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Black Sexual EconomiesRace and Sex in a Culture of Capital$
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Adrienne D. Davis and BSE Collective

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042645

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042645.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 05 March 2021

“Happy at Last”

“Happy at Last”

Carving the White “Closet” Past, Creating an “Out” Future

(p.124) Chapter 7 “Happy at Last”
Black Sexual Economies

Jeffrey Q. McCune

University of Illinois Press

“Branded Beautiful” examines the relationship between individual pop celebrity, the promotion of a national identity, and the use of sexuality while branding each. Barbados promotes itself as a site of controlled abandon straddling performances of modernity while cashing in on imaginaries of “primitive” exoticism. Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty’s pop stardom is built on an ever-changing boldness that often includes in your face sexuality. The relationship between Rihanna and representations of Barbados is fraught with ambiguity. Using Rihanna’s August 2011 LOUD tour concert in Barbados, “Branded Beautiful” argues that the events surrounding the show shed light on the differing sexual economies of pop stardom and national tourism; that such divergences highlight the insecurities of nation-states seeking to make a name for themselves within a global market; and that despite the distinctions it is quite hard for a nation-state to divorce celebrity focused attention from an ideal national image.

Keywords:   Rihanna, celebrity, national identity, ambiguity, modern blackness

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