Nicki Minaj has a lot to be happy about — she has been nominated for three Grammy Awards this year, Billboard named her the third most successful woman in music in 2015, and she's finalizing the cast for her semi-autobiographical series on Freeform (formerly ABC Family). Yet, a lot of people just can't seem to find a picture of her smiling.
Minaj tweeted some sharp barbs to Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham — tweets that included a few four-letter words. Later, Abraham used her daughter, Sophia, to respond with a short video asking Minaj to check her language.
In the video, Sophia Abraham calls Minaj a "total loser."
As blogs and news organizations picked up on the fight, they resorted to an easy dichotomy: Angry Minaj vs. Abraham.
Noticing the familiar game that was afoot, Minaj, who spent all of 2015 teaching a master class in how to construct your own narrative in the media, tweeted pictures of herself smiling to show that it is, in fact, possible to show Minaj experiencing joy and that the go-to stock photo of her does not need to be an angry one. Minaj even called out specific Twitter handles and media outlets.
Minaj also retweeted photos of herself smiling.
This is not the first time Minaj has had to deal with the media picking out images of her with a grimace on her face.
In July, Taylor Swift inserted herself into a conversation Minaj was having with her followers about the lack of representation for diverse bodies in music videos. Swift tweeted Minaj to show her disappointment.
The ensuing media stories painted Minaj as angry and Swift as saintly. Media personality Janet Mock called out Entertainment Weekly for their photo choice and suggested a different pairing.
Of course, if Minaj is looking for someone to commiserate with, all she needs to do is call up fellow famous black woman and occasional person-who-doesn't-smile-just-like-the-rest-of-us Serena Williams, who has a response for smile-baiters.