Rihanna has shown no reluctance at all to show off her body in her seemingly endless parade of selfies on Instagram, so there shouldn’t be any shock value left in seeing her nearly nude in her new video for “Pour It Up,” a love letter to those girls working the stripper pole for a living.
Somehow, I still found myself surprised as Rihanna joined their ranks, twerking her G-string clad buttocks in the camera and spreading her legs and covering her crotch with her hands in a false sense of modesty (or maybe she’s just saving that reveal for the next video).
Question why a young woman relies so much on her sexuality these days almost automatically gets one accused of slut shaming or being a sex-negative feminist (one of the oddest terms I’ve ever heard). But let’s call this video what it is: it’s a dimly lit video equivalent of a Playboy photo spread that is meant to serve the very same purpose for the boys and men who view it (I’m trying to be discreet here). And we’re all supposed to scrape and bow and talk about how “artfully” it’s shot and pretend that it’s so very empowering for her to show off her body this way.
Rihanna has every right to use her body however she wants, but the fact that she wants to feature close-ups of her twerking ass giving a lap dance just seems sad to me. Her fans applaud her for pushing boundaries, but I see it more as another attempt to keep her name in the headlines one more day for something other than showing up late and drunk for her concerts. It's not pushing the envelope, it's pulling out the same old trick every time but just upping the ante. Soon there will be nothing left to uncover and we'll all move on to the next side show.
Rihanna doesn’t particularly want to be a role model, but she de facto is. And the message she sends to young girls over and over is your sexuality is your bargaining chip— not your intelligence, not your sense of humor, not even your talent— so work on developing that because that is your true currency and value in this world. That and remember to stretch before you attempt any of these moves at home.
What do you think of "Pour It Up?"