Why Rihanna and Chris Brown doing a new song together isn't the end of the damned world

Why Rihanna and Chris Brown doing a new song together isn't the end of the damned world

I get an acrylic overlay put on my nails so that I can't bite them, it's a habit I developed as a kid. I was a nervous child, I grew up in a household where my dad and my mom had physical fights and most of the time you never saw them coming. Before my father became clean and sober, his marriage to my mom was a drama-filled downward spiral. They would fight, he would hurt her, she would send him away, and then she would forgive him and let him come back. She didn't leave until he tried to kill her and she realized that her staying was going to put her children in a situation where they had no competent parent to care for them. I bit my nails until I was 21, then I started getting an acrylic overlay. My nails, in fact, are quite bad ass.

While I was in the nail shop, one of those news shows came on that exposes everybody's business. I do not know the name of it because I tend to stay away from those shows, I've hated those shows ever since my parents were on one when I was a kid & my fifth grade teacher felt the need to pull me to the side and ask me how I was coping. On the show, they were discussing how Chris Brown and Rihanna had recently collaborated on two new songs, not just Rihanna's Birthday Cake Remix but also on another one of his songs. They discussed how the lyrics were so sexually explicit that they could not play them on television. They speculated that the two singers would soon get back together and said that their choice to do a song together sends the wrong message to young fans, teaching them that abuse is something that should be tolerated and swept under the rug.

I remember my mom covering up bruises with make-up that my father had inflicted on her while drunk and/or high. I remember her pretending as if everything was fine at family events. I remember the arguments that almost always led to fights, and in spite of having lived through that hell the night before my mom still woke us up on time, got us washed, dressed, fed, and off to school everyday. The years of drama that my mom dealt with as my dad's wife gave way to years of drama while trying to get away. It was hell for her. But in the end, after he became clean and sober and apologized for what he had done, she forgave him. They became friends. They were able to talk on the phone for hours and laugh together. My mom never went back to him after the divorce, in spite of my father wanting to marry her again. My mom forgave him because she felt she was not a victim and holding on to anger and hurt wasn't going to do any good for anybody.

Some would argue that this would set a negative example for her daughters, right? Honestly, I think my mom's decision to forgive is part of the reason why I have far healthier relationships than a lot of girls my age. Not only do I not hold on to past hurts, but I am able to walk away from a situation that isn't good for me without having any hard feelings. I know that even if a guy does something terrible to me, it doesn't mean I am weak and should live the rest of my life as a victim, avoiding him and blaming him which does nothing but keep the pain fresh. So I can understand why Rihanna can forgive Chris Brown and decide to do a song with him.

Have we considered for a moment that perhaps she is over it? And I know it pisses a lot of people off to think that she'd get past the violence...but guess what? You don't get to decide how a person heals. You don't get to dictate for Rihanna who she is allowed to forgive. I have to be honest, if they do get back together and do the whole couple thing again I'll totally feel like "Ewwwww...for reals?" However, I think that the people who are complaining that this collaboration communicates a negative message to her fans should also consider the positive message, the one that shows that you are allowed to heal, forgive, and forget. Rihanna doing a song with Chris Brown is not a sign that she thinks abuse of women is alright, I think she has been very vocal about how wrong she thinks Chris Brown was for what he did to her. As a female entertainer myself, I can't help but think that maybe it was empowering for Rihanna to be able to remove the victim stigma that has been associated with her ever since the beating went down. Who the hell wants to be a famous victim?

As a person who witnessed domestic abuse firsthand, I know how damaging it can be for the people involved. Yet, my mom is the strongest woman I've ever known. She is an amazing woman who has endured some of the most difficult hardships you can imagine but she still came out on top. If my mom can forgive over ten years of abuse, move on, start a new and better life, and still stand by my father's side when he was on his death bed, then it is very difficult for me to see Rihanna in the negative light that the media is trying to paint her in just because she let Chris Brown hop on a remix of one of her records. I respect her for her decision to forgive Chris Brown. Maybe you should, too.

