Making a “Bad Blood” joke would be low-hanging fruit. Needless to say, Tuesday’s MTV Video Music Award nomination announcement touched off a small feud between Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift—two people that, as the picture above suggests, have been friendly—and mirrored a lot of larger-scale debates about women’s agency in showbusiness and intersectionality.
It started when Minaj, a sort of model for body-positive and empowering sexuality in music tweeted about her “Anaconda” video not receiving the “Video of the Year” nomination, as well as the normative standards that seemed to guide those women nominated for the award (including Swift, who was nominated for her “Bad Blood” video featuring Kendrick Lamar):
If I was a different “kind” of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well.— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 21, 2015
If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 21, 2015
Swift, who’s been a public champion of what might be termed contex-less female empowerment, tweeted back:
@NICKIMINAJ I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot..— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 21, 2015
Minaj responded, asking Swift to respond to the bigger issue:
Huh? U must not be reading my tweets. Didn’t say a word about u. I love u just as much. But u should speak on this. @taylorswift13— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 21, 2015
Swift’s conclusion to the convo was expectedly well-intentioned, kind, and totally missing the point:
@NICKIMINAJ If I win, please come up with me!! You’re invited to any stage I’m ever on.— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 21, 2015
Here’s to Taylor Swift missing the point, forever and ever more.