Big news this week! Pop superstar extraordinaire Rihanna has changed careers. She’s finally going to pursue her true passion.
Rihanna became a stripper.
Of course that’s not really true, but fans and critics alike of her new single and accompanying music video,“Pour it Up,” seem to think otherwise.
After watchin Rihanna’s pour it up video I’m convinced that she is no longer a music artist she is is now a stripper #DontDebateMe
— A Girl Named Shay’La (@ModelLifeShay) October 6, 2013
Musicians have never been shy about their affectionate relationship with strippers. “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper),” “Rack City,” and “I Endorse these Strippers” are only a few of the endless examples in which musicians idolize women in Lucite heels. Yet within a few minutes of the release of Rihanna’s new music video, people lost their damn minds. Why is that?
This new Rihanna video is absolutely mortifying smh. Full of filth & sin. Everybody wana be & act like a stripper smh — IG: ANGIESWORLD1 (@ANGIESWORLD1) October 4, 2013
The lyrics to “Pour it Up” are ambiguous but the video confirms our worst fears. In it, Rihanna is the stripper. Yup, there she is, doing stripper stuff, wearing stripper clothes and behaving like a stripper. At one point in the video—don’t faint—she even touches a stripper pole.
Why on earth did Rihanna feel the need to reduce herself to yet another stripper in a music video??? A waste of talent and beauty…
— Aneela Mirza (@Aneela_Mirza) October 4, 2013
Yet, Rihanna accomplishes something totally new with “Pour it Up.” She has subverted the stripper anthem.
She’s built us the perfect club: she writhes on a throne (because we are queens, duh) and manages to make bank even though there are no customers. Or is the viewer is the customer? I certainly felt like I should tip her.
Sure, she’s never been shy about her adoration of strippers. But instead of ordering us around (I cringe everytime I hear the lyric “Bend over, touch your toes” in “Salt Shaker”) there she is, twerking in solidarity. The song clocks in at less than three minutes – perfect for the stripper who recognizes the stage for the waste of time that it is.
“Money on my mind, money on mind,” she sings. Truth.
On my first viewing of “Pour It Up,” the new Rihanna video in which she pole dances, struts around in money-print Pleasers, and throws around money from the Bank of Rihanna, I was struck that here was a stripper-themed video 1) in which the spectator/participant line was very blurred and 2) there were no men. Along with Ayesha A. Siddiqi and Sarah Nicole Prickett, I participated in this conversation at The Hairpin, but we certainly have more to talk about over here. Have any of you ever been in the club after hours, fooling around while there weren’t any customers? Or been to a women-only strip club night? It’s a very different experience when you’re not performing for men. And what do we all think of Rihanna’s moves? I think they read very baby stripper; that is, she clearly isn’t a stripper, but she’s sure as hell been watching them. And, most importantly, what do we think about that jeans thong? CHAFING. It looks like chafing to me.
May this video inspire entire “Pour It Up”-themed Halloween parties in which we all dress like one of the three women or one of the three iterations of Rihanna.