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  • I agree with you that no one gets to dictate how another person heals - and whether or not they get to get over it and move on. Why should Rihanna have to hold onto toxic anger just so others will think she's "mad enough"? You can never make everyone happy.

  • In reply to momwriter:

    I just think it's hella unfortunate that some of the same organizations that fight for women to have a better life after domestic abuse are getting pissed off at Rihanna for this choice. That's sorta hypocritical to me, it's like they want the women to get over it on THEIR terms and not according to what the woman thinks is right. Like it said, if they get back together I'll be weirded out, but its their business.

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    In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    The cycle of abuse for many isn't really a choice. If your mother escaped the statistics by "forgiving", lucky for her. When a woman is abused it's EVERYBODY's business as a community. I lived above an abused woman for a year of my life. I called 9-1-1 every chance I got. My mother also went through a cycle of abuse. I always got in the way. Most women stuck in these cycles can't seem to get the help they need to get out completely. You make some big assumptions that this is part of Rihanna’s "forgiveness and healing". You know this how? You're Rihanna's best friend? Rihanna's mother? Her psychologist? The E.R. dr. who sewed up her lip? The policeman who took the call and surveyed the choke marks on her neck? The music industry friends who, when the news came, sheltered her and lifted her up? The judge who instituted the restraining order? Whatever your assumptions, Rihanna has just re-entered into a cycle with her abuser. Somewhere a woman is too afraid to leave her abusive husband while you theorize based on…NOTHING. Yours is an incredibly irresponsible article based on unfounded assumptions - but, it's your opinion to which you are entitled – but HOW you were able to get 366 words in the Red Eye to spew something completed unfounded is dumbfounding to me. #NewFeminism-IGuess-IsIgnorance

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    I agree that there is a point where it shows the value of forgiveness and compassion. But the point where I don't think I can fully agree with you is because of the song itself. Have you heard the lyrics? You'd practically think they fucked and made up (which isn't farfetched either). If this song was more heartfelt, serious, about something live love, maybe even about forgiving a past lover, THEN I would see that as really teaching a value, and sending a positive message to fans. But the wrong message doesn't really come from the fact they collaborated, but the end result: a completely sexual song that in itself has some rough sex/violent ideas...

    "Don't try to hide it
    I'ma make you my bitch

    Cake, cake, cake, cake (But you wanna put your name on it)
    I know you wanna bite this
    It's so enticing
    Nothing else like this
    I'ma make you my bitch"

    http://rapfix.mtv.com/2012/02/21/chris-brown-rihanna-birthday-cake-remix-lyrical-breakdown/

  • In reply to Yohance Serrant:

    How is this different from any other song they make though? They both do sexual songs and have been doing them for quite a while now & nobody really seemed to care before. I don't think we coulda expected them to drop "Reunited & It Feels So Good" when that's not what they do. Don't u think it woulda been hella contrived if they woulda gone that route? U can't exactly say they're moving forward like nothing happened, cuz their gradual reconciliation has been well documented by entertainment media. If u are saying u think it was distasteful then I can respect your point, but since they both already discuss that kinda content I wasn't offended by it.

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    In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    I don't expect them to make Reunited or We Are the World. But to act as though this is business as usual is missing the point. They have songs that are sexual, and they have songs that aren't sexual. As far as I can tell Beautiful People, Disturbia, Crawl, and Man Down aren't sexual (at least not as overtly as this song they made together). We're talking about two international stars who had a very public, graphic incident of domestic violence between them, broke up, and had about 3 years of riducule in the press. They expect us to all forget and say "What? It's just a song." To me, this is like if Ike and Tina Turner did a cover of Sexual Healing together. Collaborating isn't the problem, it's the result of what they produced along with it that is irresponsible to the big picture.

  • In reply to Yohance Serrant:

    Like I stated in the blog, we're not really sure what their motivation was for burying the hatchet. Maybe they feel as if they have addressed it enough. I think even if she had done a sweet, sentimental song with Chris people would have been mouthing off about it either way, so why not put him on a remix of a song that is already on her album? Don't forget, this is the music industry...NOTHING is done unintentionally.

