Let me preface this by saying:
1) Rihanna’s voice will never be “it” for me. I just don’t see it happening and that’s ok.
Janet Jackson’s not exactly a “powerhouse” either but I still adore her.
2) I never blamed her.
I was ambivalent towards Rihanna in the beginning. I thought she’d be a fly-by-night act who’d be here today and gone tomorrow. In her early interviews, she seemed very manufactured and disingenuous. The image that her team was trying to project just didn’t ring true, so I opted out of the entire Rihanna package.
Then came the punch that shocked the world.
My numbness was obliterated. I felt a myriad of emotions. What happened? How could this have gone so wrong, so quickly, and to people so young?
I’ll admit I was one of those people who wanted details. Was he receiving text messages from other girls? Did she really throw the Lamborghini keys out the window? Were they secretly known to be violent towards each other in the past?
I WANTED ANSWERS!
But I respected, and actually preferred, her decision not to talk. It’s her story and she has a right to tell it, but the Diane Sawyers interview, while genuine, felt canned and like a very lopsided pile-on. I felt that if she was going to tell it, then she should tell it all because there’s nothing that she could have said that she did (ex: punched him first, threw his keys out, called his mother a tramp) that would have ever justified his brutal attack on her.
SN: You #TeamBreezy fanatics who scream that you would die for CB to punch you even one time need a reality check. You’re going to literally DIE thinking that domestic violence is cute. I like Chris Brown and cried along with him during his monumental Michael Jackson tribute, but you people need help. Or Jesus. Or some combination, thereof.
Anyhoo, the interview and her decreasing need for clothing turned me off.
Then, in the process of healing and “finding” herself, she began to reveal her true self to the world. And I liked what I saw: a young, determined woman who circumstances had forced to be fearless. She began to speak her mind. She was, surprisingly, witty. Her tongue was unbelievably sharp.
I warmed to her.
Then, there was this moment:
She was reeling me in quickly.
Finally, Mother O.
It took OPRAH to mend the final rift between us: Chris Brown.
I was finally able to understand her. I know what it’s like to feel the need to protect the ones that are hurting you…while they’re hurting you. I know the confusion and devastation that comes with love that’s been betrayed at the very deepest levels. More importantly, I know the desperate need to forgive because it’s too hard not to. It weighs you down. It weakens you. It hardens your heart and sours you from the inside out.
It takes an AMAZING combination of humbleness, strength and courage to forgive. It takes even more when those around you are mistaking your forgiveness for weakness because if you’ve ever been a victim, the last thing you want is to be seen as one again…by anybody, much less the world.
It’s hard, but it’s possible.
And it’s worthy of respect. Salute, Rihanna.
What do you think? Did Rihanna’s interview with Oprah change your opinion of her? Do you like her more? Less? The same? Share your thoughts. We’re just chatting…