Monday, February 27, 2012

An Open Letter To Rihanna

Dear Rihanna:
I've always admired you. You've always projected this air of strength and independence that is so inspiring, especially in today's world where those very things are so easily looked down on. You're fearless. You're the woman who isn't afraid of anything.

But now? Well, I'm worried that I'm worrying enough for the both of us. You see, ever since I discovered that you're possibly collaborating with Chris Brown, I can't help but feel like my heart is sinking just a little bit. I worry about you. I'm sad for you. Everyone and their brother seems to be mad at you, and I'll admit that my face was red with rage when I first heard the news. A million little questions ran through my mind, like...

What is she thinking?
How stupid must she be?
Did she just forget everything he did to her?

And the more I thought about it -- and the more questions I asked myself -- the more I realized just how anger-fueled these questions were. To paraphrase Adele, there was a fire burning in my heart. I was seething mad. Just like the rest of the world. But unlike the rest of the world, I'm not angry with you. I'm angry -- burning with anger, remember -- at him.
So that's precisely what this letter is about. It's about how you're worth it. It's about how no guy is worth any part of you if he doesn't respect all of you. You're deserving of a love in which you don't have to compromise or settle. Yes, it can be scary to move on, but a lot of times, we're stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Sometimes moving on means getting in touch with that stronger self we never knew we had.

You once sang about finding love in a hopeless place. Maybe that love isn't with another person. Maybe it's a love for yourself. Because once you have that love (it's the sort of greatest love of all that the great Whitney Houston once sang of...), no one -- especially a guy -- can take it away from you. It's yours. There's a certain power in knowing that, isn't there? So, I hope you'll find it. On your own terms, because you most certainly deserve it.

[Photos via The Frisky and Le Love]


  1. This is beautiful Melissa! And I completely agree. I'm not mad at Rhianna because I understand that abusive relationships are difficult confusing situations. I hope that she sees the error of her ways and choose to not be associated with Chris Brown, no matter how much money she could make from doing it.

    PS. Love all the musically references!

  2. Very well said! I too asked some of those same questions about her situation but never quite thought of it in this perspective. For her maybe this is just a part of getting closure.

  3. This is so perfectly said, Melissa! I have been asking the same questions, and although I am not in her shoes, I think they way you expressed this is so the idea of finding "love for yourself!" :)

  4. This is really good, Melissa. I think it's very important that all women find it in them to not be angry w/her & others who are going through similar situations. The worst thing possible is to isolate the person & that's what happens when ppl do the "tough love" thing & shut someone out "until they leave him."

    If only it worked that way but it doesn't.

  5. This is lovely, although personally if anything I feel sad for Rihanna.. domestic violence is a very difficult thing to live through and the abused often blames themselves and sympathises with the person that has hurt them.. I think that is what has happened here! She probably still loves him (your first love is hard to get over, mine treated me really really badly and I still miss him sometimes) and doesn't know how to move on

    Saying all that, this is a really lovely post x

  6. Thank you for writing this. It helped me feel better about this.

    I just wish somehow she could read it and feel the same.

  7. i agree with what someone else said about that it's also an issue of how hard it is to get over your first love. often we will look at the first person we had the strongest feelings for and want that back, so it's hard to let go. the police report from the assault leaked the other day and he had told her he was going to kill her. i knew it was bad but wow. i'm at a loss too since i love her music and have always liked her. it's her life and she can make her own decisions but i hope those decisions don't end up hurting her again.

  8. perfectly stated! but i do agree with some of the comments here about how it is hard to get over your first love (even more so in the eyes of the public).

    great post!

  9. definitely agree about first loves. I feel bad she has to go through this in the public eye.

  10. I very much agree with much of what you wrote. If she were to get back together with him, or even collaborate with him, I'd certainly question her judgement.

    However, I have had a hard time figuring out why everybody (Miranda Lambert) can't let this Chris Brown thing go. This happened years ago now and he has served his time for the crime. It seems like we allow celebrities to get away with a lot of horrible things, cheating, drug and alcohol abuse, etc etc. and yet, they find a way back into our good graces. I realize what he did was VERY wrong. But does he not deserve another chance? I'm not saying with Rihanna, but at least as a performer?

    Am I the only one that feels this way?

  11. so glad to know I am not the only one thinking she's gone off the deep end. :) you're such a good writer btw xx

  12. No woman deserves to be left looking the way Chris Brown left RiRi but obviously she has forgiven him. Why carry an anger that the victim has been able to let go?

    We assume a lot in this situation but we are not part of it, we are outsiders assuming a lot with the little information we are given by our own bias media.

    I don't like him, never will. I won't buy his music or ever support his career. But many will, am I going to spend my time and energy being mad at him and the people who do like him. No, cause that is a HUGE waste of my time and energy, which are more valuable than hating a guy I don't know.

    I pray she knows what she is doing but it is her life and she will ultimately have to take responsibility for her choices.

    Is she sending the wrong message to other women and girls who look up to her as a role model, in a way yes of course she is but she also may be showing her strength through forgiveness.

    That or she has lost her marbles....time will tell.

  13. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU! I thought that I had lost my sanity for a moment. So many people where sticking up for Chris Brown and than she got all buddy buddy with him. I know how hard it is for abusive woman, but I would have hoped that with all the people who surround her that they would have stepped up and guided her away from this. like it or not she has become the role model for women in abusive situations. Her actions is sending a bad message to people everywhere. It really saddens me.

  14. To Anonymous,

    I would agree with you were it not for the fact that during these three years Chris Brown has not shown any personal growth or humility. He has, instead, thrown a chair through a window, he has thrown tantrums on Twitter and in publications, he has taken a woman's phone when asked for a picture, and he has continuously behaved as though HE was the victim of a crime. At absolutely no point has he come across as genuinely sorry, humbled, or ashamed.

    There is a lot of talent in this world. Heck, even on the subway I ride every day I see young men performing incredible dance numbers and singing their hearts out. Why not celebrate them? You know?

    My point it, Chris Brown is not the kind of person that should be supported, and certainly not the kind of person that should be rewarded. He has been blessed with talent, fame, fortune...and one shitty attitude.

  15. FYI- They already did colloborate together on Rhi's song "Cake" remix.

    From most accounts, it sounds like the relationship was abusive both ways. If they have forgiven each other than no one should have anything to say about it.


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