Discussing Billboard: Why Public Relations Aren’t Public Property

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When I speak about “public relations,” I’m not referring to extreme PDA in a park.  Public relations are celebrity relationships, referring to people who make a living as public figures.  But does this really make their everyday decisions public property?  I won’t bore you with another opinion on the Rihanna and Chris Brown situation.  Instead though, I’d like to discuss the importance of opinion.  But in that same breath, why it stands on a very thin line between appropriateness and not.

The letters Billboard.com recently wrote to the two exes [RihannaChris Brown] obviously came from a place of concern.  And while some opinions feel the two are lacking guidance in their decisions, it’s also evident that they are grown and capable of ruling their selves.  Possibly they are truly determined to rekindle the friendship, if not the relationship too.  Who are we, though, to say whether they should or should not?

Though I have my own personal disregards, the one thing I realized is that my opinion doesn’t really matter.  And neither does yours.  The event that occurred between the two happened between the two, only.  And while fans and supporters, record labels and management teams, press and media were all driven into the dramatic situation, it didn’t happen to us.  Only the two.

Michael Jackson taught us how secluded and lonely a life could become when you live for your fans.  Fantasia overdosed because she couldn’t handle the scrutiny.  Paula Abdul admitted to having battled anorexia because of the strain of public image.  Whitney Houston spoke about the unrelenting pressure for perfection that damaged her relationship and self-esteem.  And even more revealing, the determination to prove critics wrong is what led her deeper into darkness, before she decided to change for self.

And the list goes on and on.  The cycle is apparent.  The letter Billboard wrote to Rihanna was in good spirits, but has many issues.  The most critical comes near the end:

“It’s a burden that is not fair to you, or anyone in pop culture, but it’s one you have to accept.” – Billboard.com

In actuality, it’s not one anyone should have to accept.  And as young as the two pop stars are, they’re allowed to make mistakes.  No matter how painful it may be for the rest of us to watch.  It’s one thing to state your opinion on their life decisions or music choices (such as their recently released remixes), but it’s another to demand a life that even you would never wish to live.  While it’s probably best to keep my opinion of Chris Brown to myself, the best we can do for Rihanna is to respect her as a human being, beyond an entertainer.  Her love life is not to entertain, it’s to fulfill her own personal desires for self.

The ending of the letter doesn’t get much better:

“…in this one instance, we need your message to be perfect.” – Billboard.com

As much as we’d love to see Rihanna as “perfect”, our definition of perfect may not be hers.  And asking for perfection from a human being is like asking for oranges from a grape vine; it’s unnatural.  Furthermore, asking someone –who you personally do not know– to take your advice based upon making others happy instead of their self, is selfish.

I, too, cringed at the thought of the two in a relationship again.  And mostly so because Brown’s arrogance has overpopulated his dynamic performances.  But I’m not a life coach, (though they could probably use this one,) I’m a writer, a music critic, and a fan.  And so are the majority of the rest of us.  So sometimes, as hard as it may be, we have to understand that all matters concerning our favorite people may not be any of our concern.  And the words you choose to help, may be the same words they were fighting to overcome in the first place.  Let’s just hope the true influences in their lives allow them to see the other side of the spectrum.

What are your thoughts?  Whose opinion do you agree with?

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