Rihanna Criticized for Overt Sexual Imagery

Former Spice Girl member, Melanie ‘Mel C’ Christholme, is taking Rihanna to task for what she calls the singer’s ‘inappropriately sexual’ behavior.

Christholme, now 37 and a mother, says that despite respecting Rihanna as an artist and enjoying many of her songs, the image the singer projects is just too sexual for someone whose fans base is comprised of mostly teens and pre-teens.

“People have to take some responsibility because we’ve got to a point where the over-sexualization of young children has gone too far,” she explained. “I think music is a big part of that. Women in music are extremely sexual and they have young fans. It is inappropriate.”

“Rihanna has a responsibility and although culture’s always changing, it’s changed too much. It needs to be dealt with. It’s reached saturation point. We owe it to our kids to protect them.”

Mel C added that the Spice Girls were also criticized in their day because of their imagery, but said they always made sure not to go too far. “Yes we wore cropped tops, but look how much has changed. We always sat down as a group and if somebody felt something was inappropriate for our young fans, we did something about it. I think that’s something young people in the music industry today, like Rihanna, should do now,” she said.

The ‘I Turn to You’ singer also said that she believes Rihanna uses overly sexual scenes in videos such as ‘S&M’ because she has yet to become a mother.

“I love Rihanna, I think she’s a f**king brilliant artist, with great songs, a great record and she looks fantastic, but she’s not a mom,” she explained. “Maybe if she becomes one she’ll feel different. I hope so anyway.”

33 Comments

  1. I agree with Mel C. But you also have to remember that many artist (right or wrong) do not consider themselves role models. They don’t want the responsibility. They feel its the parents job to monitor what their kids listen to or watch. That being said, if you know Rihanna puts on a sexually explicit stage show or has an album full of songs about sex,drugs, murder etc…don’t take or allow your children to go see her show and don’t allow her music to be played in your home.

  2. I stopped reading after she said that rihanna was a brilliant artist. She lost all credibility after that. Smh. I think she only said that so she wont look so bad for criticizing because we all know there is nothing brilliant about rihanna. She cant sing, dance, write her own music, nothing. She’s selling sex because thats all she can do. Just take it for what it is.

  3. wow. so like Rihanna’s the new Madonna as far as risque and oversexualized performance goes, eh?

    moms can choose whether or not to take their kids to a Rihanna (or insert any other top super starruh singer) concert.

    if Rihanna ‘were’ a mother and wanted to throw her crotch across stage…she could do it.

    i’m wondering why folk are jumping the bandwagon on “that Rihanna is too raunchy”? would they if she wasn’t so outspoken (free) about her sexual freedom and ‘art’? if she were quiet and coy and remained for the better part vaguely mum on her artistic direction on stage and in videos would there be such an uproar over lil’ miss RihRih?

    “S&M” is ONE video where Rih’s smexy was blatant and ‘in yo’ face, sucka!’ ONE VIDEO out of how many??? Yeah. And her stage show…wow…really? Is she the only one doing raggedy-ann lapdances all over middle-aged retirees? Errr, ummm… And to end, is she the only one over-saturizing the over-sexualization of our youth, in the music arena?

    Please, have many \_’s.

  4. I see my comment was erased. Smh brownsista must be on rihanna’s payroll. I guess the truth hurts. Rihanna and brilliant dont belong in the same sentence. If u cant sing or dance or write your own music then selling sex is pretty much ur only option. Smh at the folks who defend this gimmick.

  5. People really stick up for her like what people say isn’t true. I just graduated high school, and none of my classmates were checking for her. But my little sister, 11, and her friends live her. It sucks that people stick up for her til the end, but Beyonce, who’s a great talent and role model gets slandered and ridiculed for the pettiest things. I guess it’s cuz from the outside looking in, beyonce is perfect. She’s gorgeous, rich, successful, TALENTED, loved and in love, and genuinely happy. Rihanna on the other hand has so many problems that the public knows about, I guess that makes her more relatable to the rest of the world. U don’t have to be a Beyonce Stan or fan, but if u can’t acknowledge her greatness, I’m sorry, but you’re a hater. I hate to bring up Beyonce under a Rihanna post, but everytime I see her I have a greater appreciation that my generation has an artist like Beyonce who didn’t jumP on the wave of this new style of music. Her album is incredible from beginning to end(especially those deluxe edition tracks), and u just don’t get that these days.

