Rihanna, Evelyn Lozada, K.Michelle,; Domestic Violence and Celebrity Priority.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Last night marked the end of the first season of Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta. I’m sure many Black women, young and old, tuned in to watch the final episode of the ratchet fest whether they truly wanted to or not. The episode was promoted to be a big bombshell with K.Michelle once again expressing her pain and rage over being beaten by music industry insider and husband to Toya Carter; Memphitz.
The timing of K.Michelle’s “final” words on the subject comes at a time where domestic abuse captures headlines and makes for ratings bumps. Oprah’s heart to heart with Bajan bombshell Rihanna Sunday night has had tongues wagging since news of the interview became public. Everyone knew Oprah would ask about “the incident” and unlike in other interviews it was highly likely Rihanna wasn’t going to be too quick to reveal her explosive temper; which she didn’t.
But K.Michelle and Rihanna are not alone in their struggles with overcoming domestic violence. New to the club no woman should ever be apart of is Basketball Wives’ reigning bad girl Evelyn Lozada. The fiery tempered Latina was inducted into the female society of shame after getting into an argument with her new husband Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson. A head butt later and Ochocinco is minus endorsements, a spin off, and a wife while Evelyn Lozada must contend with the head butt and how to handle it in her personal and celeb-reality life.
These stories of abuse have raised comments far and wide as to what really happened in every scenario. No one will know what happened between Rihanna and Chris Brown Grammy Night 2009. But we saw her battered face. No one will know what happened between K.Michelle and Memphitz but we saw her all dolled up in a wedding dress with makeup recreating wounds from her abuser as she spoke through clenched teeth and tears about becoming her lover’s punching bag. No one will know what happened between Evelyn Lozada and Ocho but the released 911 call from a neighbor implies at the very least a dispute occurred.
The only people who will know what happened in these instances are the people involved. Yet speculation abounds over how the actions of these well known celebrities affects those inclined to live their life by the celebrity playbook. In an hour long interview the best soundbyte gotten from Rihanna after appearing on Oprah’s Next Chapter is she still loves Chris Brown. The clip has been played on every morning show, entertainment news show, cable news entertainment segment, and embedded in blogs and websites. It would seem as if Oprah asked one question, Rihanna gave one answer and the interview was over.
Similarly with K.Michelle, her story arc on Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta focused more on the abuse she endured from year’s ago then her struggle to break into the music industry as a viable R&B artist. The girl can sing. Her talent was showcased on the show but it was the opening act for the main event; constant pain and rage and defending the truth of what happened to her.
As for Evelyn Lozada, she’s made a career out of snatching wigs, throwing bottles and jumping off tables. Now the table’s are somewhat turned and she finds herself a victim of some of the same verbal and physical brutality she’s bestowed on others.
Each incident these women have gone through will now forever follow them and their careers. It is the infamy they will forever be associated no matter what they do in the future to leave their past behind.
We don’t think of Tina without Ike and “Eat the cake Anna-Mae.” We won’t think of Rihanna and not remember her hospital photograph. We won’t think of K.Michelle without hearing her ranting and raving about her painful past. We won’t think of Evelyn without maliciously thinking she finally got what she deserved? Yet while we’re all caught up in thinking about the abuses these celebrities endured we don’t think about the abuse not publicized.
- 1 in 4 women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime
- Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men
- 74% of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence
- 30% of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year
- On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day
K.Michelle, Evelyn Lozada, and Rihanna are the new public faces for a crime that too often goes unacknowledged. But instead of being agents for change and empowerment the discourse about the abuse they endured is constrained to the media bubble in which they reside. Rihanna’s pain and hurt is relative to her being called the sexiest woman in the world and staying on top of the pop music charts. K.Michelle’s abuse is the ransom paid to reignite her fledgling career. Evelyn Lozada’s abuse will play an important, albeit old, storyline when Basketball Wives returns for its next season. Each woman because of their celebrity has had to sacrifice a moment of extreme hurt and embarrassment in an effort to keep their own hype machine going no matter if they want to break from the world or not. A small price to pay to live the lifestyle of the rich and the famous.
These women will be watched for the rest of their center of media mind days. It is up to them to define themselves and the direction of their lives instead of allowing media manipulators and social media trolls to discuss their abusive details without even acknowledging abuse.
Domestic violence is a serious crime completely cheapened when the poster children for its eradication fall victim to their own hype and promotion of how an incident of their potentially lowest moment can catapult them to apex level Hollywood status.
Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper
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