Iggy Azalea doesn’t want to be a role model. She did an interview last year about how she doesn’t consider herself a good role model and isn’t trying to be an example for anyone. I’m not sure why she felt that she needed to express this to us because I can assure her that no one thought she was a good role model, to begin with. Iggy Azalea’s behavior throughout her career has been one giant mess that no one would ever model themselves around. I could forgive her bad behavior and egregious cultural crimes if her music was consistently good, but it’s not and we all know it. She’s not a role model, she has never been, and we’ve never asked her to be one.
This begs the question why. Why is Iggy Azalea such a bad role model, and why is that something she shouldn’t be proud of? Many celebrities aren’t setting themselves up as role models, but there’s something to admire about them anyway. Consider people like Britney Spears and even Miley Cyrus, who aren’t role models in the traditional sense but do set positive examples in their own way. Iggy Azalea is neither of them, and that’s because there’s a lot of her behavior that can’t really be forgiven. Here are just a few reasons why Iggy Azalea is a bad role model.
15. She Puts On Fake Accents
Iggy Azalea loves fake accents. She lives inside her fake southern accent when she’s recording sub par rap music, but when she’s not in the studio, she sounds like the Australian girl she is. Honestly, it’s crap. Her accent is one of the prime examples of how Iggy Azalea has made her career and reputation on not being herself. On top of that, her accent is a total caricature. I get that there are some people who take inspiration from people from different places, but if she was such a student of rap, she’d know the implications of taking on that accent as a white Australian woman. In actuality, I’d like her a lot better if she rapped with her native accent! A female rapper with an Australian accent would have been amazing for the charts, and it would have been a great way for Iggy to embrace her roots. Unfortunately, she didn’t do that, and we have to pay the price for it.
14. She’s A Rapper Who Doesn’t Freestyle
Every rapper is measured by one very important skill: the ability to freestyle. The ability to freestyle was at the center of the feud between Nick Minaj and Remy Ma for good reason: freestyling shows off a rapper’s wit and ability to think on their feet, which is an invaluable skill both in and out of the studio. Iggy has been tested on her freestyling throughout her career, and all of those times she’s failed to rise to the challenge. While lyricism on albums is a good measure of a rapper, freestyling is something that the best rappers have a gift for, and she just doesn’t have it. Rappers who are seen more as role models, regardless of whether they want to be, possess an ability to freestyle that Iggy simply doesn’t have. Even her lyrics on her albums can be pretty suspect.
13. Her Fashion Choices Are Suspect
Iggy’s fashion choices have been eyebrow raising over the course of her career. Now, I love a good weird outfit or two and I’ve actually admired some of Iggy’s choices over the years, but some of her choices are impossible to defend. She’s been seen in music videos wearing full on Indian belly dancing garb with a bindi, which is just a bad decision for her in general for reasons that have nothing to do with fashion. She’s also been seen at awards shows wearing dresses with slits that look awkward and borderline obscene. There’s also the very weird outfit she’s wearing on the cover of The New Classic, which I still don’t quite understand. Is it a single garment? Is it a pantsuit? What is it? Also, special mention needs to go to Iggy’s thong outfit on the cover of “Mo’ Bounce” which is basically just her copying what Nicki Minaj did on the “Anaconda” cover, but with less hand-wringing about it being inappropriate.
12. She Doesn’t Make Good Relationship Decisions
When Iggy Azalea was dating A$AP Rocky, she committed a relationship sin. That sin was her relationship tattoo she got on her fingers. When they eventually broke up, she had to cover up the tattoo, then get it removed. It all could have been prevented had Iggy traveled forward in time and listened to me in this article, when I said it was a terrible idea. That being said, I want to take this time to talk to anyone considering the idea of getting a relationship tattoo for someone you’re dating, or even someone you’re married to.. Don’t do it. I can promise you that a relationship tattoo will be on your list of regrets. Tattoos themselves are something to be celebrated, but relationship tattoos need to die a horrible death. Chances are, you’ll break up and you’ll be stuck having to get it removed, which is an incredibly painful process. Learn from Iggy Azalea and others who’ve done this and don’t do it. Your skin and future significant others will thank you.
11. She’s A Mess On Social Media
There is nothing to look up to when it comes to messy behavior on social media. Iggy Azalea is one of the worst celebrities I can think of off the top of my head who’s very bad at keeping her mouth shut on Twitter. She’s popped off on Snoop Dogg, former mentor T.I., and Azealia Banks, who’s also pretty terrible but redeems herself solely because of her ability to call out Iggy Azalea for her bad behavior with a good degree of style. When Iggy Azalea makes a callously racist comment on Twitter, Azealia Banks is there, for example. Either way, whenever someone happens to mention her, she always has something to say. One thing we all learned when we were children to not let the opinions of others sway us, and certainly not to give others the satisfaction of being able to hurt us. Iggy Azalea seems to forget that more and more with every new single and the more famous she gets.