  6. ^^^Why in the world did you bring Beyonce into the mix? This post is about Rihanna! I’m sorry but I must address you. LOL.

    but if u can’t acknowledge [Beyonce’s] greatness, I’m sorry, but you’re a hater.

    !!! ??? !!!

    *takes computer and throws it through window*

    HATER!?!?!

    *Leyomi drops*

    What the… !!! ??? !!!

    I hate to bring up Beyonce under a Rihanna post…

    then DON’T! lol. She’s not necessary to this conversation!

    my generation has an artist like Beyonce who didn’t jumP on the wave of this new style of music

    what “new style of music”…pop music? urban pop? pop/r&b?

    *flails*

    I hope SISTA creates a Beyonce post SOON so you can state how you feel about her music, her legacy, her celebrity…there…in a Beyonce post and NOT IN A RIHANNA POST! lol

    and this…

    Her album is incredible from beginning to end (especially those deluxe edition tracks), and u just don’t get that these days.

    *plays the tambourine, lifts hands to glory*

    Might I direct you [one of many music sites such as] soulbounce[dot]com which is chock full of incredible [musical artists with] albums [with incredible songs] from beginning to end [without] deluxe edition tracks. ‘Coz the records are out-the-gate so good they don’t need triple-deluxe re-releasing.

    *does the pocket-knife*

    lol

    “King” Beyonce’s fans. smh.

  7. umm…lets all be real here. criticize ONE….criticize ALL….a large number of artist these days are overly sexual. that’s the sad truth. to call out ONE artist and say he/she is too sexual and setting a bad example..while artists like gaga and brittney, etc get to do whatever is hypocritical. they are ALL wearing skimpy and crazy outfits…and ALL gyrating while dancing on stage….so lets be real with ourselves. Hell these pre-teens listen to people like Trey songz…and we ALL know what every last one of his songs/shows is about.

    and in my opinion ANY ‘artist’ that can make millions and be successful (yes it’s a fact…she is a very successful artist) with such little talent and ability as several so eagerly pointed out…IS brilliant and has a brilliant team. Whatever she’s selling she sells it well. it has absolutely nothing to do with her talent or lack there-of.

  8. and @curious….really..Beyonce is perfect??

    *sigh* i swear people talk about these celebrities like they kick it with them on a regular basis.

  9. How is she a gimmick? I mean, the woman ‘sings’. She can carry a tune. Has carried many-a tune since she first came onto the scene with the island-pon-de-sun record. Can she do triple back-flips with her vocal-chords? No. How many CAN? Can you? LOL What about you? *looks at all of ya* I can ‘sing’, too. I can hold a note and stay in tune and even maintain my pitch when singing second-row alto at the 45th Baptist Episcopal Renaissance Holiness Church Choir.

    Can I dance? No. Do all singers have to dance? Hmmm. Do they? If they don’t dance are they ‘gimmicks’? Rihanna’s got a little rhythm. She does. C’mon. Pon de Replay! Bajan! She got a wee bit o’ rhythm. The guhl-chile can move…and dance in a choreographed fashion while singing. Gimmick-qualifier? Is she?

    If everybody were GREAT singers while being GREAT dancers while GREATLY COMMANDING A STAGE, then nobody would be…GREAT.

    Face it. Rihanna is a super-starruh. Rihanna’s songs are like ridiculously overplayed so her “sex” (lol) must be selling aurally as well as visually… Think about it. lol.

    Is she brilliant?

