Going (nearly) Nude for Gold: Rihanna’s ‘Pour It Up’ & Miley Cyrus’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ Music Videos

Rihanna in the music video for "Pour it Up" (Image Credit: The Island Def Jam Music Group)
Rihanna in the music video for “Pour it Up” (Image Credit: The Island Def Jam Music Group)

Rihanna’s latest music video has been a scandal, as per usual. Pour It Up was banned within ten minutes of airing on VEVO, and replaced with a less explicit version. It seems like Miley and Rihanna are in a competition to show the most skin, if you recall the video for Wrecking Ball,” in which Cyrus rides a wrecking ball buck naked. But Rihanna, looking racier than ever in her diamante bra, blonde wig, dark shades, fur coat, denim thong and dollar-bill print pumps—she makes her statement loud and clear: Move over Miley, you have been dethroned. Rihanna’s taking it from here, surrounded inexplicably by strippers, smoke and money.

Do you think this is the image Miley Cyrus and Rihanna had in mind when they went into show business? Is this the legacy they want to leave behind? Will they still be twerking it when they’re retired? Because lyrically, Rihanna’s losing it. I’ve liked a few Rihanna songs, despite myself, and despite their videos, but if you ask me, this one isn’t even catchy: “Strip clubs and dollar bills (I still got more money), Patron shots, can I get a refill?… Money makes the world go round (I still got more money), bands make your girl go down…” Very classy. Isn’t that the life you’ve always wanted? I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than wasted in a strip club spending money I don’t have (That was sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell).

Rihanna continues, “Who cares how all you haters feel (I still got more money). Call Jay up and close a deal.” You know what? I will. I’ll call Jay Z up right now and close a deal, fully dressed. And she goes on, “My pocket’s deep, and they never end (I still got more money)… All I see is signs, all I see is dollar signs. Money on my mind, money, money on my mind…” Not very modest, is it? It’s insensitive and inconsiderate; not all Rihanna’s fans are “balling” like she is. I don’t care who she’s competing with, Rihanna should remember who she’s singing to. She’s always been a little wild, but she used to keep it classier at least.

Miley Cyrus in the music video for "Wrecking Ball" (Image Credit: Sony Music Entertainment)
Miley Cyrus in the music video for “Wrecking Ball” (Image Credit: Sony Music Entertainment)

Similarly, Miley Cyrus has thrown caution to the wind about her body. Recently, Sinéad O’Connor called her out, most elegantly, in an open letter in response to Miley mentioning O’Connor influenced her video for “Wrecking Ball.” Sinéad was not exactly flattered. She expresses her concerns, which are similar to mine, but Sinéad O’Connor said it best:

It is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.

The only reason I’m ripping so hard on Rihanna and Miley is I’m disappointed. They’ve sold themselves out. Despite their talent, their careers evolve mostly around their bodies. What example are they setting? They’re just giving girls an excuse to imitate them. Just be ready for a racy Halloween, because I’m guessing you’ll be seeing lots of Mileys and Rihannas. Twerk or treat?

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With any luck, I will rewrite this crazy world into the kind that you and I would like to live in.

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