If there is any woman whose name has been slandered the most, Amber Rose is definitely in the top 10. Top 5, really. She has been given much hate-filled attention from her exes, former boyfriend Kanye West and former husband Wiz Whalifa. She has had a negative connotation to her name, as being a gold digger and a stripper (the former is inaccurate, but the latter was true). Any derogatory word you can think of against women has been publicly used against Amber Rose, but she has taken the ordeal with such grace and class. Amber Rose is using the negative attention she receives as a platform to educate people about injustices against women and gender inequality. She embodies the modern woman: sexy, independent, and confident. Whether anyone wants to agree or not, Amber Rose definitely should stand in the forefront of the feminist movement.
Kanye West has to be the biggest hater against Amber Rose. He has displayed countless acts against Amber Rose. He has dragged her name and image in the mud so many times, from claiming he “needed 30 showers” after he broke up with Amber Rose to claiming that she used her son to trap Wiz Khalifa into taking care of them financially. He can’t seem to let go of her past of being a stripper, yet his wife gained her fame from a sex video. There is absolutely nothing wrong with how either woman rose to fame, but you can’t slander one woman without slandering another. Recently, for his video for “Famous,” he had nude wax figures of famous people in a giant bed, and of course, Amber Rose was featured. The problem does not lie with him using her in his video, but rather, he never asked for her permission.
Kanye embodies the blatant and outright disrespect she is constantly receiving, especially since he is the most vocal. She is a mother, an entrepreneur, and someone who has outgrown their past. Yes, Amber Rose was formerly a stripper, but why is that being held against her? She herself is not ashamed of it, especially since she chose to do it help her family. There is nothing wrong with the profession. There is nothing wrong with choosing your own means of maintaining independence.
Amber Rose fearlessly challenges those who label her negatively. Last year, at the VMAs, she, her friend Blac Chyna, and two fellow models were adorned in slander they have received. Amber Rose and Blac Chyna had almost every derogatory slur hurled at women—b*tch, h*e, whore, slut, gold digger, and stripper—written all over them; the two models had f*ggot written all over themselves. That was brave. That was power. That was feminism. They were not taken seriously. They were at the top of every worse dressed list. They were screaming a message, but it wasn’t well received. I commend them for that bold move. They walked the night in pride, and gladly wore what everyone thought of them, smugly throwing it back. It was unapologetic, and that is what feminism should be.
Now, Amber Rose is not usually the first person who comes to mind when one thinks of feminism. She is incredibly provocative. She loves to show off her body. She practically screams sex. Feminism doesn’t always have to be about equal pay. It is also about equal expression. Last year, she held the Amber Rose Awareness Festival, which meant to educate men and women about the gender equality that is going on in our culture, and which also featured the Slutwalk. The Slutwalk was created in 2011, after a Toronto police officer told college women that if that if they did not want to be victims, they should dress more appropriately. Amber Rose has stuck by the message behind the slutwalk: a woman should always be respected, no matter how she is dressed. She lives that message every day. There is nothing wrong with sex appeal at all. Women can be sensual beings as well without having to worry about what others think of them. Men are free to be sex gods. It is in the media, it is in advertisements, it is in every day culture, and men are praised for it. Women should get that luxury as well.
Many successful women often advise others to believe they can also achieve any success they want. Empowerment has told disadvantaged men and women that literally anything is possible, and they can do anything they give themselves the power to do. Amber Rose has given many people a safe zone to heal from the cruelty of rape and abuse, to empower victims that they can overcome their obstacles, trauma included. This is so important, because not as many mainstream celebrities chose this form of empowerment. It doesn’t always have to be making it in a man’s world. Empowerment can be about you and you alone. Amber Rose is inviting others not to just be aware of rape, but to truly educate them on the oppression that not only women, but members of the LGBTQ community have to face. Her festival is a stream of information through different mediums, such as pamphlets, panels, and guest speaker. For this year’s Festival, she has announced that a few of the rape victims of model and celebrity Ian Conner will share their story on her stage. Her festival is a place of unity, not just of women, but everyone.
Amber Rose is not perfect. In fact, many people will have a problem with the idea of such a provocative woman being at the forefront of feminism. There will be haters who will say there are others more qualified than a former stripper and alleged gold digger leading young men and women to a more equal world. For them I offer this: Ghandi was a racist; Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery for this sole purpose of the economy; Martin Luther King Jr. cheated on his wife; the pioneers of the women’s suffrage movement did not want to include black women and let them have the same rights as white women. These people have been immortalized in history as those who have the world a much better place. Because of them, there has been unprecedented social progression. No one talks about their character flaws; it is not used against them because humanity would be in such a darker place.
Of course, Amber Rose’s methods of empowerment cannot be used by everyone. Not everyone feels the need to be provocative, and in certain parts of the world it is punishable by law or infringes with the morals of certain religions. Her way is not the only way, but she does open a very important conversation about how women are treated here in the U.S. and how self-healing is a very essential part of empowerment. Rape culture is rampant, globally, and slowly, it is being discussed as a national conversation. Amber Rose is one of the few celebrities who use their status as a platform. That should not only be acknowledged, but appreciated and respected. So before saying the usual ill words to Amber Rose, think about how she is impacting others besides herself. She’s not perfect, but the torch she is carrying is glaringly bright.