Maluma, the Colombian reggaeton singer, has received a significant amount of pushback in the last few weeks about his latest album cover.
This is not the first time the singer has been accused of being sexist. In 2016 a petition was started on Change.org to remove his song “Cuatro Babys” from digital platforms because it was demeaning to women. The current criticism is originating from Spain, with movements like “#MejorSolaQueConMaluma” (#BetterAloneThanWithMaluma) trending on social media.
SFNS asked patrons at The The Alchemist in Aventura what they thought about the controversy.
Megan Todaro is a firefighter. As of 2016, only four percent of firefighters were women, according to the National Fire Protection Agency.
She said sexism is something that all women deal with, especially in industries that are male dominated. But she found nothing wrong with the album cover.
“What’s the difference from Victoria Secret ads and this?” Todaro said. “The wings? Well, give these girls wings.”
View this post on Instagram
Todaro wasn’t the only one who felt this way.
Vicky Rosenthal is pursuing her masters in advertising. She noted that reggaeton often objectifies women.
“Doesn’t make sense to single [Maluma] out,” Rosenthal said. “All of [the industry] needs to get fixed.”
Rosenthal and her friend, Valeria Figueroa, are both from Latin American countries. They agreed that the sexism in reggaeton is part of Latin culture, but a part that is frowned upon.
Pablo Galimany grew up in Argentina, moving to the United States when he was 23. He said he saw the album cover as a machista statement.
“He’s treating women like objects,” Galimany said. “If it were a woman in the middle people would be like ‘oh, she’s a whore or a slut.’”
John Alexander, a photographer and producer, disagreed. Though not sexist, he said, the cover art is cheesy and old.
Many of the opinions, though, focused on the idea that women being sexualized is not new.
“He’s not different from any other man,” said Yayi Gomes, a snake dancer. “How can you be more when you don’t know anything else?”