Rihanna in Elle UK

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Rihanna graces the cover of the April issue of ELLE UK. She unapologetically states she intends to keep Chris Brown in her life. While skimming through Twitter I came across several comments such as:

“Guess being a role model to other girls/women isn’t important to her. Live your life, including the results of bad decisions. Less being a role model to other girls/women isn’t important to her. Live your life.”
“She ought to be embarrassed of herself.”
I am not ashamed to say I am a HUGE Rihanna fan. I am also not ashamed to say I am far from disappointed or judgmental of her choice to continue her relationship with Brown. I do believe it is time to forgive Brown.

First let me say in no way am I condoning abuse (physical or emotional). I’ve witnessed many occurrences, and to an extent I do believe once a beater always a beater. However, I also believe every saint has a pass and every sinner has a future. Yes I am aware of the statistics. I am aware that every nine seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten. I am aware that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. But who are we to judge Rihanna for her decisions?

Lets paint a vivid picture. At the time the incident transpired between Brown and Fenty, Brown was 19-years-old. I don’t know about you, but at 19-years-old I surely made A LOT of mistakes. Just imagine the worst thing you’ve done in your teens and you are now subjected to scrutiny for it, not just for one year, but four. For the last four years he has been ridiculed, outcasted and shunned. The Bible discusses the act of forgiving is —if not—the single most important thing.

Although forgiveness is easier said than done, it is imperative that we (as well as Brown) begin to practice forgiveness. When you acknowledge your unacceptable behavior many of us begin to bear a grudge against the person in the mirror. Have it ever occurred that many of Brown’s outbursts is perhaps his way of bearing his own guilt and/or regret. How can we expect him to grow up and take responsibility when society continues to shun him for his errors? People do not grow in isolation. We can only grow with human social development. By not forgiving Brown we are disobeying God’s commandments.

For those who may not be spiritual or religious simply ask yourself wouldn’t you want to be forgiving? So now you are thinking should we forgive all assailants? Yes! Because you cannot truly move forward with your life until you have truly forgiven those who trespassed against you. I am not saying every relationship should be rekindled. I am saying forgiveness is a main component in healing.

I do agree he has a temperament that should be addressed with therapy and anger management. However, I do believe it is time to forgive Brown and address his issues with love and not hate.

In addition, I must address the role model issue. I do understand once you become a celebrity you sign on the invisible line that states like it or not you are now a role model. Nonetheless, it is imperative that we help our children discern right from wrong. Because it works for Rihanna, does not mean that is what you should do. Each individual’s life is different and we must tailor our decisions based on our understanding and experience. Parents, teachers, mentors, advisors must teach our children it is okay to have a favorite celeb but it is not okay to make decisions based off their actions.

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