Because It's Complicated.
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MAY 5, 2009 7:40PM

At The Met, Rihanna Goes Feminista

Rate: 6 Flag


Sexy RihannaRihanna in tux

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."

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I'm going to try that look. You go Rihanna girl! ::snap::
She looks like a barbie doll in that tux.
tux-like outfit, I mean.
She'd be adorable in a coffee sak. But this says something else too.
she looks as if she wouldn't take sh-t from any guy - wonder, however, if she means it...
It is interesting to note the shape of the hair.

In the slinky little dress, her hair is flipped outward from her face.

In the tuxesque getup, her hair seems to be curved in toward her face.

In the left hand image, the outward splaying hair and the slight smile seem open and approachable to me. In the right hand image, the inward turning hair, the covered limbs, and the serious face make her look more like a bad Second Life avatar; unapproachable and plastic.

The short pants and the bared ankles offer an odd taste of display and nudity. Her ankles are presented and the tops of her feet, but her hands, wrists, and most of her neck are covered up. Maybe this signals that she has changed how she touches the world but is still vulnerable to how she walks through it.

See, this is why I hate fashion studies. I end up looking too deeply and getting myself all confused.

Excellent essay, thank you for sharing it.
Aww! I love her, and if I see Chris Brown I will do all a gay man can do to kick his ass! I hope she's grown smarter in fact, I know she has.
Dicea, overthinking is not a crime! In fact, a necessary ingredient if you want to spin string for aliving! Devon, I'll back you up on the ass-kicking, at least until my sorry little butt gets kicked. But I've been so adept at yelling that I've been pretty good at scaring predators away...Remember, moms, teach your girls to scream!
damn, even her hands are gloved. Yeah, sigh :(
maybe the long sleeves are covering bruised arms, but if she picked the outfit all by herself i suppose that makes her a feminist.
Phaedo, she may not be able to run in those heels, but under the necessary conditions, they appear as though they could be deadly weapons.
A tuxedo-like suit with capri pants?? And the gloves?!?? Operator, I'd like to call the fashion police, please. We have an escapee from a Duran Duran video (or the James Bond movie "A View to a Kill") .

How does wearing a penguin suit suddenly turn Rihanna into a feminist? Is dressing like a man somehow proof of feminist cred? Her legs look like sticks and she looks like she's ashamed of her body. On the left she seems strong (those legs and arms seem kind of buff to me) and proud--on the right she looks like she's hoping to disappear into the void of that tuxedo thing.