Written by Lailah Berry
I remember scrolling down my explorer page on Instagram and I saw this girl. She had thousands of likes so I clicked on the video. This loud mouthed woman was going on about tricking drug dealers and scammers and you know what? I loved it!
I lurked on her page and saw a flurry of ‘story times’ and viral videos where she talked about haters, and over coming obstacles- but in a really funny way. Her name was Cardi B, and I was hooked. Her ruthlessness, honesty and her jokes kept me laughing all through my freshman year of college. She talked about how the glitz and glamour of street life wasn’t that great. I’d watch her promote her club outings, and watch videos of her raking in the dough working at strip clubs and I had immense respect for her. I thought: Now there’s somebody that’s not letting their circumstances keep them from getting what they want in life. Cardi B is herself, right down to her long diamond studded nails.
She receives a lot of hate from people across the board though. There are some that believe she sets a bad example, those that think society celebrates these ‘new type of women’ as opposed to the traditional conservative ones. Talk of Cardi B gets deeper when you think about it. The age of the Instagram Model has been upon us for a while now. Some physically inclined women that sit on Instagram with aesthetically pleasing feeds seemingly doing nothing but selling fit teas and waist trainers. Then people like Blac Chynna and Amber Rose made the title main stream for women of color. Now we see women selling hair, promoting ‘eyelash bars’ and doing more than just waist trainers- promoting teeth whiteners too!
I feel like the women that get on Instagram and model, review hair, and use clothes as a stepping- stone for their public figure presence are amazing. In this nation, we no longer have to have just a 9- 5. Women can be entrepreneurs, models, actresses with degrees and doctorates. We can write books, create content for social media, have podcasts and become Youtubers to convey our ideals. Social media has created a platform for women to be every woman. I personally, am here for the waist training fit tea selling Instagram model- Get that money and create that clothing line and weave website girl!!!
We also see women coming out with their own clothing lines- I like to call them Instagram Boutiques. Stores like Fashion Nova rely on social media because the models, public figures, and reality celebrities that inhabit the Internet love to wear their gear. The shop was created seemingly for the women with big hips and small waist (or more honestly, for women with augmented bodies). This clothing store is actually really great and they have a sponsorship going on with Cardi B actually, they give her discount codes and sponsor her to talk to her followers about their brand.
I watched Cardi go from stripper, to business owner. I don’t know if you all remember but she had her own clothing line full of shirts with her own silly sayings like ‘washpoppin’ and she had her own make- up line. Her own make- up line which makes sense because I’m sure as a stripper she knew how hard it was to keep her face on through all that sweat! But when you look at how she took advantage of her situation, and capitalized on herself its brilliant. It really puts a spotlight on the drive she has- the same drive that we all posses.
When Cardi went to Love and Hip- Hop right around the same time she released her mix tape, I was a little sad. I mean, I figured she’d be on reality T.V, but Love and Hip- Hop is such a bad show, honestly all the reality T.V. is bad. I never watched an episode, but I was happy to see her get some attention. Cardi started popping up everywhere after that and it made me happy. Unlike all these lame male rappers that lie about ‘ coming from the mud’ and ‘ being in the trap’ here is someone that literally stripped, tricked, and ‘ hood- ratted’ her way into the big leagues.
People love to invalidate Cardi’s success and hiss about her affect on the youth, but don’t have the same sentiment about males in the Hip- Hop industry. There are drug dealers, murderers, schemers, and con- artists in the rap game- but no one is worried about their son listening to Gucci Mane- but heaven help their daughter if the parent catches them listening to Cardi B.
Although her message isn’t toddler friendly, Cardi sets an important example for teens and young adults that follow her career- stay true to you. She’s also a huge fan of body positivity and talks about the importance of getting safe plastic surgery. Cardi B achieved her goals and didn’t have to change not one bit. She pioneered her way into an industry that was set for a girl from the hood like her to get swallowed up in the lime light- and she made it her bitch. From flying to the U.K to perform to gracing the articles of Vogue, Cardi doesn’t have to ‘act ratchet’ to get attention: she is her goofy humble self and attracts opportunities.