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SuperBowl Ads 2013: Same Stratifications, Different Day

February 4, 2013

First, a big thank you to those of you who followed me on twitter for my live analysis of the superbowl commercials. Being a football fan meant that my eyes couldn’t leave the screen at really any point but it was fun!

If you were following you know that most of my analysis didn’t need to dig that far to uncover that most of the commercials were aimed at roughly the same demographic that has been targeted the last few years: pathetic, White men. Although this year it did seem to be aimed at rather young, pathetic, White men. Much like the last time I wrote about superbowl commercials, the message is that even if you’re not one of the guys on the field there are still ways to be cool (and I do believe coolness = manliness). Audi was one of the most offensive with their young protagonist forcing himself on the pretty, and one can assume popular, girl at his high school prom after he gets brave while driving his father’s car. As I mentioned in my tweet, this promotes a culture in which men think of women as prizes that are attainable once they drive the right car, have the right job, or have the right amount of money. This “rape culture” thinks of women as objects to be obtained and men are encouraged to take what they “deserve.”

Volkswagen decided to define coolness by using one of the most cool stereotypes: laid back Jamaicans. In their commercial a young, White man is lazily rebelling against his rat race cubicle job by taking on a Jamaican accent (and the laid back attitude that goes with it) after buying his Volkswagen Beetle (???). Outside of the Asian man who gets a ride in the Beetle there is little diversity. The Jamaican way of life just seems so foreign, exotic if you will. Which is what makes that ad offensive as it promotes the idea that some cultures you can easily “put on” or “take off” as if they were winter coats, or summer flip flops I guess. But of course being White remains the neutral standard.

Other companies had similar themes of “buy this product and you too could be cool!” (Godaddy with their awkward kiss scene, Axe body spray letting the nerds know astronauts are cooler than hot guys on the beach, etc.) but one ad caught my eye for combining the “rape culture vibe” with the “minorities are cool” vibe. That was the ad for the Mercedes CLA (above). A young, White man is sitting at a cafe looking at a billboard featuring the new car when Willem Dafoe, playing Lucifer, offers him a deal for the car “and everything that comes with it.” The man then imagines what his life will be like with the new car. Of course, the first thing is a beautiful blonde; women are the prize for being the man with the cool car. There are more scenes including one in which the young, White man realizes that he can dance like Usher which, if you’ve ever seen Usher dance, is quite the feat. And this scene, while short, is an important one. Because this scene invites us to understand what is being said about race relations in the United States in 2013: Black men are cool, but White men have power. And while White men can borrow being cool, the opposite is not true: Black men cannot borrow power.

And to be honest, when you think about the segregation of the SuperBowl, it instantly becomes clear. I was proud to see that no fewer than three Black female singers graced the stage at the opening and at halftime (five if you count Kelly and Michelle), especially because the Superbowl prides itself on being such an American tradition. But at the same time it was hard not to notice that there were distinct spaces for different groups. Black men and women were on the field serving as entertainment. And given that a majority of the ads were directed at White men then it must follow that White men are the ones being entertained. They are the ones with financial power.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know these are not clean lines. There were plenty of men and women of color watching the game (hello….me!) but the companies that make these ads must get the most bang for their superbuck. Even when men of color were featured, women paid the price. Like when GoDaddy featured men from all over the world having the same great idea and their wives simply serving as the nags (and other women serving as the prizes for cashing in on the “big idea”). Ugh.

But at the same time, that’s why I have come to love the superbowl ads. While people tend to think of them as new and exciting, the amount of money at stake means that they cannot be entirely experimental. There must be some feeling of safety and for that, the ads rely on stereotypes and associations that are familiar to us. And that’s when we see what the most powerful people, the ones pulling the big company purse strings, really think of the rest of us. So is it really that surprising to see that White men are uncool but have power, Black men and women serve as entertainment, and White women serve as prized objects for the rich and powerful? If you see the world like I do, not really.

Why Can’t Cory Booker Be Straight?

January 29, 2013

Corey Booker is literally saving puppies.

I once dated a guy who had I not been actively dating him, I would have assumed was gay. Very, very gay. I won’t go into all of the reasons why but I hate (HATE) to admit that his feminine behavior is to some extent  what turned me off and I ended it after a few dates. Why was I so mad at myself? Because I felt that I constantly fight against the feminine characteristics I’m supposed to display, and in fact pride myself on the many masculine characteristics I have accrued (I drive stick, I deadlift at the gym, I’m ridiculously educated). But I wasn’t able to even fathom being attracted to man who didn’t really care much about masculine characteristics and who displayed feminine ones. If we can accept that  straight women can run the spectrum from Kim Kardashian to Hillary Clinton, why can’t we accept that a straight man can act like Kanye West or Cory Booker?

