone cover. Manaj said she had an abortion because she had nothing to offer a child.  But note in the photo above that she provocatively displays her ample breasts (something you will find in many of her images.) The same breasts that never had an opportunity to nurture her unborn child…the child that continues to haunt her.

If Nicki Manaj had resisted the temptation to abort, she would have learned that she had much to offer her baby…a beautiful body, heart and soul would have loved and embraced the child. As most mothers say years later after resisting the pressure to abort… “I can’t imagine life without her/him.” If she had given the child life, while she would have surely faced challenges…she would never have regretted the decision to have the baby.

Because Nicki Manaj suffered a traumatic loss she naturally at times will use her artistic gifts to express her pain and call attention to this loss. If she attended an abortion recovery program, she would in time come to understand the connection between her hyper-sexualized videos and rap with that abortion wound. She would understand that her recent public sharing about her abortion was a cry for help. Manaj would discover that with God’s mercy, her abortion need no longer haunt her, because she will develop a spiritual relationship with her child as part of the healing journey. The grief and reconciliation of this loss can open the door for ongoing healing and conversion in her life.

Her creative gifts would no longer be a vehicle to exploit her sexuality and degrade her beauty as a woman.

Let’s not forget the father of this child. He no doubt will see the Rolling Stone interview leading him to reflect on this event from his past. Men also suffer and act out their pain in destructive ways after abortion. Let’s pray that he and Nicki both find reconciliation and healing in the New Year.

by Janet Morana and Kevin Burke, LSW

5 Responses to “Nicki Minaj’s Teenage Abortion and Her Sexually Charged Music Videos: What’s the Connection?”

  1. […] My friends and colleagues, Janet Morana and Kevin Burke, LSW, blogged about a recent article in Rolling Stone Magazine where Nicki Minaj’s shares that she had an abortion. It’s too bad she didn’t have some help that may have resulted in her having her baby because her baby’s life matters. You can read their blog HERE. […]

  2. Brenda Sutherland says:

    but she claims she’s still pro choice

  3. M says:

    Instead of dismissing her own evaluation of herself, why don’t you accept what she says at face value and not try to squeeze it into the narrow framework in which you few just about everything and everybody. She speaks very clearly and eloquently. On the other hand your rebuttal and evaluation of her is hippocritical – many women share their experiences on your own websites. It smacks of desperation as you search for ways to counter experiences like Niki’s to say she is the unwittingly duped by her own psychological pain. She knew and knows what she stands for. Deal with it.

  4. Celia says:

    Interesting. Tragically, I could think of a long list of females in the entertainment industry that may have had abortions then.

  5. Dianne Collins says:

    A childless couple would have loved this child. She had alternatives besides abortion.

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