  • great post Nikki. Its clear the Rihanna has forgiven chris brown so the rest of us should lay off and stop pushing their moral compass on people.

  • Nikki!! Very well said! I totally agree -- the media and everybody else wants this woman to heal on their terms and that's why their disappointed.

    As far as the type of song these guys collaborated on, I personally don't think it sends any message. Technically it is business as usual. I don't find it surprising at all that they would collab on a sexually overt song when u listen to lyrics like "come here rude boy boy can you get it up? are you big enough?, take it take it"!! I mean really?!

    I think that people view the collaboration as a "public" apology and want more from it. But let's be real, the apology was done long before THEY made it public and perhaps the collaboration is just prepping the people for what's to come. No surprise here, if the two become a couple yet again.

  • In reply to carm120red:

    That's a really good point, I remember her tweeting something about forgiving him a long time ago, in 2011. If people want another public apology from him that's one thing, but condemning her for her choice to move past it is just stupid to me. Thanx for commenting!

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    You raise some interesting points Nikki. I, for one, am a big believer in the power of forgiveness. But what I don't believe in, is forgetting. Because when you forget the lessons you learn from your past, you're bound to repeat them. And maybe that's why I was disappointed, but NOT surprised to learn about Rhianna & Brown's collabo. Just like I won't be surprised if (when) they get back together as a couple.

    As someone who has also witnessed a loved one go through an abusive relationship abuse I know that it's a tough cycle to break.

    Your personal story is a real testament that people can change for the better. But I don't think that's what we're witnessing here and maybe that's why people are upset. Unlike your father, Brown hasn't done a good job at showing a positive change in his behavior. His public temper tantrums and his complete lack of humility shows he has a long way to go in demonstrating personal growth.

    She publicly admitted to being conflicted about her choice

  • In reply to Adriana Diaz:

    That's true. I can't really speak from his side of it, because he's the one who hit a woman and I don't condone that, that's not acceptable at all. I'm can only look at it from her perspective. People are speculating & attacking her character without having all of the details and without considering what she thinks is best for her. If they do get back together that is their business, like I said, I'd never go back to a guy who spoke to me inappropriately let alone put his hands on me. But some women do go back to a guy after abuse, sometimes it never happens again and sometimes it does. All I'm saying is SHE is human and SHE is the one going through it. We're not in a position to judge.

  • hey nikki...as always, poking a stick in the hornet's nest, i see.

    meanwhile, i had to think on my response for a minute...had to get up and walk to get my thoughts focused so i don't come across sounding "iggnant". so here goes:

    i don't know chris brown from a can of paint, so i don't know if he's a good kid (he's only 22) who did something bad and the world needs to get over it and let him be, or if he's what lots of people want to paint him as being: an unrepentant, woman-beating, misogynist. for all i know, he could be varying degrees of neither or both. as far as we all know, he's serving his sentence and has stayed out of trouble.

    as far as rihanna goes, i don't know her either, but i do know that when things jumped off, she let him go, didn't apologize for him, did her thing and stayed her distance. having dealt with abused women before (friends and family), she did better than most do, even if on the inside she still loved him (especially if she still loved him, actually).

    with that in mind, three years and a lot of growing up later, if she wants to get back together with him, on whatever level, i don't have a problem with it. she knows him better than i ever will, and she's grown, so who am i to say, "naw gurrl, don't you go back to his ass!" i'm not really in the business of passing judgement on people whose lives don't affect mine, especially in the instance of who does and doesn't deserve forgiveness. i'm thankful that the f-ups that i continue to make in my life don't make the news, as i'm sure i'd still be apologizing for things i did 30 years ago as well as 3 years ago.

    people say that's the price you pay to be rich and famous, and i don't really buy that. me buying your music or watching your movie or cheering for or against you doesn't give me the right to be your conscience. frankly, i'm pretty much occupied with being my own. we talk about how self-centered celebrities are, but how self-righteous are we?

