This time, the brouhaha follows a concert in Rihanna‘s native Barbados earlier this week, when she pulled a grey-haired sixtysomething male out of the audience onto the stage, and proceeded to give him a raunchy lap dance. She laid on top of him, she straddled him, she simulated sexual activity—while wearing fishnets legs, short shorts and a leather bra.
None of the above is surprising whatsoever obviously: Rihanna is an overtly sexual woman, who incorporates that into her performances.
But the images of Rihanna straddling this man—who I suspect Rihanna may have known, or perhaps knew who invited him—aren’t even fun to look at. I don’t enjoy looking at them, and they’re just icky to see. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been bowled over either, had I been at the concert in-person. No offense to the older-adult set, but few people get off, or see the creative value, in a 23-year-old woman simulating sex with a 60-year-old man on stage.
Sure Rihanna‘s behavior is gratuitous. Um, she’s a performer. But, yet again, she’s entered dangerous territory, whereby her creative expressions cross the line. Case in point: When Rihanna debuted her first—yes, there would be another one—gun tattoo in 2009. It was perceived at the time as sending an uneasy message to her young fans, considering her domestic violence altercation with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown was still fresh on people’s minds.
Rihanna needs to be careful and more mindful of her behavior. But, as she articulated to fans after one parents group recently claimed that her “Man Down” video glamorized murder, she’s not in the business of making appeasing the polyanna demographic. She tweeted, “I’m a 23 year old rockstar with NO KIDS! What’s up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice! We have the freedom to make art, LET US! Its your job to make sure they dont turn out like US. U can’t hide kids from society or they’ll never learn how to adapt!”
So much for hoping she changes. At the very least, we hope she passes on future on-stage inter-generational simulated sex.