My first inkling of an unease with how we conceptualize straight men came during the Republican presidential nominee campaign in 2011. You know where this is going right? Even Jon Stewart, for whom I would seriously consider voting for public office, joined the fray and made fun of Michele Bachmann’s husband for obviously being gay and not knowing it. The evidence? He likes to dance and has a high pitched voice. This was enough for Stewart to make the crack that he was “an Izod shirt away from being the gay character on ‘Modern Family.'” Now don’t get me wrong, Marcus Bachmann’s assertions that gay teenagers are “barbarians” and his therapy to “cure” them of their gay ways are absolutely horrific, but I’m not sure if accusing him of being gay does a whole lot for those of us who want to be accepted as individuals instead of being pegged into this or that stereotype.

Once the Cory Booker gossip machine started a-rumbling I felt that unease again. There is no way for me to know if he is straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, etc. Even if I personally had sex with him (which I am happy to attempt in order to give credence to this piece) I wouldn’t know if he was actually attracted to me or just playing the role because no non-hetero man or woman is getting voted into the Presidency anytime soon. But why this need to know?

Because we are agitated. We are agitated that he is acting like one identity (a gay man) but saying he is another (a straight man). While we may not often talk about the stereotypes of straight men, they exist. And this situation lends itself to uncovering them because stereotypes are easiest to spot when the expectations they set up are violated. And Booker with his single life, person and puppy heroics, food stamp budget, and overall compassion for other human beings seems to violate the expectations we have of straight men.

Booker seems to pull back the curtain on our expectations that straight men have no business truly caring about the lives of other people (or animals for that matter) and having perspective on the experiences of members of other groups, especially people with different sexual orientations than their own. How could a man like that be single? I have no idea, but aside from the possibility that he’s gay and hiding it because he knows it will negatively affect his political career there is the actual possibility that he’s straight and hasn’t met the right woman, for whatever reason (the man is pretty damn busy).

In case it’s the latter and he’s reading this (he’s kind of known for being on the internet a lot) I’d be happy to take him for a drink in California where we can talk about breaking stereotypes and bond over our mutual alma mater.

Resolutions: Haters Gonna Hate (Themselves)

January 14, 2013

Around this time of year I watch television ads like a hawk. If you’ve read this blog in the past you know I have a hate-hate relationship with the diet industry. And right now they are making money hand over fist as they convince the nation that THIS year some new crash diet or workout craze (or dangerous pill) will be the answer to their weight lost pleas. But this year, even though the ads are pretty similar to ads we’ve been shown in the past, what has really hit me is how much hate of their own these ads contain: the hate people should feel for themselves that serves as “motivation” to lose weight.

In a commercial for Weight Watchers that I’ve embedded below, a woman shows off her new body and rips apart a picture of her former, fatter self. We’ve seen these types of actions before and lots of narratives that describe the former, fatter self as if they are a disgusting stranger. People say things like, “That person was in pain,” “I don’t know who that is,” and “I’ll never be that person again.” As if that former, fatter person DOESN’T MATTER. As if everything else they may have had, like career success, a loving spouse, or beautiful children, were meaningless because of all. that. fat.

But if you think about it, the people watching the commercials are the “befores,” the ones who will transform once they shill out that money to join the club. They are asked to hate themselves now (the fatter self that will become the former, fatter self) to turn that into the motivation needed to become the future, loved self. What makes me saddest of all is that I know many of my own friends are thinking about their weight these days. Thinking about how much to lose, where to lose it, and (if they believe the army of weight loss ads that are currently everywhere) how much happier they will be when they lose the weight. But I love my friends. I love them hard just the way they are. And it pains me to know that companies out there are making them feel like shit because they could be thinner, if only they tried hard enough right?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not on some sort of fat acceptance tirade. I know there is a correlation between weight and health, but it is not one to one. I think people of ALL weights should strive to be HEALTHY. And sometimes that will lead to weight loss and sometimes it won’t. (In fact, I lost weight using WW because before that I had no idea how to cook healthy food and instead ate the deadly “standard American diet.” But I absolutely hated the meetings where they told us all it took was willpower to get through). We should be thinking about how to fuel our bodies so that they can do the things we want them to do – dance all night long, hike all day long, bend into yoga positions that make us feel amazing, whatever – and how to work our bodies so that we feel good all the time, not just when we lose those magical few extra pounds.

