So, I thought of this really fun (well, for me anyways) idea of giving my blog posts a thematic premise. Along with articles on an array of topics, I want to start a "Why I Love... " column, where every month or so I showcase just that -- someone I love or admire. Whether they're world famous icons, politicians or celebrities, they're people who make up an influence in the generation I'm growing up in. (And the fact that the first one I wrote came with some pretty amazing outcomes doesn't hurt either!)
As I got ready to write this very article though, I found myself conflicted over whom to chose. Not necessarily because there was a short list from the people I could write about, but because my mind, which usually conflicts with my logical reasoning, had already picked someone -- someone I didn't necessarily want to choose.
Now, I'll pause for the obligatory eye roll and sigh as you label me a fangirl and as you gasp at my ridiculousness for "choosing" Rihanna over the hundreds of other "better candidates."
But I'm not part of the Rihanna Navy just yet. In my past article, I had even stated that Rihanna wasn't the best role model, which is true as there are still many things that shy her from that label.
But there's something that she has that very few girls, let alone people have -- a trait that I wholeheartedly admire, dubbed by my friends and me as "Rihanna Confidence."
What's "Rihanna Confidence" you may ask? It's when you dye your hair a neon blue or red no one would had expected. It's when you wear black lipstick because you like it. It's when you have an aura around you because you're self-assured in who you are. It's when someone's a little scandalous at times, simply because they broke a social norm that many would be too afraid to defy.
Set aside your opinions on her music, controversial social and love life, and you find a 25-year-old female that wholeheartedly does whatever she wants... which in a sense brings on the controversy that she's surrounded by.
But Rihanna ultimately has just that -- "Rihanna Confidence." Whether it's her hairstyles and colors, outfits, music, she knows that people will judge her, and yet she ultimately does what she wants to do.
Some may say, quite credibly, that too much confidence can be a bad thing, but in a generation of girls who care so heavily on how others perceive them (myself definitely included), to me, Rihanna does some crazy-out-of-this-world-I-would-never-do-because-my-mom-will-kill-me things, but a part of me admires that she has the guts to do it.
I've watched her interviews and you get a sense that she's honestly not a bad person, a pop star diva or a reckless footloose, but just the opposite -- she's just her.
And as controversial and reckless as it may be, it's something that I feel that a lot of us are to scared to do.
In one of her concert movies, she tells us a quote that seems to become her mantra, a quote said by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Eleanor Roosevelt: "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
Just let that sink in.
To some it may sound despicable, a slap against social standard and class, but it's more than that. It's a challenge to do something you're afraid of doing because society tells you not to. It's doing something you want to do as you turn your back on the society that tells you it's not right.
Now, I'm not saying throw your homework in the air and turn your back on society like that, because homework is not "you."
No, it's all about the "Rihanna Confidence" -- and that starts with yourself.
So yes, she may be controversial, and not the winner of the No. 1 role model award, or an expected choice, but I started this blog for that very idea -- to showcase the people that play a role, inevitably, it=n the way I perceive the generation I am growing up in. And you can't look-over the influence Rihanna has on our generation.
In the end it's a lesson of confidence, self-reliance, sureness, that weather in small or large amounts, we should never be afraid to let loose sometimes, confidence that will pave what we truly want to do, and pave the way for some to make history -- simply by being ourselves. And that is why I love Rihanna.
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