  • In reply to misterchi:

    I always enjoy reading your comments :o) And u raise a good point, within the past several years the lives of celebs have become part of entertainment for some reason. At some point we stopped realizing that these blogs covering these stories don't know all of the details so we're literally making decisions based upon assumptions. I'm not exactly pro-Chris Brown, but I refuse to be anti-Rihanna just because she decided to do a couple songs with him.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    thanks nikki! you always keep me thinking and you also bring up more food for thought as "reality" and tabloid tv has taken celeb-watching to a whole new level. it used to be relegated to those "rags" at the checkout counter at the grocery store but now we've got whole shows and even networks dedicated to celebrity gossip. how much is enough?

  • I wonder if there was this much hoopla when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton remarried back in the Sixties. Or when Andre Rison and the girl from TLC reunited after she burned down his house. For all we know, this might just be a professional collaboration and not a romantic one. Time will tell. And if it is a romance again, let them hash it out for themselves.

  • In reply to Tresix:

    Agreed, 100%. Its easy to judge from the outside looking in, I try not to fall victim to that type of foolishness. Thanx for commenting, Tre!

  • This must be a black thing. I'm white - I guess I don't understand.

    I served on a jury a few years back. Black kid beat the crap out of his black girlfriend.

    It was an equal mixed jury of black and white. The black people all said, and this is fact, "he's a good boy, he's sorry," blah, blah, blah. The whites wanted to put him away. Needless to say, it was a hung jury.

    Why is this type of behavior condoned in the black community?

  • In reply to clevelandrocks:

    Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. When u were typing that...did u not feel weird about what u were asking? Like, before u pushed "Comment" did u not have a moment of hesitation that made u wonder if maybe what u had written should not have been shared?

    Do u think that domestic violence only affects Black women? And do u truly think Black women are the only ones who reconcile with their abusers? Nevermind that some women do it because they legitimately do forgive & wanna move on, nevermind the fact that some women do it just because they're married & have to be civil because they want their kids to have a father. It has to be a race thing, right?

    Do all White people assume that stuff they don't understand must be an ethnic thing or is this just how u were raised? I'm Black & I think people who play the race card need to do better.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    Honestly, no. I didn't feel weird at all. These comments just blew my mind. All is good. All is forgiven. Did you SEE those pictures? Did you SEE what he did to her? Everything's just fine now? What kind of example is she setting by doing this song with him?

    Your poor mother probably stayed with your father because of her children. She made that sacrifice for YOU. If that was your daughter, what would you want her to do? You would want her to get out and get out now. You would want her to be safe and not afraid. You would want that because you love her.

    This wasn't a race card comment (as you put it and I know you loved putting that out there), and I am well aware that domestic violence affects all races, rich or poor. It was my observation. Re-read thesse comments and your article. Everyone here is thinking this is all fine and dandy. Whatever they do is fine...it doesn't affect me, right?

    You of all people should be really pissed at this. This was close to YOUR home.

  • In reply to clevelandrocks:

    NOBODY has said "Its all fine and dandy, all is forgiven." It makes me wonder if YOU actually did read the article and comments. Its not about Chris, what he did m what he's sorry for, I can't speak from his perspective because I've never beat a loved one in the face and sent them to the hospital. I can speak from her perspective only because of the strength my mom showed me in that situation.

    When I told my mom about the article I had written, she said "That's good. She's young and she doesn't need to be carrying that around with her for the rest of her life." Its as if people are angry that she isn't being the right type of victim. They're in the same industry. She'll always seem him, he isn't going anywhere. So should she avoid him like the plague, keeping the drama at the forefront of her mind, making a point of distancing herself for the whole world can see? Because I'm gonna be real with u, that's not what healing looks like, at least not to me. I am an abuse survivor myself and I forgave my abusers because holding on to it is too heavy. Why should I be burdened with resentment and anger? Why should I watch where I go? I'm not the one who did something wrong.

