Unless it’s about pregnancy rumors, Cardi B is typically not one to hold back, whether it’s her thoughts on the humanitarian crisis in Libya or her free advice to people who label themselves “bosses” without the corresponding invoices. So it makes sense that throughout her ascension to the top of Billboard’s music charts, Cardi has been characteristically transparent and unapologetic about her stripper past.
Now, in a new interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, cover girl Cardi gets candid about why it’s important for her to put her past out there, and how she feels that the #MeToo movement has left certain women behind.
“People say, ‘Why do you always got to say that you used to be a stripper? We get it,’” Cardi told the magazine. “Because y’all don’t respect me because of it, and y’all going to respect these strippers from now on.”
She also revealed how stripping helped her get out of a relationship she didn’t want to be in because she was able to make the money to leave.
Cardi also addressed how video vixens have been left out of the #MeToo conversation, despite being vocal about the harassment and abuse they’ve encountered on sets.
“Video vixen” itself is a term with a strong connection to hip-hop. And as Cardi alludes to in her interview, the women who appear in rap videos as vixens fall into a kind of gray area where they aren’t given the same regard as actresses or models who work runways or appear in advertisements, even though they deal with the same structural inequities and harassment and are dealt less in the way of protection or care.
“A lot of video vixens have spoke about this, and nobody gives a fuck,” Cardi told Cosmo.
She also gave a personal example.
“When I was trying to be a vixen, people were like, ‘You want to be on the cover of this magazine?’ Then they pull their dicks out,” Cardi said. “I bet if one of these women stands up and talks about it, people are going to say, ‘So what? You’re a ho. It don’t matter.’”
The Bronx, N.Y., native also called out men who are now publicly coming to terms with the stories of racism and abuse in their industries.
“These producers and directors,” Cardi said, “they’re not woke, they’re scared.”