Dear Rihanna – WTF.

Originally published on MadeWomanMag.com

Dearest Rihanna,

OK, your name is on everyone’s lips these days – which was obviously the goal here. You’re so popular right now that you have everyone from Billboard.com to…well, me, writing you letters. And really, can you blame us all for clamoring to talk some sense into you? After watching you subliminally tweet love/relationship mumbo-jumbo to your ex, Chris Brown, the past few months and then “randomly” show up at the same spots as him, even though he “has a girlfriend” we knew something was up. And then boom. Your birthday hits and you and Chris drop a sex-charged remix to Birthday Cake and Turn Up The Music. Girl. Oh girl. I know you love to flaunt that #IDGAF attitude and make your own rules, but let’s just stop and talk it out for a second.

It’s one thing for you to be cool with Chris. Hell, it’s really not ANY of our business if you guys are behind the scenes messing around again… that’s your life. *Side eye* Hell, we might have even just given a Kanye shrug if you chose to collaborate with him again… on a “Can’t we all get along/ Heal the world/ Kumbaya” type of song. But the subject matter and lyrics you two specifically chose on these two little musical gems have left us a bit flabbergasted. Featuring lyrics from him like, “It’s been a long time, I been missing your body…” and from you like, “remember how you did it? If you still wanna kiss it, come and get it” on Birthday Cake and then seemingly outta freakin nowhere singing “I love you baby” in the middle of the frenzied dance remix of Turn Up The Music… I just can’t. While I happen to think that both songs are actually pretty good, they probably shoulda stayed in the private stash. In my opinion, you’re just being irresponsible right now.

I know I know. You never asked to be a role model. You literally just turned 24. You’re young, you’re beautiful, you’re talented, you’re in the spotlight. And you happen to have been a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of someone you loved a whole hell of a lot. As blessed as you are, that’s really a lot to handle in front of a ravenous (maybe insatiable?) audience. And we know the statistics. Women who have been abused often stay in these toxic relationships way too long. But you’re doing it on a worldwide stage. Remember that 20/20 interview you did post-incident where you said you couldn’t live with the thought of young girls looking up to you and thinking it’s okay to go back to someone who abused them because you did? What happened to that? I can’t judge you for your struggle with still loving this dude. But to rub your lack of tenacity and strength in our faces with this over the top Birthday Cake Remix? Kind of a slap in the face. Those young girls are still there, obsessing over your every move. And here you are talking about banging your ex who beat the crap out of you a few years ago. It’s one thing to forgive and move on…. It’s quite another to be so reckless with the message you’re sending to the masses. You didn’t NEED to throw this remix out there to show us you do whoever whatever the hell you want. What are you trying to prove, exactly?

Whether this is some marketing ploy cooked up by the powers that be who run your careers to generate drama/headlines or two young lovebirds trying to have fun and throw their middle fingers up to the world, it’s left a lot of people mighty disappointed. Abuse is a serious matter. That man could have killed you. Like it or not, people do not forget this stuff. And a part of being famous is having your every move scrutinized. #TeamBreezy and #RihannaNavy are groups of notoriously young, impressionable, obsessive fans, and a part of the package you signed up for was to be a sort of role model to them. The subject matter of your music makes it pretty clear you’re not interested in showing young girls a prim and proper way to live – BUT collaborating on a sex song with your abusive ex is a whole other level of WTF. All this being said, I think the vast majority of people are going to let it slide this time. Some are even cheering for you to rekindle the old flame for real. But with your talent, beauty, and style you don’t need to do crap like this to sell records and get attention. More than a “Rude Girl,” audiences are looking for a woman who can learn from her past and become a stronger person. (See Adele.) We know celebs are humans with their own faults and everyone makes mistakes. You don’t have to answer to us on that. But when it comes to what you’re filling the airwaves with? Try a little less “F#*$ YOU!” and a little more “I have a good head on my shoulders” and you will not only get more record sales, you’ll get more respect.

Sincerely,

A conflicted member of the #RihannaNavy


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