    Maybe her doing music with Chris was her way of showing the world that NO the media does not need to make a huge deal out of having him perform at an awards show she is attending, NO she does not need to have the fight mentioned in the press every time she releases a new album, NO it does not need to be major news when they happen to tweet each other. I'm sorry, but I can understand that. Would I be thrilled if they got back together? No, that's hella gross to me. But that falls under the category of "stuff I can't relate to" and "stuff I wouldn't" so I won't care about it. People keep making this be about Chris Brown & what he did and NOT about her what she wants her future to look like. She doesn't wanna be remembered as a victim and I support that, 100%.

  • In reply to clevelandrocks:

    i have to say, your comment and reply have officially been filed in my, "things that make you go 'hmmmm'" folder, but i'll come back to that.

    i'd like to ask you a few questions first:
    -should she not forgive him?
    -what kind of example do you think she's setting?
    -what would you rather she do?
    -if it's not "fine and dandy", what is the situation?

    now back to why i said, 'hmmmm'...i actually chuckled to myself as i read your comment because i've been involved in more conversations like this than i can count over enough topics to fill a book. with that in mind, let me clarify a few things:
    -i don't speak for "the black community" nor do i know anyone who does.
    -having had friends and family as victims of abuse, i in no way condone or promote abuse or any such behavior.
    -i hate the phrase "race card" as it trivializes how truly horrible racism and bigotry are, so i'll just say you made it a racial issue when you typed, "This must be a black thing."

    having said that, until your comment, the discussion seemed to revolve around two things: forgiveness and reconciliation and whether or not it was a good thing in this case. for me, it's a people thing and i would answer the same way if chris brown were blue and rihanna were polka dot.at the current moment, however, i'm not sitting on a jury debating whether or not to convict someone so that's just my opinion. but now that you bring it up, i guess i'm black so maybe it is a black thing that i believe that people do make mistakes and should not necessarily be ostracized because of them.

  • In reply to misterchi:

    Chuuch.

  • I do agree with forgivness. But she is in the public eye. Doesnt she have a responsibility to her (very young) fans to be some sort of role model? But thats a whole other can of worms I suppose. I just know if I had a 11 year old daughter instead of 11 year old son she would not listen to her music. Luckily my son has no idea who she is. LOL

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    In reply to Jenz1016:

    Jen,

    I just wanted to make a comment about the "in the public eye" statement.

    I think it is easy for us (as non-famous individuals) to say that we would like to hold people in the public eye at a high moral standard. However, do we not go to the movies and see films with actors/actresses who are drug addicts/recovering addicts, DV abusers and the like?

    You have a 11 year old son, I'm sure he watches Iron Man with R.D.Jr who is a recovering addict. If he slips back into his addiction would you ban those films? As actors and actresses are role models for our children as well. Do we not listen to all the rock bands with raving and/or recovering coke/heroin addicts? (ie Aerosmith) or R&B (M.J.Blige who I lovvveee)?

    People in the limelight are not perfect, they are, in fact, more flawed as their lives are unjustly transparent. If we did not listen to their music, watch their films, go to their sporting events, and the like... we would have nothing and no one to entertain us. Famous people are just like everyone else. They deal with all the same issues we deal with. I'm sure a child listening to Rihanna and Chris Brown's music will not decide to get into a DV relationship because they were in one. (They might however decide to have wild, raunchy sex after listening to many of their sexually explicit songs!)

    I hope you take my comment as just some food for thought and not belittling your opinion. My opinion, as always, is solely my viewpoint of the society we live in.

    :-)

  • Nikki- really great, thoughtful post. Never having been in or witnessed an abusive relationship, I jumped on the "horrified" bandwagon when I heard they were collaborating, but your post gave me a new perspective. I totally get how forgiving him would sort of empower her and keep her from feeling like a victim. I also wonder whether everyone would be quite so apalled if she was forgiving him for another form of abuse (verbal/emotional, infidelity), which has the potential to be equally damaging. Anyway, thanks for the perspective and congrats on making the Red Eye this morning.