Because I love my friends, I don’t think they’re “befores” at all. I think they’re beautiful. Right now.

Nashville is the Best Money Making Scheme EVER

December 1, 2012

Okay, so my only proof of the title of this post is that I, a person who hardly ever pays for any sort of online entertainment (music, tv, movies) that isn’t streaming (yeah Netflix!) bought not ONE but TWO songs from the Nashville show this week. And I’m not even a country music fan! What is wrong with me?

Nothing is wrong with me. I just fell victim (and am happy to because the songs I bought are AMAZING) to a new business idea: selling music that is really good but has no real connection to an artist.

As I’ve said in a recent post about Spotify‘s insistence on making music-listening a “social experience,” sometimes we don’t necessarily like a certain type of music because of what it might say about us. I might like a Selena Gomez song but owning it, or letting other people know I like it, might not fit in to my own idea about who I am. But Nashville has gotten rid of this pesky problem because the music they have on their show, and that is then available on iTunes, is all real music written by good artists but performed by television characters. I know they’re not real so I don’t feel as weird about listening to music that is detached from a specific type of artist.

Another great thing that Nashville has done is to offer up no less than five (but maybe more) types of “country” music on the show making it more likely that at least one of the types will strike a an audience member’s fancy.

We have:

Nashville_Scarlett&Gunnar

Sweet, haunting love songs sung by the doe-eyed blonde and her lovestruck good boy writing partner (Scarlett and Gunnar, neither of which is played by an American actor…how’s that for not needing a connection to the artist?)

 

 

Nashville_Rayna&Deacon

 

Classic country songs about love or dealing with the consequences of it performed by two “veterans” with voices that give the songs that “I’ve lived it” kind of feel (Rayna & Deacon)

 

 

Nashville_HaydenP

 

The new pop country performed by Hayden Panettiere who bears a striking resemblance to current artsists like Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. (Juliette)

 

 

 

Nashville_Avery

A rock country that doesn’t actually sound like country at all performed by the angsty boyfriend of the doe-eyed Blonde who will do anything to catch his big break. Just like so many rock band leaders before him. (Avery)

 

 

Nashville_Rayna

 

A new empowered older woman sound that is slowly starting to show up on the show with Connie Britton’s character taking over of her new album .(Rayna)

 

 

At some point you’re going to like one of their songs and wonder if it’s available to listen to outside of the show. And iTunes will be there ready to take your $1.29 for each individual song.  And if you like enough of the songs you don’t have to wait long for an entire album. The Music Of Nashville: Season One, Volume One will be released on December 11th. Just in time to give it to a special someone for the holidays.

I swear, I’m not being paid to to tell you this information. I don’t have that kind of readership. I just think it makes so much sense as a business plan that I had to share. Oh, and in case you’re wondering I bought two songs performed by the actors/singers who play “Scarlett” and “Gunnar.” Because I’m a sucker for a good, but kind of sad, love song.

 

All photos are from nbc.om

Fitocracy, Meet Psychology

June 29, 2012

Many of you may not have have heard of a new service/website/app called Fitocracy.

The tagline for this social media service that brings together a community (or um, democracy) of people interested in fitness is: “Making you more awesome.” And it, itself, is pretty awesome. Let me give you the perspective of both a fitness enthusiast and social psychologist before I go into the social psychology that Fitocracy co-creators Brian Wang and Richard “Dick” Talens will be facing as their baby grows up.

The website is a beautiful mix of social media at its best with some pretty amazing social psychological bits that make it an incredibly motivating fitness tool. It’s also amazing because it’s free, but you can become a “Fitocracy Hero” to get some added abilities for $4.99 a month. Some highlights are:

Social Support

One of the biggest mental health boosts is a sense of social support. And when you find any group that feels like “your people” it can really motivate you to do more than they would have done alone. This goes for anything from running to knitting to eating. Fitocracy takes it to a new level because not only do you get to “meet” people that are like you in the kinds of activities you prefer, you can also “give props” to people on their activities and comment on their updates and musings. I often feel like I’ve entered a gym and I get to have conversations with people about fitness stuff, which is something I NEVER do at an actual gym. Fitocracy makes it easy to find similar people with the various groups that are user-generated (more on why this may be problematic later). Some of the biggest are “Welcome to Fitocracy,” “Weight Loss,” and “Healthy Eating.” So far most of the advice from the populous has been healthy, as I feared that some people might have pro-ana type messages or crazy weight loss fad diets to promote.

