No ma’am.

Rihanna accepts CFDA Icon of the Year Award in a gown too sheer to post here.

Rihanna accepts CFDA Fashion Icon of the Year Award in an Adam Selman gown too sheer to post here.

I get that “fashion is [your] defense mechanism,” Rihanna. I feel that way sometimes when I put on something no one else would wear, or when I’m dressing to improve my mood.

I get that you’re the darling of designers, (including Adam Selman, who designed your Swarovski-encrusted gown) and that your look at the CFDA Awards last night channeled Josephine Baker. It reminded me more of another over-exposed star, who would’ve turned 88 this week (if she’d lived past 36).

I won’t speculate about life in the limelight for Rihanna, but I suspect this look was more about maintaining her “bad girl” image and titillating the public (and keeping her name in bold print), rather than raging against the machine of fame. And that’s sad.

This isn’t about body shame inherited from the first woman to run around naked, either. I love my body enough to keep it reasonably covered. I get objectified enough wearing clothes; exposing myself wouldn’t make me feel stronger, braver or more empowered. But that’s just me.

There’s no defense for turning up on anyone’s red carpet nearly naked. What exactly does that prove? Is that the next wave of fashion: no clothes at all?

If so, I heard about that trend a long time ago. It’s a well-known fairy tale about exposing the intentions and convictions of others, not just one’s rear end. The look was a fail then, and it’s a fail now.

P.S. To any parents: please get your daughters together now before next year’s prom season. “Prombat” was bad enough.

Image via Timothy A. Cleary/AFP/Getty

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