Sex, Whips, Chains….Yawns

The interweb lost its shizzle last week with the release of Rihanna’s new video for her song ‘S & M’. I watched the video, then bathed in holy water and lashed myself with rosary beads. For the love of boundry-pushing-Madonna-wannabes, when is enough enough?

These popstars may as well just progress to having sex on screen while their track plays in the background at this point. I don’t even want to get into the ironies of Rihanna, who was in an abusive relationship, releasing a song about S & M, which is essentially being sexually aroused by a bit of violence. I don’t want to get into the message lyrics like ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me’ are sending to her young fan base, but it’s unavoidable. I understand that Rihanna was a young girl when she shot to stardom and has had to come of age in the international spotlight. Yes, she’s a sexual being and perhaps she doesn’t want to be a role model, but the leap from ‘Pon De Replay’ to donning full on PVC and whipping someone in a video is a giant one.

But aside from all that, just, why? Why must young women in the music industry prostitute themselves in this way? Why is this seemingly the only way for them to get ahead? Why does Rihanna assume we give a crap about what she gets up to in the bedroom? Can we get an air of mystery?!

I thank everything holy I don’t have to raise a daughter. I can’t imagine coming home to find my kid singing about whips and chains and tying herself up because she saw Rihanna do it. It’s just too much, too soon. It’s not about being a prude or against sexual experimentation. Sex is nothing to be ashamed of, but it also doesn’t need to be paraded around on this kind of platform, packaged as bubblegum pop.

Innocence has been shot to shit. STDs run rampant among teens now. Is it any wonder? Teen boys are turned on by Rihanna, teen girls think they have to be like her to get attention. Who is responsible for raising the bar and demanding standards? Sure, as a parent you can do all you can, but your kid will still see these videos somehow and be subjected to peer pressure at school and parties. So however much Rihanna is just coming of age and may not see herself as a role model, doesn’t she have a responsibility to rethink the messages she’s putting out there?

But forgive me. When I was a kid in the early 90s, a music video consisted of a wind machine, an oversized cropped leather jacket, a pair of ripped jeans and a bit of running man. People wore dungarees for God’s sake and sung about having crushes. You couldn’t tell me that Janet Jackson wasn’t sexy as all get out when she busted a move, fully clothed I might add, in the Rhythm Nation video.

Aside from anything else, I’m actually just tired of the over-sexualising of everything. When did it become uncool to leave a little something to the imagination?

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