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Vixen Vent: Have Rihanna and Other Pop Princesses Redefined 'Female Empowerment?'

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Let me start off by saying I am sad, amused and confused.

Rihanna's "Pour It Up" is far from shocking. The twerktastic cut is everything you'd imagine from the good girl gone bad: dollar bills, barely there outfits and dancing ladies galore. Rihanna, who usually allows debauchery to happen around her, put herself in a variety of compromising positions to show that she can work it with the best of them. Per usual, there's no denying the girl's near perfect looks. Even with a gaudy blonde wig atop her head, Rihanna's firm abs, lengthy legs and of course—round backside, steal the show and trigger the creation of GIFs, memes and articles dedicated to her latest act. In fact, her heavy influence may change an activity usually reserved for men and make it a more viable option for girl's night out.

As I watched (and re-watched #dontjudgeme) the "unapologetic" clip, a bevy of thoughts ran through my head. First, nothing about it surprised me. Besides the usual strip club tricks, our Bajan princess' transformation already began six albums ago with a dye job and Jay Z cosign. Since then, it's a been a whirlwind of chameleon-like style, ex-boyfriend drama and Twitter beef surrounded by a cloud of weed smoke. What is there to look forward to when chaos has already been revealed?

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We can't deny the total 360 America's "pop princess" has made. Fifteen years ago, these girls were virginal songbirds with a just a glimmer of naughtiness. Today, Hannah Montana is "dancing with molly" and Britney Spears can't get enough of S&M (watch her "Work Bitch" video here).

I am not here to bash anyone. I believe being comfortable in your sexuality is vital to being a fully realized woman. And hey, we all grow up at some point. I commend gals like Rihanna, Miley and Britney who can do their own version of that in front of a worldwide audience. However, I grow frustrated when I think about the impression it leaves on the viewer. Regardless of whether these women choose to be role models or not, no amount of parental supervision will keep girls of any age from accessing the NSFW content.

If a female celebrity continuously addresses being "empowered" and takes off their clothes in the same breath, are they sending the message that this is what makes us a "real" woman? Furthermore, if we perpetuate those same sentiments through our own social media channels, are we doing the same? It can be difficult to answer any of these questions under the influence of an over-saturated online community.

However, I do think it's time we get the conversation started. Vixens, what are your thoughts on Rih Rih's revealing "Pour It Up?" Let us know in the comments below.

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va DuVernay speaks onstage during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 10th annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Ava DuVernay And Theaster Gates To Lead Diversity Council For Prada

Major luxury brands like Prada and Gucci have been under fire since releasing luxury items with racial undertones. Sparking controversy that is not easily repaired with public apologies, Prada has announced a Diversity and Inclusion Council lead by director Ava DuVernay and social practice installation artist Theaster Gates.

Gates and DuVernay, who have used their art in social justice missions will join " Prada’s initiative to elevate voices of color within the company and the fashion industry at-large.” The pair will also help the brand provide the opportunity for designers of color to obtain internships and apprenticeships that are inclusive of diverse communities.

In a statement to WWD, Miuccia Prada, Prada’s Chief Executive Officer, and Lead Creative Director stated explained the brand's willingness to learn from their own mistakes while actively including creative of color in the company.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company, Prada said. "In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry, we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

The Diversity Council will work alongside the company's Social Responsibility department to recommend strategic approaches within the next few months.

 

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Solitary Alignment: 5 Self-Affirming Reads For Single Ladies On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, the Feast of Saint Valentine—the Hallmark holiday that strikes us with its arrow each year, for better or for worse, depending on your bae status. While the romantic holiday is adored and celebrated by many, if you’re still reeling over, say, your ex’s refusal to commit, chances are Feb. 14 is more of a heartache for you than anything.

But as a wise woman once said, “If they liked it then they should’ve put a ring on it.” So whether V-Day has you scared of lonely or sulking over a lost love, as another wise woman once said, they “would be SUPER lucky to even set eyes on you this Valentine’s Day. That’s it. That’s the gift.” Shout out to The Slumflower.

Sure, having a bae on Valentine’s Day is cool, but so is reminding yourself why you’re just fine without one (cue Webbie’s “Independent”). In fact, single folks have better relationships overall, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. You know how the old adage goes: love yourself before loving someone else.

For this Valentine’s Day, VIBE Vixen rounds up a nourishing list of books for our sisters doin’ it for themselves. Consider this your reminder of how badass you are—because you are! Oh, oh, oh. *Beyoncé voice*

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Cast of 'Boomerang' (L to R): Ari (Leland Martin), David (RJ Walker), Bryson (Tequan Richmond)
Kareem Black/BET

BET’s 'Boomerang' Recap: Can You Really Hate The Player?

It’s game night at Bryson’s crib and at this point, you have to wonder if he’s playing himself. Clubs ain’t for everybody, especially Bryson who would much rather spend a Friday night shouting out clues to his boo Simone. Judging by her uncanny ability to keep it real in episode one, it should be pretty obvious that Simone hates playing games, but we digress.

The ladies arrive after a walk and talk of d**k appointments and the gentlemen’s faces are beaming with schoolboy joy. The friend zone portal Bryson always finds himself in opens up even wider when new dudes come to join in on the fun. Simone’s excitement to “meet new people” has Bryson feeling so jealous that he damn near blows steam when an almondy young man accidentally bumps into her. Its official: Bryson’s insecurity level has reached a 10.

As Tara reluctantly Insastories the night’s dull festivities, Ari gives his homie Bryson the cold, hard truth: Simone does not want his a**. Out on the balcony, Crystal and David (RJ Walker) have a moment; the two clearly have history. A shared beer and a couple of laughs reveal that David is an aspiring preacher, begging us to wonder if that’s why little Creflo’s relationship with Crystal didn’t last. The newly invited pizza guy, Shawn, makes his crush on Simone crystal clear and Bryson. Loses. His. Sh*t. Damn, we heard the friend zone was a cold place but we never thought it was that brick. Simone and her new eye candy rendezvous en route to and from the bathroom where Shawn makes a very forward ask to keep Simone company in her bed.  We’re not even going to hold you all, Simone was out; my mans didn’t even have to ask her twice. Le sigh. Poor Bryson. He just keeps taking L after L.

Okay, so remember kitchen bae who bumped into Simone making Bryson get all Mighty Mouse? Well, the gag is, his eyes are just for Ari (Leland B. Martin) and the two make their exit for a steamy hot tub sesh. Bryson feels stupid now, but at least someone is getting a happy ending.  Confused as to why the love of his life doesn’t view him the same, Bryson looks to pastor David for some well-needed reaffirmations. Repeat after me: Everything happens in God’s timing. A spirit of prayer, a childhood photo, and spin of Ahmad’s “Back In The Day” is just what Bryson needs to finally feel the relief he was yearning for all night.

This season of BET’s Boomerang looks like it will be filled with bomb hairstyles, plenty of passion, and some “aww sh*****t” moments.

Tune in to Boomerang on BET every Tuesday at 10/9c to see if this nice guy will ever finish first.

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