I am fascinated and disgusted by the never ending story of defiled pop-prince, Chris Brown, and our damaged pop-princess, Rihanna. I really can’t help but rubberneck their train wreck of a relationship.
This morning, I came across an article outlining a Chris Brown interview on the Ryan Seacrest radio show on March 26th, 2013. He was supposedly honest and open about his immaturity as someone in their late teens unable to control their emotions. But as I grazed the article, my stomach turned because I’d heard it all before. Between leaked of photos of Rihanna’s beaten face, a horrible swarm of stories about court dates, and then a myriad of articles about how each had “moved on” it was all to clear that something more was brewing.
An Oprah’s Next Chapter episode (aired August 19, 2012) featuring Rihanna solidified for me that they weren’t anywhere near the end with an admission of her love for a man that was currently taken by another. Twitter feuds ensued and media companies got their bounty from what should really have been a private and personal exploration of self, love, and self-love.
Statistics show more often than not, that abused women return to their abuser. They return for a number of reasons (love notes, death threats, fear of starting new, all of the above) none of which are clear cut and straightforward. Rihanna’s inability to live without Chris (and to love without Chris) isn’t surprising, but it is realistic. I watch her story as a woman in my late-twenties very differently than I watched Bobby & Whitney when I was 14 years old. They were horrendous, and fascinating. I despised and yearned for a love like that, you know? Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.
And now, while I want to applaud the honesty of Rihanna and Whitney, Chris and Bobby, I simply can’t. Similarly, as I re-read the aforementioned Carrie Bradshaw quote from Sex and the City, American Girl in Paris Part Deux, I am overwhelmed by how unstable our examples of love are.