Tantalizing “The Boys”

Above is the Twitpic leaked shortly before the release of Nicki Minaj’s music video, “The Boys,” featuring R&B/Pop singer Cassie. The image, as Perez Hilton, put it shows Minaj nestling into Cassie’s vajayay (Hilton). This image, among others in the video, is an example of the use of feigned homosexual desire and gender play as methods of captivating the male gaze.

In this video, sexual desire between Minaj and Cassie (who both identify as heterosexual) is manipulated to “tantalize the male gaze” (Tsai, 12). Aside from the image above, both women look at the camera rather than each other, regardless of whether or not they are singing or rapping, for the duration of their flirtatious scenes together as though they are on display. Throughout the video the women, specifically Cassie and Minaj, are objects of not only the male viewer’s gaze, but also the gaze of the men in the video. Upon their arrival in the street both Cassie and Minaj are greeted with the male gaze, representing male sexual desire.

Unlike the similarly whimsical pink world featured in Minaj’s hit video “Super Bass,” the men in this video are fully clothed. Most of them appear in conservative suits, loose t-shirts and pants, or the occasional tank top. This is a stark contrast to the revealing outfits for women in the video. Even Cassie’s “butch” style of dress reveals her body in a way that is evocative of sexual desire. Cassie’s first outfit, a collared shirt unbuttoned at the bottom and tight fitting white pants, reveals Cassie’s stomach and hips. The open jacket in her second outfit, a bright blue suit, reveals her nude body and cleavage. Even though Cassie and Minaj are the subjects of the video, they like their female extras, quickly become objects of the male gaze.


Perez Hilton, “Nicki Minaj Nestles Into Cassie’s Vajayay?! Watch The Boys BTS Here!,” Perez Hilton, October 10, 2012, http://perezhilton.com/2012-10-11-nicki-minaj-racy-picture-cassie-vagina-the-boys-music-video-behind-the-scene-new-album#.UI9FJnB9nGE
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