The Important Optical Illusion of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” Cover

Whether or not Nicki Minaj meant to position her body so that – in keeping with the phallic motif of her upcoming single’s title, “Anaconda” – it resembles a human phallus, it’s hard not to give in to the powerful signifier, and now impossible to not see the pose Minaj strikes while getting her eagle on as deliberately dick-like. Especially from a distance. Inspired by Lacan, feminist critique often boils down to the insidiousness of society’s perception of the female anatomy as a phallic lack, and to that Minaj (perhaps, and I hope) responds, with a hotly intimidating smirk, not just by “taking” the phallus, but by rendering her entire form phallic, somehow all the while flaunting her exaggeratedly female figure.

Aside from its gendered geometry, this cover art is simply great — Minaj, while losing her character masks, has gained an even greater sense of daring and badassery. Here, we’re being confronted by Minaj and her “ass, ass, ass, ass,” and it feels a lot more potent than whatever Barbie or Roman Zolanski might have had to offer.

Without further ado:

nicki minaj anaconda