Flawlessly Negotiating Femininity: Beyonce Knowles, Nicki Minaj, and Pop Feminism Open Access

Mize, Chelsea (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/s4655h124?locale=en


The music video can be a rich site for representations of femininity that can be read and consumed in counter-hegemonic ways. This thesis attempts to investigate how the relationship between popular culture and feminism is negotiated through the music videos and cultural products of pop artists Beyonce Knowles and Nicki Minaj. The foremost concern of my project is how the intersection of feminism and popular culture creates a space in which many female pop artists are utilizing their feminine agency and identity to explore how gender, sexuality, and race are constructed and visually coded through their audiovisual products. In my first chapter, I will discuss Beyonce Knowles and how she implements alter egos and female masquerade to explore notions of feminine agency, naturalizing inauthenticity along the way. In the second chapter, I will discuss the hip-hop/pop artist, Nicki Minaj, and examine the ways in which she utilizes alter egos and performative artifice to challenge the race and gender stereotypes constructed and inscribed upon her body. Minaj employs a performance style that is eccentric and artificial to the point of excess; through her gender-bending alter egos and ambiguous displays of sexuality Nicki Minaj challenges hip-hop's obsession with masculinity and authenticity. The concluding chapter of my thesis seeks to question how these music videos are received and consumed. I examine their potential for subversion and examine the ways in which the products of these pop culture icons can be consumed in counter-hegemonic ways that challenge the status quo.

Table of Contents

Introduction: p. 1

Chapter 1: Beyonce Knowles, p.19

Chapter 2: Nicki Minaj, p. 49

Chapter 3: Conclusion, p. 79

Bilbiography: p. 98

Music and Filmography: p. 111

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