Rihanna’s latest single. “S&M”, caused an uproar not only in the entertainment world, but also in the 11 countries in which the video has been banned.Known for pushing the limits of artistic creativity and over-the-top uniqueness Rihanna has outdone herself with “S&M.” Rihanna’s sassy edge and sinister flirtatiousness is exuded in this video that’s filled to the brim and running over with sexually explicit behavior.
Even You Tube, the video-sharing web site, has placed a disclaimer that says, “this content may be inappropriate for some users,” and is not intended for an underage audience. The British Broadcasting Company has decided not to air it before 7 p.m. while other stations have agreed to playing it late at night only.
With these kinds of precautionary measures taking place, I am sure you can just imagine the kind of far-out things that are going on in Rihanna’s “S&M” song and video accompaniment.
This is not Rihanna’s first time boasting about her openness with sexuality (“Rude Boy,” anyone?).
With her latest song she proudly exclaims her affirmation for the love of sex and the kinky ways she likes to indulge in it.
If you aren’t familiar with sadomasochism (S&M), it combines both sadism (the pleasure in the infliction of pain or humiliation upon one another) and masochism (pleasure in receiving pain).
This term is mostly used to describe consensual practices, oftentimes related to sexual activity, which coincides with the song’s lyrics, “.chains and whips excite me.”.
The Melina Matsoukas directed video showcases the red-hot songstress’s freakish take on hard-core sexuality. Several scenes depict the singer scantily clad and performing crude gestures along with other sexual miscreants who were just as naughty- if not naughtier- than she is.
At the start of the video she is up against a wall and covered with plastic conducting a press conference, while the media are tied up and gagged, seemingly to shield herself from it all, being the media’s judgment and/or ridicule. Rihanna even takes a shot at the media saying “.stick and stones may break my bones.”
At first glance, I wondered if Rihanna’s outlandish imagination of creativity and boldness had gone astray.
Nevertheless, I watched the video again and began to think maybe there really is a message in what others see as a bizarre take on her freedom of expression through her music and sexuality.
Honestly, the catchy beat, racy tune and sexually driven video are tauntingly tasteless; but, if you listen to what she’s saying and what the video represents, you see the meaning behind it all, surprisingly.
Ever since the whole Chris Brown debacle, Rihanna has been the face of domestic violence for women everywhere. Rihanna’s every move and her recent hair color change (Ruby Red) have caught non-stop dissension from the media who have spewed some pretty hurtful and damaging accusations.
What else could the press say to a woman who has been dragged through the media mud?
Living your life as a spectacle for everyone to see and under the microscope of the media picking and pulling at your very core isn’t easy. Could you do it? When is enough, ENOUGH?
Rihanna is not the only celebrity who has endured the same type of cruelties and chosen not to fold in the face of adversity, but to rise above it.
“S&M” is just Rihanna’s way of telling the press that no matter what they say about her, she will still be herself at the end of the day. She will still live her life and do what makes her happy, no matter the consequence.
Is this song too much for our eyes and ears or are we as a society too sensitive? You be the judge.