A look at what one young woman thinks about the decisions of the pop star that she admires.
Written by Soo-Young Kim (@sooeypooey)
I’m what you call a functioning superfan; more ride-or-die for Rihanna than her average fan, yet not quite ready to attach #navi to the end of every tweet. I admire her energy, I buy her albums, and her style inspires me—I chopped off all of my hair in 2009 to rock the famous crop-cut. But don't get me wrong: I'm clearheaded, and smart enough to be pissed that it's not spelled #navy anymore.
Everyone in the office knows me as the resident RiRi fan. I scream whenever "Rude Boy" comes on. I can't stop talking about my tickets to her upcoming Barclays Center show. Usually, nobody cares.
But they started to last week.
They started to care when they were curious to hear how a woman—one who happens to be a Rihanna fan—feels about the issue. Yeah: the issue. The never-ending story of Robyn Fenty and Chris Brown, which, as of last week, seems to have regressed back into a full-blown relationship again.
Their love is the kind of star-crossed s**t you only read about in books and see in movies. It's hard not to romanticize the f**ked up relationship that they have.
It's a sensitive subject for me. And trust: I'm a sensitive person. I cry at the same six exact points of The Lion King without fail. I have an excess of what Fiona Apple calls "mirror neurons."
I try to act tough at work. It's Complex. I'm surrounded by dudes. Yet, when colleagues corner me into their office to ask how I feel about the subject of this rekindled romance, I immediately burst into tears.
It's so embarrassing. My initial reaction makes me feel like one of those irrational pop stans a la the Beyhive, Barbies, and Monsters. But I'll admit it: when I hear the words "Rihanna and Chris Brown," my heart drops.
I remember the night I saw the photo, proof-positive that Chris Brown has the ability to be a monster. Fuck it, I'm not scared of Team Breezy.
He is a monster.
I can still feel the pain through her eyes. The bruises were probably nothing compared to the wounds inside. It sounds corny, but their love is the kind of star-crossed shit you only read about in books and see in movies. It's hard not to romanticize the fucked up relationship that they have, especially when we can all see the masochism unwraveling before us.
Have you seen the "We Found Love" video? It's a celebration of the dysfunctional-yet-passionate relationship where you convince yourself to stay, because you swear the pain is just...him loving you harder and deeper than anyone else.
From the outside, though, it’s easy to see that he's a psycho. I'll scream it—literally, scream it—at the TV: "Get out while you can!" And it's why I get frustrated. Rihanna's 24 years-old. As far as we know, Chris Brown is the only love she's ever known. He's got her wrapped around his finger. I just want to grab her and scream at her, something along the lines of: "HELLO! YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER AND ALSO, HE HAS BUCK TEETH."
Rihanna is 24 and Chris Brown is the only love she's ever known. He's got her wrapped around his finger.
I fucking hate Chris Brown. He's a despicable human being. He's never acted apologetic for beating her ass, and continues to make it about his victimization-by-media. And not her. Mind you, this is all while he's throwing tantrums, flaunting his non-resolved anger issues like a grade-A asshole. And can we talk about The Tattoo? Is it really unrelated to the incident, or is it to remind Rihanna—and us—that he's more than capable of hurting her again?
Let's set aside the fact that Karrueche Tran—Brown's first public post-Rihanna fling—was stupid enough to date him in the first place. Consider the way in which he kicked her to the curb to make Rihanna feel even more “special.” Red flag, much? And this is just a sampling of why it hurts so viscerally to see Rihanna giving this smug schmuck another chance.
So, something personal and frankly, kind of dumb: The only time my boyfriend and I argue is when we talk about Rihanna, and her continued relations with Chris Brown. It always ends with me having to leave the room, because he calls her "stupid, and codependent."
Part of me agrees with him. How could she be so dumb? How could she fall for this? But really, what brings me back to her side is that she's human, just like the rest of us.
Every single time, I have an overwhelming urge to stand up for Rihanna, and with that gut feeling comes a moment of reckoning. Do I stand up for her because I know that she's a cognizant adult capable of making her own decisions? Do I defend her because I, too, think she's weak? Do I see her as the perpetrator, or the victim? This is where I'm stuck. Like so many other fans, I just don't have the answers.
Do I turn a blind eye to the wreck because what I think won't change her decisions? And: Why do I care so much?
I love Rihanna. I want her to be happy. As much as I want to light Chris's piss-colored hair on fire, she thinks she's happy with him, so, as a fan—and a woman—do I respect that and support it? Do I turn a blind eye to the wreck because what I think won't change her decisions?
And: Why do I care so much?
I care because—as a woman, as a human—I understand what it's like to be hurt in a relationship. It's not until you're truly over loving that cancerous person that you become privy to their flaws. Then, the clarity comes: Life is so, so much better without them. When you find value within yourself, that isn't predicated on another person, you can finally find someone new. Someone that's much better than that last asshole.
I'm just a year older than Rihanna, and I want her to get to the same breakthrough point. I want her to have a healthy relationship, but only on her own terms. All I can do is continue to wait, and keep rooting for her until she does.