Rihanna, Chris Brown “Very Affectionate” at Grammys 2013 Afterparty
How do we gauge our self-esteem? Is it by how rich and popular we are or by the day-to-day positive choices we make?

On Sunday, February 10th I found myself watching the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. I, like so many others, observed R&B singer Rihanna and Chris Brown snuggling. Later fans were tweeting that Rhianna was wearing what looked to be an engagement ring on her finger during her performance of “Stay.” This comes just four years after Chris infamously assaulted Rihanna after a pre-Grammy party on February 8, 2009.
In an article for About.com, Linda Lowen writes: Why should any of us care? It’s just celebrity gossip, right? No. It’s a lot more than that. Rihanna and Chris Brown are idolized by many young fans; these tweens and teens are watching what’s going on for cues to what’s ‘okay’ and what’s ‘not okay’ behavior between men and women.
Any given day we make decisions about everything from what time we wake up in the morning, to what time we go to bed at night; from who we will spend our time with, to what we will spend our time doing; from how we will be treated, to what we won’t tolerate.  Yes, every day we are faced with a myriad of choices and each choice, regardless of the outcome, moves us closer or farther away from real and lasting self-esteem.
So, when the beautiful and successful Rihanna makes the choice to have an open and notorious relationship with an abuser, what does that really say about her self-esteem? And what message does that send to young women around the world who aren’t as beautiful and successful as she is?
Parents need to start a conversation with their teens and tweens about making choices and discuss how the choices they make will, for the better or worse, impact their futures.
Often it is easier for us to see ourselves as victims than empowered men and women who have been given the gift of choice.
I’m Francine Ward, Attorney, Coach, Lecturer, Author and courageous woman opening up the conversation for your thoughts. Join me on my Facebook Fan Page, Facebook.com, Twitter, or in a LinkedIn group.

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