  • In reply to annekip63:

    That is a good point...people tend to be more lenient on abuse when it is not physical, or they underestimate the affect it has on a person. I didn't even think about that perspective, now I am wondering the same thing. Thanx for commenting, so glad you enjoyed the article :o)

  • Hi Nikki,

    Just peeped your excerpt in the Red Eye and I'm pleasantly surprised at your response to the situation. Forgiveness is a huge step to take because it comes with ridicule spotlight or none. Check out my response www.wilderinreallife.com

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    Nikki,

    I was reading the Trib online and saw the link for this blog. (Glad I clicked the link!)

    I was just talking with my bestie about this yesterday topic. I love how everyone has such an opinion about Domestic Violence and how it relates with Rihanna and Chris Brown. I'm more along the lines of the "Leave these famous people alone because when it boils down to it they can, and probably are, do things just to stay relevant and in the limelight."

    As a survivor of DV, I understand the struggle of dealing with forgiveness and moving on. I personally deal with the push and pull of forgiving/hating/forgiving/trying to forget/hating/forgiving on a regular basis. (But I'm not back with, and have not spoken with, my ex since the incident occurred.) I think it takes a bigger person to forgive and an even bigger and humble person to forgive and allow themselves to have any type of relationship with a person that abused them.

    I truly appreciate reading your opinion on this matter, and the personal viewpoint from which it comes from. Thank you very much for sharing.

    And my two sense with the whole Rihanna and Chris Brown incident: Let them do what they wanna do! It is not our lives to live.

    Sidenote: Keep doing a great job in the music industry. It's great to see someone talented and well versed come out of Chicago!

  • In reply to EMarie:

    Awwwww :o) Thanx for the war words and for sharing your story. I am an abuse survivor too (not domestic, but still) and I had to force myself to forgive. I looked the guys who did it in the face and said "I forgive you." I had to, it was eating me up, making me feel damaged. For me, it's easier to toss it to the wind as a messed up thing that happened but it's over now and I have grown from it. That's life, u know?

    Again, thanks for the kind sentiments pretty lady. U rock :o)

  • I've read a million blogs and articles, opinions about this. In my own personal opinion, I think everyone has it wrong. That includes those horrified by this and those spouting forgiveness. No one has stepped back to see the underlying issues of both Rihanna and Chris Brown, the environments of abuse they come from. Backlash is not healthy and defeats the purpose. And people may not realize it, but in some ways being pro-forgiveness is enabling a toxic situation. In actuality, they both need counseling to heal the wounds that are there. The wounds are always going to be fresh, there. It doesn't go away as much as you want to forgive. I know. I was Rihanna's age when I was abused for months on end. I tried to forgive and unfortunately, when I did the guy abused me more savagely than he had prior. He's now in jail for abusing his umpteenth girlfriend. Which makes me wonder. I've seen her tweets, which are quite defensive. Has she really forgiven him? I don't know, but no matter what you or I or anyone else thinks there is a severe backlash over this. It's something that was handled poorly. Someone should have been a bigger adult and took these two aside to provide better guidance. And to take away Twitter for a while as well. That also does neither any favors. Again, this is just my opinion.

  • In reply to sheryh:

    i actually agree with you, which is why i was hesitant to comment in the first place. especially in the case of public people, we don't know the details of who these people really are and what is going on with them, so we're making opinions and judgements based upon what we THINK the situation is. you bring up several good points, and leaving twitter alone is one of them. but again, we're talking about two public figures, so how likely is it that they can avoid social media altogether? in fact, i've already read accounts by people supposedly close to the situation as to what rihanna has said recently about their relationship...did she really say those things? how would we know? there is so much about this situation that we don't know, i find it interesting that people are willing to make assumptions and interject their own experiences in the absence of facts. good comments, sheryh!

