Rihanna got out there and performed with one baby and another on the way. She did it on her own, without any other big-name performers. The message was clear: I’m enough.
Author: Lily Hirsch
Lily Hirsch is a musicologist and author of Can't Stop the Grrrls: Confronting Sexist Labels in Music from Ariana Grande to Yoko Ono.
I’m Sounding the Alarm Now About Media’s Response to Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show
The Super Bowl Halftime Show is a time-honored but impossible set-up. Women artists have experienced especially harsh post-show takes. So what will it be in Rihanna’s case?
There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on her performance post-baby, her first live appearance since 2018. The gendered expectations and sexist labeling of women in music vary by individual, and racism has a significant impact in certain cases. But this abuse in all cases works to enforce norms of behavior expected of women.
Perhaps if we recognize the cycle, we might better tune out the toxic takes to come.