In these dark times of political uncertainty a little harmless distraction is a welcome thing. I was much heartened to find this on the web: ‘Amber Rose unveils her vagina in a bottomless pic.’ Let me reassure you: I welcome the unveiling of a vagina as much as the next liberal.
I imagined such things would be executed with a flourish and some panache, a theatrical whipping away of a silk sheet to reveal the unwieldy phallus of some Athenian god. Or perhaps with hushed tones and whispers, the better to excite and titivate us in anticipation of the shrouded nakedness about to be revealed.
I was wrong. She went the full bush. Amber Rose-Bush. And as Amber Rose-Bush rightly pointed out to Grumpy Pants Morgan, who’s been making a bigger than usual cockwomble of himself on Twitter, she was not nude.
Far from it, in fact. She didn’t even have her t*ts out. Or her lady tunnel. Frankly, you’d be hard-pressed to find an ex-sex worker / rapper hoe more fully dressed on a Sunday afternoon.
‘Nude? Where?’ Amber tweeted. ‘My breast nor my vagina was showing and my legs were closed. I am assuming you are referring to the pubic hair that was shown in the picture. Uncomfortable? Get over it.’
Just like she said, she didn’t even spread her legs and show her whole vagina. (Although many went on to encourage her to do just that for their laminated collections.)
So far, so Team Amber Rose-Bush.
But here, regretfully, we go our separate ways. Amber Rose with her bush, and me with my overgrown lady-lawn. (Frankly, you’d need a strimmer and protective goggles to get anywhere near my vagina these days.)
I can applaud her no-sh*t attitude. But I cannot accept this as anything other than a woman showing off her body, lovely as it is. Or her pubic hair, which has clearly benefitted from a Tangle Teezer and Moroccan Oil.
But naked Amber Rose is not a symbol of anything. Her naked body is not reclaiming the word ‘slut’ or enabling women to feel empowered, although they may feel emboldened enough to do the #amberrosechallenge, and post a naked picture of themselves as well.
But let’s not get confused. Exposing yourself online, even if you have not spread your legs or shown your vagina, is not empowerment.
Many of us emboldened by alcohol wake up to a hangover and are much diminished by the negativity of regret.
I would argue the SlutWalk is equally frivolous. Discussing her motivation for the slut-walk, Rose revealed she was a 14-year-old virgin the first time she was slut-shamed. She then explained how her husband, Wiz Khalifa, from whom she is separated, slut-shamed her in a song he released after they broke up. ‘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’.
According to Rose, he has since apologized.
Her picture of her lady-garden is not a strong symbol of feminism; it is just a picture of a semi-naked woman rubbed down with something slippery. My puppy does the same in fox poo. Neither of them are feminists.
I think Amber Rose is tough. She has made her millions using the assets she has.
But this is not feminism. This is entrepreneurial effort at its most bare, in every sense.
Women should be better than this. Women can be better than this.
Command attention with your clothes on. Save your naked skin for eyes you can look into.
Don’t slutwalk. Complete the Marathon Des Sables like a dog in the sun.
And then, truly, you will be a queen amongst women. And you will slay.