Say “Cheese”

How would you feel if personal photos of you, taken by you, were sent out to cell phones and computers everywhere for the world to see?

Just a few months after suffering through the experience of being abused by her boyfriend Chris Brown, 21-year-old R&B singer Rihanna was brought back into the celebrity spotlight after alleged self-taken nude photos of her were leaked onto the internet.

This news story briefly describes the incident and raises some questions about the situation. Rhianna refused to speak about the incident, and the validity of the photos is being questioned. The photos in which she was seductively posed, yet still dressed, showed her face. The nude photos, on the other hand, did not actually show her face.

Despite the questionable legitimacy of the photos, the whole fiasco has certainly damaged her reputation. There is also question as to whether this whole incident was just a publicity stunt. If it was, then it only helped to draw in an overwhelming amount of negative publicity, tarnishing her image as a celebrity and as a role-model.

This scandalous story only strengthens the notion that we need to be wary of internet security, or lack thereof. Anything and everything can be spread around the internet like wildfire.

Also, since the photos were taken on a cell phone, the issue of “sexting” and the harm it can cause must be taking into consideration.

After all of the negative publicity Rihanna received, if it’s true that the pictures are of her, then it would be great if she could admit to the public that she took those photos. Through her both her widespread popularity as a musician and the attention she received from this scandal, she could easily use a public relations campaign to her advantage.

As a young celebrity, Rihanna is a role model with a predominantly young, female audience. While speaking out to young girls and re-building the respect of her fan base, Rihanna could clean up her image by creating an organization that supports the empowerment of women and acceptance of body image, focusing on resisting societal pressures.

Rihanna could explain the pressures involved in taking and sending the scandalous pictures, and could draw attention to the evolving issue of “sexting” among today’s generation.

As the youth of the millennial generation, we all know how many new problems are arising due to advancements in technology, and “sexting” is one of the most serious issues affecting young people today.

Many young girls are pressured, by peers or boyfriends, into sending out pictures of themselves using their cell phones. When put in the hands of the wrong person, those images can be spread around very easily, and the situation can get out of hand.

Rihanna can mend her image as a role model because she can relate to girls in that kind of situation. Her organization can provide guidance and support for those girls.

This public relations campaign has the potential to backfire, since the legitimacy of the photos is being questioned, causing people to speculate that it may have been a publicity stunt. If that is the case, then it would only further ruin her image, making her look like just another attention crazed celebrity.

Do we really need another Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan, using sex and scandal to draw attention to themselves instead of utilizing their talents?

Hopefully Rihanna can successfully turn this situation around, cleaning up her image and finding a way for her talents, rather than her body, to shine through.


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