OpinionColumn

What Cardi said…

Instagram is generally not my terrain, not a place on which I share much or by which I am inspired. However, I spend a considerable amount of time checking my Instagram feed, but I’m still mostly quite unimpressed, telling myself that I will soon delete my account. But then someone’s Instagram account came into my life and I’ve found meaning in Instagram again. This account is owned by a person who delights me every time I come across her posts on my feed. I am slightly obsessed with this person and have definitely watched way too many of her YouTube videos. The person whom I am talking about is none other than Cardi B, of course. I have come here to gush. 

In my opinion, Cardi B is probably one of the funniest, most authentic celebrities that have entered the public sphere in the last few years. A short introduction: Cardi B, whose birth name is Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, was raised in the Bronx. She first became famous through her Vines and Instagram videos, while still working as a stripper. In 2015, after her stint as a stripper, she participated in the reality TV show Love & Hip Hop: New York. However, she left the show in 2016 to launch her own career as a Hip Hop artist. Songs like I Like It, Bodak Yellow, and her newest release Money, have changed the Hip Hop game. Her career has skyrocketed, and in 2017, Cardi B was the first female Hip Hop artist to simultaneously have three singles in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs list. I could go on with all the other fashion projects Cardi B is working on, but what I most wish to emphasize is that alongside the bustling music career and all the TV show appearances, she is also fulfilling the role of a mother. In July 2018, she had her daughter Kulture, together with Offset from the Migos, from whom she is now separated. 

Cardi B is as varied as her countless wigs and outfits.

Now, from what it sounds like so far, one could say that Cardi B does not have more on her plate than any other musician, entertainer, or actor these days. Other celebrities also have children, have songs in chart lists, and have overall, made impressive careers. But I think Cardi is different. Cardi B can’t be put in a box. Cardi B is as varied as her countless wigs and outfits. 

And so one learns in interviews that she likes history and politics and that she doesn’t have a driver’s license but still loves cars (and owns a lot). It is needless to say that Cardi B likes cheques, and over everything, she loves her daughter Kulture. Cardi B, to me, is the type of feminist we need in the present age. She is all about body positivity, not making excuses for or hiding her boob-job, but saying: “I didn’t do it for the men, I just like it”. She does not want to be put in the position of having to defend herself for working as a stripper. She liked it, and after all, it paid the bills and got her to where she is now. Her position in society now requires her full attention. It is logical that she cannot be with her daughter all the time. Cardi is very open about missing her daughter while working and jet setting around, but she does her thing, just as many men very self-evidently do. 

Just recently, female hip hop duo City Girls and Cardi B released their single Twerk, with an accompanying music video. The story behind this project is a call from City Girls and Cardi B, looking out for the best twerkers around the world. Long story short: The result is a video shot on the beach, on yachts, and on small islands in the sea, featuring Cardi B, City Girls, and all the best women they could find on the above-mentioned backdrops, twerking. In my opinion: great. Women reclaim control over their bodies. However, Stephanie Hamill, a video columnist for FOX, did not see it this way, asking Cardi on Twitter to explain to her:

Cardi B’s response touches upon the core of #metoo, saying that:

She has a voice that anyone can understand, and that is her strength.

Cardi B is opinionated and empowers not just women, but everyone who allows her to inspire them. She has a voice that anyone can understand, and that is her strength. Just recently, she posted a video on Instagram explaining the shutdown in the US and calling the country a ‘hellhole’, because Trump wants government workers to go back to work without their wages. Cardi gets involved, and that gets people involved. A few days later, Cardi B’s video was taken to reality, at a protest against the Shutdown. Signs were held up, that stated all that needed to be said: ‘What Cardi said…’

Cover: Youtube

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Henrike Freytag
Gratefully writing a monthly column, Henrike's mission is to connect the best of both worlds from Communication Sciences to Cultural Studies. In 20 years, she sees herself either as a Journalist or a Midwife. Henrike is 21 years old and from Germany. Why she decided to study in the Netherlands is a question, she hasn't even answered yet. It's cool though. In the meantime and for distraction, she does Karate and steals tea at Singel Library.

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