What Everyone’s Forgotten About Rihanna’s Dress Backlash

Written by: @DerrickJaxn

Rihanna-Brooklyn-Nets-bralessI recently posted a picture to my Facebook fan page citing Rihanna's confidence that many of us envy but regurgitate as hate, and the comment section that ensued did nothing short of prove me right.

Every self-proclaimed phenomenal woman(and man) came crawling from under their rocks to air out their frustration in seeing Rihanna show up to such a classy event dressed in "whore attire"(direct quote). First off, I reject the notion of "whore attire", not only for the fact it further facilitates the misogynistic and rapist cultural ideal that "whores" have a certain look, but also because Monica Lewinsky was never seen by the public without being fully dressed in corporate attire. Go figure.

Some of my favorite sentiments from the comments were, "That's not confidence, that's a lack of morals", "She's supposed to be a role model for young children" & my favorite, "Would you want your wife or daughter dressed like that?".

Don't get me wrong, I love an engaging dialogue, but when I noticed the emotion permeating through the pores of those commenting, I realized just how much I overestimated the mental depth of our society.

Case in point: Leader of the new school, Miss Marilyn Monroe.Derrick Jaxn Comparison

Marilyn did more riské things at a time when the world was much more conservative than it is now, yet she's revered to the highest degree as opposed to Rihanna who many have so eloquently labeled a "THOT".  Beyond the alleged sex tape with JF Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe earned much of her acclaim as a sex symbol by typecast roles as the "dumb blonde" and as we all know, posing (nude) for Playboy. And guess what? Your teenage sister or daughter will still take Marilyn's tumblr quotes over your life advice any day of the week.

What's odd is that a lot of people will fight like Spartans to defend the legacy of Marilyn Monroe, yet slut-shame a Rihanna as if the two were any different. Now, this isn't a knock on either of these women. I, unlike many, believe it's possible to acknowledge and appreciate women who are conservative and exemplify what we've learned to be "class" while respecting a woman's freedom to do whatever the f^ck she feels.

I could understand if Rihanna's dress contradicted her brand as a rebellious, do-whatever-whenever, sexy and daring songstress till the point we started quoting her as if she was Osho, but it doesn't. That very contradiction does however lie with the way we've admired Marilyn Monroe's legacy. If you're a fan of Marilyn, fine, but we need to stop seeing these Spades and calling them Clubs.

"But she's a role model to millions of youth."

I don't remember Rihanna making any Kid's Bop albums lately and even if she did, who's really to blame that she's a bigger influence in your child's life than you(the parent)? Can you really sit there and coach her from the sidelines while she's playing your position?

As for the moral policemen, nobody violated you by turning your TV on, flipping the channels and gluing your eyes to what you didn't want to see. Chances are you Googled it too. But to turn morals and values into a clothing line isn't exactly role model-ish. Be able to agree or disagree with a look that doesn't fit your taste without the need to bash and shame someone for being different.

Screenshot_2014-06-06-14-47-01-1"Would you want your wife or daughter to come out looking like that?"

This had to be the most common one of them all. The obvious answer is no, but the two have no relation since my relationship with a loved one will always differ from the tolerance I have for other people's choices. It's like asking me, since I find it interesting that people can eat live roaches, do I want my daughter to come over to your house and get a mouthful?

In addition to that, I don't find it necessary for any woman to shape themselves to what men want because believe it or not, it's possible to be happy completely devoid of a man in your life. I know, I know, that's not what Mama said. But your purpose as a woman goes far beyond the servicing and fitting the expectations of any man.  I normally speak to those expectations as it pertains to relationships to give insight to those interested and (speaking of just me personally) honor and admire those women who carry themselves with discretion. It may be egotistical of me to not want my friends to know what my wife looks like naked, but I have no problem admitting I'm selfish in that regard. I can still respect a woman who does as she pleases and take my hat off to the Kanye man who's confident enough to be cool with that.

So at the end of the day, your priority needs to consist of you and whoever signs your checks. The rest can kiss your ass, just tell them to keep off the fishnet gown.