    Look how she started out. Look where she is now. Look WHO SHE HAS STUDIED (and some might say straight-jacked from…*head bops to LaChappelle*) to become the type pop star she is today. Show business is a business. She’s done well in her what, three/five years of existence? She’s got great backers. HOV! THE ROC! She’s diversifying her ‘talents’ of “singing”, “dancing”, “commanding performances”, soon to be “acting”, not to mention her “spokespersoning” as well as her “celebrity-fying” all over the place: print-media, media, etc. She’s fascinating. She’s a catch. Folk are interested in what she has to offer. She’s maintained thus far and will continue to do so as long as she keeps working her “brand”, not gimmick, but “brand”. So brillancy dubbed, keep being sexy on stage Rihanna and “risque” and “edgy”. Keep singing (notice I didn’t say sanging). Keep dancing (cough). Keep ENTERTAINING….just like your peers and your idols.

    None of these artists no matter how noble and great or how outrageous and damaging, should be our children’s role models…

    I’m done. Y’all can have it. Today feels like a Sunday…with all this arm-chair preaching I’m doing. LOL

    Good luck and God bless to all the singers GRINDING HARD and creating and performing and living their dreams of creating and performing. Deuces and dougies to everybody pursuing their dreams, Rihanna-influenced or not. LOL Peace, Brownsistas (and brothas). 😉

  10. @SMH, depending on your cookies and whatnot, your comment may not show up right away. I’ve posted three times and only one of my comments have made it…thus far. *eyes SISTA* lol i think it just takes a minute (or minutes) *wink*

  11. Smh @ at people who claim they hate to bring up Beyonce on a Rihanna post but then proceed to do it anyway… Sigh

  12. There will always be someone pushing the envelope. The sad thing is that we have become desensitized and don’t give it a second look.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,
    Tiffany

  13. I think people just to talk , to bring publicity to themselves, if rihanna is such a bad example you as a mother should not open your statement by saying “I’m a big rihanna fan” please i stop reading after that.
    NAME 1 just 1 mainstream pop singer that isn’t selling sex or being naked? for some reason people love to point to rihanna , when they are woman older than her popping their coochies way harder than her, so please have a sit whoever you are.

  14. @curious rihanna learned her raunchiness from beyonce, she just don’t claim that an alter ego is doing it, she OWNS her nastiness, so shut your ridiculous mouth, i work with teenagers, they are ALL CHECKING FOR RIHANNA AND NOT CHECKING for beyonce, so moot point, people do what they want, and if you are ridiculous enough to not think that rihanna has made herself a place RIGHT NEXT to your dear beyonce that’s your butt

  15. We’ve all discussed this many times, I personally have no problem with it at all, but I remember there were many hypocrites and it got really heated with the Janet “Double Standard” post.
    Alot of these artist don’t want to be role models and there is nothing wrong with that, it gets thrown on them anyways and I believe that’s one of the main reasons artist are pretty sexual because they don’t want that title. That’s my theory atleast.

  16. And I’m sure Mel B meant artist in general, Rihanna’s name just popped up 1st maybe?

    Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyonce, JANET, and many more. Yes, they all have mass sex appeal and yes, ALL of them use it, none are no different. It takes nothing away from their talents.

    This is NO different from Timothy Bloom’s “Til the End of Time” (which I love) and please spare us all the “it’s classy” “tasteful” etc. it’s no diefferent, period. Get over it people sex appeal, sex, sex, and more sex is apart of life. Esp. in this day and age and it’s only gonna get worse so get ready.

  17. @shontelle we all know you’re a rihanna stan/beyonce hater but there is no need 2 lie. Every teenager i know is checking 4 beyonce. She just sold out her show in 22 secs so people are definitely checkin 4 her. Smh at u always trying 2 bring bey down. Get a life already. As for this story, who cares? They all sell sex, thats nothing new.

