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23On Nicki Minaj’s Reluctance to Embrace Her “Real Age”

Nicki Minaj with Lil' Wayne in concert, Oakland, April 24, 2011

A week ago, Nicki Minaj was involved in an altercation in a Dallas hotel. According to an incident report, the argument escalated in Minaj’s hotel room; when her companion tried to leave, he pushed Minaj away by, um, physically shoving his suitcase into her face. (She suffered a fat lip, CNN said.)

Granted, the Dallas police made a few errors in their report—they got the name of Minaj’s assailant wrong, for one, and they can’t even spell “Los Angeles”—but one deet is a bit more anomalous than all the rest. Ready for it? Nicki Minaj was born in 1982.

That lends credence to the old rumor that Nicki Minaj has been lying about her age: a lot of skeptics, including Lil’ Kim, have long doubted Minaj’s claim that she was born in 1984. (The police report carries so much credibility, somebody has already updated the Wikipedia page to reflect that Minaj is not 26, but 28.)

Yep. Nicki Minaj has finally been outed as an old woman.

“Why shave only two years off your age?” one blogger asks, and it’s a reasonable question others have echoed.

I’ll tell you why: Women in their mid-to-late 20s are obsessed with being 24 again. And what’s wrong with being 28, you ask?

There’s actually a harrowing study that reemerges once every couple years, reporting that women do in fact feel old at 28. Put simply, it’s the magical age where, overnight, women go from feeling young to feeling like their lives are over.

Worse, the fear of 28 is a cultural permeation. In an infomercial hawking skin cream Heidi Klum capitalizes on that fear, warning, “I would say that my skin began to change from 27 upwards.” Even American Idol has a contestant age cap of 28 (raised from 24!), because we all know that if your career begins any later than that, you don’t stand a chance. You’re just “too old.”

For my own part, on my 26th birthday (and for every birthday to come) I started describing my age as “the wrong side of 25.” If I were to return to grad school tomorrow, I’d be even more reticent about my age, terrified of some sweet young 22-year old calling me “such an inspiration.” If my music career started tomorrow (what? I don’t know), I’d probably just lie about my age outright.

Was Nicki Minaj ever really obligated to be forthcoming about her age?

Personally, I don’t think so. I’ll put it this way: Onika Maraj, at the ripe old age of 28 and after years of hard work, is a relative latecomer to the music biz. Her insecurities are valid, unfortunately; she’s competing for Lady Gaga‘s audience, here.

And you can make the case—easily, I think—that Onika Maraj is only the actress and performer who plays Nicki Minaj, and that Nicki Minaj, in turn, is a loud, rambunctious, rainbow-haired fictional character, forever 25-ish.

July 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm by Jenn
Filed Under: Nicki Minaj

23 Responses to “On Nicki Minaj’s Reluctance to Embrace Her “Real Age””

  1. evilbeetdouche says:

    Her hair makes me want to eat some cotton candy.

  2. mireee says:

    Hey Jenn I loved this article, hats off to you.

  3. Mama Bean says:

    This post was pretty insightful which is not something I necessarily look for around here, so thanks for that!

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m twenty-eight and ONE MONTH. I suppose I’m in trouble.

  5. Sally says:

    28 is old? My god you guys wait till you are in your 30′s you will be wishing you were that young again.

  6. zelda fitzgerald says:

    pffft, isn’t she just aping beyonce?

  7. dominique says:

    wow really people…it’s no surprise that especially when it comes to the entertainment industry where the closer you get to 30 they think you’re done…just so u know i’m 29 but i’ve been telling people i’m 30 for the past year anyway…then again i’m just fortunate like Nicky or maybe more so to still have a baby face and do not look my age anyway..
    but honestly i embrace it..i love being carded and i’ve never felt more comfortable in my own skin at this point…it’s like the fine wine line..i know i’ve gotten better with age on all points…yeah me..lmfao

  8. Severine says:

    I’m 28 and I love it. I have a very youthful look & i guess thats why I don’t mind being 28.I get mistaken for a 20 year old when I go out without makeup. I believe if you don’t drown your sorrows in vodka, chain smoke, bake yourself in the sun, and you keep your numbers low you will age gracefully. Seeing pictures of a rapidly declining Lindsay Lohan is the only motivation I need!!!

  9. nicki says:

    Women have no concept of reality when it comes to age. In reality in means wisdom and men love an aged women because it’s like wine. People generally prefer when their partner have experience so what’s the problem really?!

  10. DamageInc.... says:

    i wish this cunt would fall in a hole a go away!

  11. Bea says:

    I don’t know what’s the big deal with Nicki Minaj lying about her age. Look at Beyonce, we all know she ain’t 30. She’s trying to tell me that she is the same age as Adriana Lima, please.

  12. Theolynn Carpenter says:

    LOL! Yeah the math is horrible or it slipped by the editor……
    1982-2012 would be 29 or 30 depending on when her birthday is.
    as far as Beyonce,She has been in the industry for a long time and there is evidence from Star Search and other footage she was a small child in the early 90s…. I dont think its possible for stars that grew up in the industry to get away with lying about their age.

  13. Ms. Toni says:

    Wow! You guys make turning 28 sound like your life is over. Truthfully a woman’s life does start until 40. At this point she’s more stable career wise (has a family) and is willing to accept all of herself. Including the flaws and craziness about her she’d rather not admit. Some of us will just never be a size 0 or even a 5. Stop it! Lol

  14. Thickums86 says:

    Sorry but I never thought of seeing how old she was. I assumed she was in her late twenties when I first saw her. I love her no less doe. Nicki dont lie. We love you for you not for how old you are.

  15. Suzette says:

    If she was born in 1982, that would make her 30– not 28. Does the writer of this article not know how to count? Just checking.

  16. nate says:

    nicki minaj is currently 27 she started her career in 2012 she was 25 years old.so wats the deal ?

  17. lorrraine says:

    Nicki minaj’s music appeals to really young people coz she is so hip and lively. I think that’s the reason they kept her real age a mystery and not because she is old! I don’t agree with people who say that age should define how women feel about themselves! It’s no wonder women feel so afraid of turning thirty or older. This article says 28 is old? Wow, I won’t be surprised if the next generation will call 25 and then 22 old. People, don’t let all this beliefs stick with you, and for the record, I think you can be successful as an artist at any age. It’s all about your art and talent guys, not age.

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