Currently there’s a photo floating, well, not so much floating as being rather flaunted on the internet that proposes to be a police photo of Rhianna after being (allegedly) beaten by Chris Brown.
My point here is not celebrity. I’m not going to link to the photo either, but if you want it, you can find it.
She’s 20 years old.
At first, they didn’t even bother trying to hide her identity because people would automatically know who it was anyway, she couldn’t hide. Now someone has leaked a photo, likely real, of what has likely been one of the most horrendous experiences a young woman can go through.
On one hand, I’m all for it, as an example, and proof that abuse doesn’t give a sweet hot damn about who you are, how much money you make, how talented or lovely you might be. Abuse will crawl out from under a rock and find you, and haunt you. Think you’re too young? Too old? Too famous?
Obviously you’re wrong. As my father always told me, being an asshole is not something limited to any income, creed or color. They are everywhere.
Yet I’m sitting there, staring at this face that we all know is just beautiful, a talented and lovely seeming woman (I don’t know her personally after all) in the prime of her life, a woman who should be enjoying every fucking fabulous thing this world has to offer and her eyes are closed and her face is bruised and I can’t help but feel like I’m staring at her naked-I’m not looking at Rhianna, the brand, the creation, I’m looking at any other 20 year old girl, starting her life. I’m staring into the abyss of someone’s LIFE, and suddenly I felt dirty and sad and just wanted to cry horrible fat tears for what we’ve wrought. For the fact that I CAN stare at someone’s police evidence photo, that shows what someone’s fists did to her in a fit of rage.
I should not be able to do that.
Is she a cautionary tale? Does she provide solace to anyone, support, this picture, does it make anyone think twice about hitting their partners, humiliating them? Does it serve any purpose aside from satisfying our OWN voyeurism, of which I too am guilty off. Are we all just sitting around hoping that someone will leave their curtains open and let us look inside?
I find her story compelling. But maybe for all the wrong reasons. She seems like a woman so many of us envy, with a life that just fits into itself effortlessly, although that’s likely more her handlers than anything. She seemed to have that perfect, storybook life.
And it’s compelling to see that even the storybooks truly aren’t real.
What do you think? Are we falling further down the slippery slope? Do we have a right to see this stuff?
(I’ve wanted to try the poll feature for awhile. Don’t mind me.)