Rihanna's new "S&M" music video
In the video, Rihanna puts herself in a number of suggestive situations, both as the dominated and the dominatrix. But rather than simply titillate, the clip is attempting to say something meaningful about Rihanna's sometimes-contentious relationship with the media, a topic that many pop stars have addressed in their videos over the years. While "S&M" doesn't make a whole lot of explicit references to images of the past, the roots of the clip run deep and are extremely eclectic.
Perez Hilton: The celebrity blogger appears in two different places in the clip, but the one that leaves the biggest impression puts Hilton on the end of a leash held by Rihanna. Dressed as a glamorous housewife and walking across a perfectly manicured lawn, Rihanna leads Hilton to a fire hydrant, where he mimes urinating, then lowers to the ground to have his belly rubbed. Hilton is a perfect example of Rihanna's complicated relationship with the media, as he has said some negative things about the singer on his blog but will still appear in the video (and in a submissive role, no less).
I like Rihanna's music. I think I've said before that I personally thought the "Russian Roulette" video was pretty hot (and I'm kind of a perverted motherfucker for thinking that, since it's especially heavy on the dark and nearly-abusive emotional imagery). I felt fairly unmoved by watching this video, though. There's this weird thing that seems to happen with a lot of S&M media, where the imagery is all ... surface, and I feel like all the actors are just acting, just creating a pretty picture, not trying to give any images that show us what S&M looks like or feels like for actual BDSMers. This even happens with media that I think might legitimately be coming from someone who's into S&M, or has an interest in representing an actual S&M relationship, like that early-2000s flick "Secretary": it was way more occupied with showing all the CRAZY SHIT THESE PEOPLE GET UP TO than it was with showing a real relationship.
Yeah. Basically, another stereotype showcase. No worse than most of what we already had, but no better, either.
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