An Open Letter To Rihanna About Prom

Dear RiRi,

You may be wondering why I’m writing you this open letter, but I promise it’s for a good cause: sensitive high school girls everywhere.

Before I go further, let me quickly bow at the altar of Bad Girl RiRi. If there were ever any doubts to your general level of fierceness, you went ahead and addressed that in your 2007 album Good Girl Gone Bad (further cemented by 2009’s Rated R). Consider it a point well made.

Now, I ask that you perhaps consider adding “kitten gloves” to your extensive and eclectic wardrobe. When 16-year-old Alexis Carter tweeted out a photo of herself striking a pose in her RiRi-inspired prom ensemble (a tribute to you, her idol), she felt what every high school girl deserves to feel at prom: simply ah-mazing!

Then, much to Alexis’ surprise, the photo went viral and eventually made its way to your feed. As a person in the public eye, I’m sure you’ve developed a thick skin when it comes to the harsh criticism of people who leave nasty comments on websites, but Miss Carter didn’t have that life experience yet. She’d never had the displeasure of appearing on Fashion Police or on a magazine’s “Worst Dressed” list. It was embarrassing enough that she had become the #PromBat punch line, but then you (of all people) chose to retweet those jokes and join in her cyber-ridicule. To add insult to injury, she wore a replica of your 2010 red carpet look because she was a really big fan and felt she was honoring you. But most importantly, she thought she looked really, really great—and I happen to agree with her.

Generally speaking, prom is a rite of passage for all high schoolers. And, as a girl, you spend the better part of four years obsessing about every last detail: the invitation, the date, the corsage and, of course, the outfit. It’s pretty sacred ground.

As a little girl, I used to doodle countless pictures of what my future prom dress would look like (usually a frosty-blue number reminiscent of Cinderella’s ball gown), but when May 2000 rolled around, I chose a fern-colored silk dress with orange beading and feathers. Hindsight being twenty-twenty, I may have opted for a more classic silhouette, but at the time, I felt like a million bucks—and that’s sort of the point here.

At prom, every girl—regardless of the shape, color or style of dress—deserves to feel like hottest thing since sliced bread. Alexis Carter certainly did (and for the record, she did look awesome). And as women, it’s our duty to support one another.

RiRi, I’m not asking you to back down from you badassness. I’m just asking that you show a little more kindness when it comes to your fans — and your fans’ proms.



  • Rosario Añañuca de Fuego

    Step 1: Stop idolizing famous people.
    Step 2: Stop idolizing prom.

    I think that people’s reaction and Rihanna’s reaction are trully awful, but I also think that putting so much importance on something that doesn’t account for shit in the big picture of life is also wrong.

  • LaTonya Roberts

    I didn’t know the background of the photo before reading this article. I understand how terrible bullying is, especially when it’s from you idol. I like how she chose to be different for prom. It wasn’t a bad choice. My only critique is that she should have kept her arms down like Rihanna did, so that the ensemble flows instead of being a cape.

  • Chris LeDoux

    The prom was themed ‘red carpet’ or ‘hollywood’ I believe. That’s why the teenager decided to go as her idol. From what I understand her mother had to actually hunt down someone who would actually take on the challenge of making a ‘dup’ out of Rihanna’s outfit. For Rihanna to post anything but applause for this girl is what I would expect of her…I never did think much of her and this for sure backs up my thoughts. Her prom night maybe even though she had a great time was ruined by someone who thinks about no one but herself.

  • Catherine Smith

    Obviously this is horribly disappointing and I think Rihanna should be called out but let’s also not forget that although she is a grown woman, she is very clearly not an all around emotionally healthy grown woman. She has some serious brokenness. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be in abusive relationships, etc. The girl has her own demons and apparently has no problem deflecting on to others. SO SAD!

  • Shannon McNamara

    I give major props to that High School girl, she could have gotten very depressed and went into a shell, and instead she was all whatevs I’m awesome… and yes chica, you surely are!

  • McKenzie K. Wright

    No matter how much time passes – hurt people hurt people.

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – or so “they” say. Stars claim to love their fans but at the end of the day when the lights from the cameras stop flashing and the make-up is washed away a “star” is just like us – a error proned human being.

    We are all flawed and put way too much stock in what others have to think or say. This beautiful girl rock the hell out of an outfit that most wouldn’t dare to even look at. If she felt beautiful that’s all that matters. PERIOD! No one should have made any harsh or rude comments because we ALL have things we don’t like about ourselves that make us cringe when too much light is shed on it.

    Life is too short and this world way too negative to continue to contribute more hate. We have to start learning and knowing people from the inside out, appreciate our differences, and strive to making the world a better place for future generations.

  • test3

    Very descriptive blog, I liked that bit. Will there
    be a part 2?

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