Photo by Liam Mendes/Wikimedia Commons
It may be a surprise to many that Rihanna is collaborating with Chris Brown on both of their albums, but what truly is shocking is that the shambles in which their relationship was previously left has been put back together by the two young stars. After searching bundles of trashy gossip sights I have unfortunately found too much gossip alluding to the fact that Rihanna took back her abuser/ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.
Before I rush into these two’s personal lives, I’ll start with pop culture. As we all know Rihanna has made a nasty, not so little, habit of glamorizing her past with domestic violence and using it as a platform to base her music upon. This corporate gimic first reared its head on her single with Eminem “Love The Way You Lie.” This song described the back and forth tribulations of an abusive relationship and now we see it was a foreshadowing of what was soon to come. This capitalizing on her violent past is taken to new heights as she works with Chris Brown on two songs, one for each of their albums. To add insult to injury, she is allowing the record companies to bank on the tension between her and Chris working together to boost the sales of these singles.
When looking at this scenario, I would not initially like to blame Rihanna for anything in terms of her assault, but this has become a “hit me once, shame on you. Hit me twice, shame on me” scenario. Whether or not Rihanna likes it, being one of the biggest pop stars in the world makes her a role model for many young girls. This position also makes her a symbol of sexuality. What she does with her body and her interactions with men are held in great solace by far too many young girls. This scandal has been one of the biggest riffs in pop culture in a long while and every step Rihanna takes will be seen by the general public. Returning to a man that had hospitalized her promotes a clear image to young girls to accept a man’s abuse just because he is attractive and can dance. As if the principle of these two working together were not enough, Rihanna pulls out her nympho side once again in the single “Birthday Cake.” (As if the abusive images of sadomasochism in “S&M” weren’t enough.) Where Chris Brown’s verse begins with “Girl I want to f*** you right now.” Trust me, give it a listen and this is not the only form of ownership and misogyny you’ll hear.
Seeing as Rihanna’s most recent album “Talk that That” has been top 10 on the Billboard charts since it’s release, it is quite likely that these new singles will make themselves a place on these charts as well. Chances are she will receive little backlash and will continue to be the diva she is while allowing Chris Brown to rapidly receive forgiveness and a crafty Hollywood cover up of the entire situation. As much as I hope Chris does not strike again, he has made little attempts at even apologizing for his previous actions and has barely received a slap on the wrist, leaving him with little reasoning to do anything less then what he pleases.
It is safe to say that I am probably not the only one of Rihanna’s only fans that is disappointed with this decision. I’m sure that many of her fans would much rather see her using her place in pop culture to stand up for women. Also using her past as a testament of leaving unhealthy relationships. With this power she has done the opposite, and all girls are seeing is an even further demeaning image of women in the top 40 charts.
Whether or not you see this rekindling as a second chance for the two young stars or a terrible decision on Rihanna’s behalf: I leave you to make your own decisions with the links to official police report and the videos of Riahnna’s “Birthday Cake” and Chris Brown’s “Turn Up the Music.”