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?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Retail Lecturer / Assessor / Tutor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tiger skin seized from a smuggler by customs officers in Lhasa, Tibet  

Save the tiger: Poaching facts

Harvey Day
 

Save the tiger: 7 saddening facts about the extinction of Javan tigers

Harvey Day
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried