Rihanna is Forgiving, but Hopefully, not Forgetting
In light of the recent musical reconciliation collaboration, between Chris Brown and Rihanna, it is necessary to dissect the relationship celebrities have with their fans.
On February 20th 2012, the two young pop stars released two musical collaborations they had been working on together. The collaboration represents forgiveness by Rihanna to Chris Brown, and an effort to show the feelings they still have for one another. Immediately, Rihanna received criticism for her decision to team up with Brown. Most of her supporters believe this to be a sign of disregard for her fans, and the people that sympathized with her. The producer for the two musical tracks, Terius “The Dream” Nash, felt differently, “For me, it’s just music –two talented people doing a record together and that’s what it was,” The Dream told Black Entertainment Television (BET) bloggers. “The true thing really is to forgive.” Well, Rihanna has obviously forgiven Brown for his brutal actions on February 9th, 2009, and she is able to face her fans without any qualms.
The real question that Brown and Rihanna raise has been brought up for years, are celebrities responsible for the messages that they send to their fans? These two young stars do not feel they have any reason to stand by their decisions for their fans. They are two individuals that make mistakes and decisions based on their own feelings, and not based on how those actions will be perceived by fans. They do not believe they should have any personal responsibility to their fans, but to make quality music.
As soon as Rihanna released her remixes with Brown, she got on the defensive. Social media has become a direct link between artists and their fans. Media platforms, such as Twitter, allow fans and artists to sound off on any and every topic. Rihanna used Twitter to respond to the criticism that she received for collaborating with Brown, but she refused to admit fault and instead became defensive and vulgar. Which is a far cry from her responses to interview questions by Diane Sawyer in November of 2009, “These are young girls and I just didn't realize how much of an impact I had on these girls' lives until that happened." These were wise words from the young star, but it seems she has gone back on these comments. Rihanna is making it perfectly clear that she is not a role model, and she is not someone to be imitated. Her actions are to be learned from, not followed.
Whenever an individual is in the public eye a heavy burden is placed on them. Celebrities are responsible for the images they put forth of themselves, but they are not automatically role models for the younger generation. No, this does not mean that celebrities should flaunt negative lifestyles, but they are not responsible for sending only positive images to young fans. Role models should come from family and friends. The adults within the same household as a young person should be responsible for putting positive images in from of them. It should not be left up to people like Justin Bieber, Chris Brown or Rihanna to represent positivity. This is especially true for young celebrities that are still maturing themselves. These people are musical artists, they have a job to produce music and perform. The problem starts at home and parents have to take responsibility for who their children emulate. Reiterate that not all of the people they see on television are to be admired or mimicked. Celebrities make their own decisions without considering the perception they send out to fans.