I’m not talking about her as a pop singer. I’m not talking about talent (or lack thereof). I am not condoning domestic violence. I am not taking sides in the Rhianna Chris Brown beatdown fiasco. This is simply about the bugging fact that Glamour Magazine announced Rhianna as their 2009 “Woman of the Year”, and I absolutely ABSOLUTELY disagree. I think it was a courageous stepping stone for Rhianna to finally publicly speak out against domestic violence, but a 30 minute interview with Diane Sawyer is far from suffice to crown her as “Woman of the Year”. The question will stand: if Rhianna did not get beat, would she still be “Woman of the Year?” With this award, we should think about how we want to celebrate women in the world and what kind of accomplishments we wish to recognize. We should also acknowledge that accomplishments are not always reactionary. Rather, it is truly commendable when individuals are proactive in their willingness to step outside their daily comfort zone and commit to a long term vision. When you are in a position of power and influence (as Rhianna, especially with young girls), it BECOMES your responsibility to speak out against these things, whether you want to or not. It is a gift and a curse, to be such a high profile individual in the public eye. A gift because you have the power to positively impact people via massive means. A curse because the burden of social responsibility is always with you. But social responsibility is something that many people have a hard time accepting. And we ALL have social responsibility–celebrity status or not. We all have social responsibility to do whatever is within our capacity to better our world. (So bigger capacity = bigger means). It is a product of consciousness, so folks can choose to be about it or not (welcome to the Matrix…). So now, it’s almost as if Rhianna did something she is SUPPOSE to–EXPECTED to do, then does it and gets an award. She did an interview. But that’s it. What else has she done to deeply address the issue? How is she overextending herself above and beyond expectations to make great accomplishments to society, like some of her previously celebrated “Woman of the Year” allies, MICHELLE OBAMA and MAYA ANGELOU (uhm, I know. Rhianna who?). Wait a minute, Rhianna is releasing her new album in two weeks. INCREDIBLE!!
Pro bono? or say promo?
Previous “Women of the Year”:
my mom!! she’s woman of the year every year, obviously.
While are on the topic of high profile artists, “Woman of the Year” and domestic violence victims, I must say that WHITNEY HOUSTON is an incredible example of strength and beauty. While most of us may never know the full details of Whitney’s “lost years” due to drug addiction, substance abuse and domestic abuse, she is truly a star to be recognized for her perseverance and courage. This year she released an amazing album, in which many have criticized her voice as sounding weak and worn (too much crack?). There is no question that her voice is not the same. But it is like a soldier going through a battlefield and coming out a survivor. The soldier is going to rise out of that experience with some battle scars. Whitney’s voice may not be the “same”, but the scar in her voice shows the power in her as an individual to step out of her challenges and still create powerful, soul touching music. This song by Whitney Houston says more than Rhianna’s interview with Diane Sawyer. Enjoy.