Saturday, May 17, 2014

Open Letter to (mostly) Rihanna: I'm Not Hating, I Just Think You Can Do Better

Now, I ordinarily don't write about celebrity issues. Actually nowadays I rarely write about celebrity issues, but there was one incident that really got me thinking. The headlines were short and sweet and quickly snuffed out of the media:"Rihanna Mocks Fan Over Prom Dress Inspired By Singer". At first glance I thought, hmm that can't be right. Surely someone who has earned millions and endless amounts of fame like you would not be putting down one of the millions who got you to where you are (yes you did the work, but there are a lot of hard working artists out there but fans tend to make the experience more lucrative). And surely a minority female in such an influential position would not be putting down a young minority female who is exhibiting a confidence that her society is constantly trying to diminish.
     At this point Rihanna you could argue that you never asked to be a role model and that it's not your responsibility. But when you are making millions from people who sadly to say idolize you then to some extent it does become your responsibility. In deed that is a large burden to bear but then again that's partly why you get paid so much. That's when I realized that this whole outfit issue was not even the real issue. I'm here to formally say that Rihanna I'm not hating, I just think you can do it better. I think you can be more than your body, the clothes you wear and your overt sexuality.

     When I look back at you as an artist and many other female artists I feel a sense of deep sadness not only for my gender but for people of color. It has become very apparent that for many minorities and females in our society we have to sell our figures and our souls in order to achieve high levels of success. I have heard the argument that you and these other young women are owning their sexuality. I'm not sure how much you are owning something when you so readily sell it off. It's not just you Rihanna though. I can't put it all on you.

     Women have always been looked at as a means and symbol of sexuality. Over sexualization in the media does not send the message that we have control, it only says that we have given in to the demands of the highest bidder. True power is keeping something that is priceless. Something that has that great of a value isn't to be shared with everyone, sadly it only diminishes its value. Diamonds (as you so casually sung about) are expensive because they are rare, not just because they are beautiful. I think many of you female artists have forgotten that. Somewhere down the line someone told you you only had one kind of beauty. I don't want to be known only for my sexuality. And it's imagery like the ones you portray that perpetuates the notion that us females do not have the minds, ideas, or intellect that could rival scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and the like.

     So to Rihanna and many of these female pop artist you are making it hard for us females who want to be seen for our souls and not our bodies. But now that I come to think of it though the headline I originally brought up makes sense. When you are banking solely on an image it could be seen as quite threatening to have a younger girl rocking the same outfit.


  1. In a world where our men call us bitches; shooting videos with scantly cladded women doing unimaginable things, it stands as a tall order to even imagine them as once being somebody's little girl. "we've got to own it!" - I'm nauseated by it; its sickening, but sadly, this is the world we live in: Fresh Bread sells, but sex sells even quicker.

  2. Yes it does, but I think it's discussion that young girls need to be having. If young girls are being exposed to different forms of success slowly but surely the culture can change. It doesn't happen over night but the first step to change is questioning what is considered the norm and the way things are.