Rihanna: The Essence of Fuck
In the end of 2011, Esquire Magazine named Rihanna not only the sexiest woman alive, but also what the magazine referred to as “the essence of fuck.” I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. Done? Okay. With this, Esquire didn’t just name Rihanna a sex icon, they defined her as the essential core of a purely physical act in which people are giving each other primal, satisfactory, raunchy, dirty pleasure. But how does anyone even get this title, and when the hell did this even happen?
From what I can remember, when Rihanna first debuted, she created an identity for herself in which she was portrayed as the innocent Barbadian princess with songs about dancing under the sunlight and falling in and out of love. As her career as an artist progressed, however, she began changing her “innocent” image into one in which she was becoming more in touch with her sexuality and comfortable in her skin—all while in the public eye. By her fourth album, Loud, Rihanna began including sexually explicit lyrics in her songs like “No heels,/ No shirt,/ No skirt,/ All I'm in is just skin./ No jeans,/ Take em off,/ Wanna feel your skin./ You a beast, oh./ You know that I like that./ Come on baby,/ All I wanna see you in is just skin,” attracting not only females to her music but heterosexual males who probably sit in their rooms fantasizing that Rihanna is serenading to them. Through such lyrics she began slowly changing her appeal into one of seduction and sex, which also was reflected in her change of dress and performance.
More and more she began wearing less and less clothes in her videos, performances, and simple appearances. By her sixth album she truly embodied the title of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, releasing one of her top hits “S&M” in which she discusses her interest and enjoyment of sadomasochism, bondage, and fetishes. She even went further by telling Rolling Stone, “I like to take charge, but I love to be submissive ... being submissive in the bedroom is really fun. You get to be a little lady, to have somebody be macho and in charge.” This showed that Rihanna was becoming really open with her sexuality, not afraid to share with her audiences what she likes to do in bed…or wherever she prefers to get down.
Let’s take a moment to talk about Rihanna’s movement in her overall performance. As Esquire states, she “doesn’t really dance. She exhibits ‘moves’….altogether it amounts to choreographed oozing.” In many of her videos, concerts, and cover photos that she poses in, Rihanna makes it a priority to be sex. As soon as her performance begins, her hands are everywhere. She grabs her own ass and as Esquire states “she handles it, offers it.” She becomes one with her body as she rubs her hands down her body, caresses her breasts, and settles her hands in between her thighs. What is she trying to do—get off on stage? And in a couple of her concerts, she picked out a member of the audience to straddle onstage in front of hundreds of people bringing her line “do you right here while the whole world’s watching” to real lusty life.
With all of this said and done, Rihanna has claimed that she doesn’t know what being the essence of fuck means. When speaking with Oprah she said she doesn’t think about these kind of things, and being named with such a title is not in her goals. But how can this even be remotely true? In many of her songs we know that Rihanna is aware of her sexuality and of those who she is trying to appeal to. And it seems fairly obvious that Rihanna does her best to try to be sexy in all aspects of her performance as a musician, making the fact that she’s “unaware” of this title extremely contradicting. “Everything Rihanna does is about sex and everything she does involves sex,” said Alyssa, a sophomore. Jairo, a senior, agreed. “She tries to be sexy in everything—her music, her videos, and her performances,” he said.
So maybe Rihanna needs to cut the bullshit. If you’re gonna be sexy Rihanna then embrace it to the fullest. Dry hump fans onstage, sing your dirtiest desires in your songs, pose naked for magazines, or do whatever you like to do but don’t shy away from what defines your style when it’s convenient. Be the essence of fuck.
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