It has been three years since the jaw-dropping photos of the badly-beaten Rihanna surfaced after an altercation occurred between the singer and her boyfriend at the time, singer Chris Brown.
Recently two songs were released featuring collaborations between the former couple.
Brown sings on the remix of Rihanna’s explicit song, “Birthday Cake,” and she’s featured on the remix of his tune, “Turn Up the Music.”
Apparently time really does heal all wounds.
Whether Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony assault against Rihanna and is currently still on probation, has learned from his mistakes is debatable.
He has undoubtedly been ridiculed to the fullest extent by the media and the public, and his actions are in no way justifiable.
However, change — though uncommon — is possible.
He is human and is capable of mistakes, just like the rest of us.
Rihanna, on the other hand, has suffered very publicly. According to the D.C.-based National Network to End Domestic Violence, “approximately one billion women worldwide will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime.”
With statistics like these, it’s understandable that the two reuniting would spark controversy.
She would make a strong advocate to speak out against abuse and some feel that she has a responsibility to do so.
Many are disappointed with her decision and feel she owes the public an explanation because she’s setting a bad example for young girls.
The reality is she has built a career based on her talent, not on her personal life.
She’s in the music industry and she’s doing exactly what an artist does, which is make music.
Her issues with Brown are personal and she has no reason to address her decisions to anyone.
Nobody, no matter who he or she are or what his or her social status may be, deserves to be involved in an abusive relationship, but because of her celebrity status, the issue of domestic violence has been brought to light and has given the public the opportunity to learn.
This past summer, we learned about the domestic abuse Taylor Armstrong, from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, experienced during her marriage.
Armstrong addressed the public with countless interviews and a tell-all book, hoping to educate more women on the issue.
Public figures can bring awareness to serious issues and whether or not we agree with their decisions, our awareness is increased and our ability to communicate about the issue is enhanced.
The difference between these two public figures is Armstrong is a reality star whose career is based on her personal life, while her income is based on sharing her story with the public.
Although we have a tendency to hold celebrities to a higher standard, it’s still a personal choice for an artist like Rihanna, and we need to respect that.
The decision to have a professional relationship with Brown is Rihanna’s decision to make.
Because we have no monarchy here in the U.S., our focus is on the lives of the people we’ve placed into the category of Hollywood royalty.
Regardless of this status Rihanna has been given, she has proven her credibility as an artist in a highly competitive industry, and the focus needs to continue to remain on her talent rather than her personal decisions.