This has been a banner year for female celebrity camaraderie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are making a movie about sisterhood and are hosting the Golden Globes, again, whiles Abbi and Ilana’s platonic love affair, both on “Broad City” and in real life, feels more genuine than anything else on TV this year. Perhaps most famously, Taylor Swift has renounced her search for Prince Charming (sort of) in favor of assembling an all-female BFF-army that would make the Spice Girls quake in their platforms. But perhaps the greatest female relationship the world has witnessed in 2014 is the alliance of Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. With the release of the “Flawless” remix, and yesterday’s “Feeling Myself,” this year has gifted us with one of the greatest and most unlikely female team-ups in the biz.
I say unlikely, because neither Nicki nor Beyoncé is historically known for their willingness to share the stage with other women. While both are feminist icons, they both come across as guys’ girls: Nicki will happily share a track with Drake or Lil’ Wayne, but most of her interactions with other famous women involve throwing shade (the handy resource “Wiki Minaj” lists 85 male collaborators compared to 27 females). Beyoncé, meanwhile, has been something of an island since her notoriously fraught Destiny’s Child partnership, and all the artists she shared a track with on “Beyoncé” — Drake, Jay Z, Frank Ocean — were guys (Blue Ivy’s cooing and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk excerpt not withstanding). While both Nicki and Beyoncé pay lip service to female solidarity, each simultaneously projects an aura of holier-than-thou detachment. It’s no coincidence that both have co-opted the label “Queen” — their cultural vantage points are those of women elevated on a royal pedestals, separate from the average chicks below.
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