Female conflict in pop culture taken too far

by Abby Nye | Columnist

For decades, the media has pitted famous women in pop culture against each other. From Jackie Kennedy versus Marilyn Monroe to Jennifer Aniston versus Angelina Jolie, the media has had a field day dissecting all the details they can obtain to bring to light the private drama between high profile women. Despite a wrongful man being at the center of both of these dramatic stories, the focus still tends toward the women involved.

At a recent event during New York fashion week, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj were involved in a highly publicized dispute. According to TMZ, Cardi approached Minaj’s table with the perceived intent of starting a fight. Cardi yelled at Minaj, accusing her of making offensive remarks about Cardi’s child, and eventually threw one of her shoes at Minaj. Minaj did not take part in this situation, but remained silent and calm.

This is the newest case of two famous females being perceived as inevitable competitors. With a similar set of talents, both of these rappers are likely going to be competing for professional achievement. However, when the competition carries out into personal lives, the opportunity to gain attention through aggression presents itself.

In a similarly high-profile case, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, both incredibly popular musicians, were declared enemies. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the two kicked off their dispute in 2013, when three of Swift’s backup dancers quit her Red tour and joined Perry’s Prismatic tour. Swift then released the song “Bad Blood” on her 1989 album, which was rumored to be aimed toward Perry. Perry continued to speak out against Swift during advertising for her album, Witness.

Tabloid media makes it seem as though when two women of equal talent, skill and popularity reach the peak of their careers, they have no choice but to become enemies. Unlike their male counterparts, who each have room at the top without a blatant competition, females are forced to be perceived as enemies, even when no such competition exists.

Many female duos and groups have banded together to speak out and act out against this gross stereotype. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have risen to the top as successful comedians and also great friends. Female music groups like Fifth Harmony and Little Mix have seen their singles at the top of the music charts. Even the Kardashians are a group of women who show love and support for each other and their career ventures on their reality show.

As young girls look up to these famous women as role models, it is imperative that they are given examples of successful women who put in the effort to raise other women up. Although the majority of women and girls will never be in such a spotlight, it is still clear that competition occurs on the lower fame level, as well.

Young girls are stereo-typically supposed to conform to a strict social norm set up by them and their peers. The most common case of competition I hear nowadays is younger girls who go to extensive lengths to make sure that no other girl will be wearing her same dress to one of the school dances. The pressure to conform, but also stand out is ridiculous, and takes a toll on the young psyche. Imagine the healing that would occur if girls were exposed to famous women who stood by each other, even when their professional lives competed.

In May, the Swift vs. Perry dispute supposedly came to an end when Swift posted a photo at the beginning of her Reputation tour. The note was an apology from Perry, along with an olive branch as an offer of peace. Swift has since been known to maintain close friendships with similarly famous women as Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, and Blake Lively. This display of female friendship directly refutes any drama the tabloids may attempt to cultivate.

I commend Nicki Minaj for turning her cheek to Cardi B during their fashion week incident. Instead of creating a bigger fiasco, I believe Minaj is saving both herself and Cardi B from being the next big female enemies in Hollywood. This example of humility shows other women that there is a place for more than one successful woman at the top of the chain.

It is important to look critically at the way tabloids regard successful women. Bringing a negative view of female success to light can make it seem as though there isn’t a way for all women to be successful. I hope that all young girls will learn the importance of maintaining female friendships and the powerful message that all women can be successful, as long as they support and empower each other.