Congratulations, inspirational quotes and stunning photos of a Cinderella-esque Lupita Nyong’o are still circulating around on social media after the “12 Years A Slave” actress’ epic “Best Supporting Actress” Oscar win over the weekend. Like many artists, Cut N Edge Cartoons drew inspiration from the actress’ moment of excellence and created the above graphic to show a little Black girl happily sketching her new idol…but why does the cartoon have to bash another Black woman in the process?
The little girl has evidently snatched her photos of Barbie-loving rapper, Nicki Minaj from the wall and tossed them on the floor and in the garbage, but the image clearly forgets one of the most powerful lines from Lupita’s speech: “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid,” the actress told audiences before floating off stage with her Oscar. Nicki’s form of origin doesn’t make her dream or supporting it any less valid that Lupita’s regal journey to her golden statue. While I understand the beauty of this drawing, I also see a flaw: the artist chose to put Nicki Minaj down in order to lift Lupita up.
Many fans on the Cut N Edge Facebook page praised the imagery, while others felt the way I did: why trash Nicki? The cartoon’s creator replied and said, “She trashes herself.”
Other supporters wholeheartedly loved the cartoon, and cosigned Nicki Minaj’s outrageous image being discarded:
Cut N Edge prides themselves on providing “political and social cartoons on topics from a unique perspective.” They encourage their Facebook fans to, “Like Cut N Edge cartoons and get your laugh on while creating a dialogue.” Well this Lupita/Nicki image has created a dialogue. Lupita’s praise is well-deserved but I believe it can stand on it’s own without having to bash Nicki Minaj. There’s room for all types of Black women at the top, regardless of what their journey looked like while climbing there or what image they portray as they enjoy the view.
But what do you Beauties think? Do we need to trash one Black icon to lift up another?