I was one of those people who used to think Rihanna and Chris Brown were adorable together. In fact, I hadn't crushed on a couple like that since Justin and Britney strutted into the VMAs wearing their matching denim outfits. But Chris and Rihanna seemed to be the real deal-both at the top of their game, and cute as hell.
Until he beat the living shit out of her.
Just like any public relationship that we all help put on a pedestal, it came crashing down when the curtains were pulled back to reveal the ugly truth-that their relationship was unhealthy and abusive. The pictures released of Rihanna post-beating were graphic and disturbing. But even more disturbing was Chris Brown's hollow apologies for his actions and anger at any interviewer that GOD FORBID bring it up while he was trying to promote his new album. His lack of ANY remorse left a bad taste in my mouth and also made it difficult to separate Chris Brown, the guy who makes great music from Chris Brown, the dickhead who beat his girlfriend within an inch of her life.
But, this is America, and we'll forgive just about anything if you lay low for long enough. (Marv Albert, I'm talking to you!) So when Chris Brown performed at this year's Grammys, I didn't think too much of it. No, I wasn't going to buy his albums, but I wasn't surprised that he was back on the main stage.
But when I heard that he and Rihanna had collaborated on not one but TWO singles and were rumored to perform on American Idol together later this season, I wanted to puke up all the Cheezits I had downed while I thought no one was looking. (Damn you, salty goodness!) This was also followed by reports that the couple was back together. Which left me, sitting in front of my computer, holding a empty bag of Cheezits and saying, WHAT THE F*CK!
Where is Rihanna's support system? I know she's an adult who makes her own decisions, but someone fell asleep at the wheel on this one. And history tells us that Chris Brown's pattern of abuse is determined to repeat itself, you just don't brutally kick the shit out of someone as a fluke. But what scares me even more is the message this sends to impressionable young men and women. It's okay to be someone who uses violence to solve your relationship issues. It's okay to beat up your girlfriend, she's going to take you back AND perform on American Idol with you too!
I would guess most of us have been in some sort of abusive relationship at one time or another. Maybe they were over controlling and put you down so that you wouldn't ever dream that you deserved better. Or maybe they pushed you around and made you feel like you couldn't leave. It's a fact that many women stay in abusive relationships because they just don't feel like they have any other options. And this Rihanna/Chris Brown shit certainly is not going to help give them the strength figure out that they do.
But I get it. Rihanna certainly didn't sign up to become the battered women spokesperson and has the right to make all the terrible decisions she wants. Just like we have the right to talk all kinds of smack about it here. But I think American Idol should know better and be concerned with the message they're sending by inviting them to perform rather than trying desperately to drive ratings because they're scared The Voice has become more relevant.
What do YOU think? Am I overreacting or does the thought of Chris Brown and Rihanna performing together make you want to puke your Cheezits too? Tell me!