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