- @DerrickJaxn


P.S.  If Rihanna teaches TLC us nothing else with her new Twitter header, she teaches TLC us to keep our stones to ourselves, especially when we live in a glass house.

rihanna shade





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Author: DerrickJaxn

Derrick Jaxn is a lifestyle blogger, motivational speaker, and author. He consistently delivers raw truth with a passion and can emotionally connect with anyone no matter how alone you thought you were. If you read it, there's a good chance he writes it, but you won't get it like this from anywhere else. Follow him on Twitter & Instagram @DerrickJaxn.

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  1. VERY WELL SAID. This world would be okay if the women would first stop hating each other and embrace each other. The sooner we all realize that the better.

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  2. Thank you Mr. Jaxn for calling a spade a spade. I’m so over people who get keyboard courage and want to slander others because they make a CHOICE to do or be different than society says they should. I don’t need RiRi, Madonna or any other woman to teach my daughter how to be a lady, THAT’S MY JOB AS HER PARENT & MY RESPONSIBILITY to raise a beautiful young woman. Will my daughter see a tumblr quote that she might like and use, she might, but trust and believe her Mom has made it a point to instill morals and values in her life DAILY.
    N to those who say “But she’s a role model to millions of youth.” How about you have SEVERAL seats and parent your own child?? How about YOU make the choice to be your child’s role model? Or maybe that would be too much like right?? God blessed ME with a beautiful daughter to PARENT and TEACH life lessons, not for RiRi, Madonna, JLo, Beyoncé or anyone else for that matter. That falls on me and it’s not a role I take lightly.
    I want my daughter to look to me for her role model. I want her to know that she IS beautiful in her own skin. I want her to be in a situation and think “What would my Mom do or think of this situation?” N then, I pray that I have instilled morals and values so that she can make informed choices based upon her upbringing, not from pictures she’s seen in a magazine or lyrics she may have heard on the radio.
    I’m very capable of using instances like these as TEACHING moments for my child, w/out stooping to the level of bashing another woman because I might not agree w/her clothing choice.

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  3. I’m sure Marilyn was called a whore at some point. I feel as though making a comparison between the two is picking and choosing to call a bias. Rihanna wore the outfit for attention. Just as Marilyn did. The question I feel that should really be asked is why should we care?. Neither woman would be a role model for my kids. They are not necessarily whores, I do not know their lives. But they are ‘attention whores.’ I’d expect better of my kids. Rihanna can do as she pleases and I love her confidence but at the end of the day why is her fashion choice so important? I’ll never understand.

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  4. I have to agree with the idea of being your own child’s role model. Growing up, I never looked to celebrities as someone to shape my life after. I liked them, and I hung pictures of them up in my room, but I never aspired to be like them. Often they were embroiled in all kinds of drama, drugs, etc etc, and I never wanted that for my own life. That was because my parents were involved in my life. I wanted to be like the women in my life, closer to home. My mom, my grandmother, friends of the family, teachers, etc. I wanted to be more like my friends, not the celebrity that was going to be old news by next week.

    I don’t know, I would rather my kids aspire to be like me, rather than like the people out there that are obviously trying to do things to shock their followers, or push the envelope.

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  5. I think good for you girl ! You have a beautiful body flaunt it !! She works hard has talent and who cares what everyone thinks !!

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  6. I wouldn’t call her a whore, I don’t know her life, but where she wore the gown is what is inappropriate. I, for the life of me, can’t understand why so many people want to be naked all the time. What happened to modestly?

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  7. I try not to say bad things about people. I don’t know if some people confuse me of hating people I don’t. If you can do anything out of the ordinary like sing or act or Athelete even be in Politics even write stories I’m in ore of you’s. No jealously. My favourite saying I HAVE A DREAM! Igamine if Dr Martin Luther King could see the US now! XOXOXO

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  8. As a white woman old enough to be Rihanna’s mother, I think she looked just lovely in that dress. I think some people are just angry, insanely so, that she actually looked good in it. She has the nerve, and the beautiful, young, taught body to compliment following such an unusual fashion genie choice. What’s the big deal? She is, after all, in show business. Why is it that the life style choices of others tend to be daily conversational fodder for those of whom it is really of no business to discuss anyway? Kind of mean, don’t you think?

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  9. I love Rihanna
    I like your music

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