Criticisms without Slut Shame: On Mimi of Love & Hip Hop’s Sex Tape

First of all, my apologies for not blogging lately. I just started a new job that requires that I wake up at the crack of dawn. But, now that my sleep pattern is regulated, and the world of Black media is taking no prisoners, it’s time to get back into the blogosphere.

Today, I read an unfortunate post about Mimi. You may know her as 1/3 of a messy triangle on Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta … but today she made headlines for a “leaked” sex tape. I haven’t watched the video, but rumor says that it’s an actual “porno,” with staging, lighting, and the works.

I don’t intend to watch the sex tape because I am thoroughly exhausted by Black women who refuse to take responsibility for the culture. It’s bad enough that Mimi stars on the most detrimental show to the contemporary Black image. But now, this porno cripples an already precarious persona.

It’s clear that Mimi wants attention. Being on a reality show is indicative of the desire for fame (or infamy.) On LHHATL, she stood as an icon of sorts for women who’ve been wronged. She was portrayed as a jilted lover; she inspired sympathy in that certain demographic of Black women who’ve been on the receiving end of a selfish man. And despite her hardships, she was a mother and a businesswoman. Considering the detritus on LHHATL, she had a relatively positive image.

And now this.

What makes me angry about the situation is the fact that Mimi is a mother. Her daughter already has to withstand immense scrutiny thanks to LHH and the dirty laundry that’s aired for all of social media to see. But now, her mother, once inspirational, is nothing more than an yet another attention-seeking woman who will go to obscene lengths to achieve nothing more than 15 minutes and a few memes.

Women have been hyper-sexualizing themselves for attention for a longlonglong time. That’s nothing new. However, some women take it to such extremes that they forget that they have more pressing responsibilities. Like being a mother. Like being a businesswoman. Like being an icon, a pinnacle of eminent culture.

There’s absolutely no reason for Mimi to sink so low. I’m sure she’s signed on for another season of LHHATL.  I’m sure that, with the right leverage, she would’ve gotten the money, fame, and power she so desperately craves … without digging to the lowest denominator of self-degradation.

It’s clear that Mimi hopes that releasing this sex tape will do for her what it did for Kim K. But it won’t. Black women are not afforded the same social privileges as women who appear white. Just ask Montana Fishburne.

The saddest part of all this is her daughter, who will now have to witness her mother sexually exploit herself for materialistic intangibles that hold no value. A daughter who (as a female) holds complicated emotions about body image and self-esteem. A daughter who will eventually come into her own sexuality. A daughter that is surrounded by a dearth of responsible adults.

To my fellow respectable woman who are ready to call Mimi out of her name … DON’T. Slut-shaming achieves nothing, and only divides us under the banner of unchecked patriarchy. We must be better than that. If anything, we need to reach out to Mimi (and other women like her) who feel they have no other option than to disrespect themselves and expose the root of their sexual expressions to an anonymous and undeserving audience.

Being a woman is difficult. Being a Black woman is even harder. It’s okay to proffer constructive criticism for the moves women make to advance their societal standing. But to berate each other will get us no where in the collective fight for gender equity. For Mimi, I am deeply ashamed of the choice she made in releasing a porno as an intelligent Black woman. I am frustrated that she chose to take a route that will get her nowhere. I am saddened that she did not consider her daughter on her quest for infamy.

But, I’ll continue to fight the forces that push women to make these damaging decisions in the first place. 

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11 responses to “Criticisms without Slut Shame: On Mimi of Love & Hip Hop’s Sex Tape

  1. Great post! I never watched the show but I did watch the reunion and to see a woman who was emotionally used and ridiculed by her child’s father I was shocked to hear she basically made a porno. It disgusts me but what disgusts me even more is the bruised self-esteem and mental health issues that are prevalent amongst women and black women. There deff needs to be a shift in how women of color or any female carries themselves, protects themselves and loves themselves. But that’s they missing link, self love. A woman who knows her worth knows she doesnt need the tangible things of this world to make her happy, and the fact that her boyfriend was involved in this mess just shows how low his standards are for himself and for his woman. He deserves just as much backlash and she does.

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  2. It’s a double standard, Dudes can make sex tapes and nobody cares about their kids or anything…..In fact a dude can have murders under his belt but his kids won’t have to worry about being ridiculed at school for it….It’s like Obama, can order drone strikes killing anything moving (men, women, and children) that’s cool, but let him make a sex tape with Michelle and it’s “oh the horror” at the end of the day it’s just sex between a couple…….maybe making money off of it, people can turn their nose up at but I meeeeean, people make money off far worse….prisons make money off humans (mainly black male) in cages….but Mimi making money off a sex tape has the black media at a standstill

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  3. Pingback: World: Nikko is Also to Blame for this Sex Tape Foolishness | Black Millennial Musings·

  4. Vanessa Williams lost her crown as the first black Miss America due to a stint in naked photos or whatever and then went on to greater success in musicals, music videos, movies and television shows. She’s a mom and wife with “career dignity”.
    I knew a young woman (dance major) in college whose mother stopped paying her tuition and insisted she quit school to come home and help take care of her new baby brother. She decided to stay in new york a hardcore place to strip, did her sociology work on the mindset of “johns”, and managed to pay for and graduate from school. She also got over her low self esteem and body image issues and stopped practicing anorexia, evidently. Dignity intact.
    I loathe the porn industry, but I worked for a conceptual artist whose former wife was an italian porn star…and during that phase of his work, it could also be construed as pornographic in some obvious instances… yet the international galleries, museums and when I worked for him, the Guggenheim accepted his work. They had an ugly custody battle over the child… but nobody lost any “career dignity”.
    I don’t know who Mimi is and I won’t be watching her sex video or reality show, but I have more of a problem the way people are speaking about her than I do with her own self-sabbotage. Because I don’t know if it is sabotage. I just know people really find her low. And it’s so easy to further degrade her, blaming her for her being a bad mother. Because in a patriarchal society the only thing worse than a beloved whore is a bad mother…
    Anyhow… the mistakes in life, if we consider the results of our actions mistakes, are ours alone to make and learn from. That’s where there is freedom and joy.

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      • Um thanks? Not sure what you mean by “decorative”. The title of my life story: Don’t judge a book by the cover. The synopsis: microcosm macrocosm Context with love expressed expressly for the abstract and ambiguous as without poetry there is no soul. The cost: priceless. But for you: my door is open…
        Thanks for checking in. I do love your fearlessness.

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      • awww…you’re sweet. I’m still too young to have a life story that I’ve written… but I’ll keep you posted! I started looking at blogs at all last January, I believe it was, to see what if anything I wanted to do with my work on line… I have a “deleted account” page when you go to my profile as the first thing I thought to post was premature and out of context would have been both wasted and misunderstood. I admire the amount of effort and time you put into your blog writing and appreciate the experiences you share as well.

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