At 14, Amber Rose had her first encounter with slut shaming – a young virgin who had no idea of what it meant to be sexual. However, the shaming followed her throughout her school years. Beginning her career as a stripper, seemingly, the stigma has followed her in her adulthood resulting in unwarranted labels and advances toward the now 32-year-old author, model and mom amongst other titles.
Former husband Wiz-Khalifa publically mentioned her in a derogatory way in a song. “I fell in love with a stripper/funny thing is I fell out of love quicker,” he rapped on the Juicy J track “For Everybody.”
“He came out with that song and that really hurt me because all I did was ever love him,” Rose said tearfully during her Slut Walk. “I just loved him so much and gave him a beautiful son. To be told that I was nothing but a stripper, it hurt. So I decided to have this SlutWalk for women who have been through s— like me.”
It’s no wonder that Rose become an active force in eradicating derogatory labels against women, sexual injustice, violence against women and gender inequality. Last October, Rose held a SlutWalk in downtown Los-Angeles in a protest organized by her non-profit organization, The Amber Rose Foundation. The women’s rights advocate has reinvented herself as a known feminist, activist and voice of gender equality. According to the bald-beauty, she wants women to embrace their sexuality without being shamed or victimized and to promote sex positivity. “I’m sick of men being praised for being sexual beings but us women being downed for it,” she said.
Recent social media trends, help to suggest that Rose’s movement may have an impact on how today’s generation of women express themselves, whether it is a negative or positive impact is the question that is debated.
Most recently, Rose backed Kim Kardashian after she received backlash in response to her latest nude selfie that she posted on Instagram. Rose snapped back at Pink, one of the criticizers on social media. Rose then publicly invited Kim to speak at her SlutWalk 2016.
When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL pic.twitter.com/UlSLZb1fp1
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 7, 2016
Take a look at Amber calling Pink out below!
Damn Pink we were all born naked society sexualizes our breast and bodies. If a grown mother of 2 is comfortable with her body and wants to show it off that’s none of ur business or anyone else’s. Now, if u wanna talk to kids and be a mentor to young teens, tell them to go to school and to not use their bodies to get ahead?! I’m all for it! But please as a grown woman let another grown woman live as she wishes. That’s our problem! We’re so quick to down each other instead of uplifting! Pink, We’ve seen u damn near naked swinging from a rope( Beautifully) but what’s the difference between a rope, a pole and a pic on Instagram? Classism. Because u sing while ur half naked does that make it “Classy” or is it because u have a “talent”? I’m not dissing at all Pink just curious after u said “You’ll never have to make a silly excuse for yourself”.
A photo posted by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on
Nevertheless, Rose’s and Kim have inspired a few others in the sexual trend who celebrated their bodies on Instagram in support of Kim’s nude photo titled “Liberation.” Nickelodeon alum Danny Tamberelli and Courtney Stodden felt inspired to take nude selfies.
Arguably, it seems that Rose has intentions on being a role-model for women and have been recognized for doing so because some of her points coincide with former activist of her time. The word “Slut” is a derogatory word that’s been “used to control women and police sexuality.” It is proven that there’s no clear justification for what makes someone a slut. According to an article in the Washington Post, the word is “better to dehumanize women, to victim-blame and to declare that women who are sluts are incapable of being raped or are somehow deserving of their assault.”
But her open sexuality and half naked clothing might be tainting her campaign and limiting herself of being taken seriously in the public eye.
“I appreciate what she’s saying about the SlutWalk…so I think she slayed it on that point,” Essence editor Cori Murray said last fall on Essence Live during a mini-debate about whether Rose was getting it right or not. “Where I give her a little shade is, I still don’t agree with her Instagram photos, the negligee and the butt thong and the beach pictures…I think she’s pushing the line a little bit. Maybe I’m being a little prudish, but I do appreciate what she’s trying to do and have a real conversation.”
But in addition to Amber’s less-than-nothing attire and expression of her freedom of choice, wearing the negative statements that she’s been labeled with on t-shirts and on her clothing, she feels adds to her cause. Amber and friend Blac Chyna wore matching outfits covered in derogatory words at the Video Music Awards in an attempt to take the power out of these words used to shame and control women.
Her feminist goals of empowerment are ones that make people like Shani Kulture, associate producer of “Ebro in the Morning,” uncomfortable who wants to retain the right to judge Rose and label her as slutty.
“I feel she’s trying to glorify sluts in general,” Kulture said on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning. “It feels like she’s trying to put girl power behind it to make women feel like it’s okay to be this way. And I understand, be all you want to be, but be it in private. I feel like, if you’re going to put ‘slut’ on your shirt and make it feel like it’s something that is supposed to be acceptable or desensitize the word so that we can all run with it and be like, ‘it’s okay to be a slut,’ I don’t think that’s the message I want to put out there, especially for my daughter.”
Despite thoughts and comments like these, she is still receiving positive feedback on her Instagram from fans who struggle with what to make of it but appreciate her fierceness and ability to overcome her past.
By: Taylor Bennett