I love Rihanna’s style and her music (not talking about her personal life). I adore the way she easily transitions from high fashion runway looks to urban street fashion. However, I’m noticing that she’s barely clothed these days. I’m all for being proud and embracing your body and its curves and as Beyonce says, “If you got it, flaunt it.” But I think you can still pay tribute to the female anatomy with clothes on.
There is a lot to be said about a woman who can be fully clothed, showing little skin yet project nothing but confidence and sex appeal. I know I probably sound like an old grandmother but I think clothes can be sexy. I don’t think you have to wear beach shorts and a midriff to feel sexy. It’s not necessarily what you wear but how you wear it and most importantly how you feel in the clothes you are in. It is very possible to feel like a sex kitten in a granny sweater. Hey, when I buy new undergarments I feel ready to conquer the world.
Now, I've seen Rihanna fully clothed in breathtaking ensembles and she looks just as beautiful so I’m just using her as an example because of her latest GQ magazine spread. I feel such images further perpetuate the hypersexualization of women in the media. I don’t mean to isolate and target Rihanna because she certainly isn't the only one falling victim to this trend but she is the most talked about in my circle. I have a lot of friends with younger siblings who idolize her. Rihanna and celebrities like her have already established their careers but many of her teenage followers have not and such images can have a grave impact.
I've been hearing this “bad girl” term used a lot lately in reference to Rihanna. “Bad” meaning good, a lot of teenage girls (15-18) want to be “bad.” A part of being a “bad girl” means dressing proactively, showing as much skin as possible and alluding to anything sexual. There is even a wikiHow page on “How to Be a Bad Girl.” Really? Are you surprised? Can’t say I was either. Anyhow, maybe I shouldn't limit this portrayal of a “bad girl” image to teenage girls alone. My Instagram in plagued with images of my peers (22+) trying to convince everyone to buy their newfound “bad girl” persona. Now, as a woman you should feel free to dress any way you like and not be judged. Women fought for this right. But for many of these teens and young adults it is an act and not a state of being. They are not being their genuine authentic selves.
Imagine standing out while still being exactly who you are, how empowering that must feel. No one wants to be a “good girl” these days for only heaven know why. I guess “good” means dull and boring. I will never understand the equivalency. But how about we refine what “bad” means. What if we perceived a “bad girl” for someone who is brave and has a great inner strength for being who she is? Now that’s sexy!