Her “Man Down” video puts a female spin on rape while subtly relating an anti-misogyny message. In other words, she’s often contradictory, sometimes crazy, still young and trying to figure it all out while working and commanding the kind of attention on the world stage that would challenge most of us. Not only are grown women like me reminded of the freedom and possibility we had in our 20’s, for some of us, she’s the embodiment of the rebel spirit that we still have that says we don’t have to have to be who the world, our family, our friends or our lovers want us to be. We love Rihanna, tattoos, hair changes, public mistakes and all, because she reminds us that we still have within us the possibility of truly being ourselves, no matter how old we are.
There’s something compelling about Rihanna’s willingness to live honestly in the spotlight and to reveal some of her most trying moments as she tries to figure them out herself. We know celebs tell you what they want you to know – and rebelliousness is as much a part of Rihanna’s brand as being the poster girl for Doing It All is Beyonce’s. The truth is, Rihanna is far more disciplined than she lets on. At 25, her seven albums have made her one of the top-selling artists of all time. She is a 7-time Grammy winner and has been on five world tours since 2006.
In a week’s time, Rihanna’s social media posts might come from four or five different cities around the world. So despite the controversy, she’s doing what she needs to do to employ not just herself but the various members of Team Rihanna including all the songwriters, producers, musicians, crew and other people who work because she does. After a bout with laryngitis, Rihanna’s in town tonight, hopefully with a healthy throat and ready to entertain the thousands of fans that have been waiting to see her. I don’t know if I’ll make the show because the realities of adult life do mean that things like bills take priority over $200 concert tickets. But whether I see her in person or not, I root for her. And ain’t nobody’s business if I do.
(Photo: PR Photos)