Written by: @DerrickJaxn
I 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.
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.
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.
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.