Please don’t stop the music

20 Feb

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.)

5 Responses to “Please don’t stop the music”

  1. Hannah February 20, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    I haven’t been following the story at all because I do think some things should not be celebrity gossip fodder. Yes, public figures do choose that life and so give up a certain amount of their privacy, but there are still lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

    I doubt very much that anyone who hits their partner would be deterred by the face of a stranger. After all, the face of a loved one doesn’t slow them down.

  2. Anita Kaiser February 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    You said it beautifully – anybody can be an asshole – not subject to age, race, income status – I think that piece of things can be helpful for others going through the same thing. Knowing that they are not alone, that’s it not becuase they are poor, or black, or white, or rich, or whatever……….it’s merely becasue the men they have come in contact with are ASSHOLES!

  3. Melanie February 21, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    i have been saying the same thing, like you
    “…proof that abuse doesn’t give a sweet hot damn about who you are…”

    Sad but true i am glad to see something other than the way too young pregos or overly dramatic train wrecks!

    this is real life – maybe it will help some girls or even one girl out there to get out before it’s too late.

  4. CharmingBitch February 21, 2009 at 1:27 am #

    Abuse and abusers don’t discriminate but I wish that we as consumers of all things celebrity would exercise some discretion or discrimination in feeding this story or rather encouraging this behavior (not the behavior, we can’t influence what has already occurred but rather the illegal sale of the picture). Plenty of legitimate professions profit from the pain of others, allowing law enforcement and shit-holes like TMZ to make money from a person getting beat is obscene.

  5. bine February 21, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    ack, i started this 3 times, can’t find the right words.
    i completely fail to understand why people should be so interested in the mishaps of celebrities, but then i don’t much grasp the concept of celebrity at all. the voyeurism, the envy, the malicious glee. maybe it gives people some sense of satisfaction to see someone who is subject of their envy stumble and fall, but really, how poor must their lifes be?

    but i know, your point wasn’t celebrity. yet her picture wouldn’t be out there if she was just next-door-jane-doe. i don’t think anyone who gets into fame or showbiz is actually aware to what extent you hand over your privacy.
    hannah has said it – i doubt this photo would keep anyone from hitting his partner, if her own horrified face doesn’t do it. probably the only good this picture might do is making her young fans aware that celebrity doesn’t mean the perfect life, that shit happens everywhere, that storybooks aren’t real. maybe their identification with their idol will make them make the vow “no one will ever do this to me”. but only maybe. maybe maybe.

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