by Bene Viera
Nothing good ever comes from aRihanna subliminal tweet or sub-Instagram post. And her alleged $90 million net worth didn’t keep her from publicly sparring with G.O.O.D. Music singer Teyana Taylor. It got ugly—uglier than it should have for two celebrities with all eyes on them.
Teyana Taylor caught wind of Rihanna’s shady Instagram post that indirectly mocked Teyana’s “Caught Up In The Rapture” rendition she’d posted a week prior. For unknown reasons, Rihanna mocked Teyana by recording her male hairdresser singing the same song with the same curly weave and snapback hat as Teyana. Teyana wasn’t laughing, though.
Teyana used Twitter to directly address the Bajan bad gal. Several tweets later, Riri tweeted that she hated “broke b*tches” and updated her Twitter header to a picture of her $90 million net worth versus Teyana’s $500,000. Teyana retaliated with a photoshopped header of Rihanna’s infamous bruised face next to a picture of herself with boxing gloves on indicating she’d beat Rihanna up. Besties Melissa Forde and Leandra jumped in to defend the pop star.
The celebrities have since cleaned up their timelines, but the entourages on both sides are leaving their tweets for the world to see.
Celebrities aren’t immune to the verbal attacks of strangers. A rude person on social media insults a star, the star responds, the star’s fan-base attacks said rude person. It’s a sick cycle that wasn’t started by celebrities and wouldn’t end if celebrities opted out of participating.
Cyber-bullying affects children, teens and adults. Unfortunately it only garners national attention when a celeb is involved.
“Y’all could bully everybody else & get away wit [sic] that sh-t but that sh-t ain’t gone [sic] work ova [sic] here. [S]o y’all could miss me with that NAVY sh-t,” Teyana tweeted. Teyana isn’t the first one to claim RiRi is a bully. Rihanna has been involved in similar spats with Karrueche (Chris Brown’s ex) and Ciara. Stars like Ciara and Keri Hilson have carried the “I’m being cyber-bullied” card. The toxicity of cyber-bullying has no limits.
Rihanna and Teyana shouldn’t be the scapegoat of cyber-bullying culture. But there has to be some acknowledgement in the “We Found Love” singer’s progressively meaner attacks. In her defense she usually doesn’t bark at anyone who hasn’t dissed her first, but is a Instagram picture of a non-famous person side by side a goat taking it too far? (She immediately deleted it but it will live on the ‘net’ forever.)
For a global superstar it seemed distasteful to stoop to that level. As mean as it appeared, the Navy was right there to back up their fave—attacking the stranger from their own accounts. Is the egging on by spectators or fans blinding cyber-bullies from seeing the danger of attacking people online?
Bully Statistics Org reports that over half of teens and adolescents have been the victims of cyber-bullying. More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced online threats; and over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet. We wonder what the statistics are for adults? Although adults don’t deserve to be ridiculed online, one has to wonder how adults’ behavior online affects children. If impressionable youth are watching their favorite celebrities verbally go for blood on social networks do they deem this behavior cute and appropriate for their own lives?
Rihanna isn’t a role model. People who want her to behave as such—despite her telling the world she isn’t one—are wasting energy better used mentoring kids in their own community. While I don’t expect Riri to think of her young fans when she publicly addresses a beef with another woman, I do hope she acts like a superstar who has tons to lose.
Cyber-bullying, along with mean-girl culture, continues to grow. It’s a sick cycle that encourages bad behavior. Celebrities aren’t immune to bullying or being bullied. Celebrity or not, purposely being rude and nasty to anyone is never a good look. It’s not cute. And despite the “entertainment” value in watching a good beef unfold, hopefully somewhere at least the youth realize there’s nothing admirable about personally attacking people, online or otherwise.
April 18, 2014 //
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