Rihanna is marketed like a soft porn star instead of a musical artist

The singer and her management are using her body to cling on to her career

Share

It’s odd that someone who wears so little could get honoured with a fashion award, but that’s exactly what happened to the pop star Rihanna this week. The Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded the singer for her risk-taking and she collected said accolade in an ensemble composed mainly of fishnet and nipples. Leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination, the only thing Rihanna risked in that outfit was catching the flu.

Rihanna, so fond of risqué dress, is using her body to cling on to her career – as are her management. She has a fine voice, but that’s not what’s being used to sell her. She is a beautiful girl who looks great naked so she’s being marketed like a soft porn star instead of a musical artist. It’s the same with Miley Cyrus, who announced to the world that she was no longer a child star by stripping off and squatting on a giant steel ball. Her idea of getting dressed is to wear hotpants so tight they’re probably giving her an infection.

Miley’s antics are more unintentionally hilarious than sexy, but they’re also depressing. Miley, Rihanna and their fellow barely-dressed popstrels might claim that baring their bodies is an empowered choice, but male pop stars don’t have to get their kit off to stay famous and successful. These talented girls are being used like pieces of meat.

So it was refreshing this week to see another young woman, Bruce Willis’ daugher Scout, bare her body in an empowering statement this week. Strolling through the streets of NYC in a protest against internet censorship, she was protesting against a ban on topless women in public and Instagram’s decision to remove pictures of Rihanna. Instagram went on to remove photos of Scout but actually Scout’s nudity and Rihanna’s are poles apart.

Scout Willis didn’t cause shock because she was half-naked. She caused shock because she stripped off in a way that demanded equality. She was reclaiming her body outside of the submissive, commercial paradigm in which Rihanna and Miley get plaudits for baring their breasts. It’s okay to get naked if you’re selling something and approved by men. But it’s not okay if its not for sexual commoditisation. Women like Scout and her fellow protesters should be awarded, not Rihanna.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: Whoever and whatever Arthur was, he wasn’t Scottish

Guy Keleny
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea