Tag Archives: rihanna

Rihanna is a Modern Icon

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Last week, Rihanna stirred up quite a commotion with her sheer dress that she wore to the CFDA Fashion Awards. Some people thought her look was completely inappropriate and tastelessly provocative, while other people thought this dress solidified her place as a fashion icon and that “it was everything.” What do I think? I thought she looked gorgeous. Yes, you could see her pierced nipples and, yes, her nude was clearly visible, but I thought she was still tasteful, elegant, and fashionable.

I respect that some people might have been “offended” by her visible parts, but why are nude maternity pictures socially acceptable? Why are so many historic nude paintings revered as masterpieces? Why can Christina Aguilera pose naked on the cover of Rolling Stone? But Rihanna can’t be considered artistic for this look? Now, I’m not saying you need to join in and wear sheer dresses, too. I’m not even suggesting that you have to agree with what she wore. I’m just saying you can at least respect her for it and try to understand the reasoning behind it. I understand that each person is entitled to their own opinion, but ignorant opinions are among my biggest pet peeves. By all means, believe what you want, but make sure that you have some valid points of support for those thoughts.

During the height of the debate over Rih Rih’s dress, she went on to tweet “Happy birthday to the late Josephine Baker! You have and will continue to inspire us women for decades to come!” alongside this picture:

Rihanna Slays

Now, I’m sure Ms. Fenty did want to wish the late icon a happy birthday, but she was also proving a point. She wanted to show people that her look was more an homage to an inspirational woman than excuse to flaunt her sexuality. Josephine Baker was a pioneer in the Black community and the entertainment industry. The similarities between her and Rihanna’s appearances are obvious, but people can only seem to focus on a pair of nipples (which everyone has).

Later on, Rihanna went on to retweet a woman who captioned a photo of the Bajan star on the red carpet with “Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I’ve got diamonds – At the meeting of my thighs?” from Dr. Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise.” Maya Angelou was a respected writer, seen as an inspiration for women, and considered a much needed voice for the Black community. Ironically, this phenomenal woman’s words fit Rihanna perfectly, yet she is the one receiving all of the backlash.

I guess the question I’m asking is what is so wrong about what Rihanna did? What she did has already been done before and then some. Just look up Cher, Jennifer Lopez, and Lil Kim for starters. Yes, they all created some scandal with their risqué fashion choices, but you would think our society would’ve evolved to be more open-minded. Plus, it seems pretty clear that Rihanna had some of the most accomplished women of our past serving as her inspirations. These women who were considered role models, exemplar females, and respectable characters, yet, when Rihanna puts her own spin on what they’ve already done, she’s trashy, too sexual, and unworthy of being a fashion icon.

I understand that these “revealing” looks can be considered shocking, but it’s 2014. Women are independent now, so why can’t they express themselves in different ways? Women shouldn’t have to ashamed of their bodies or the ways they choose to express themselves through fashion. Besides men show their chests and go shirtless all the time, but there never seems to be an uproar about that. It is society who chooses to sexualize a woman’s body, not Rihanna. She wasn’t twerking, poking her booty out, or accentuating her breasts on the red carpet. She was simply posing and walking like she wearing a normal dress at a fashion event.

Now again, I have no problem with people expressing their opinions. This entire blog is biased to an opinion. I just wish people wouldn’t form their opinions through ignorance. It’s not a good look. So, if you’re going to hate on Rihanna for what she wore last week, then be sure to also hate on all of the inspiration women before who gave her the courage to be herself. But, more importantly, be sure to also hate on society that has made being comfortable with and proud of your body something to be ashamed of.

2013 AMA Recap!

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You all should know by now that I love award shows, especially when it comes to the music ones.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the American Music Awards live last night, but I caught myself up enough to share my two cents about the night with you.  I won’t dwell on the winners and losers of the night, even though Ms. Riri deserves some big ups for being the first recipient of the American Music Icon Award.  She definitely serves as an inspiration for me in between all of her madness.

Moving on to the fashion of the night, I thought there was a lot of the same.  There were a few people who dared to be different like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, but they mostly hit the mark for me.  I could point out a few favorite looks of the night, including Christina Aguilera, Ciara, and Naya Rivera.  They all kept it classy enough for the awards show, while still showing off some personality.  I loved loved loved Christina’s stark white gown with the side slit paired with silver accessories, short curls, and red lips.  She embodied the image of a diva and, with her blessed voice, Christina can do that!  Ciara strayed away from the solid colored dress, opting for a black patterned dress that had some sheerness to it, too.  I appreciate Ciara’s boldness, yet her specific understanding of balance by keeping the rest of her look to the basics.  Naya deserves some props for her gown, as well.  Her black, long sleeve dress was topped off by a flowing train, but kept its sex appeal with a slit down the center to show off some cleavage.  However, it was the gold cuffs that did it for me.  The bold gold against the jet black was genius to me.

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As for the performances, I was pretty impressed by what each artist brought to the table.  Kendrick Lamar’s R&B’d up versions of “Swimming Pools” and “Poetic Justice” were pluses for me, while even Miley Cyrus made watching her performance worth while.  I wasn’t here for the cat theme, but I can applaud her on her raw emotion throughout the song.  A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera, Imagine Dragons, and, of course, Rihanna all gave great performances that didn’t leave me disappointed, while Ariana Grande definitely did her thing, too.  I really think she is the second coming of Mariah Carey and she made me a believer in her as an artist with the retro vibe of her performance last night.  However, my favorite performance of the night has to go to Jennifer Lopez.  I will be the first to admit that she hasn’t been on point with her music game for a while, but her tribute to Celia Cruz last night was more than respectable.  Sure, she doesn’t have the same lung power or range that Celia had, but she knows how to dance, making her a good performer.  I saw a lot of the old J-Lo in last night’s performance and I was happy to see Jenny from the block paying tribute to one of my favorite singers as opposed to the new diva-esque Jennifer Lopez.

Overall, I was not disappointed by the AMA’s and I can’t wait to see what another year of music will bring us!

Fashion Killa

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As you may know, I love ASAP Rocky’s music and I love fashion, so you can imagine my excitement when I first heard his “Fashion Killa” track a while back ago.  Honestly, I felt like this song was made for me and I think I’ve made it one of my unofficial anthems.  I may not be wearing Alexander Wang just yet, but I do think that every woman should aim to be a fashion killa in their own right.  So, naturally, once I saw the video for the single, I knew I had to share it all with you and who better to star as Rocky’s fashion killa than none other than Ms. Rihanna herself.  Enjoy!

2013 VMA MVPs

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After a whole year of new music, videos, and performances leading up to one event, just like that the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards came and went.  Generally speaking, it went exactly how I expected it to.  Getting frustrated at the “bias” victories, waiting for those few good performances and appearances, looking out for the quirky fashion, and wanting to change the channel, but instead watching the show until the very end.  It wasn’t the best production MTV has given us, but there were some pretty good performances… JT, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars I’m looking at you guys.  And even Kanye West and Drake stood their ground in their own ways.  As is to be expected I didn’t agree with all of the winners, but you win some and you lose some I guess.  All I can say is at least Kevin Hart made a few appearances to fill in the gaps.  But enough of that and on to the fashion.

RihannaFor the most part, I was surprised to see how conservative this year’s attendees were.  Most of the famous faces were dressed safely and fell in line with a lot of the current trends.  I think a few people *cough* Becky G and Miley Cyrus*cough* tried a little bit too hard to stand out, but that’s how you learn I guess.  In addition to those two, I was honestly disappointed in my girls Rita Ora and Rihanna who showed up in some not so impressive attire.

Rita’s dress on the red carpet looked great on the runway and I can see why she gravitated towards it, but it just didn’t look right on her and, after last year’s to die for jumpsuit, I was expecting her to be on point.  The plus side is I’m loving her new bob and the red dress she changed into did her much more justice.

Rihanna, on the other hand, went in the complete opposite direction and just threw on some jeans and a tee.  I guess she knew she wasn’t going to win a moon man and decided to just be comfortable.  Tisk tisk Riri!Ciara

As for the outfits I did like, I don’t have a favorite, but I do have a few top looks.  Ciara looked beautiful in her sheer embellished gown.  I love the detailing throughout the dress, which gives her whole look a certain amount of class and elegance.  I also am a fan of the sheer fabric and feathered skirt because it gives the gown a touch of edge that you need at any and every MTV event.  I’m not sure how I feel about the casual hairstyle with that dress, but it doesn’t look bad either.

My girl Selena Gomez also made me proud with her look of the night.  Her floor-length navy dress seemed to formal when I first saw it, but then I caught sight of the black and sheer bodice underneath along with that not so shy slit going up her thigh and I had a quick change of heart.  I like the fact that Selena left a lot to the imagination, but still showed off some fresh sex appeal.  It’s clear that Sel is growing up, but I’m glad she’s not twerking on stage or having a public breakdown to tell us that.

Last, but not least, I have to give a little shout out to Danity Kane who announced last night that they are back together and ready to release more music.  Not only was I happy about their return, but I was also happy to see their black and white ensembles they were rocking on the carpet.  Aubrey’s shoulder pads were questionable, but I think Shannon’s whole look and Aundrea’s killer shoes saved the day.  I just couldn’t stay mad at DK for long.

Of course, I couldn’t talk about everyone who graced the red carpet with their presence, but I’ve included some pictures of other celebs who, in my opinion, did the right thing.

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Listen to the Music

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Diamonds World Tour

I must admit that when I first heard about the Diamonds World Tour I was excited, but I wasn’t sold.  Yes, I like Rihanna and, yes, I like ASAP Rocky, but I wasn’t sure that I was a ride or die fan just yet.  Was I really willing to throw down money for them?  I didn’t know.  The only way I could solidify my stance as a fan was to do my research.

In the few months leading up to the concert, I satisfied every craving to listen to Rihanna and ASAP to the point that for a good while they were all I listened to.  I inevitably began learning verses and I got to do what most music lovers don’t truly experience.  I had the opportunity to actually listen to the songs.  Past the catchy hooks and the trendy beats, I found the messages within the lyrics that are so often overlooked by fans.  I got to see what Rihanna and ASAP truly represent.

In ASAP, I saw a boy with ambition, who’s an interesting blend of high-class society with trill hood mentality.  Yes, he talks about the traditional topics of drugs, money, and sex, but that’s just part of the package.  Those things are parts of him, so he can’t just ignore them.  Beyond that, he talks about the hustle and the struggle.  He talks about his innovation and the leadership he personifies.  ASAP’s music is honest, which is something I always appreciate, which is probably why I’m so empathetic to his lyrics and style.

At the concert, I was probably one of ten people in our section who was bopping to his melodies, I might be one of the few who could define “trillest,” and I was the only one within my sight actually rapping along with ASAP, but then again that’s just me.  You could say that at this point, I had indisputably become an ASAP Rocky fan.  I’m just grateful to my brother for putting me on to him before anyone else had even heard of the ASAP Mob.

Then, there is Rihanna, who, to the public, she’s a complex character.  Most of her songs embody female strength and independence, yet she is openly back together with the always scandalous Chris Brown, which is still mind-boggling for most.  Some people wonder how she can sing her songs, but not practice what she preaches.  At first, I agreed with the majority, but now that I’ve listened to what Rihanna has to say through her music, I get it.

Rihanna is representing females everywhere.  She is promoting ideas of independence, strength, and confidence within all women, but she is also being herself.  Women are often characterized as being very emotional, which is an aspect of her female identity that Rihanna refuses to (and shouldn’t) let go of.  Her music is most certainly empowering, at times risqué, and always has a tough touch, but it also is emotional and vulnerable.  I look at Rihanna and see a woman with a story.  She has suffered and has made mistakes, but, through that negativity, she’s grown and is beginning to find herself.  Rihanna represents the real woman.  A woman who is not perfect, but can admit it.  She is honest with a voice and isn’t afraid to experiment.

By the end of the night, I was sure that I had made the right decision in going to the concert.  ASAP proved his love for all of his fans, claiming “we’re all purple on the inside,” while Rihanna hosted one of the biggest parties the 1st Mariner Arena has ever seen.  A few months ago, I may not have been sure of where my loyalty stood, but today I can honestly say that I see a lot of myself in both ASAP and Rihanna.  On top of that, I can say with confidence that I look up to Rihanna for so many different reasons.  Say what you want, but I’ll argue that she does make a good role model.  All you have to do is listen to what she really has to say.

Best Performance: Tribute to Bob Marley

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The Grammy’s are one of my favorite award shows of the year mainly because of my deep love for music, but also because of the great performances that they usually include.  This year had a few misses in terms of performances, but there were definitely some good ones throughout the night.  I particularly liked Miguel and Wiz Khalifa’s mini performance, as well as, Rihanna’s very touching performance of “Stay.”  Jack White, Ll Cool J, and Kelly Clarkson among others had some pretty good performances, too, but hands down my favorite performance of the night goes to the Bob Marley tribute.  First off, I love Bruno Mars, so you can’t go wrong with him, especially considering how much reggae has influenced his albums.  Then, you add Sting into the mix, a truly amazing musician who appreciates Bob Marley, and you get a good show.  To make the tribute even better, Carribean native Rihanna joins the two on stage along with Marley’s sons, Ziggy and Damian (Jr Gong, who I absolutely adore), and you get a perfect tribute to a legendary man.  Unlike most tributes, this performance was everything Bob Marley embodied.  It was full of light, positive energy, artistry, and pure love.  Big ups to whoever came up with this unforgettable collaboration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_W2rtcXJbs

Thanks for Showing Up at the Grammy’s!

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Last night, the biggest names in music came together for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards and, because it’s one of my favorite award shows, I was certainly excited to see what the red carpet would look like this year.  I’ll admit that the night had a bit of a slow start, but, by the end of the night, I couldn’t complain too much.  Those who I expected to shine, picked their ensembles perfectly (for the most part), while there were also a few pleasant surprises in the mix.  All in all, I think it was a good night in fashion.

Katy PerryMy best dressed pick has to go to Ms. Katy Perry.  She said she was going for a 1970’s Priscilla Presley feel and I think she nailed it with her own flair.  The whole look is a perfect combination of playful elegance with a little Katy Perry twist.  Plus, the jade green color of her dress adds a unique touch that has definitely been missing this award show season so far.  I would say that Katy just looked adorable and I loved her whole outfit.

I think there was actually a tie for second place between Kelly Rowland and Rihanna.

Kelly certainly stepped out onto the carpet with a mission to be remembered and get out of Beyonce’s shadow.  Lately, she’s been doing a good job, but we all have to admit that the famous Superbowl performance set her back a bit by propelling Beyonce even further up.  However, I think that if we’re just looking at last night’s fashion choices I would definitely give Kelly the edge.  Beyonce looked great in her black and white jumpsuit, but it was way too casual for the Grammy’s in my opinion.  Kelly, on the other hand, dressed up her look, while still incorporating a lot of sex appeal.  Her silhouette in this dress is amazing, the geometric patterns are fun, and the shear lines are just plain sexy.  Plus, I have to applaud Kelly for knowing to balance things out and keeping everything relatively simple, considering the power of the dress alone.

Rihanna also rocked the red carpet in a very different look.  She proved that she knows how to keep it classy in a floor length flowy number that went perfectly with her loose waves.  I appreciate the shear details in the bodice of her dress, which to me was a nice nod to the bad girl Rihanna we all know and love.  Much like her best friend Katy Perry, it was nice to see some rich colors on the carpet.  You also have to give Rihanna props for her dope performances.  Again, she just knows how to surprise people with her many sides.

Katy, Kelly, and Ri weren’t the only ladies who made me proud on the carpet, but they were definitely my top picks.  I thought Carrie Underwood, Nicole Kidman, and Solange Knowles did their thing, too.  I also have to give a little shout out to the boys who proved their good fashion taste.  Justin Timberlake is surely taking his comeback seriously as he rocked a classic bow tie and side part, which, in my opinion, is very fitting for his new old school vibe.  Kudos to him.  Also, as much as I love him, I have to be honest and recognize that Mr. Aubrey Graham doesn’t always know what’s best for him when it comes to style, so I was very glad to see that he came correct to the Grammy’s.  Big ups to Drake for his look of the night (including the scruff) and congrats on the win.  As I said before, I think the Grammy’s didn’t disappoint!

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