BEFORE SHE GOT SMASHED IN THE FACE, pretty young thing Rihanna was routinely snapped by the paps in sleeveless or backless sheaths that showed off her smooth skin. She wore her femininity like a prize coveted by the men and media who like their prey young and sweet.
A different Rihanna emerged Monday night at the Met's Costume Institute Gala. Amid the denizens of beauty, Rihanna choose to wear an interpretation of a men's tux with poofy sleeves.
Gone for the moment was her innocence, the vulnerability. It was as if the penguin suit was a suit of armor, and the exaggerated shoulders gave the perception of more brawn.
The Chris Brown affair has cost Rihanna her innocence. But there's a byproduct: she is smarter now, no fool for men. She may never use the word, but she is on her way to becoming a "feminist."