TLC Aren’t the Only Ones Tired of Rihanna’s Nipples

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  • Melody Cooper

    Daren, then I’m guessing you’re also tired of Beyonce’s half naked booty shaking, sex object/subject focus. I mean, just to be fair and equal. But let’s also imagine a world where no one was so hung up on nipples, that they just moved on and there weren’t days and weeks of articles and posts and discussion about it (thereby focusing more attention on it). And whatever you do, don’t Google Josephine Baker or Eartha Kitt “naked.” Just. Don’t. Do. It.

    • Just wondering, are you implying that Rihanna should be compared to Beyonce, Josephine Baker, and Eartha Kitt when it comes to trailblazing, talent, and contributions to the genre? Bc, the author’s qualm doesn’t seem to be with nakedness. It seems to be with that being the singular dimension RiRi presents. Correct me if I’m wrong…

      • Melody Cooper

        Jenn, I agree with some of Daren’s points. As a mom, the images projected to our girls (and boys) concerns me. But I have mixed feelings on this one. I think Daren’s issue with stars blatantly using sex as their main draw can be laid at the feet of many popular artists who, under the guise of “it’s a business” or the pretense of “controlling their image” have gotten away with it. In many raging debates for quite a while, Beyonce has also been accused of “egging them on adding fuel to fire just to see her name in even brighter lights.” With others questioning “if she has considered the collateral damage to the images of black women (especially young, impoverished women) who have less sexual agency than she does.” If you happen to like Beyonce, you give her a pass, and validate and emulate her. Singling out RiRi in this is interesting. She is not coy about her body; she’s bold. Is that worse? Does it offend more?Titillate more? Create more discussion about the issue of sex/art/entertainment/women? Regardless of our musical preferences, I don’t think we can reduce Rihanna SOLELY to a singular dimension, do you? As a black female celebrity and icon (whether or not we like it), does she have to be a trailblazer to share some fundamental aspects of what Eartha and Josephine did as entertainers? After all, that’s what Rihanna and Beyonce are. Entertainers. That is their vocation.
        “Is that what they call a vocation, what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?” ― Josephine Baker

        • Hi Melody.

          Let me weigh in to further explain where I am coming from. Whether we like it or not, entertainment is a business. I would love if we could just support the best artists no matter what their physical appearance is. But that is not the world we live in. Everything is about the “package”. And that’s fine.

          My issue is that Rihanna, as opposed to a Beyonce, puts her sex first. When you think about why she is a celebrity, it isn’t because of her musical accomplishments or stunning voice. When you think of RIhanna, you think of stripper poles, pelvic thrusting, and nipples. That’s what I and TLC were both getting at. It’s ok to own your sexuality and be yourself, but you are devaluing yourself, your worth, and your legacy by presenting yourself in this manner.

          No one takes Rihanna seriously as an artist. As a brand maybe, but not as a musician. You can’t say the same for Eartha Kitt, Joesphine Baker, or Beyonce. There is plenty of space to criticize Beyonce for similar practices, but you can’t say that she isn’t a respected artist in her own right too.

          As an aside, I’m tired of Beyonce’s hypersexualized image too. But she isn’t like this in every single representation. She at least shows range. This doesn’t give her a pass, but it definitely precludes her from being on Rihanna’s level.

          • Melody Cooper

            I hear you. I’m not a huge fan of either, or a hater of one more than another. Looking at videos like “What Now” or “Where Have You Been” I don’t have a problem, but Rihanna does tend to be a one note message. Her imagery is sometimes out there, she is not as Pop palatable or safe as others (which is welcome), but she also makes some questionable and damn boring choices that focus on sex so heavy, that’s ALL you remember when you think of her. I think you and I are in agreement, and I’m glad to hear Beyonce’s hypersexualized mega brand is an issue for you too (especially since she probably influences more young women). At least brand Beyonce is more varied, easier on the eyes, sometimes tries to say something and is fun to listen to. She doesn’t need to be the greatest singer. Neither was Kitt or Baker. And while Josephine Baker appeared nearly nude on stage for much of her career, it was not all she did.

  • John Henry

    “Maybe the advent of likes, favorites, and re-tweets have built indestructible platforms for foolery.”

    Now that is the quote of the week. But I agree with you totally on this article. I am a man, that loves a woman. But to shove it in my face is considered raunchy.