Sorry, Clutchettes, I know what you’re thinking…can we go a DAY without a Rihanna post? Apparently not.
But recently, Ellen Kelly of the Rape Crisis Center called Rihanna’s video for the hit single a “disgrace” and questions the message the pop star is trying to send her female fans.
Rihanna is no stranger to video controversy. After many hailed her for the powerful message in her ‘Man Down’ video, parent groups attacked her for promoting violence because the video showed Rihanna shooting her rapist. Now, the Rape Crisis Center says she’s telling young women it’s ok to be an object.
Referring to the scene in the video when Rihanna’s love interest tattoos the word “mine” on the singer’s backside, Kelly said:
“Rihanna’s new video is a disgrace. It sends the message that she is an object to be possessed by men, which is disturbingly what we see in real violence cases.”
The video’s director Melina Matsoukas, had an issue with her work being called “a disgrace.” She said that although the video shows how toxic love can be, but it’s “not really at all about domestic violence.”
Matsoukas explains: “It’s really just about it being toxic… It’s not trying to glorify that type of relationship. The bad parts of it, that’s what you don’t want. In the end, her leaving, it represents her getting that out of her life.”
While I understand the need to be critical of images in the media, Kelly’s assertion–that Rihanna’s video promotes the objectification of women–seems a little off base (if we were talking about, say, ‘Tip Drill,’ I’d agree).
During the video we see an out-of-control, crazy couple, that if they continued their relationship would surely self-destruct. But in the end, Rihanna leaves her addictive lover and their destructive behaviors behind, which shows a tremendous amount of agency, that many women in violent relationships may be able to relate to.
But what do you think? Is Rihanna’s video just art or does it send a bad message to young women?