Video Game Aspect

The co-founders explain that their idea for this program came when they wondered whether people would work out more and stay on track longer if instead of seeming like work, it seemed like a game….a video game. So they incorporated a point system. Because the program was built by bodybuilders the most points are given to exercises that increase the most muscle. Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are some of the highest. Most cardio is given few points in comparison, but enough to keep people going at it. Points accrue so that individuals can hit new levels. I’ve often been at the gym and thought, if I do 10 more minutes of ________ then I might hit the next level.  They were right, making it a game is INCREDIBLY motivating. (And so far, I’m the only woman I’ve seen deadlifting at my gym.)

Self Congratulations

One of my favorite aspects of the iPhone app is that no matter what activity I track, when I submit my points to the system I press a button that says, “I’m awesome.”  It reminds the user that doing something for yourself does make you more awesome. (It also has the cutest robot, Fred, that calculates your points for you. I think whoever created him deserves many, many props.)

Recently though, I caught myself watching a rather interesting conversation between one of the users (handle: Deathlift) and one of the creators, Dick Talens. In an off-topic response to one of Talens’ posts, Deathlift began to complain that Fitocracy needs a better policy about the types of pictures that can be posted, especially by the women. He proceeded to say that many of them would count as “softcore porn” disguised as “progress updates” and that he was offended. He even provided links to some of the pictures he was referring to, which were posted on the account of an 18-year-old member. Let’s just say, a lot of people had a lot of opinions, but most believed that to each his own and if you don’t like it don’t click it (or leave). Talens commented on the fact that Deathlift had to actively search for pictures to make his point: “…if someone you don’t like shows up on your feed, don’t click on their profile, don’t click on an album outside of fitocracy, and most definitely do not go through all their pictures.”

Whether or not Talens wants to deal with this right now, I think this might become a bigger problem in the future. These are a couple reasons why:

Muscle is Sexy

There are some FIT people on fitocracy. And what makes them fit – defined abs, chest, back, legs, etc. – is also what many people find sexy. This is especially true for the men, whose goals are often to lose weight and/or gain muscle. The accepted aesthetics for men are to look strong. Hence, many pictures will simultaneously promote fitness and get some people wondering why it got so hot all of a sudden.

Muscle-building women are fewer in number but still a loud minority (we have lots of groups). And to post progress pictures many women often take off their clothes. For example, to show off their chiseled back women don’t wear a bra. Some people might think this is too close to full nudity (as Deathlift seems to think). But not all women are just showing off their muscles…

Women’s Self-Esteem is Based on Sexiness

The amount of research across the academic field on the problematic beauty ideals for women in the West is overwhelming. Women are taught that they are beautiful when they are thin, young, unblemished, and virginal yet sexy. And many of the pictures on Fitocracy are by women (and some men) who are obviously not doing it just to post progress of their muscle gains or weight loss.

But I don’t necessarily look down on these women. I myself posted a picture of me in the outfit I will be wearing in a couple weeks when I vacation in Vegas. It’s a bikini with a cover up, not something I would necessarily post online but I went with the rule of “If I will be seen like this in public, I can post it on a public website.” And I won’t lie, having support from people on my body created quite the rush. I wish I could say it didn’t matter. But it did. Because it is hard to fight the tidal wave that is the social belief that women should have a good portion of their self-esteem invested in how they look. That women (and some men) are posting semi-nude or nude pictures meant solely to get responses of “you’re sexy” on a site that is meant to pay homage to the human physique is to be expected. But I fear that it will only get worse given that groups are popping up with names like “The women/men of fitocracy make me horny,” “Boobies,” and “PENIS.”

Any good product needs to evolve with the times. I think Dick Talens and Brian Wang came up with an ingenious idea and I have high hopes. But if they think they can get away from the idea that nudity and “porny” pictures won’t be a problem they should probably wake up to the psychology of today. Maybe they need to hire a female consultant (it’s a bit of a sausage fest over there). Just in case guys, I’m totally available.

