News has been buzzing around Chris Brown and Rihanna since his Grammy performance sparked a twitter frenzy among teen girls begging him to “beat them” earlier this month. As I read through their tweets while simultaneously looking for a crane to pick my jaw off the floor— I thought, this is it, I have literally seen EVERYTHING, but nothing could blow my mind more than the release of their rumored remixes on each others latest music.
These two songs and the message they send take the cake, pun intended. The cycle of abuse is inherently a remix. It’s the same story with a different beat, literally.
Years ago when I was in high school I had two friends that were in physically and emotionally abusive relationships. Yes, you read that correctly, high school.
Their stories played out like a series of after-school specials. Their boyfriends started out “super sweet”. There were gifts and long phone conversations confessing undying love. Then slowly their phone calls turned from the “I love you” variety into the accusatory “where are you” kind, every hour on the hour. Then slowly my friend’s demeanor began to change—once bubbly and charming personalities turned withdrawn and depressed.
They hung onto their boyfriends like a dying person holds onto their last breath. Love to them meant limitlessness. There was no limit to how much they would give in order to maintain the affections of their partners.
Rihanna’s raspy “I love you, baby” fade out at the end of Chris Brown’s song reminds me of them—eerily reaching out to someone to love them, regardless of the danger.
The importance of education is a constant drum that beats in the halls of Congress and through various media outlets. But when they talk about education they are speaking solely of the textbook variety. If there is nothing else that Chris Brown and Rihanna’s troubled romance has taught us, is that young kids need an education beyond the classroom.
They need to know what love looks and acts like. Love doesn’t cover you in bruises and stain your clothes with blood. Love doesn’t use words that cut as deep as a knife— forcing you to shrink so your light doesn’t shine too bright.
Love has a limit! When your tears out number your smiles…you’ve reached it.
We should thank Rihanna and Chris for their latest “go-round”. They reminded us who our kids true models and original teachers are… us! Their musical reunion presents an opportunity to talk about the cycle of abuse and the need for young kids (and old ones too) to value themselves enough to find partners that will cherish them, uplift them and love them.
Real love doesn’t need a remix; it’s good the first time around.