We generally like to stay out of the discussion of Rihanna's ongoing relationship with Chris Brown. Yes, domestic violence is abhorrent and unforgivable. But, as many experts have pointed out, it's very, very difficult to judge relationships from an outside perspective. We don't know Rihanna. We won't judge her choices in her personal life. We wish her the best; We want her to be happy and safe. Still, many others have commented in the past that, for better or for worse, she's a role model for many young girls and those fans follow her lead, whether it's getting back together with a formerly abusive boyfriend or smoking marijuana. That's a fair point, and it adds nuance to an already complicated discussion.
Now Lena Dunham, another role model (albeit for a slightly older set) — and an increasingly powerful voice in NYC — is adding her viewpoint to the situation. In an interview with Alec Baldwin on his podcast, the actress and screenwriter explained her feelings (with a big helping of "likes") on the ongoing tabloid relationship:
"[Being a role model] is amazing. It’s an amazing thing and...it’s a platform that you have to take seriously. Which is why sometimes it’s like I used to be really into Rihanna, that pop star, and then it’s like again, I don’t want to ever throw stones from my glass house, but I follow her on Instagram and I just think about how many little girls beyond what I could even comprehend are obsessed with Rihanna. Like you know, she left Barbados, she’s had this amazing career, she’s won a Grammy...She’s talented. And then she gets back together with Chris Brown and posts a million pictures of them smoking marijuana together on a bed. And it cracks my heart in half in a way that makes me feel like I’m 95 years old."
Many are saying Dunham should stay out of Rihanna's personal life, while an equally vociferous audience is siding with the Girls star's POV. We don't think Lena was blaming the victim, per se, but it's definitely a slippery slope. Did she cross the line with these remarks? Or do you agree that Rihanna, by becoming famous, has implicitly agreed to the responsibility of providing a positive role model? (The Huffington Post)
Photo: Courtesy of HBO; Courtesy of Def Jam Records.