By Dana Zillgitt, Regular ContributorJuly 15, 2015
There’s something to be said about a music video today that can continue making you feel uncomfortable as well as motivated to discuss, no matter how many times you view it or how many people you talk with. And it’s something Rihanna does flawlessly.
In her new video for “Bitch Better Have My Money” (BBHMM), she twists a common degrading phrase into a feminist anthem and continues flipping it back on its head with the video.
She came up with the concept eight months ago, long before the single dropped onto our radio waves and into our eardrums.
image via theezmedia.com
Though BBHMM is a common phrase, it seems, throughout music, to be causing a ruckus because of Rihanna’s video. The video follows Rihanna as she kidnaps a seemingly well-off white woman (the wife of an accountant) and then continues to show a wide array of sex, drugs, and violence-a theme we commonly see in any male directed film like one by Quentin Tarantino or any hip hop video. But here, Rihanna is the protagonist as well as being in full control of the video throughout its course. Rumour has it; she based the premise off her old accountant who scammed her out of millions of dollars, almost leaving her bankrupt early in her career. So quite literally, BBHMM at its finest.
So why are people so up in arms? Is it the sex, drugs, and violence? We’ve seen that before, and it seems like it hasn’t caused this many flames. Is it because Rihanna is a woman in control of every aspect of the video? Maybe. Or is it something else? There are so many different reasons why this video, this star, is creating a variety of emotion. It’s a disturbing video that doesn’t necessarily create the good kind of goose bumps. And who knows why Rihanna decided to make this video so blatantly graphic. As a Huffington Post article put it, “the emotions elicited by this video are complicatedly needed. It demands that we face the uncomfortable head on as well as requires that we address why we’re still squirming in our seats after watching it for the 10th time.”
Rihanna juxtaposes our previous beliefs that women cannot star in these kinds of videos as the leading role nor can they be the ones to create such concepts in the first place.
The video itself leads to a variety of questions that cannot be answered in a single article alone. But what Rihanna does so well, as she consistently has before, is make us question our notions for better or for worse. She shines her dirty laundry with all its complications in the spotlight, requiring us to question what we’re comfortable with and why we shy away so fervently from the uncomfortable. She’s a double edge sword with real skeletons that she’s not afraid to bare.. If this video reflects anything positive, it is that the uncomfortable isn’t forever nor does it even last long. It shows that demons do not exist for our comfort but instead for making us realize something we could have never seen without.
Have you seen Rihanna's "BBHMM" video? What did you think? Tell us below!
Dana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish aswell as a mild obsession withrescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.