  • In reply to misterchi:

    Well, I am a 35 year old African American female who was Rihanna's age when I got abused. I had the conflicting feelings, people telling me to hate the guy, people telling me to forgive him..everyone was telling me how I should feel yet I was going through inner turmoil. I'm a fan of Rihanna. I've watched a young woman change to frail, sadness. Instead of duets, I would have showed her guidance, a bit of tough love and care and advised her to go on a spiritual retreat to find out who she is...away from the spotlight, opinions, Chris and this situation. Chris also needs to heal his wounds from growing up in an abusive environment as well. They are still young and it's still time to help two talented people not only save their careers but themselves in the process.

  • In reply to sheryh:

    They have both had counseling. They have been in communication consistently for about a year. She has spoken out against what he did, more than once. These are things we know from the media coverage. Further, I'm not "spouting forgiveness," I'm comparing the situation to the one I witness with my own mother forgiving my dad for his abuse and letting go. I am a proponent of not living as a victim or living life according to what other people think is right or wrong. People are putting all this focus on him & why she is so wrong for allowing him back into her life. But it's not about him to me, it's about her and her life. Further, it's good publicity for both of them and considering Rihanna's love of being shocking I don't know why anyone is acting so surprised. She doesn't owe anyone any apologies, she didn't ask to get brutally beaten up and maybe she is sick of living her entire life under the stigma surrounding that incident. I know I would be.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    Well, I still think they both still need counseling. He had some counseling but sources close to him have come out and said he feels concerned about his own actions. As for Rihanna, those close around her are deeply concerned and she looks downtrodden in recent pictures. These are people who need a good circle of people in their life that can help guide them in the right direction to heal. As for publicity, this isn't good publicity. Rihanna is in an even worse light and is in danger of career backlash, losing fans. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes I think none of us are aware of and no one is handling it or guiding these young people in the right direction so that they can have healthy relationships with others in the future.

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    Seriously Nikki....do you not fully understand the dangerous cycle of violence. Me and my ex could never be friends.....encouraging a person to re-enter a relationship with an abuser is downright wrong, you more is the exception and not the rule. There is a huge difference between forgiving and creating a friendship following the forgiveness. I cannot believe that Redeye allowed you to present this to a larger audience....my morning commute was a raged filled ride to work becuase of this article!!!! Note to all, abuser and "survivors" can not be friends!!!!!! Nikki please visit http://www.domesticviolence.org/cycle-of-violence/

    Can't believe you put this "we can be friends" crap out there on a situation in which you are not the party "directly" affected.

  • In reply to Marlena Fleming:

    Your comment is invalidated by the fact that my mom & father WERE friends after he became clean & sober and made ammends with her. Some abuse survivors never wanna see their abuser again. Some forgive and forget. You don't get to attach your moral compass to someone else's healing process, and the fact that you were emotional about it to the point of rage is further evidence of why holding on to negative emotions isn't good for anybody. And you're angry and emotional about people who yo don't even know. Like...wow. Maybe you enjoy the rush that anger & resentment give you, but I don't. Further, this "crap" as you call it was my personal perspective from my experiences. The Red Eye did not "allow" me to publish my piece, they asked me if they could publish it because they liked the article. People need to stop being so self-righteous, thinking their opinions are absolute. You didn't even say "I think..." or "I feel.." or "In my experience..." You are speaking as if your perspective is law, and I am soooo glad it's not. And I never said I was directly affected by their situation, but as someone who witness domestic abuse AND as a survivor of sexual abuse I felt my perspective on the situation would make a good read. Did you witness your dad almost kill your mom? And have you ever seen one of your parents attempt suicide? And has your family ever been homeless and lived in a shelter? And years later after getting away and moving on did you see your mother show damn near divine forgiveness and choose to move forward as friends? No? If not then there is really nothing left for us to discuss.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    breathe. :)

  • fb_avatar

    It seems if one is to believe most media outlets, Rihanna by normalizing relations with Chris Brown has ostensibly sent a message that domestic violence is okay, but that may be further from the truth when in reality these two entertainers live distinct lives and have not sought to be romantically involved with each other again. It just may well be that Rihanna has gotten over the incident of 3 years ago and is simply forging a high profile collaboration that both her and Chris Brown are aware will keep them in the public eye which isn't necessarily a bad thing when you're in the business of selling your public image.

