Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

Rihanna is NOT Family Friendly!

As reported in the Daily Mail, twenty-three year old singer Rihanna gave a very un-family friendly performance at the NBA All-Star game. Besides wearing an outfit that was skimpy, she also performed sexualized dance moves such as grabbing her crotch. This isn’t the first time that Rihanna has resorted to sexualized behaviors to get attention and cause a stir, and it likely won’t be the last. Last year as I was watching the Time Square New Year’s Countdown with my family, Rihanna was one of the performers who was featured, and she used similar tactics.

What’s frustrating about this kind of sexualized behavior is that these are performances that are supposed to be in family friendly venues and are marketed to children and families. When people pay to go to Rihanna’s concerts, they probably expect to get a sexed-up display. But when most of us sit down to watch the NBA All-Star Game or Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year, we aren’t expecting that. We want to be able to enjoy celebrations with our children without exposing them to the extreme sexualized behaviors of misguided artists like Rihanna.

If these artists can’t choose to provide appropriate entertainment for the setting, then it would be really helpful if the developers of the events themselves would choose other artists. Surely there are entertainers out there who can use their talent rather than relying on their sexuality to provide entertainment!

And, while we’re on the topic, I will say that young women like Rihanna make me sad. Instead of spending their time and energy further developing their talents, they’re so worried about showing off their sexuality. As you’ve seen in some of my past posts, sexuality is not a long-term basis for a career. Spending ones early years exploiting oneself is a sad and shallow way to gain fame. And, providing this type of entertainer with the spotlight in family events only sends the wrong message. The majority of people are offended and don’t enjoy overly sexualized performances. We’d like some real talent, please, thank you very much.

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