This week Madonna solidified her reign as the gross old lady the media likes to make fun of for being 53 and sexual after she exposed her breast at a concert. The other day in New York, Rihanna went for a stroll to buy flowers wearing a sheer bandeau top that revealed her nipples and — surprise! — no one acted like they'd been assaulted. The New York Post called the look "revealing" but praised Rihanna's toned arms and stomach; the Daily Mail, showing remarkable restraint, merely noted that "Rihanna left little to the imagination"; and TMZ wrote, "When you're as cool as RiRi, anywhere can be a Victoria's Secret runway." (They seem to think this is a compliment, though judging by what goes on at Victoria's Secret shows, I wouldn't be so sure.)
The Daily News offers two different headlines for this "story" about Rihanna's outfit: "Rihanna wears see-through lace bra top during daytime stroll through New York City" yet under the "Editor's Picks" column the headline reads, "PHOTOS: Desperate for attention? Rihanna wears another see-through top." The copy itself was less mean-spirited, reading: "The pop diva may have been over-exposed, but that didn’t stop the 'Battleship' star from stopping to smell the roses." They were actually the rare outlet to call her desperate — and were even slightly subtle about it.
Because a 24-year-old who wants to show some nip here and there is fine, but a 53-year-old who wants to do it is clearly a pox on all we hold sacred about the institution of celebrity.
What I find really eye-catching about this outfit isn't the nips (nude photo scandals are like opinions — everyone has one these days and Rihanna is no exception!), it's the claws. They look cool on her but I'm actually starting to worry she's going either going to put her own eye out or injure one of her backup dancers.