Be Careful Who You Iconize
Sunday night while distractedly watching the AMA Awards show, yes one can’t give too much credence to those shows, I became suddenly attentive when the winner of the Icon Award was being announced. They mentioned that the recipient was an example to women and the music industry with her record breaking feats. My mind quickly scanned through some entertainers that I think exhibit those prerequisites but before any could come to mind, Rihanna’s name was announced.
Now I am not a Riri hater. She has a couple of songs I enjoy and she represents my region, but an icon? Before I jumped all over the poor icon, I decided to see exactly what makes someone an icon. An Icon is defined as ‘a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration.’ Strong words. So to be regarded as iconic, you not only have to be popular on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter but also be a symbol or example to others. A role model.
No one can deny that Riri has put out a lots of albums and won herself an enviable collection of awards. Good for her! Saying she is a music icon is a slap in the face to real musicians who have toiled for years, releasing real music. Don’t you think? Like I said, I am not a Rihanna hater but in my humble opinion, she’s doesn’t have that ‘wow’ factor. But if being an icon means being an example or representative for young people, especially girls, how is baring your butt, and your front, all over the internet supposed to be example setting? (I mean baring all on social medias could very well be the winning recipe for followers and likes and maybe for an award). How empowering is getting back with an ex after publicly announcing that they were abusive? How iconic is it to advertise the fact that you probably have a drug and alcohol problem? (Not saying Rihanna does).
Not to take too much away from the diva, Rihanna did look stunning at the awards and it was nice to see her visibly proud mom presenting the award. Good on you mommy!
Music has evolved, whether we like it or not. Regrettably, it’s more about image than actual talent. In this regard, Rihanna probably deserves something. Miley Cyrus probably does too. But I am not too sure that an icon award is what it is. I hope that her getting such an award would serve as a wake up call to Riri and she would realize that with great
power award comes great responsibility. And that’s my take.