In Honor of Rad Bradbury: A Dedication to Sci-Fi

June 10, 2012

Ray Bradbury has held a special place in my heart ever since I became a Bruin, when I was told over and over that he wrote Fahrenheit 451, the title he was best known for, in the basement of UCLA’s Powell Library. Having spent some time in that basement studying for exams, I find it hard to imagine how it could have been inspired him to write such a riveting science fiction novel. Maybe he just looked around one day and wondered, “What would happen if I just lit a match to this whole thing?”

So his passing on Tuesday was sad to hear. But it’s rather fitting that we should celebrate his life and wonderful works when we’re at a time when science fiction is picking up in popularity at a rapid pace. Anyone see Prometheus this weekend? Or Men in Black 3 in the last couple weeks? Or how about read or watch The Hunger Games in the last couple months? Maybe some of you even read the latest New Yorker, which dedicated an entire issue to science fiction this very week. (Also, one of my favorite podcasts – Pop Culture Happy Hour – dedicated this week’s show to aliens.)

I’ve been a fan of science fiction ever since I took a course on it at UCLA (yes, we read 451). While not a die-hard sci-fi fan, what I like about the genre is its ability to comment on current society often through the lens of the future looking in hindsight. Or they portray an alternate reality that is eerily similar to ours in principle but that somewhere went horribly wrong. Finally, they can give us some new ways to think about gender, race, or class by offering some “advanced” version of how these should play out. These methods highlight what authors think is troublesome about the society they live in.

At the request of a friend of mine who wanted to my take on the show Battlestar Galactica, I’ll use that as my example (with as few spoilers as possible).

Battlestar Galactica first aired as a tv show in 1978. It was revamped in 2003 and ran as a weekly series until 2009. I’ve only watched two full seasons so far. The basic premise is that humans that live on 12 colonies (in a different part of the galaxy than ours) created cylons – robots to do the hard and dirty labor. Cylons ended up rebelling and leaving the human world. The series picks up after we learn that cylons have evolved, creating human-like clones that infiltrate the colonies and attempt to exterminate the human race, with the few survivors attempting to find the planet Earth, a mythical 13th human colony. An intergalactic war ensues with the focus of the show being Battlestar Galactica, a remaining military ship headed by Captain Adama (played by the Latino actor Edward James Olmos – woot!).

One of my favorite characters on the show is Kara Thrace, a fierce military pilot whose call name is “Starbuck.” It’s important to note that the original Starbuck was a male character, but was changed to a female character for the revamp. She is awesomely masculine: she is easily the best pilot in the bunch, and proves herself to be a superb military strategist as well. She can hang with the guys, often smoking cigars and drinking while playing cards to pass the time. She even has sex for the hell of it. But she’s also incredibly sensitive, often revealing how hard it is to repair friendships when something goes awry and that she is capable of falling in love. One of my favorite scenes is of her giddy with love. I’ve never seen an actress be able to capture that moment quite so well, likely because her masculinity makes her vulnerability that much more striking.

Sci-fi is a fantastic ways to offer different representations of gender and or race, but you have to be careful. If you include too many new representations, the show can be too difficult to grasp and the audience won’t be able to follow. For instance, there is no main male character who has primarily feminine traits but who combines them with strong masculine traits when the time is right. At least as far as the first two seasons are concerned, the only character I can think of who fits this description is Billy, and he’s more of a bumbling idiot who we don’t really care for all that much. While the representation of a strong, masculine female with ultimate, feminine vulnerability is somewhat refreshing it still serves to remind us that masculinity is the superior way of being, but not so much so that you lose your femininity.

The overall plot of BG is not so new when it comes to this genre. It’s a retelling of attempted genocide and colonization. I think this theme might be popular with westerners because that is how Western Europe and later the U.S. would take control over many other countries (especially with the one god vs. many gods thing). It has happened on almost every continent Europeans have stepped foot on. So that’s how war is generally thought of. We see this in Avatar, The Matrix, District 9 and countless others with either humans or the aliens being the victims. And sometimes “aliens” are just a subset of human beings (as in The Hunger Games).

(Personally, I find it baffling that these themes are so popular but Americans aren’t nearly as interested in these actions as historical or present fact. Many people will go to see Prometheus, and from the reviews it seems we will hope that humans end up on top but at the same time have no compassion for indigenous peoples who have been ousted from their native lands. If we’re cheering for the group most like us, most Americans should be rooting for the aliens. Just sayin’.)

So Battlestar Galactica seems to be making at least two critiques: we need to be careful how far we go with our technology, and never lose sight of our humanity when it comes to those who do our hard labor. (There is also a series called Caprica that precedes BG in time, and likely these themes will be played out even more in that series.) I think another point being made is that war is never simple, there are not simply two sides where one is right and one is wrong. In the show there are cylons that show true human emotion, and humans that act robotic when it comes their emotion and their dedication to rigid rules.