10. She Has No Sense Of Nuance
Role models are capable of thinking in a nuanced way. Iggy Azalea kind of isn’t. This is a woman who, in the face of being called “Becky” because she’s a white girl thought it would be okay to call all black men “DeShawn.” This is a woman who knows very well that Azealia Banks is coming for her, but continues to rise to the bait each and every time. This is also a woman who got a relationship tattoo, which is among the least nuanced things I can think of that a person can do. When called out about her fake “black accent,” she had this response: “If you’re mad about it and you’re a black person then start a rap career and give it a go, too,” she says. “I’m not taking anyone’s spot, so make yourself a mixtape. Or maybe if you’re black, start singing like a country singer and be a white person. I don’t know. Why is it such a big deal? This is the entertainment industry. It’s not politics. You should be more concerned about the message, not the voices saying it.” While there is some truth to that, it shows that she’s not thinking in a nuanced way, because she’s totally dismissing the cultural implications of that fake accent. That’s not role model behavior.
9. She Doesn’t Know When To Keep Her Mouth Shut
Iggy Azalea really doesn’t know when to drop out of an argument. Normally, this is a quality I respect in a person because I normally never know when to drop out of an argument, but Iggy Azalea really doesn’t know when not to start a fight. A perfect example of this is when she and Britney Spears did “Pretty Girls” which didn’t do as well on the charts as they would have liked. Any other pop star would have simply brushed that off because there are always singles that don’t do as well. Not everything can be a “Baby One More Time,” you know? Unfortunately, Iggy didn’t do that. She went on Twitter and blamed Britney Spears for the song failing. She didn’t make anyone believe that and if anything that might have been the reason that everyone started blaming Iggy for the song failing. That led us to find out that Iggy had been difficult on the set of the music video, and it led Britney Spears to embarrass Iggy publicly with this tweet: “Can’t wait to get back to Vegas. So thankful I have shows for the rest of the year to look forward to.. #YouWantAPieceOfMe.” That wouldn’t have happened had Iggy not opened her mouth on the issue, because like her or hate her, Britney is a proven hit machine.
8. She Tried Calling Out Eminem
If I had to think of a rapper role model who didn’t see themselves as one, my first answer would probably be Eminem. Sure, he’s not a role model in the traditional sense, but he raps really well, is constantly pushing himself artistically, and people look up to him. That’s why it was bizarre when Iggy said that Eminem won the rap Grammy back in 2015 because he was white, and specifically because he was a white man. To be fair to Iggy, Eminem had released a song specifically calling out Iggy Azalea and telling her not to blow a rape whistle, which isn’t really okay either. Putting that aside, Iggy didn’t have to call out Eminem’s win was because he’s a white guy. She could have called it out because he makes references to rape and specifically mentions her name and the names of other female pop stars in a negative way, but she didn’t. She sat down with Power 106 and said: “I found it to be kind of ironic. It was because I’m white, therefore I’m appropriating culture, but then Eminem won it – who’s white and won it many times – and they didn’t seem to say anything about that. I suspect it was just because they dislike me.” That’s not why they’re cool with Eminem winning the award. We’re cool with Eminem winning awards because Eminem makes consistently good music.
7. She Likes Cultural Appropriation
Part of the reason that Iggy called out Eminem is because she thinks they’re in the same boat when it comes to cultural appropriation. Remember what she told Power 106? “I found it to be kind of ironic. It was because I’m white, therefore I’m appropriating culture, but then Eminem won it – who’s white and won it many times – and they didn’t seem to say anything about that. I suspect it was just because they dislike me.”
Again, that’s not why Eminem doesn’t get called out on cultural appropriation. He gets called out for some of his gross lyrics about female pop stars and saying he wants to punch Lana Del Rey in the face, but not for cultural appropriation. Eminem doesn’t put on an accent trying to be someone he’s not the way Iggy does, which is why she gets called out for cultural appropriation. This is putting aside some of her music videos, where she’s walking around with bindis on for some of them. Disappointingly, that video is for “Bounce,” one of her good songs.
