He is one of Rihanna’s staunchest supporters.
But today veteran entertainer Richard Stoute said he felt let down by the entertainer’s appearance at the recent Council Of Fashion Designers Of America Awards.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Stoute who had previously called for the Barbadian pop diva to be accorded one of the country’s highest National Honours, that of a Dame, said that he was displeased with the sheer fishnet gown which she wore to the awards show.
The sparking gown, embedded with crystals, left little underneath to the imagination and Stoute could not hide his disappointment, saying: “I think that it sends a very bad message to some young people who think that they can do the same thing too.
“But she is Rihanna, and it wouldn’t look as bad [on] her as it would look if somebody else wears that. Can you imagine another young lady from this country going into Broad Street with that dress on today? You know what would happen? You know what would be said?
“I think that those things are for your bedroom and in your private domain. I don’t think that nakedness for a woman in any domain is good. Women must indeed remember that in order to gain respect they must give respect. If you devalue yourself, men will continue to devalue you. But if you respect yourself then men will have to respect you,” he said.
Stoute further expressed concern that the world on a whole seemed to be clinging to the nakedness of women.
“This is what is bringing in money,” he remarked.
“I am not in total agreement with that, but that is what the world is buying today.
“Look at what happens in the streets of our Crop Over festivities; and I have tremendous respect for women. I think that every time a woman is devalued it hurts me, because my mother was a woman, and I have a daughter as well.
“Women are made to be respected; women have to be respected in a very big way,” stressed Stoute, who wrote a song last Crop Over season which speaks to respect for women.
Dress aside, Stoute said Rihanna would always be a remarkable ambassador in his books, as she continued to market her country wherever she went.
On that note, he stressed that each time Rihanna referred to Barbados by name on the international stage “it means that we have gone up a notch in our [tourism] promotion”.
“I love her and I am always happy when she achieves things.
“Rihanna is out there doing that for us, and I hope that she continues to keep our name flying. I don’t think we recognize enough that she has been giving Barbados great promotion, and every time she does something, Barbados gets mentioned.
“We need to be more appreciative and give her full acknowledgment by placing her picture on billboards all over the country because she is very large. She has done enough and has given the country a big boost because of her personality and what she has achieved in the field of entertainment,” he said.