    What though is interesting is the high benchmark we have placed on Rihanna to play moral ideals when perhaps it might be more useful to look within ourselves instead.

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/02/chris-brown-and-rihanna-skillful-manipulators-or-just-plain-stupid/

  • EXCELLENT POINT. You really hit it on the head, couldn't have said it better myself. Thanx for commenting, Chris.

  • I tweeted about how you were dead wrong last Tuesday. You responded and said I didn't read the article. I did... and I thought it was very courageous with a different perspective on a public relationship between 2 celebrities. I do understand how Rihanna's point is to promote forgiveness but I do feel that line is blurred when your fan base is a younger demographic. Of course her other songs are overtly sexual but doing a song with Chris Brown has ramifications that she cannot account for. Kids were tweeting after the Grammys stuff like "Chris Brown is so fine he can beat me all day." I work with children and they won't read this article. Rihanna won't make a public service announcement to all the grade schoolers out there that her intention is to show that you can move on and forgive. This in fact is the only instance I have heard of the empowering nature she wants this song to take. How can she or anyone expect her fans to take away that her doing a song with her abuser is the right move for moving on? It's what is right for her... sure and that is excellent but when you are a public figure you have to realize that your actions are observed for discussion. It is similar to writing articles on controversial topics and not expecting criticism. When you lead a public life you have to expect your role as a public figure will be scrutinized. I do agree with your point that it would be odd if she got back with him but that it is her decision. The fact that Chris Brown is still successful already says too much about children/teenagers today. For her younger fans I am afraid that many of them will have similar reactions like these... http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/horrible-reactions-to-chris-brown-at-the-grammys

  • In reply to nanzilla:

    Thank you for commenting and for making time t read the article. In this article, all I can do is speculate on her rationalization based upon my own understanding of what abused women feel, as well as from my own experiences. I think this situation brings to light another issue...how much weight are we putting on entertainers being role models? Because to be honest, there wasn't great public outcry about Rihanna doing the overtly sexual "Rude Boy" at the Kid's Choice Awards. There wasn't much outcry about her pulling an old man onstage and giving him a lap dance live at one of her sold-out shows. But now there is an issue of the image she is projecting to kids and we expect her to care? Why shuld she? She has been doing what she wants to do up until now, and we don't get to choose the moments when she has to comply to our perception of right and wrong. Personally, I think i is disgusting that teens are saying "Chris Brown could beat me," it is repugnant to even joke about that. But i don't think Rihanna can be held responsible for that, again, she did not ask for a beating o occur that impacts the rest of her life and career, it is something that happened to her. In my mind, he is the one who is responsible for showing the world he has changed. I respect your point and agree with you that public figures have a responsibility to consider how their actions will be viewed by others, its unfair and daunting but it's just a fact of life. However, when stars choose to shun that responsibility in favor of doing what they wanna do I respect that because I'm a firm believer in the saying "To thine own self be true." If she is willing to deal with the consequences of her choices then so be it. Parents can't really on entertainers to do anything except entertain.

  • In reply to Nikki Lynette:

    I want to thank you for your response and completely understand your point. Your article has proved quite powerful because although I did not agree with it completely upon first read it has done what good writing should do... create a discourse on a topic. No matter what people believe they have talked about Rihanna, Chris Brown, your article, the song, etc. I seriously reflected upon your words regarding Rihanna as a role model and the choices she made for herself. At the end of the day she is young and working through her own experiences so perhaps the pressure of being a role model isn't a fair pressure to apply to her. I like everyone have made mistakes and carried on in ways I look back on in confusion. I look forward to reading more of what you have to say. Our disagreement spawned a new fan for your work. Keep reppin the Chi proper with your strong voice!

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