To all the Justin Bieber haters, I have this to say: he has more class in his underwear-showing backside than Rihanna will ever have.
My daughter has been to two concerts in her young life: Justin Bieber and Rihanna. The first was a few months ago where she wept openly at the sight of the young heartthrob singing and bopping around the stage; his shout-outs to the audience was enthusiastic, encouraging, clean, and appropriate.
Say what you will about the kid, but he doesn't feel it necessary to scream vulgarities into his mic while he's on a stage. Not sure what he does when he's being pursued by the paparazzi, but don't care 'cause I didn't pay lots of money for my daughter and I to witness that.
But when we attended the Rihanna concert in Winnipeg on Monday, March 25, within a few minutes, the popular singer's jaw-dropping profanity had me looking around to see if perhaps I had been wrong to assume that this performer was appropriate for young adolescents.
I don't know too much about her, except that I've been listening to her top hits on the radio for a few years. Her songs are catchy. She has a pretty smile. There would be no harm in taking my teenager to one of her concerts, right? Wrong.
I need to take accountability for the fact that I have never bothered to buy a Rihanna CD, and/or listened to more of her music than the songs played on the radio. If I'd done this, I would have known that behind softer lyrics lurk an edgier side to her.
What I certainly didn't expect though, after submitting myself and my daughter to 45 minutes of the warm-up act, A$AP Rocky -- who specializes in songs where he calls the world and everyone in it a 'MOFO'-- was that Rihanna would come out, thank us all for waiting for her appearance despite the fact that her show was delayed by 90 minutes, then blame the delay on Canada Customs for searching her buses when they were crossing the border. She wanted us to join into her disappointment at her late arrival by shouting out: "Fuck customs!"
Hmmmm...nope. Not gonna happen, sweetheart.
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You're an internationally renowned popstar. You have a very large entourage and crew. Your staff is travelling across borders in buses onto which you could store pretty much anything. Oh. And wait. Last week on March 20, your buses got stopped at the Windsor/ Detroit border where one of your employees was in possession of drugs.
So. Umm. Yeah. Our customs officials kind of have an obligation to take these matters seriously so they were doing their job when they stopped the buses.
As the daughter of a customs official, I've heard the stories of what these employees have to put up with. Nobody likes crossing the border, but guess what? The officials with their stern looks and their questions about what we're bringing across and why we're bringing it, do not later congregate in the break room chuckling about the family of four whose six suitcases they ransacked. It's their job. It's a stressful job because if anything or anyone does get across that shouldn't, the repercussions can be tragic.
So maybe Rihanna was put out because her tour buses got stopped for a second time at a Canadian border, but the onus of responsibility is on her shoulders to ensure that her staff is smart enough to ditch their stash before going through customs.
Canadians may have a reputation for being polite and politically correct, but we aren't stupid. If you're going to smoke a joint while you're at the border, we have noses. We can smell it. So don't stand on a stage all high and mighty and ask us, Canadian citizens, to shout obscenities at our customs officials. And don't do it when my kid is sitting right next to me.
Please and thank you.