Rihanna: Role Model No More?

To some, Rihanna is a victim.

To others, in light of reports that she's back with Chris Brown after allegations that he beat and bruised her, she is something completely different.

"She's not sending the right message to kids," said Maggie, 15, a former Rihanna fan and sophomore at New York City's High School for Environmental Studies. "She's just retarded and I just hope she knows that I'm not going to listen to her ever again."

Maggie, who asked that her last name not be used, isn't the only teenager upset with the 21-year-old pop superstar, who reportedly reconciled with Brown, 19, at Sean "Diddy" Combs' Miami Beach mansion this weekend after their reported Feb. 8 altercation.

"She's making it seem like it's OK to get hit by your boyfriend and get back together with him. She's a role model for kids. What is she thinking?" said Britteny Hughes, 17. "If they have to hit each other, they shouldn't be together."

Candice Hopkins, the director of loveisrespect.org, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, isn't surprised that teens are lashing out at Rihanna.

"Blaming the victim is a very common reaction," she said. "The most common reaction is, 'why does she stay? Why does she take that?' But the question should be, 'why would someone be abusive to their partner?' We have to reinforce that there is no behavior that justifies someone being violent with you."

"Her going back to him is not abnormal in terms of abusive teen relationships," Hopkins said. "You hear all the time, 'it'll never happen again.' But unless they both get the help that's needed, unfortunately it's more than likely that the situation will occur again."

Though they may be baffled by Rihanna's actions, teens aren't holding back on Brown, either.

"Now when I hear a Chris Brown song, I change the station," said Tazia Watson, 18. "I don't accept his apology. I don't even want to hear what he has to say."

Chris Brown, Rihanna Stay Silent

Apart from canned statements from their PR reps, both stars have kept their mouths shut. Brown's representative declined to comment for this story; Rihanna's did not respond.

"At the request of the authorities, Rihanna is not commenting about the incident involving Chris Brown," Rihanna's representative said in a statement released Feb. 20, the singer's 21st birthday. "She wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time."

According to a statement released Feb. 15 by Mike Sitrick, a Brown representative, the singer says he is "seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones." He's due to be arraigned in Los Angeles Thursday, but the district attorney's representative could not confirm whether charges had been filed against him or whether the arraignment would happen.

Along with fans, the lack of information has also frustrated the couple's friends in the music industry.

"I don't know how to feel about it," said singer Shontelle about Rihanna's reported reconciliation. Shontelle grew up with Rihanna in Barbados and has worked with her on multiple songs.

"You see that photo and your heart just breaks," she said, referring to the photos of Rihanna's swollen, cut face released two weeks ago. "You think she's going to do one thing and then it's something else. I wish I knew what was going on."

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