  18. WELL BEYONCE ACTS INNOCENT WHEN SHES IN THE PUBLIC DOING INTERVIEWS , BUT WHEN SHES ON STAGE SHES HALF NAKED IN HER PANTIES. LOOK AT BEYONCES NEW VIDEO SHES WEARING SOMETHING U WOULD WEAR TO A HONEYMOON ! RIHANNA IS GAY AND THEY SELL SEX NOT RECORDS . THEY TALKED ABOUT KERI HILSONS VIDEO , BUT BEYONCE AND RIHANNA ARE THE ONES WHO SOLD SEX FIRST BEFORE KERI CAME OUT.

  19. Well I guess the moral of the story is a lot of female artistes have sexy images, and it’s up to parents to..well …parent.

    As far as the Beyonce vs Rihanna- come on guys. Im sure these ladies are friends in real life and prolly laugh when they read what people say.

    Rihanna is a pop artist. You may decide to not support her because of her singing/dancing however don’t detract from what she has acheived.

    Just like how you (Beyonce fans) don’t like it when Beyonce doesn’t get props or get unfairly critized (in your opinion) , think about how you’re doing the same with Rihanna.

    You know- I don’t get the win/lose mentality within the Black community as it related to entertainers. (In terms of, in order for Beyonce to be winning, everyone else needs to be losing).

    But back to issue at hand- I honestly think that parents today are afraid to parent. Who controls what kids see ? Who is giving them money for buy the albums/go to concerts etc? Everytime someone complains about Rihanna/Beyonce/Lady Gaga what they’re pretty much saying is this celebrity has more control over my child that I do.

  20. @just saying-
    just a heads up that this is not the case in every city/metro area.

    Where I am, Beyonce has a more mature crowd (aint nothing wrong with that!) and the younger folk are more into Rihanna.

    That’s something she may eventually have to check, because of course the people with money (who will buy albums and not bootleg) is the best market. We all saw that with Susan Boyle.

  21. @Just saying: That is a simple minded train of thought common amongst beyonce’s fans, i have news for you : I AM A FAIR PERSON, I never defended rihanna hoe-ness NEVER, I’m not excusing it, I have said it plenty of time that she needs to put some clothes on and close her legs, and i have said the same about beyonce married grown and should know better arse.
    and beyonce selling out her show what does that mean?that there is enough people wanting to see her sing and dance, WE ARE NOT SOLVING AIDS HERE!!!!! rihanna loud tours show sold out in matter of minute to, and? what is your point, how many people do you know to make such a strong statement? if people were checking for beyonce it would show on the charts, requesting songs until they become number ones, radio overplaying the song because everyone and their mamas is asking for it, That’s how rihanna do, that was how beyonce did until some people outgrew her, she still has fans that love ans cherish her, and how is that suppose to impact MY life? but don’t be mad at rihanna because YOU feel like she is outshining beyonce it’s lamentable.

  22. Have you guys ever been to those sites where the comment section has been taken over by spammers posting links to dating sites? Well I figured out how to stop them by blocking certain characters. Some of you use those characters and your comments end up being held for moderation. Once I log on, check them, and realize they are not spam, I then approve them.

    So don’t side eye me or claim I’m on Rihanna’s payroll (wish I was). I’m just trying to keep the comment section clean so you guys can talk without having to scroll through mounds of spam.

