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Our executive director's letter to Mariah Carey about her use of the naughty nurse stereotype. (Our petiiton is now closed)

Dear Ms. Carey, Because your video "Up Out My Face" relies heavily on the damaging naughty nurse stereotype, I urge you to make amends by withdrawing the video from all distribution, avoiding the stereotype in the future and publicly apologizing to the nursing profession (in a music video perhaps!). In the video, you and Nicki Minaj appear in skimpy "nurse" outfits, complete with caps, white stockings, and high heels. I realize that the song is actually a kiss-off to a cheating lover, so it would seem to reverse the standard naughty nurse theme of sexual availability. But the point seems to be to show the ex-lover just what he will be missing because you and Ms. Minaj have moved on. And as we all know, this kind of "nurse" uniform is an easy way to convey female sexuality. It appears that the "nurse" outfits have done their job of promoting the video and your upcoming remix album. Well over two million people watched the video on YouTube alone in the first couple weeks after its release, and the nurse theme got significant press coverage, such as in a January Daily Mail (UK) article that included plenty of naughty nurse still photos from the video. But that attention also means millions of people have been given yet another reason to associate nursing with female sexuality. You can actually use sexual imagery to sell your work without reinforcing the naughty nurse stereotype, which has undermined real nurses for decades. That imagery continues to tell people that nursing is just a tired sex joke, not a profession for educated men and women who need more clinical and educational resources if they are to keep saving lives. Please join us in helping to get nurses the respect and resources they need. Thank you.

 

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