Chris Brown: Scum of the Earth (but possibly salvageable)

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

It didn’t seem that long ago when Chris Brown was just another teenage hip-hop artist following in the footsteps of adolescent performers such as Lil BowWow who were wildly popular and could have their pick among hundreds of thousands of women. It goes without saying that this kind of attention and fame can be dangerously intoxicating for anyone, especially for a teenager who grew up in a broken home and saw his mom get abused by his stepdad.

Chris Brown never had the chance to grow up in a normal setting. He started performing when he was 13 and turned into a star nearly overnight. His first album, Chris Brown, has sold more than 2 million copies since its release in 2005; his second, Exclusive, released in 2007, will hit the 2 million mark very soon. He had accumulated unimaginable wealth and fame before he was eligible to enter the U.S. Army. Think about that. I don’t know about you, but I would not have been even close to emotionally mature enough to deal with even $10,000 when I was in high school, and I grew up in a good home with two married parents, a good support system and a nice neighborhood.

Like 99% of teenagers out there, I needed to experience the growing pains of a normal childhood and adolescent experience before being ready to live on my own in college. My college years then shaped and molded me into a competent (at least I’ve tricked my bosses into thinking this for the time being) adult in the workforce. And there’s a reason that most of us need a good support system and structure in place for the first 20 to 22 years in our life. Our brains are not fully developed and matured until we’re in our mid-20s.

I’m often sympathetic to child celebrities who find themselves in constant trouble and especially those who are tragically never able to pull themselves from the troubled jaws of early fame and fortune. It’s easy to say, “Holy shit, Miley Cyrus already has made $100 million! Why does she fight with her dad and do drugs and get in trouble all the time? I would just sit back, take care of my family and live on a beach for the next 60 years.” That’s not reality for these young celebrities. They face constant pressure to support their sizable entourage. Not to mention their agents, publicists, PR folks and everyone else who receives any commission from them are always trying to squeeze the lemon till it’s dry.

I know I would struggle if I was in that position. Sometimes there’s only so much pressure a young person can handle.

However, Chris Brown deserves zero sympathy from us. Not after he did this.

This image literally makes me sick to my stomach. I can usually handle queasy pictures and videos, but this one fills me with rage. Chris Brown inflicted this damage upon Rihanna’s face more than 3 years ago. (I had no idea it was that long ago until I looked it up.) Since then, he’s offered only half-assed apologies on YouTube (the videos have since been taken down) and has repeatedly thrown tantrums on Twitter and even on the set of Good Morning America when anyone even hints at bringing up his major criminal offense.

Domestic violence is certainly nothing new. It’s not like Brown invented the crime or committed an especially heinous version of it. However, his case has easily been the most high-profile since at least Bobby Brown and Whitney and, even more importantly, has ignited a troubling outpouring of support for Brown among teenage women.

As recently as this year’s Grammy’s, in which he got way too much airtime, Brown elicited some truly fucked up reactions on Twitter from young girls and women.

This is important because Brown and Rihanna are now speaking to each other again and have even collaborated on a couple of songs recently. Maybe Brown is a changed man behind the scenes in his private life. But I’m extremely skeptical because of recent stories like this.

Brown turns 23 on May 5. Perhaps he’ll reach some sort of state of emotional maturity soon, as studies suggest he should. I certainly hope so. He’s a giant piece of shit, but I still think he’s salvageable. Much more importantly, I hope that he becomes mature enough to act like a real man. He needs to stop throwing hissy-fits all the time, and he needs to stop focusing on all the “haters.”

What he needs to do is treat Rihanna with the respect and adoration she deserves, should they (gulp) get back together, and then go on a public speaking circuit educating these ignorant teenagers about the danger and wrongness of domestic violence. And if he ever lays hands on Rihanna or any other woman ever again, I hope someone makes his face look a lot worse than that picture above.

(And you can bet the farm that I won’t get sick to my stomach if I see that picture.)

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