    🙂

  23. BLACK MUSIC OR URBAN MUSIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN OVERTLY SEXUAL. IT’S JUST THAT NOW THAT BLACK MUSIC IS UNIVERSAL THAN IT’S SOMETHING TO CRITICIZE.FROM THE DAYS IN THE SOUTH WHERE BLACKS WERE DANCING SEXUAL TO THE BLUES IN THE SLUMS , TO THE WAVE OF BLACK MUSIC INFILTRATING THE CITIES UP NORTH, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN SEXUAL. THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT, IT WAS SOMETHING EXOTIC AND RAUNCHY, THAT’S WHY THE WHITE FOLKS WOULD TRAVEL AT NIGHT TO SEE BLACKS PERFORM. IT WAS TABOO AND ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT, THEN WHEN WHITE FOLKS BEGAN TO REALIZE THIS TABOO COULD BE MARKETED AND SOLD TO THE MILLIONS OF WHITE KIDS THAT WANTED AND WERE INTRIGUED BY THE OVERTLY SEXUALIZED NEGRO MUSIC ,DID IT BECOME POPULAR. aND THEN WHITE ARTISTS SUCH AS ELVIS PRESLEY BECAME POPULAR BECAUSE HE WAS ABLE TO STEAL AND MARKET AN ACCEPTABLE VERSION DID THE WHITE ESTABLISHMENT MAKE THIS FORM OF MUSIC ACCEPTABLE. THERE IS ONLY A BIG ROAR OF OVERTLY SEXUAL MUSIC BECAUSE WHITE CHILDREN ARE BEING INFLUENCE BY IT, BUT WHEN IT WAS JUST BLACK KIDS LISTENING AND DANCING TO IT, IT WASN’T A PROBLEM, BECAUSE THE WORLD SEE US AS OVERTLY SEXUAL IN NATURE.

  24. Gosh I mean does it really ALWAYS have to be Beyonce vs. Rihanna? They’re both SUPERSTARS doing what they love to do, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

  25. Thanks Sista: I like your site because you dont rush to report things that can be proven wrong later on and i like the people who post because they seemv very passionate about what they say. But as far as this post, everyone uses what they know can get and keep them out there and like someone mentioned many people period dont see themselves as role models and as such do not feel they have a responsibility to anyone because they are using their craft to share not giving their lives to save someone’s soul.

  26. I am truly confused as to why rihanna and beyonce are so interrelated in the blogosphere. Or why beyonce was even relevant to this post. But @Kanyade et al, they addressed that better than I did so let me just comment on the article.

    Rihanna is no more or less promiscuous than Janet Jackson, Madonna, etc. were and are. Not to mention, Usher, Jason De Rulo, BOBBY BROWN etc.. why is there never a mention of the sexuality of male artists and how it negatively impacts the youth of today.

  27. I just say, leave all these women alone. All of this is Rihanna vs. Beyonce mess is so unfair, so ridiculous and extreme. Book reports aren’t needed and the drive to go H.A.M. on another commenter is trivial and immature.

    I’M checking for Beyonce, and I’M checking for Rihanna. I barely left my teenage years behind, very recently. So there, they can officially count a very young adult as a fan. The end.

  28. And as for the sexiness issue, Rihanna is for those in their late teens to adulthood. I wish parents would get that through their heads. My parents slowly allowed me to expand upon what I was able to see/listen to as I grew older, in a very natural way (one that was both responsible but not suffocating). The kiddies can keep Justin Bieber & Hannah Montana.

  29. And lastly, Beyonce isn’t perfect but she IS a fantastic artist. That’s just fact. She may not be YOUR cup of tea, but the girl is truly bad. Accept that.

  30. I was shocked to see the pics from Rihanna tour in Barbados. Its like suddenly she want to be like Madonna, doing these over sexualised ‘poses’.

    She definitely want to be seen as a bad girl who doesnt care and Does and says what she wants. I dont buy it and she tries too hard to be controversial.

    I hope she finds herself, her REAL self i.e.
    When she came out she was a Beyonce wannabe, than she cut her hair and pretended to be a rockstar like fefe dobson (I can remember her saying she’ll never wear her hair long again), then there was a Grace Jones period, now she’s in full Mood Madonna mode. Will the real rihanna pls stand up?

  31. i agree will the mojority of you’ll comments but it’s far to late to stop Rihanna now…………

  32. I don’t know when people are going to learn. If you don’t want your kids seeing these things THEN DON”T LET THEM. This argument has been around for at least 2 decades. Clearly All of these women have no intention of toning down what they do anytime soon. This is how this generation has learned to operate. No more Oprah’s or Martha’s just T&A. My only value is what I look like and what I can do for a guy not much else. And what’s sad to me is how even the few that can sing a bit do the dry hump, crotch thrust schtick. So if anybody is expecting these chicks to put the ass away and do something else anytime soon, you’d better think again.

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