6. She Made A Creepy Music Video
Iggy Azalea’s music videos can have some really weird imagery. Sometimes it’s just inexplicable, but sometimes it’s just not okay. The video for the song “Pu$$y” is basically about what the title suggests it’s about. To make matters worse, there’s a part in the video where a kid is riding a rocking horse while Iggy is chanting the title of the song. It’s all very gross and creepy, and to be honest, I expected better of her in this respect and this respect alone. The video ended up getting taken down because she uploaded the video without the producer’s permission, or because the producer realized how terrible the music video was. While there are copies around YouTube, it’s still not on Iggy’s page, and honestly, I’m quite thankful for that. This isn’t even getting into some of her worst lyrics, like the one where she changes a lyric of Kendrick Lamar’s in a really bad way:”When the relay starts, I’m a runaway slave … master / Sh***in’ on the past gotta spit it like a pastor.” Role models should generally know better.
5. Mo’ Bounce Is An Earworm In A Bad Way
Iggy Azalea is known for making some earworms. “Fancy” has a way of burrowing itself in your head and never letting go, and thanks to Charli XCX that’s not a bad thing. “Bounce” is actually kind of a good song in its own way once you discount the music video. However, her successes there are only matched by her shortcomings. We’ve already talked about “Pretty Girls” and “Black Widow” was a decidedly mixed bag. No song exemplifies her ability to make a mixed bag song quite like “Mo’ Bounce,” though. If a song could only be measured by its ability to get stuck in your head, it would be a great song in that respect alone. Unfortunately, her fake accent works against her here because I needed the lyrics to be able to follow along at all. Any props anyone would want to give her on her lyricism are negated by the criticism of her enunciation. The song is just a mess.
4. She Might Be A Racist
Iggy Azalea has made too many racially charged blunders over the course of her career for us not to ask ourselves and each other if she’s a racist. She’s called black guys “Deshawn” for the crime of a few people calling her Becky, dressed like the picture above for a music video, puts on a fake accent for all of her songs and has cracked jokes about how she doesn’t hear “Mexican” accents anymore. This is only just scratching the surface too. Role models are able to see the errors of their ways, or at least they’re able to acknowledge a mistake and not make it again. Even if they make a brand new mistake the next day, they’ll at least have learned something from it. Iggy can learn things from her mistakes too, she just doesn’t.
3. She Keeps Pushing Back Her Tours
Iggy Azalea has pushed back her tours a lot over the course of her career, but I think this is indicative of a much larger problem: she cannot take criticism. Think about all the times she’s popped off when no one’s asked her what she thought. It was all in response to real or imagined criticism. Azealia Banks repeatedly called her out for cultural appropriation and racism, and Iggy always rose to her bait. She had things to say about Eminem’s Grammy when no one asked her because she didn’t win one. She’s gone on record saying she doesn’t want a Grammy, but I really think she does. Everyone wants recognition, and she wants it in a really bad way. It’s why she draws so much attention to herself, and it’s why she blames her lack of recognition because she’s a white girl in the rap world that no one likes. People like her (I even like a few of her songs, which I’ve admitted), but just because people like you doesn’t mean that you won’t be criticized.
2. She’s Ignorant And Has Stayed That Way
For all the times that Iggy has been told about herself, she hasn’t learned anything. Worse, she is learning and just doesn’t care to acknowledge where she’s messed up. That’s the definition of ignorance: hanging onto your misguided beliefs despite all evidence to the contrary or ignoring anything that doesn’t jive with your worldview. She doesn’t have to do all of the things she does, but she does them anyway just because she can. On top of that, she wants the ability to do that but not the criticism that comes with it. That’s not really role model behavior. Role models weather the storm and come out stronger for it, and they rarely stoop to the level of their haters. Doing that just puts you on their lower level, rather than it raising them to your level. For all her time in the spotlight, Iggy still doesn’t know that.
1. She Thinks All Of This Is Totally Cool
Iggy Azalea is a person who refuses to apologize. Unfortunately, she’s a person who refuses to apologize even when the apology is warranted. She’s done a lot over the years that isn’t okay, and a lot of those things would have killed anyone else’s career. However she’s managed to carve out a following from those mistakes, and it’s that quality that I have a begrudging respect her. It doesn’t absolve her of all of this, but it definitely shows her commitment to her choices, which is admirable in its own way. The problems arise when she refuses to acknowledge her mistakes. Blaming Britney Spears for a flop was a mistake, and slinging tweets on social media for every little thing is also a mistake. Her fatal flaw is that she can’t take criticism, and it shows any time she does anything. It’s just not something that she plans to learn from, so she’ll probably keep doing all of these things just because she can. This won’t be the last we hear of Iggy Azalea, but whether that future discussion is positive remains to be seen.
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