I’m really liking the show and looking forward to watching the rest of the seasons (read: I’m addicted). It’s frackin’ amazing!

So, in honor of Ray Bradbury, I hope we all think a little bit deeper about the social commentary in the science fiction that is taking over our movie theatres and television screens. And maybe, you’ll even pick up a real book and turn the pages with a quick lick of your finger, just like Ray would have wanted you to.

Why Chris Brown is Bringing Rihanna Down

February 23, 2012

So, the world is pretty upset at Chris Brown again. But this time, Rihanna is getting some heat too. Gee, I can’t imagine WHY.

Many people were offended that Chris got to perform not once, but twice at the latest Grammys. Why? Because it was the third anniversary of his beating of Rihanna shortly before they were to perform. You’ve probably seen the pictures of the aftermath since they leaked a few days later. I only needed to see them once so I will not be posting them here. She was hurt. Hurt bad.

And now, Chris Brown and Rihanna seem to be making amends. They’ve each released a new single featuring the other. And Brown was smuggled into Rihanna’s recent birthday party. In response to the news of their budding friendship, Billboard penned open letters to both Rihanna and Chris Brown.

According to the authors, it seems that the problem is Rihanna is a role model and Brown has yet to make up for his actions. And while I think the sentiment is right, the messages were a little off.

First, let’s talk about Rihanna.

Saying that she should be a role model is pointless. That never works for celebrities. They claim they just want to live their lives however they want without the pressure of having to teach the youngins about life. And I agree with her. But if Rih Rih was my friend (and I’ve had friends in similar positions) I would be having the same reaction. “Um, wait. Why are you talking to him?” “I agree you can forgive, but are you sure you want to forget?” “This is WRONG, Rih, WRONG.”

Why? It’s not because we think that Rihanna should be where all the young girls turn to model their behavior after they’ve suffered abuse. It’s because we kind of like her. We want what’s best for her. And what’s best for her is not to re-friend a man who CLEARLY has not been able to realize his level of responsibility to FIX whatever the hell was wrong with him the night (and the nights leading up to this night) that the tragic scene unfolded.

Which brings me to Chris. Chris, oh, Chris.

Look. He was abused. Yes that’s tragic and yes that likely played a big part in the rage that he experienced as he slammed Rihanna’s head into the car window and punched her repeatedly before he bit her ear. From the few comments he’s made about the subject that were coherent, it seems that Chris was not completely “there” when he beat his girlfriend so severely. And this makes sense considering I’ve heard from many men about that “click” that happens when they lose all sense of themselves, rage takes over, and they sort of wake up dealing with the consequences. And those consequences can sometimes be deadly. (This should send a shiver down your spine).

And if Chris were my friend? Well, he wouldn’t be. It would scare me to be around him. Because it’s painfully obvious that he has not taken responsibility for his actions. And granting him the reality that he didn’t realize he was hitting the woman he so dearly loved, his responsibility was to ENSURE to the best of his ability that it would never happen again.

Let’s list a few of the reasons we know this has not happened:

  • He threw a chair out a window and ripped his own shirt off in response to being asked about “the incident” on Good Morning America
  • He reacts with outrage and anger to Twitter messages about “the incident” instead of accepting that is the bed he made for himself and he can use these incidents to be a better person (and now he has a very large man willing to beat the crap out of him, professionally)
  • He has YET to apologize genuinely or to show any evidence that he has sought professional help (therapy) for his anger issues. Domestic abuse classes do not necessarily address his personal issues with anger and rage.
  • He never responded to young women on Twitter saying “I’d let Chris Brown beat me” after his Grammys performance except to come up with the pick-up line above, yes it’s real. All he had to say was, “Ladies, that’s not funny. Please respect yourself.” But no.

(There are more reasons at Buzzfeed.)

Basically, he still acts like a child. A child with the strength of a man. Strength that is easily misdirected when he’s angry. And that is pretty effing scary.

For the last two days I have successfully avoided the two new singles that serve as evidence that Rihanna and Chris Brown are both acting like children who for some reason never understood their violent relationship on the level that they should have. Believe me, that’s a feat.

But since they’ve decided to go very public with their rekindled friendship they should know now more than ever that the world is watching. Whether they like it or not.

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