Tag Archives: Rihanna

Sound Off: Rihanna Man Down

Rihanna Man Down
On some level I expect myself to champion Rihanna’s fight against domestic violence, but there’s something about her that just throws me off.
I’m not a huge fan of hers, but if it’s one song I did like on the Loud album, it was ‘Man Down.’ Perhaps it’s simply because she actually sounds like someone from the Caribbean in it, but whatever my reasons for liking the song, the video’s launch this past week has caused quite a stir. Critics have slammed it as being too violent, and have accused Rihanna of teaching women the wrong way to deal with domestic violence.
But who decided that Rihanna was supposed to be a good example of what to do in a bad relationship? If the media hadn’t swarmed all over the Chris Brown fiasco, it’s almost certain that she would have stayed with him. And unfortunately for most women, they don’t have the luxury of the media pointing out their mistakes and magnifying it tenfold. It’s becoming clear that Rihanna is a woman suffering emotionally and with her star power growing all the more as a result of her tragedy, she’s been given a platform to talk about her feelings, although the question being asked is, is her message safe.
To give you a little recap: the video starts out with Rihanna shooting a man in the middle of what the song calls “central station,” later it’s revealed that Rihanna was raped by the same man the day before. For all its notes of revenge, I was slightly taken aback because it certainly wasn’t what I was picturing when I belted out the refrain ‘rum puh puh pum mi seh one man down.’ And now that I ask myself what it was that I expected, I really can’t answer decisively.
With all the rage, resentment and revenge that Rihanna exhibits in ‘Man Down,’ the question isn’t whether or not the video was in poor taste as critics claim. The question should be whether or not Rihanna’s battles with domestic violence have marred her in a way that requires professional help or if she‘s milking the Chris Brown fiasco for all its worth.
I’m sure there’ll be some people that ask me how I can possibly ask the question of whether this woman is milking it, but it’s a fair analysis. I can’t seem to remember much of Rihanna’s career before that fateful Grammy night in 2009. Since then Rihanna has experienced the sort of media attention that some stars can only dream of, but she surely wouldn’t be the woman that everyone interviews about the same questions over and over again if that night never happened. It’s not for me to decide whether she’s been eternally marked by that incident or not, but ponder this: if we removed dating Chris Brown from Rihanna’s career resume, what would we ask her in interviews?
I certainly hope no one takes the video seriously enough to imply that she may take a gun and shoot Chris Brown. I’m no psychiatrist, and what little I remember from my first year psychology classes isn’t enough to make me an expert, but watching Rihanna unfold only puzzles me more. As a woman who has known many women who have experienced domestic violence and seen how it can push them to become totally unhinged, if Rihanna isn’t using domestic violence for all its worth, she’s on the brink of her own unhinging. She’s not a role model, she’s a woman who has been forced to live out this sordid tale and deal with her inner turmoil in the public eye.
Take a look at the video yourself and let me know what you think in the comments:

Rihanna’s Vogue Cover Sans the Plastic Wrap & More from the Spread

Rihanna VogueI keep going back to this cover, but it’s for good reason. We’ve all been relegated to checking out the Rihanna Vogue cover from behind the sketchy plastic wrap, but thankfully Vogue has released the shots on their website along with a few photos from the shoot with Annie Leibovitz. They’ll be circulating all over the web in no time, but what I love about the digital image is that I can see everything, including the fact that Rihanna’s hair might need a do-over. Otherwise, the shots are pretty fantastic, the mermaid dress on the cover is definitely the show stopper, while the shots they’ve posted online (that I’ll suppose will appear in the issue) present a much more demure Rihanna, but what’s great about them is that they’re in tune with her Bajan roots. Continue reading

Sound Off: Beyonce, Rihanna & Vogue’s Shape Issue

Vogue Shape Issues - Beyonce & Rihanna

I didn’t notice this before, but something (the Rihanna Vogue cover) led me to searching for the Beyonce Vogue cover and now I’ve got a few questions for the Vogue editors. I’m a black woman and I love my figure as much as the next girl, but is it a coincidence that both Beyonce and Rihanna have appeared on the April cover of Vogue, that’s been conveniently titled ‘The Shape Issue?’ I think not. It’s the holy grail of all fashion magazines, but right now, from where I’m standing, I’m accusing Vogue of pigeonholing the extent of their coverage of black women to being all about curves. I suppose most people won’t think it’s a big deal or anything, but with twelve months out of the year, Vogue could do a little better than sticking a black woman on the cover of their April issue every other year for the last four years, or a black man if we expand that range to five years. Yes, I realize Halle Berry was on the September 2010 issue’s cover, but as so many people love to point out, Halle seems to have carved out a niche and a world of her own. In the last decade, black women have been on the cover of Vogue seven times, Halle Berry counts for two of those. So what gives Vogue? What’s with black women in the Shape Issue?

Vivienne Westwood Isn’t Inspired By The Future… & Other News

Vacationist

  • Justin Bieber got a haircut. Say goodbye to the boy bangs, at least for now; we’re sure they’ll be back. –The Gloss
  • The theory behind the Church of Sex is that God loves sex; a theory that the laws of nature and procreation really can’t refute. As for these promo ads – you be the judge. — Jezebel
  • Judge grants Chris Brown permission to contact Rihanna, as long as he doesn’t harass, molest, or annoy her. — PopEater
  • Vivienne Westwood talks the Royal Family and what seems to be a dim view of the future thanks to the world that is crumbling down around us. — HuffPo
  • Five days left to book a stay at the Palazzo Manfredi for a Italian escapade. — Vacationist